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ReneSola aims to make India solar manufacturing hub

Posted: 07 Oct 2013     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ReneSola  JNNSM  solar market  PV manufacturing 

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Mishra: In India, the lack of investor's confidence due to lack of solar awareness is another issue to be addressed.

"The growth of clean energy sector in India is immense. With policies having shown the way India will witness the solar boom in next few years as this form of energy will eventually attain grid parity," explained Surendra Kumar Mishra, General Manager, ReneSola India Pvt Ltd. In an interview with EE Times India's Arti Singh, Mishra spoke about the opportunities and challenges in the Indian solar market and ReneSola's India plans in detail.

EE Times India: Could you give us an overview of ReneSola's India operations and product offerings?

Mishra: ReneSola is a leading brand and technology provider of solar PV modules and wafers. Renesola India has its registered office in Kolkata and Corporate Office in Mumbai with 31 subsidiaries worldwide. Leveraging its proprietary technologies, economies of scale and technical expertise, ReneSola uses in-house virgin polysilicon and a vertically integrated business model to provide customers with high-quality, cost-competitive products. ReneSola solar modules have scored top PVUSA Test Conditions (PTC) ratings with high annual kilowatt-hour output, according to the California Energy Commission (CEC). ReneSola solar PV modules can be found in projects ranging in size from a few kilowatts to multi-megawatts in markets around the world, including the United States, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Greece, Spain, China, Saudi Arab, India and Australia.

Our operations in India envelop from doing contractual manufacturing with several OEM partners and selling our modules here in domestic market as well as exporting overseas. We generally operate though importing the raw material like wafers and BOM (bill of materials) to manufacture our local made modules here. We also have experienced partnership with large scaled EPC companies and take up projects for developing, provided the same suits our model of operations.

Our new Virtus III modules integrate with ReneSola micro inverters and are PID free which is most suitable for high temperature and humidity environments like in India. The solar modules that we offer are certified by international organisations. Our clients can be assured that our modules are exceptionally durable, environmentally friendly, and have excellent price-performance ratio. The smart design of ReneSola's Micro Replus inverters improve solar PV harvesting and reliability. The Micro Replus System includes the micro-inverter, MRG Communications Gateway, and Monitoring Software. ReneSola Replus serial inverters take reliability, efficiency, and ease of installation to a whole new level. Replus inverters are perfect for system integrators and end users who require high performance PV inverters for small and medium size solar PV project in industrial, commercial and residential applications.

Which all segments are you focusing on in India? Why?

We are focussing on all the segments of growth drivers in India recently, utility scale as well as roof-top and small solar off-grid projects. All the growth drivers like policy based FIT, REC, Diesel Parity, Grid parity, Telecom towers segments etc. Considering our modules made in India qualifies us for all the projects including the projects where Indian content required. Therefore, we are focusing across the opportunities, available in like JNNSM Phase-II, various state policies, development of solar park wherein investors can invest in solar to get REC benefits, accelerated depreciation benefits and put investment in value as per their convenience. Further, there is a large market under the REC policy and also off grid roof top.

What kind of opportunities do you see in the Indian solar market? Could you share some of the challenges faced by the Indian PV manufacturers?

India has huge solar energy potential with ample sunshine throughout the entire year. A recent survey projected that an estimated solar energy potential India has is around 500 GW and that the solar power for India in next 20 years will be playing an important role and will be able to meet 5-7% of the total energy requirements by 2021- 2022. Keeping in mind the fact that in India millions of people need affordable electricity, and businesses and other institutions are looking to the government to ensure reliable electricity in rapidly growing cities throughout the country, solar power is highly significant. Globally India is considered as one of the leading markets in solar and renewable energy.

Technology and cost of production benchmarked to cheaper global PV modules availability is one major challenge. Another factor is the high cost of capital in India. This high cost of capital makes it quite difficult for Indian manufacturers to invest in capacity expansion and in day-to-day operations. Apart from these, the volatility in the global solar market makes decision making very difficult. In India, the lack of investor's confidence due to lack of solar awareness is also another issue to be addressed.

What's your take on solar module manufacturing in India? ReneSola offers solar modules made by its OEM partners in India, what's stopping the company to set up its own manufacturing unit here? Has ReneSola set any strategy on this front? Please specify.

We have been manufacturing in India since one and half years. During this period we have come across many ups and downs which affected our domestic supply as well as exports. While having an advantage like domestic content module to suit National Solar Mission projects and subsidy based roof top projects here and also having an upper hand in exporting the Indian made modules to Europe, at the same time we have been badly discouraged by poor infrastructure, volatile currency fluctuations and inflexible labour laws, strikes and lock out etc.

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