KUSUM Scheme Greatest Setback for Small Manufacturers: Vikas Jain

KUSUM scheme will be the greatest setback for Indian solar manufacturers in the SME/MSME category. Small manufacturers are not eligible to meet the qualifying turnover condition for the scheme. KUSUM scheme was long awaited but we are highly disappointed to see the terms. We have already submitted our representation to the concerned authorities, says Vikas Jain, Director, Insolation Energy. In conversation with Manu Tayal, Associate Editor, Saur Energy International, Jain shared his views on various issues which the power sector is currently dealing with along with his company’s plan of action in the renewable energy space. Here’re the excerpts from that exclusive interview published in the Saur Energy International Magazine’s September 2019 edition:

Q. What is the current manufacturing capacity of Insolation Energy and are Insolation modules truly ‘Make in India’?

Vikas Jain, Director, Insolation Energy

Vikas Jain, Director, Insolation Energy

Definitely yes. Solar modules made by Insolation Energy are true representation of ‘Made in India’. We make our modules in India with maximum usage of Indian RM as everybody is aware solar cells are seldom available in India and we have no choice over it.

Q. Being a manufacturer of Mono PERC modules in India, how do you see the demand for these modules in the country as compared to the Polycrystalline ones? What is the cost difference in the market? What is the difference versus Chinese imports?

Mono PERC is the future and we see a great opportunity in this. We have already started manufacturing these modules and have observed very good performance of these Mono PERC Modules over Polycrystalline modules. By using PERC modules, we can save considerable cost of BOM as they are of much higher wattage as compared to conventional modules.

Q. How do you see the government’s KUSUM scheme for farmers? Will the scheme create demand for home grown solar modules? In your view, are there any challenges in the scheme?

KUSUM scheme will be the greatest setback for Indian solar manufacturers in the SME/MSME category. Small manufacturers are not eligible to meet the qualifying turnover condition for the scheme. KUSUM scheme was long awaited but we are highly disappointed to see the terms. We have already submitted our representation to the concerned authorities.

Q. What are your investment and expansion plans for the future? What about technology changes?

Currently, our capacity is 80 MW per year and we are going to double this in this fiscal. Alongwith modules, we are also planning for a cell line and a Lithium battery line. This year, we plan to do a business of Rs 100 crore. We have a target of at least 25 percent growth year-on-year.

Q. Does Insolation export its modules?

Yes we do export our modules and we plan to set up an office in Europe to handle the exports.

Q. How do you see the recent moves from the government, be it on Letter of Credit by Discoms, to ensure prompt payment, reminder on must run status of renewable power and others impacting the solar industry?

Solar industry is a victim of policy paralysis at the moment. There is no set of long-term policy from the government due to which there has been a major slowdown in the sector. Poor payment records and undue litigations by the Discoms have severely impacted the sector.

Q What is the minimum capacity needed in your view to get economies of scale in solar module manufacturing?

Any capacity below 100 MW per annum is very difficult to operate and maintain in this scenario. To compete with imports and to maintain quality, this capacity is required so that requisite infrastructure can be arranged.

Manu Tayal

Manu Tayal

Manu is an Associate Editor at Saur Energy International where she writes and edits clean & green energy news, featured articles and interview industry veterans with a special focus on solar, wind and financial segments.

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