Milk the Sun and SecondSol will cooperate in future and support each other making the PV market more efficient and transparent. We’ve had a chance to ask Frank Fiedler, CEO at SecondSol what he is hoping to gain from the cooperation and what his future plans are.
SecondSol is an online secondary market for PV modules, ac-converter and co. in connection with photovoltaics. Please describe what you are doing in specific. „We are producing solarmodules with atomic energy in Asia, we transport them to Germany with heavy crude oil and dispose of them because they don’t meet our standards!” Out of this reason the project SecondSol was developed in 2010 and brought to life especially for the PV industry in 2011. The platform’s aim is to guarantee the maintenance of second-hand-parts for a lifetime of a PV plantan that lasts at least 20 years. The idea started off with insurances demanding parts to replace losses after a claim of PV damage or theft conserning private as well as industrial PV operators. On the seller side there are different types of distributers and manufacturers that needed a distribution channel for remaining stock and seconds. SecondSol brings together supply and demand and brings transparency into the mass of second hand products (that are for instance needed by organisations for aid projects). The marketplace also includes an additional logistics and storage system, intelligent software that always places products according to it’s search-engine position. Partners are insurances, distributers, manufacturers, organisations, LDCs and private persons.
How does your online secondary market exactly work? SecondSol is an all direct tradingplatform that buyers and sellers can use to trade. A sales comission is due after the deal is sealed. Bigger clients have the opportunity to get help from our sales agency. An assistant helps uploading your products. SecondSol additionally has a logistics tool and the service area which guarantees you a direct customer support via phone hotline. A PV newsservice and serviceindex completes SecondSol.
Who is the average user of your service? Our user come from all over the world. A few weeks ago we had the first visitor from South Africa. Our clients are insurances, distributers, manufacturers, organisations and private persons from all over the world.
What are your expectations from cooperating with Milk the Sun? I believe we have the same goals. We both want to help sustainibility back to its roots. We want to bring together people and solve problems that so far have been underestimated in the PV industry. With this focus we can profit from each other a lot. Both companies have a matching innovative and motivated team to help establish the ideas on an international scale in the markets. One specific similarity are shared by both business models: Their target group is part of a market that is only about to start growing and will really get going in a couple of years. This makes Milk the Sun and SecondSol – The Panel Scout – both charming.
Do you dare to take a glance into the future of the PV industry? How do you judge on the momentary situation and which possinbilities do German companies have to stay successful in this segment? I hope for it! It would be madness if a few politicians manage to destroy the technological advantages of PV in this country. A reduction of local FiTs does make sense, but in an maintainable manner. Of course German manufacturers must adjust their in-company structures. The boom made everyone a little lazy in facilitating the industry’s consolidation. In general it is important to say that PV will be the future. The sun shines every day, and a day’s sunshine generates enough energy to feed the world with it for a year.
SecondSol has ten times as much users as in the beginning. You are expanding and have recently added a PV-search-tool. Are you pleased with yourself? Where will you be standing in a year from now? Satisfaction means cessation…just a joke. To be honest the first run surprised us a little and we had to adjust our system to the high demands. The software is always the achillis tendon – first-class but also very complex. By now I have stopped to try predicting the exact launch of a new application. Our new PV-search-tool exactly meets the needs of the industry. We are contacted every day from insurance companies or plant manager that are desperately looking for a special single replacement. These offers or inquiries can be submitted to our site for free. As soon as the search is active it goes out to all SecondSol user, who have applied for it. This is how they have the instant possibility to place offers, if they have the modules in their cellar or in stock. Where we se ourselves in July 2013? It is our aim to become the worldwide leader of all PV secondary markets . The goal surely is ambitious but we already have so much international encouragement that we have a great starting point and all necessary requirements.
Milk the Sun thanks SecondSol for this very enlightning conversation and is looking forward to a productive cooperation.