Industry Needs Some Breathing Space in Terms of Prices to Grow
Cost of module is really the toughest part of the business. We have maintained low prices despite an increase in RM cost. We are managing by increasing the capacity so that fixed costs are reduced and by high volume procurement we have been able to maintain RM cost. The industry needs some breathing space in terms of prices to grow, says Manish Gupta, Managing Director, Insolation Energy Pvt Ltd, a leading utility scale solar PV module manufacturer. In conversation with Manu Tayal, Associate Editor, Saur Energy International, Gupta shared his views on various issues the power sector is currently dealing with along with his company’s plan of action in the renewable energy segment. Here’re the excerpts from that exclusive interview published in the Saur Energy International Magazine’s May 2019 edition:
Q. Being a domestic manufacturer of solar modules, how do you see the current market scenario w.r.t. demand for home grown products?
The demand for domestic products has increased ever since the implementation of safeguard duty. Moreover reliability and acceptance of domestic products have also increased as developers are keen to use good quality domestic panels for their projects. Also due to various upcoming Government Tenders for domestic lighting and solar pumping, the demand for indigenous panels has increased, leaving us with a strong order book and our plant is running at full capacity.
Q. Name a few of your latest solar products that are available in the market along with their specifications.
In the last fiscal we have developed some new products viz. Mono Perc 375, Mono 350 W, Glass to Glass Panel 330 W, Ina Twin Peak 330 w in 72 cells maxtrix are the few products which we have developed and successfully launched this year.
Q. What is the cumulative capacity of Insolation Energy’s production line? And on which latest technology you are currently working on?
We have state of the art automatic production line from Jinchen with pre and post EL, AAA class Sun simulator Infrared soldering and we have a total installed capacity of 70 MW per annum.
Q. Do you have any further expansion plans in the near future? What about technology changes?
We do have expansion plans in this fiscal to double capacity and we shall deploy a separate line for cut cell modules. With this expansion we shall be able to make the latest technology modules viz glass to glass and twin peak on commercial scale.
Q. As a module maker how are you adapting to the cost pressure that came from developers due to low ceiling tariffs in bids?
Cost of module is really the toughest part of the business. We have maintained low prices despite an increase in RM cost. We are managing by increasing the capacity so that fixed costs are reduced and by high volume procurement we have been able to maintain RM cost. The industry needs some breathing space in terms of prices to grow.
Q. What is your take on recent cancellation/ retendering of bids? What will be its impact on the solar sector?
The re-tendering process has been seen as policy paralysis and it will severely impact big investments both domestic and foreign. There have been several changes in key policies related to solar sector whether in terms of certification or anti dumping duties.
Q. Do you believe the focus on low cost from the government is actually benefiting the final consumer or industry?
Solar has already attained its lowest cost. Now the focus should be on quality as I believe no further cost reduction is possible and neither it is required now. The requirement is infrastructure viz land, transmission lines, clearances, etc. The cost reduction so far has been passed on to the customer and in present scenario, I don’t think any subsidy is required by the end customer as solar has already became affordable.
Q. Lastly, tell our readers about some of the achievements of Insolation Energy in the recent past.
Insolation Energy has been making modules for the last two years we have bagged various awards in the solar field during these two years. We have been able to attain 25% YoY growth both on volume and profits. Insolation Energy has emerged as one the most favoured brand in recent times in northern India. We have already started exports and this year we hope to get some export orders