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Interaction | September 2015

I expect 100 per cent growth in solar till 2018

Vikas Mathur, Head - Business Development, Rays Power Experts

Why is domestic manufacturing not attracting investment?
Solar manufacturing in India is still not competitive due to high manufacturing costs. The reasons behind this are less government support, improper supply chain and lack of scale.

What are the challenges that solar developers in India face? Are government initiatives or plans supportive of the sector´s development?
The government should enhance the power evacuation infrastructure, as the current evacuation facility is not enough for the targeted capacity additions. Solar projects need to be integrated with the existing system. Also, funding from the banks are not prompt. The banks should take solar loaning on priority and provide special interest rates with long repayment period to motivate the solar power sector. Besides this, the government should create large land banks close to the sub-stations and provide support to ease land acquisition, in order to overcome the problem of land availability.

What solutions would you recommend to counter the problems being faced?
Retail developers and investors are facing problem of non-trading of RECs. Despite reducing the price of RECs, the trading is still below 1 per cent. Enforcement of RPO compliance should be taken on front foot, wherein the government must enforce strict penalties to augment participation from the small investors. The National Clean Energy Fund must be utilised to remove the piles of old RECs.

Although Net Metering policy has been launched by some states, there is need for more clarity on it. Proper implementation of this would help achieve the solar target. Also, generation based incentives would encourage investors or developers on mass level and reduce dependability on Accelerated Depreciation for viability of the project.

How optimistic are you about future prospects? What growth do you expect?
The Indian Solar Sector has been growing rapidly for last few years. The aggressive targets of government shows that there will be boom in the solar industry in the coming 5 years. The technical potential of 5,000 trillion kWh per year and less operation cost will make solar power the best suited energy source for India. Keeping in mind the tremendous set target and aggressiveness of the government in achieving the target, I expect 100 per cent growth in solar every year till 2018.

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