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Monday, 11 Jul 2011
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Instruments of Change

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Developers also need to focus more on doing a quality installation using world class quality components rather than focusing on reducing capital costs and taking the shortcut of compromising on quality of components.



Tell us about Chemtrols Solar?


Chemtrols Solar is part of the 36-yearold Chemtrols Group, and offers services across the Solar Photovoltaic (PV) spectrum. This includes Project Development & EPC Services for Grid Connected Power Plants, Off Grid PV Systems for various applications like Telecom Towers, Rooftops, Off Shore Platforms, Cathodic Protection, and Rural Village Electrification. Chemtrols Solar is also setting up a 20 MW module manufacturing line in Goa which will be commissioned by the end of this year.


What is the scenario of solar photovoltaic technology in India?


For a vast country like India, which is power deficient, has huge areas where the grid does not reach and where environmental issues are increasingly becoming a matter of concern, Solar PV offers the perfect solution. In many parts of India, especially remote villages, Solar Power, even at this capital cost, is the more cost effective solution than taking the grid to the village. Decentralized applications like cathodic protection for pipelines, telecom towers, etc. also make use of expensive and polluting Diesel Generators. Solar PV offers a perfect solution for these applications. Solar PV is also set to achieve grid parity (in terms of costs) by 2017 or so and that is when we will see the exponential growth in MW sized grid-connected power plants. Hence, the sector looks very promising.


What is your view of the Indian solar market in terms of grid connected installations by 2013, the end of phase-I of JNNSM?


Primarily, 95% of PPAs today for gridconnected installations are of two schemes, the Centre's JNNSM, and the Gujarat Governments Phase I & Phase 2 allotments. While PPAs worth more than a Giga Watt (1000 MW) have been signed, it does not look like more than 350 MW will be commissioned by 2012 March. It also remains to be seen as to how the allocation of the remaining 300 MW of Solar PV projects of JNNSM will be done over the next few months. If most projects get good tariffs and are financially viable, then there is a good chance that a good percentage of those get commissioned by March 2013. However, aggregated we expect not more than 700 MW to be commissioned by March 2013 (this includes both the Gujarat & JNNSM schemes. Any state schemes that will be announced will be in addition to this).


What steps does India need to take to achieve this target?




Chemtrols Group

"Before embarking on his entrepreneurial venture - Chemtrols worked with Cochin Refineries and FACT. He is affiliated to several industry associations in varying capacities, most notable amongst them being the Chairman of the Instrumentation and Automation Division of the CII, while also being Chairman of CII's MSME Sub Committee - Western Region and member of the National Council."



Refer to answer 6 . Primarily, Banks & FIs need to be more flexible and amenable in lending to the sector. Developers also need to focus more on doing a quality installation using world class quality components rather than focusing on reducing capital costs and taking the shortcut of compromising on quality of components.


What are the major challenges in development of large-size solar power projects in India?


The primary challenge that most project developers are facing is that of finding financing for their projects. Most banks & FIs are not yet comfortable with Solar PV technology and on how well it will work in India. Most banks are not willing to look at non-recourse financing and this is proving to be a major roadblock for developers. The other challenges include land acquisition, and power evacuation for certain projects.


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