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526: SMA on the Future of Home, Nhan Pimentel & Jan Van Laethem, Live from RE+ PowerUp Media Zone
Episode 5264th October 2022 • SunCast • Nico Johnson
00:00:00 00:27:13

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SMA has been a cornerstone of renewables for nearly four decades. While their counterparts, like Tesla, didn’t have solar divisions until much more recently, SMA has gradually built one of the largest install-bases of solar customers in the world. With all those installs come hundreds of thousands of satisfied homeowners, many of whom are now eager to embrace the future of the electrified home. How do they remain relevant in this new modern solar+ economy where every manufacturer is tempted to expand its offerings, in an effort to increase share of wallet, extend brand value, and keep up in an ever-changing industry? This and more are part of the discussion in today’s RE+ PowerUp Media Zone replay, which was recorded live from the Anaheim show floor only a couple of weeks ago on September 21st, 2022. 

In Jan Van Laethem’s own words, it all started in 1981 with three university students who wanted to do things differently. They wanted to do electronics with a good cause. The mission of protecting and serving Planet Earth has been embedded in SMA’s DNA since its founding. 

After a few years of trying different technologies out, the three university students decided to go all in on solar, specifically solar inverters. They gained momentum with the Hundred Roofs and Thousand Roofs programs in Germany (many of you remember similar programs in the US in the 00’s.) Around the turn of the century, SMA became the key player in photovoltaic (PV) power conditioning (through a technology known as a solar inverter). 

How do you remain a key player over the long haul? Laethem gives a few tips: 1. Be in it for the long run; 2. Deliver quality; 3. Ensure your production is energy neutral. Tune in to the episode to understand the rest of the SMA backstory with Nhan Pimentel, VP of Home Solutions,  & Jan Van Laethem, Executive Vice President, Business Unit Home Solutions. In particular, how Nhan and Jan translate their corporate learning from the global markets like Europe and Australia to the burgeoning market here Stateside.

If you’d like to connect with today's guest, you’ll find links to their contact info (linked, twitter, etc) in the show notes over on the blog.

SunCast is presented by Sungrow, the world’s most bankable inverter brand.

You can learn more about all the sponsors who help make this show free for you, here:

And you can see the Entire Lineup from the PowerUp Media Zone (along w/the list of all those who sponsored the event) at 

Remember you can always find the resources and learn more about all our guests, recommendations, book links, and more than 525 other founder stories and startup advice at

You can connect with me, Nico Johnson, on Twitter, LinkedIn or email.