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RECharge Solar Blog
May28

What an exciting ride: REC celebrates 25 years of excellence on the solar coaster

Pioneering solar technology for 25 years!

The year 2021 marks the 25th anniversary of the REC Group, an international pioneering solar energy company with Scandinavian heritage. Founded in 1996 in Norway, REC has been committed to its mission to empower people with clean solar energy through innovative technology. A quarter of a century later, high-efficiency solar panels manufactured by REC are continuing to help homeowners, businesses and utilities around the globe to harness clean power from the sun, reduce their carbon footprint and take more control of their energy costs.

REC has come a long way since its establishment 25 years ago and what an exciting ride it has been. The company has experienced the ups and downs of the industry's "solar coaster." Many brands have come and gone, while REC Group has grown from a company washing its first wafers by hand in Norway to Solar's Most Trusted, manufacturing solar panels utilizing industry 4.0 processes.

Back in 1996, solar was a niche energy source with only 309 MW installed globally.[1] Many people did not believe that it could ever replace fossil fuels. Even international organizations such as the International Energy Agency continuously underestimated the potential of solar PV for many years. Today, with a global capacity of 714,000 MW[2] solar is an affordable, reliable and cost-competitive energy source with only a few Dollar cents generation costs per kilowatt hour, and through its innovations, REC Group has played a significant role in driving this transformation. While the global growth trajectory for solar PV has seen a slight dip 2020 due to the pandemic as part of the solar coaster, REC market analysts see an optimistic outlook for solar markets worldwide in the mid and long term.[3]

REC Group proves to be a trusted partner to customers and consumers, evidenced by programs with tailored benefits such as the REC Partner Program, REC Certified Solar Professional Program and the REC ProTrust warranty package that includes a 25-year product warranty, 25-year performance warranty and up to 25-year labor warranty[4]. The company continues to build lasting win-win relationships with distributors, installers, and end customers with its 1,600 employees, its headquarters in Norway, operational headquarters in Singapore, and regional bases in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.

Since its establishment REC has celebrated numerous milestones and innovations. These include:

  • Reaching the milestone of 10 GW manufactured and installed solar capacity in 2019 – generating over 13 TWh of clean energy and empowering more than 16 million people. This is equal to the power of 1.2 billion LED bulbs

Collage of REC solar panel installations at SFO airport, Tiger Beer brewery in Singapore, and Telefonica hub in Spain

 
  • The recognition of REC’s industry strength by multiple awards worldwide such as the Intersolar Award for the REC Alpha in 2020 and in 2015 for the REC TwinPeak Series as well as the Solar+Power award in 2017
  • The opening of REC’s new fully automated and integrated production site in Singapore in 2010
  • Initiation of a silicon recovery process in 2018 that made it the first in the world to repurpose silicon kerf waste to produce solar grade silicon
  • In 2011, REC was the first solar panel manufacturer to demonstrate an Energy Payback Time of only 1 year
  • In its 25th year, launching the lead-free[5] high-efficiency full black REC Alpha Pure, demonstrating REC’s commitment to sustainable innovation

The high-performing REC Alpha Pure solar panel is based on gapless heterojunction cells – one of the most advanced solar PV technologies – and incorporates REC’s Twin Design, an award-winning, in-house development using a patented split cells and junction box technology. By going solar with high-efficiency REC Alpha Pure solar panels, households and businesses benefit from around 10% more power, greater energy yields and higher savings on their electricity bills.

To minimize its own carbon footprint, REC itself is focused on efficient manufacturing to continuously save water, energy and waste. In addition, REC helps communities in various ways to minimize their footprint too and contribute to mitigate climate change. Just two recent examples are donations of REC solar panels to remote Himalayan villages or, in partnership with the Honnold Foundation, low-income Detroit families.

As REC celebrates these remarkable achievements, the company is taking the opportunity to recommit itself to the mission of empowering consumers together with its partners and installers and continuing to drive the global energy transition.

[1] Statistical Review of World Energy – Historical Data Workbook BP
[2] https://www.irena.org/-/media/Files/IRENA/Agency/Publication/2021/Apr/IRENA_RE_Capacity_Statistics_2021.pdf
[3] https://www.recgroup.com/sites/default/files/rec_group_covid-19_update_2_solar_market_forecast_final.pdf
[4] Subject to conditions
[5] REC has eliminated lead from all panel components, including cell connections, cross connectors and junction box soldering. This means the panel meets the European RoHS regulation (Regulation of Hazardous Substances EU 2015/863), which is mandatory for all kinds of electrical products, but not for photovoltaic panels.

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