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IREX Energy enters US

Released at: 18:57, 03/10/2018

IREX Energy enters US

Photo: SolarBK

Vietnamese solar power company plans to make a mark in the US.

by Hong Nhung

The IREX Energy JSC, a member of Vietnam’s SolarBK Holdings, last week attended SPI (Solar Power International) as the only Vietnamese company, joining several world-class equipment and technology companies.

SPI is the biggest solar energy exhibition in North America and took place at Anaheim City, California. This was the 15th holding and the second consecutive year IREX has attended the three-day exhibition. Attended by more than 20,000 experts in the energy industry and visitors from more than 80 countries, it was a valuable opportunity for IREX to gain experience in the global market by learning from competitors about how to connect customers and expand its markets. 

Global strategy

IREX has also worked hard on its “internationalization” strategy this year, with the goal of becoming the first company in Vietnam to achieve Tier 1. To make it through, IREX established many branches and offices in countries such as the Dominican Republic, the UK, the US, Myanmar, China, and elsewhere. It also attends other many renewable energy exhibitions around the world.

Along with these efforts, IREX is also striving to reach the goal of exporting 160 MW this year, receiving at least three orders of a minimum of 1.5 MW, to be guaranteed by domestic banks in light of facilitating its Tier 1 criteria in 2020.

Opportunities and challenges in the US

The US has been one of the markets of most potential for rooftop solar power solutions since April, with 67.2 million (57 per cent) of 116.9 million American households falling into the middle-income range and suitable for solar panel installation.

In August, California proposed and is waiting for approval of a 100 per cent renewable energy plan (especially solar and wind energy) to 2045, to gradually resolve its climate change issue. California is the second state, following Hawaii, to make use of carbon-free electricity, while Massachusetts and New Jersey are expected to follow.

Figures for the first half of 2018 show that solar energy production constituted more than 10 per cent in five major US states: Massachusetts, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Vermont. Meanwhile, solar energy accounts for 2.4 per cent of total power production domestically (48 TWh).

President Donald Trump decided to impose tariffs of 20 to 30 per cent on imported solar panels six months ago, which left many US companies in the solar energy industry with a dilemma. However, the US’s solar market is still developing. 2.5 GW of total capacity was installed in the first quarter of 2018, up 13 per cent over last year.

Thus, in terms of growth and market size, the US still has the most potential for IREX, especially since it already has a branch in the country and understands the local market. Regarding the challenges posed by tariff policy, IREX assumes that upcoming developments may be different because domestic companies have also been negatively impacted by the policy. Despite waiting for change, IREX has decided to stake out a presence in the US and seek opportunities, while other competitors, especially those from China, are losing their position.

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