N R Khushalani | Vice President, Polycab Wires Pvt.Ltd
What is the status of residential rooftop solar installations in India and how do you see it panning out in the next five years? What are the products and services do you offer?
Government has targeted 40 GW of Rooftop Solar Installations till 2022. Though a very ambitious target, It is clearly a great opportunity for users as well as system integrators to avail the benefits and strive to work towards building up capabilities and meet the expectations.
Year on year there will be steep gradient of installed capacities as each institution/ industry and commercial establishment would invest in solar power generation on its own. Every state is now rushing in to encourage rooftop solar Installations by offering subsidies, making it mandatory for all power guzzling organisations to compulsorily invest in Renewable Energy generation. Looking at the pace, it will take much more efforts both by the Central as well as states to meet the targeted power generation through rooftop solar installations.
Looking at the potential we are now poised to offer all the system integrators a package of products like Solar PV Panels, Solar Grid Tie Inverters, Off-grid Inverters, Bi-Directional Inverters, Hybrid Inverters, Solar Cables, Junction Boxes and Central Inverters.
We are also offering rooftop solar power generation solutions with complete design, supply, installing and commissioning.
From the time the Solar power targets (100 GW by 2022) were announced what is the kind of pick-up in residential rooftop installations did you see?
It is gradually picking up and will peak after 2019.
Are there any challenges that have to be ironed out for improving growth of the industry - governmental or otherwise?
The major cost component of a solar project is the solar PV Panels. With continuous technological innovations in PV panel efficiencies we will find a fair amount of cost reduction in this component of the solar power generation chain. As efficiencies of PV panels increases the number of panels needed for the installation decreases. This in turn means reduction in the overall costs.
There needs to be a pay per kw usage model which will be ideal to encourage the users to opt for rooftop solar power generation.
Easy and hassle free loan facility provided to end users who wish to install such solar power generation will go a long way in encouraging many to invest in such infrastructure.
Recent advancements in improving the storage density to improve energy-to-space and energy-to-cost ratio as well as maintenance free batteries will encourage users to invest in off-grid rooftop solar power systems.
As the number of both on-grid as well as off-grid installations grow in numbers we will see a growth in expertise to service the equipments like Inverters which need specialised technical skills. This will happen by 2017-18.
What are the plug and play kind of installations that are being offered by you, or in the market? What is the pricing advantage these EPC contractors are able to offer to users and how do they compare with the conventional technologies? What is the payback period?
We have not started with this plug-and-play model yet. As stated earlier pay for usage would be an ideal situation for end-users. This would any time be price-effective for the end-users who does not invest in these small power plants and is provided flexible power as and when required on demand. For such systems the payback period depends on the percentage of usage of power and time. It can vary anytime between five to seven years.