Trendspotting at REI 2023

Trendspotting at REI 2023

The much-awaited three-day Renewable Energy Expo held in October, as always, saw participation from all the major players in the Indian renewable energy sector. SaurEnergy’s roving team of reporters and colleagues fanned out to spot the big trends this year, and we have arrived at the following broad conclusions-

Lower Presence of Foreign Firms

Year 2023 saw relatively little presence from foreign firms including Chinese equipment makers. The major reason behind this has been the visa issue. However, on the flip side, there has been an increase in the participation from domestic entrepreneurs, indicating a flowering domestic manufacturing ecosystem. This is the largest scale so far, as per Informa Markets with reference to domestic participation claiming a massive 75% share. Global issues like the semiconductor shortage that stalled growth at many inverter firms have still not died down completely, working to keep a few more potential participants away this year.

N type TopCon Gains Momentum

Many of the leading module manufacturers on the occasion used the platform to launch n type TopCon technology. Saur Energy conversations with leaders from the industry reveals that n type is set to dominate the module market, replacing p type. The shift to n type is also expected to temper the steep drop in prices seen in the past six months, being a slightly more expensive technology.

In REI 2022, players like Jinko Solar and Reliance had vouched for the domination of n type TopCon and this year, the trend seems to have been validated.

HJT continues to make inroads, with most industry leaders saying that HJT is currently at a nascent stage because of supply chain constraints and manpower shortage, however, it is likely to gain prominence in the future.

Hybrid Inverters Prepare For the Next Opportunity

With deadlines for ToD (Time of Day) or Time of Use billing for electricity nearing, Hybrid inverters, with or without solar plants, are coming up to educate the market and prepare the ground for a strong sales push. These inverters, which come with storage options, are meant to optimise power consumption use based on costs. Thus, daytime or solar hours, when the costs are expected to be lower, might see them storing energy for later use in evening peak hours when grid costs will rise.

Modern Technologies and Domestic Manufacturing Brings Back Trackers, Equipment Vendors 

In a phenomenon relatively unique to India, the phase out of polycrystalline modules, and the concurrent advent of  more MonoPerc, Bifacials, and now, TOPCOM modules has meant a return to viability for solar trackers That meant a higher than usual presence and activities from Solar tracker firms, be it Nextracker, Arctech, SunPure and more.

Similarly, equipment vendors from modules to cell makers have made a beeline for India this year, hoping to cash in on the strong manufacturing push underway.

Indian Developers Keenly Explore ME & Africa

In a return to pre-covid times, Indian developers are getting big ticket orders and projects from the middle east and Africa which seem to be offering respite from tepid project activity here. Players like Saatvik, Everrenew, Solace are eyeing these markets, even as EPC majors like L&T have taken pole position in these markets especially Saudi Arabia.

 Big Goals, Bigger Factories

Domestic capacities are seeing a surge, thanks to policy initiatives, that are enabling the establishment of megafactories in India. MW-scale units are eyeing and transitioning to GW-scale and those that are in GW-scale already are further eyeing and ramping up in GW scales. Examples of the latter are Gautam Solar, Adani Solar (10 GW capacity in polysilicon by 2027; ingot, wafer and cell to 10 GW among others. Add in the expected commissioning of the first gigafactories from Reliance next year, and the stage is set for REI 2024 featuring a whole new slew of manufacturers next year!

"Want to be featured here or have news to share? Write to info[at]