Visit to REC, Singapore

In our quest for renewable energy, solar energy has become one of the most promising, yet under-utilized sources of alternative energy. This is in part been due to the limitations of current technology, as well as the obvious limitation of not being able to function at night, when there is no sun.

But all that is set to change, with companies such as Renewable Energy Company (REC) offering efficient and cost-effective solar panels. In line with the Scandinavian emphasis on a clean and green future, this Norwegian company aims to be the world’s leading provider of solar energy solutions, achieving this through cost reductions, technological advances and market/customer focus.

During our visit to the REC premises in Tuas, Singapore, we were given a talk about how solar power is harnessed, from the creation of silicon, to the assembly of cells into modules ready for installation. The REC approach is to be an integrated one-stop producer of solar panels, meaning that REC owns the means to produce its own components, from refining all the way until assembly of the final product. This gives REC independence from subcontractors, and also makes it cost-effective to conduct research on solar panels, since the application can be realized immediately.

The REC model depends on research and development, in order to increase the efficiency of its modules, as well as to lower the cost of production in the long run, giving its customers the best of both worlds – a value-for-money system that can provide a decent amount of clean electricity.

Safety is also of paramount importance to the REC group, and it is heavily emphasized to the production staff that safety must never be compromised. REC also has a corporate code of conduct, which stresses ethical behaviour by staff and management, as well as adhering to moral standards. Good practices such as these aid a company in performing well not only in business terms, but also in caring for its employees. REC is a shining example of a company which achieves the triple bottom line – social, economic and environmental success.

– Ho Bao Yuan

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