Vikram Solar is on an expansion spree

   “We are planning to expand our module manufacturing capacities significantly, from our existing 200 MW to 500 MW by September, 2015 and are projected to reach 1.2 GW by end of 2018,” says Ivan Saha, President and CTO, Vikram Solar Pvt. Ltd.
Currently, India has just over 4.5 GW of installed solar capacity.  The revised 175 GW ambitious target and impressive green energy commitment for the development of RE project may result in transformation in India. While speaking to EPR, Ivan Saha, shares his views on how India will achieve this ambitious target. He also briefs on Vikram Solar’s contribution towards achieving 175 GW vision.
How do you look at the revised target of RE?We are very optimistic about the future of solar sector in India, keeping in mind the revised target. Previously, the RE target set by Central Government was of 20 GW by 2022. This was very nascent stage for renewable energy in India. But, with the positive vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and with the aggressive yet adequately planned approach of Minister of Power, Piyush Goyal to make India the leader in renewable energy segment, the target got revised to 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022.
Currently, India has just over 4.5 GW of installed solar capacity. The ambitious target and impressive green energy commitment, for development of RE projects by around 300 companies during RE-Invest 2015 should result in an energy transformation in India, but there are many challenges that remain. For one, there needs to be substantial investment in the electrical grid to support the level of renewable, especially distributed generation, which is being proposed. India’s adoption of distributed solar could be unique, as much of it might not have be tied back to the larger grid. Nonetheless, the system is getting in place, policies are getting introduced and reformed, targets being set, states are coming up with their own policies and measures to remove the roadblocks, and required necessities like skilled manpower and proper financing is getting available following the constructive initiatives taken by the MNRE.
We feel the target is achievable and the opportunity is immense.
Taking note of the aggressive govt. plans, are you revising your strategies as a company? Domestic solar capacity target has been set and with such targets, various stakeholders like CPSU, PSUs, DISCOMs, etc, are setting higher targets for themselves thus creating huge portfolio and opportunity in the Solar PV sector. Project developers, independent power producers are nowadays going for solar projects of higher capacity and with the economics to scale coming in to the picture are finding the solar PV projects more viable. In this scenario, we at Vikram Solar feel that we have to evolve our strategy in a dynamic market scenario as we are already counted amongst the few internationally acclaimed Tier-1 module manufacturers from India and as a fully forward- integrated solar EPC contractor. We deploy world- class technology to design, install and commission benchmark solar projects worldwide.
Our company has put in place an aggressive roadmap for the future. We have committed of a total of 5.5 GW of solar energy development projects for the next 7 years. We are planning to expand our module manufacturing capacities significantly, from our existing 200 MW to 500 MW by September, 2015 and are projected to reach 1.2 GW by end of 2018. Also we intend to increase our current installed solar projects’ capacity of 120 MW in India to 1 GW by the end of 2018. A balanced synthesis of young and experienced, dynamic and traditional, international and locals, our Team Vikram is on its course to contribute significantly to the 100 GW solar target in the coming years.
What are the major difficulties the RE sector is facing or may face in realising this ambitious target?We feel the biggest challenge is to have a general conducive environment for solar in the country – financial incentives, technological expertise, low-cost business models, uniform policy and regulatory framework. The solar industry is going through a transformation phase and every month, one state or the other is coming up with their unique regulatory policies. Proper funding and allocation of financial resources are absolute necessary. In addition to it, setting up proper infrastructure, special incentives for solar energy projects, prompt and fast land allotment, reducing project completion time, separate capital subsidy over and above central subsidy on the project cost for grid tied, off grid and roof-top solar systems is also very much needed. Though technologically we have become more advanced than we were 5 years back, but new studies show that the India-made solar cells are less efficient and more expensive than imported cells. We need to avoid any environment that could make it difficult for domestic module ecosystem to sustain especially because 60 per cent of project cost is attributed to modules. Needless to say, module needs to be of highest international standard.

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Vikram Solar is on an expansion spree

   “We are planning to expand our module manufacturing capacities significantly, from our existing 200 MW to 500 MW by September, 2015 and are projected to reach 1.2 GW by end of 2018,” says Ivan Saha, President and CTO, Vikram Solar Pvt. Ltd.
Currently, India has just over 4.5 GW of installed solar capacity.  The revised 175 GW ambitious target and impressive green energy commitment for the development of RE project may result in transformation in India. While speaking to EPR, Ivan Saha, shares his views on how India will achieve this ambitious target. He also briefs on Vikram Solar’s contribution towards achieving 175 GW vision.
How do you look at the revised target of RE?We are very optimistic about the future of solar sector in India, keeping in mind the revised target. Previously, the RE target set by Central Government was of 20 GW by 2022. This was very nascent stage for renewable energy in India. But, with the positive vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and with the aggressive yet adequately planned approach of Minister of Power, Piyush Goyal to make India the leader in renewable energy segment, the target got revised to 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022.
Currently, India has just over 4.5 GW of installed solar capacity. The ambitious target and impressive green energy commitment, for development of RE projects by around 300 companies during RE-Invest 2015 should result in an energy transformation in India, but there are many challenges that remain. For one, there needs to be substantial investment in the electrical grid to support the level of renewable, especially distributed generation, which is being proposed. India’s adoption of distributed solar could be unique, as much of it might not have be tied back to the larger grid. Nonetheless, the system is getting in place, policies are getting introduced and reformed, targets being set, states are coming up with their own policies and measures to remove the roadblocks, and required necessities like skilled manpower and proper financing is getting available following the constructive initiatives taken by the MNRE.
We feel the target is achievable and the opportunity is immense.
Taking note of the aggressive govt. plans, are you revising your strategies as a company? Domestic solar capacity target has been set and with such targets, various stakeholders like CPSU, PSUs, DISCOMs, etc, are setting higher targets for themselves thus creating huge portfolio and opportunity in the Solar PV sector. Project developers, independent power producers are nowadays going for solar projects of higher capacity and with the economics to scale coming in to the picture are finding the solar PV projects more viable. In this scenario, we at Vikram Solar feel that we have to evolve our strategy in a dynamic market scenario as we are already counted amongst the few internationally acclaimed Tier-1 module manufacturers from India and as a fully forward- integrated solar EPC contractor. We deploy world- class technology to design, install and commission benchmark solar projects worldwide.
Our company has put in place an aggressive roadmap for the future. We have committed of a total of 5.5 GW of solar energy development projects for the next 7 years. We are planning to expand our module manufacturing capacities significantly, from our existing 200 MW to 500 MW by September, 2015 and are projected to reach 1.2 GW by end of 2018. Also we intend to increase our current installed solar projects’ capacity of 120 MW in India to 1 GW by the end of 2018. A balanced synthesis of young and experienced, dynamic and traditional, international and locals, our Team Vikram is on its course to contribute significantly to the 100 GW solar target in the coming years.
What are the major difficulties the RE sector is facing or may face in realising this ambitious target?We feel the biggest challenge is to have a general conducive environment for solar in the country – financial incentives, technological expertise, low-cost business models, uniform policy and regulatory framework. The solar industry is going through a transformation phase and every month, one state or the other is coming up with their unique regulatory policies. Proper funding and allocation of financial resources are absolute necessary. In addition to it, setting up proper infrastructure, special incentives for solar energy projects, prompt and fast land allotment, reducing project completion time, separate capital subsidy over and above central subsidy on the project cost for grid tied, off grid and roof-top solar systems is also very much needed. Though technologically we have become more advanced than we were 5 years back, but new studies show that the India-made solar cells are less efficient and more expensive than imported cells. We need to avoid any environment that could make it difficult for domestic module ecosystem to sustain especially because 60 per cent of project cost is attributed to modules. Needless to say, module needs to be of highest international standard.

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