REC Singapore Visit

Renewable Energy Corporation (“REC”) is a well-known player in the solar energy industry, and one of the few companies in the industry with both the ability and willingness to establish a fully integrated chain of production. This afternoon, we were privileged enough to be able to visit the Singapore production facilities of REC, which also comprise the world’s largest integrated manufacturing complex for wafer, cell and solar panel production.

Although we were unable to visit the onsite production facilities due to some limitations, the staff of REC gave an informative presentation, and greatly enhanced our knowledge of the solar energy industry and manufacturing processes. The Senior Manager, Wahid, gave an instructive overview of the solar energy industry, the company’s facilities, and of the company’s drive towards grid parity. Another representative of REC, Roland, gave an enlightening insight into the more technical aspects of the production process of solar panels – from the purification of silicon to wafers, from wafers to cells, and finally, from cells to modules – and shared some interesting anecdotes with us as well. Both speakers were in clear unison with regard to the passion they felt for their jobs, the solar energy industry, and the renewable energy industry as a whole. From the slices of life they shared, as well as the upbeat tone of their voices, it was clear that they both enjoy their jobs and maintain a strong belief in the potential of the solar energy industry.

As a person situated within a culture that has strong ties with pragmatism, I found this enthusiasm both refreshing and engaging. Frequently, we encounter people who are more enamored with the monetary rewards gained from their jobs, than with the jobscopes themselves. Here, however, were two individuals who managed to successfully marry their jobs and interests through employment in a Norwegian corporation while still remaining in Singapore. Yet, why is this so? It is possible that the flatter hierarchal structures of Scandinavian corporations play a part in instilling a greater sense of ownership, which in turn produces passionate employees. There are many lessons we can learn from the Scandinavian business model, which I am certain we will learn more about as our trip progresses.

– Thai Zhern Leing

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