“It has been a really difficult time for solar panel manufacturers and component companies,” said David Lee, CEO of BioSolar.
Before oversupply issues hit, BioSolar was commercializing its organic solar backsheet that created higher efficiencies and was more environmentally friendly. “Apparently that wasn’t good enough,” Lee said.
But conventional backsheet manufacturers have had trouble bringing down their costs and now BioSolar is planning to take a run at conventional backsheet companies’ market share. “We thought we could take advantage of our simple design and bring down our costs ahead of the curve,” Lee said.
And it’s all lined up. BioSolar has negotiated with its suppliers for reduced costs and has modeled its manufacturing expenses to get them as low as possible. “It could be bad news for conventional backsheet manufacturers,” Lee said. “I think we really have a chance here.”
But until the company scores a big sale with a major solar panel manufacturer, it’s just that – a chance. “The suppliers are ready to provide us pricing and product,” Lee said. “But we need actual sales or some type of customer commitment.”
When BioSolar started it touted a superior product that used longer-lasting non-toxic materials that were manufactured in a way that would actually increase the efficiency of the solar modules in which it was used. And since it is an organic material, it meant the panels could be decommissioned at the ends of their lives without seeping harmful chemicals into the Earth.
BioSolar still has all of those advantages, Lee said. And the product was always price competitive, particularly for its high quality. But manufacturers have had tunnel vision on cost during these hard times. Now, Lee said he thinks the company is poised to make a splash.
Of course, manufacturers will still have initial costs involved with switching products. Lee said U.S. manufacturers are not in a position to make the investment, so BioSolar is primarily marketing to Chinese manufacturers. “I think we have more than a fair chance,” he said.