REI 2023-5 things to Watch Out For This Year

REI 2023-5 things to Watch Out For This Year Five Things to Watch out for at REI Expo 2023

This year’s Renewable Energy Expo at Greater Noida starts tomorrow, October 4, and as always, anticipation is high this year too. The Expo will be the 16th edition this year, and the teens promise to be its most active years yet. With over 200 exhibitors listed on the site, besides the concurrent The Battery Show at the same venue, footfalls should be higher than ever. Here are the 5 key trends to watch out for-

  1. The return of the Chinese brands: After being noticeably absent at some recent industry shows, where they made do with their distributor stalls, top Chinese brands are back again this year. Helped in no small part by the exemption from ALMM requirements for domestic projects, China’s best and biggest have enjoyed a strong run again in the past few months, and will be hoping for at least another extension on ALMM requirements for the next financial year. With module prices crashing to all time lows in China, that could mean the best year ever for Chinese equipment makers in India, in terms of volumes. However, expect a smaller than usual contingent this year, linked to persistent visa issues as well as BIS certification requirements for many Chinese firms, which will cause them to skip the event in India. But the large module and inverter players, besides some equipment manufacturers, will have a presence, building on their global success.
  2. Module sizes, future technology: Will 600W plus be the new normal? There is every chance we will see that happening at the REI 2023. Will TOPCON be showcased as the technology that has arrived? Something to watch out for. HJT will certainly get a wider presence, as Reliance gears up to start producing soon, besides many other players who have scaled up with HJT, helping to bring down prices for this efficient technology further.
  3. BIPV: After making strong gains in China and now even Europe and the Americas, BIPV is likely to make a fresh attempt for the Indian market. However, don’t expect much here, as costs remain too high by Indian standards, and the market is likely to be much more open to integrated solar roofs and the like for now, coming as they are backed from local players.
  4. Storage: The Battery Show is a strong enough indicator, but prepare to be surprised with interest in storage. Stationary storage costs continue to drop, and the design and aesthetics of these batteries has improved massively. That means strong interest from specific segments could follow in India as well, and it should be interesting to see how enquiries go for this segment. Solar plus storage for distributed energy should also gain traction, with a focus on actual leads now, rather than just queries.
  5. Indian manufacturing in focus: While the big PLI-driven projects are still on their way, expansion has been frenetic in the solar manufacturing space, and expect Indian manufacturers to showcase the gains aggressively. These manufacturers will also be eyeing the C&I market and even residential solar sales, especially with hitherto dark states like Uttar Pradesh emerging as significant consumers now. However, don’t be surprised to see notable absentees, as many manufacturers, particularly in Gujarat based hubs are content with the opportunities and order pipelines they have in hand, and may just skip the REI for this year.

We wouldn’t be surprised at all with a smaller than usual European contingent, as the continent focuses on its wind energy sector at a government level, besides a shift in focus to Africa for Solar. However, US firms like Nextracker will certainly have a strong presence, as they seek to add to the big project wins they have had in recent months in India. Firms in power electronics from Europe and the US may not be as strong, as they remain stuck with semiconductor device shortages that have limited ability to seek growth.

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