Instead of limiting themselves to supplying equipment to the solar market, Shekhar Singal, Managing Director, Eastman Auto and Power says the company is creating "solarprenuers" to empower entrepreneurs and foster a better understanding of solar energy.
With the new renewable targets set by the government, what is your take on the solar inverter market?
By 2022, about 175 GW installed capacity of renewable energy is to be achieved, which includes 100 GW from solar power. India will turn into a renewable energy hub by achieving this target. According to the Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) report of November 2017, around 715 MW capacity was added across the country in the last fiscal as compared to 227 MW in the previous year, taking the country's total installed capacity to 1.3 GW.
Over the years, renewable energy is becoming cheaper and is set to serve as a viable alternative to conventional energy with the help of government schemes. This would address the problem of power outages, which is still a serious issue in many states. With spike in demand for power, the solar inverter market looks promising.
What growth rate did we see in this segment in the last financial year?
Last financial year, India's solar sector witnessed a significant growth with high capacity addition and lower tariffs. Out of 15 GW of solar and wind energy combined, 10 GW was from solar energy. According to the India Solar Handbook 2017 released by Bridge to India (BTI), the projected capacity addition is 8.8 GW.
What is the expected growth rate for the current financial year?
India is taking tremendous efforts to encourage solar power by launching huge tenders. The country will be the second largest solar PV market in 2018. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) decided to make amends in November last year to send out bids for 3,000 MW of solar projects in January 2018, moving on to 5,000 MW in February, and 6,000 MW in March 2018. MNRE's Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) makes it mandatory for subsidy to be offered for solar lighting and solar PV systems of smaller capacity. The global solar inverter market has acknowledged an approaching growth with rapid movement in the coming years.
Which segment of the inverter product sees maximum traction in the current market?
The off-grid segment sees the maximum demand in the domestic sector, which shall soon increase many folds. We are aiming to target the solar rooftops and e-rickshaw battery segments. In the solar segment, we strive to create "solarprenuers" through our SSISP (solar sales, installation, and service partners) programme that is meant to empower entrepreneurs and impart a better understanding of solar energy.
"By 2022, about 175 GW installed capacity of renewable energy is to be achieved, which includes 100 GW from solar power."
- Renjini Varghese
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