Indonesia’s plan to double the use of renewable energy over the next 10 years has been widely welcomed by solar firms and green technology companies across the world.
It has also led to a rush of overseas solar panel and LED companies eager to carve out their own niche, including at the May Indonesia International Green Technology and Eco-Friendly Products Exhibition (INAGREENTECH).
Among the first-time exhibitors drawn to Indonesia’s eco-friendly policy was DAH Solar, a manufacturer of solar cells/panels and an installer of complete solar systems, headquartered in China’s eastern Anhui province.
Established in 2013, the company’s client base includes a number of factories, schools and supermarkets, with the majority operating on the Chinese mainland.
“Thanks to the government’s supportive policies, the Indonesian market for solar panels is growing fast. In light of that, we want to partner with existing domestic manufacturers to help meet this rising demand,” said Tanya Jiang, the company’s Senior Sales Director.
Also exhibiting was Germany’s Schletter Solar Technology, which provides pitched roof and flat-roof solar systems, vertical wall/facade solar panels and open area systems. The Bavarian-based firm is a pioneer in the development of car-port systems, which can convert parking lots into energy-generating hotspots.
“In Asia, it is relatively easy to harvest sunlight and turn it into power,” said Andreas Sommer, the company’s Head of Sales and Application Technology for Southeast Asia. “Despite this, government support still has a very important role to play in developing the solar sector.”
While the Indonesian government is supportive of green technology and renewable energy, it is also keen to protect the interests of local players, according to Adam Yao, Marketing and Communications Manager for Trina Solar, a Jiangsu-based solar-panel manufacturer. “We hope that the government here will relax some of the restrictions on foreign manufacturers. Indonesia’s market for solar systems is still in its infancy and we really want to contribute to its growth,” said Mr Yao.
Founded in 1997, Trina Solar is among the pioneers of China’s solar sector. As one of the mainland’s first businesses to focus on photovoltaic technology, it became a world leader in the field, eventually listing on the New York Stock Exchange in 2006.
In addition to government support for green technology, Indonesia’s huge and disparate population is also an attractive incentive for overseas solar companies. Indeed, it was this aspect of the local market that appealed to Fosera, a German solar-systems specialist.
“Our system gives those without access to electricity, including those who live on remote islands, the chance to finally get connected at home,” said Leonides Lechoncito, Fosera’s Sales Manager for Asia-Pacific. “Our unique selling point is providing lighting to communities without access to electricity, and Indonesia has a very real need for this kind of system.”
Fosera’s current range includes a solar home-kit capable of providing power for seven consecutive nights without recharging. The system, said to have been endorsed by the World Bank, comes with a battery that has a 10-year warranty and a solar panel guaranteed to last at least 25 years.
While the show was largely dominated by overseas companies, a few local renewable energy firms also made their presence felt, including Rekasurya, an Indonesian provider of comprehensive solar-power systems. Despite stiff international competition, Muhammad Salman Algifari, a Sales and Marketing Executive with the company, remained confident that Rekasurya would continue to be a major player in the market.
“While most of the companies exhibiting here specialise in solar panels, solar cells or solar-power accessories, we offer complete systems,” said Mr Algifari. “This makes us almost unique, while our pricing is also hugely competitive.”
At its production facility in Bandung, the capital of Indonesia’s West Java province, the company manufactures its proprietary range of solar modules, inverters, solar-charge controllers, batteries and all of the other components required for installing bespoke sustainable power systems. At present, the company’s clients include government facilities, local businesses and a growing number of residential customers.
Apart from the event’s huge solar-power contingent, there was also a substantial number of energy-saving LED lighting companies, including ESD Lighting, a Guangdong-based manufacturer of commercial and industrial LED lighting products.
“There is a huge market in Indonesia for our products, especially as the government now specifies the use of energy-saving products for many of its projects,” said Manager Sam Zhu. “As a result, we hope to connect with someone who has both faith in our products and sound government contacts.”
ESD’s line of LED products includes downlights, panel lights, tubes, bulbs, LED strips and floodlights. According to Mr Zhu, the company’s LED range typically offers energy savings of up to 80 per cent compared with conventional systems.
“Indonesians are now aware of the cost savings to be had from using LED lights,” said Tjiknang Usman, Sales Manager of The Lighting Solutions, an East Java-based manufacturer of a wide range of lighting products.
“The technology is also environmentally friendly as no toxic materials are used, while less heat is emitted and the brightness is the same as that generated by incandescent bulbs. LED lights also consume far less energy than fluorescent tubes, are easier to maintain, and last longer.”
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