Already a member of the RE100, solar manufacturer Longi has now joined the Climate Groupâ€™s EV100 and EP100 initiatives.
First, hereâ€™s what all those 100â€™s mean.
RE100: A Climate Group initiative bringing together influential businesses around the world that are committed to 100% renewables. Longi joined the RE100 in March this year, committing to sourcing 100% renewables-based electricity across all its operations by 2028, and set an interim target of achieving 70% renewable electricity by 2027.
EV100: Another Climate Group initiative involving companies committed to making electric transport â€śthe new normalâ€ť by 2030.
EP100: A collective of companies committed to doing more with less; i.e. improving energy efficiency/productivity.
Regarding its latest commitments, Longi founder and president Li Zhenguo said the company will install EV chargers at all of its premises over the next decade to support and encourage Longiâ€™s more than 50,000 employees in making a switch to electric vehicles.
On the energy efficiency front, energy management systems will be integrated into Longiâ€™s production and operations sites, with a goal of achieving a 35% increase in energy productivity by 2025.
â€śLONGi will continue to focus on global climate change and energy transformation, continuously reduce corporate greenhouse gas emissions, and achieve economic benefits and environmental protection goals,â€ť said Mr. Zhenguo.
Reducing emissions isnâ€™t just good for the planet, itâ€™s good for the bottom line â€“ and Longi being a solar panel manufacturer puts it in a really good position to make use of PV wherever it can. However, it is procuring renewable electricity from a variety of sources.
Manufacturing solar panels, cells and wafers is an energy-intensive affair and as Longiâ€™s business continues to grow at a rapid rate, so too does its electricity use. In 2019, the companyâ€™s electricity consumption was an eye-popping 3,538,637,609 kWh (3,539 gigawatt hours), an increase of 74.69% compared to 2018.
This ongoing increase in electricity consumption makes achieving a 100% renewable electricity target a tougher task (and energy efficiency even more important), but Longi had made solid progress on integrating more renewables even before joining the RE100.
According to Longiâ€™s sustainability report covering 2019, last year it used 1,757.6 gigawatt hours of clean electricity compared to 680.8 gigawatt hours in 2018. The companyâ€™s use of renewable energy jumped from 33.61% in 2018 to 49.67% in 2019. So, it seems to be well on track for achieving its goal â€“ but its electricity use could well be higher again this year.
Last year, the company shipped approximately 9GW of Longi Solar panels to customers across the world, including Australia, up 25% on 2018 and putting it at no. 4 on GlobalDataâ€™s top ten list of solar panel manufacturers for global shipments. In the first half of this year, the company reported external sales of 6.58MW of modules, a year-on-year increase of 106.04%. The company notes 222MW of that total was earmarked for self-consumption.
Longi isnâ€™t the only major Chinese solar manufacturer to commit to 100% renewables and join the RE100. JinkoSolar signed up last year and Sungrow, which produces solar inverters and battery storage systems, joined in June this year.