Interview

Power Surplus: An ‘auspicious’ first step

We see further opportunities in the co-located rooftop segment, expected to be further opened up by third party power sales regulations.
Sunil Rathi, Director – Sales & Marketing, Waaree Energies Ltd
  Waaree Group welcomes the heartening news of the 1.1 per cent overall power supply surplus as anticipated in the CEA’s Load Generation Balance Report 2016-17.
“It is our belief that this is the auspicious first step towards our country taking its rightful place in the global power supply standings,” Says Sunil Rathi, Director – Sales and Marketing, Waaree Energies Ltd while commenting on power surplus.
Waaree looks at two areas of opportunity in this regard.  Firstly, this is the ‘All India Supply’ position. Though the western region (+) 6.9 per cent and southern region (+) 3.3 per cent have a power surplus, the northern region (-)1.8 per cent, north-eastern region (-) 8.3 per cent and eastern region (-)10.3 per cent still anticipate a power deficit. There has been exemplary work done in the inter-region power transfer infrastructure, initiatives such as the green corridor as well as modernisation of intra-state networks need to be further fast-tracked to mitigate the congestion in the ISTS, especially WR-NR grid and SR and NEW grid.
Secondly, this is based on the demand anticipated of the consumers already connected to the grid and as per the low per-capita consumption. The per capita consumption in India is estimated at 1,070 kWh, much lower than the world average of 3,026 kWh, as per data from the International Energy Agency. It is also the lowest among BRICS nations, with China at more than 3 times and Russia clocking in at more than 6 times of India. The per capita energy consumption is seen internationally as a quality-of-life metric.
“We believe that with the right impetus to distributed generation, especially through renewable sources such as solar, coupled with storage solutions, and would contribute significantly towards the national goal of ‘Power for All’,” he says.
Game changer for this transformationAs per Rathi, the game changer for this transformation has been the transparent and consultative approach towards planning, allocating and approving projects and programmes in the power sector by the government. 
“The much heralded turn-around of the coal supply situation is a great example. Coal supply has increased significantly, helping restart many stranded thermal power plants,” he adds.
“In the solar sector, this has been amply demonstrated in the steadily increasing installed capacity (expected at 5GW this year) as well as a healthy pipeline of close to 21GW of allocated projects and upcoming tenders.  Looking back at a total of 1GW installed solar capacity at the end of 2014, this bears witness to the success of this approach,” he says.
Another momentous step in the right direction is the Ujjawal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) for operational and financial turnaround of discoms. “We expect this to further bolster the bankability of PPA’s as well as facilitate reliable and sufficient power supply to end consumers,” says Rathi.
Business opportunities for WaareeThe ambitious power addition plans creates multiple opportunities for all stakeholders. As Waaree Group, the major avenues of growth and success from this are:Manufacturer of solar PV modules:  “We are the number one solar PV Module manufacturer in India in terms of both market share as well as single location manufacturing capacity with our Surat plant with nameplate capacity of 500MW.  We see immense potential for further growth given the ambitious plans of increase in solar PV installations,” claims Rathi.Solar EPC service providers: Waaree see its organisation as suitably placed for further opportunities in its role as an established solar EPC service provider, with total 7 years of experience in solar power projects and having executed more than 190MW capacity and 70MW solar projects under execution.Independent power producers selling power to utilities and third-party power consumers: Given the transparent and accelerated process of PPA allocation and the strengthening of the financial health of the discoms, Waaree look forward to further expanding its IPP business. In addition, with better transmission infrastructure coupled with easing of power open-access rules, the company see further opportunities for power sales in the open-access segment, both intra-state and inter-state. Keeping this in mind it has developed and kept in readiness plug-and-play private solar parks in various parts of the country. “We see further opportunities in the co-located rooftop segment, expected to be further opened up by third party power sales regulations,” says Rathi.Indigenous manufacturer as end consumers of power: With greater reliability and power availability, Waaree foresee an impetus to its manufacturing business through a more reasonable average cost of electricity, thus enabling it to pass on the benefits to its clients.

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