Mudit Garg, Director, Operations, Vivaan Solar.
How much has the energy storage segment grown, especially for solar?
Both technology and infrastructure are developing in our country. As a result, the renewable energy segment is witnessing a new paradigm. We have experienced almost 25 per cent growth in the energy storage segment.
Do you see demand rising equally across segments, with sustained growth?
The highest demand is measured in the industrial sector, then in the commercial and residential sectors, successively. Availability of large spaces and regular consumption of the power are factors responsible for high and sustained growth in the industrial sector.
What threat do unclear/limited policies and fluctuating market scenarios pose, esp since a large base of the market pie will come from GoI's solar parks?
There are many challenges hampering the growth of solar power in the residential segment. The biggest hurdles are load shedding that affects battery storage. Also, batteries are costly, and there is a lack of incentives or subsidies for this from the government's side.
Solar parks mean high investments and long payback periods. Does the risk appetite exist?
Storage is must in large solar or wind farms because of inconsistent power generation, I.e intermittence. Right now the cost of storage is really high, and battery life is not more than five-six years which increases the overall risks. But, as the demand increases and the technology is growing very fast, risks will definitely reduce in the future.
Technology-wise, lead acid batteries dominate the market, will lithium-ion take over any time soon?
Yes, lithium-ion batteries will definitely take the lead. Advantages of lithium-ion batteries are that these are cleaner, live longer, recycle better, and require much less maintenance.
How are domestic players doing in this space? How has the technology evolved in India?
We are in the growing stage and emulating the developed countries in almost every segment. Most of the technology is imported from other countries. This is the reason why the costs are higher, and returns are thin.
GoI has large scale solar parks planned, are you a part of any of these?
We have participated in various and tenders and are quite optimistic about the results. Right now, Vivaan Solar is constructing small scale hybrid rooftop PV system at Jain Mandir, Uttar Pradesh.
What do you offer for the Indian customers?
In the energy storage space, our hybrid inverters are popular across the country.
What is your emphasis on R&D? Have you developed anything India specific?
As the demand changes time to time, we have to do R&D on a regular basis. Vivaan Solar is aggressively investing in R&D. It is the result of our focused R&D activities that we are using hybrid inverters in our projects. These systems are successful in making a distinct position in the market and they satisfy the need of our present clients
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