In Conversation with Mr. Andreas Liebheit, President, Heraeus Photovoltaics
Q1. Heraeus Photovoltaic's presence and offerings in India?
Heraeus Photovoltaics a leading provider of technology solutions for the renewable energy industry.
We are the world’s leading company in silver metallization paste and the only company in its industry offering products for all solar cell architectures and photovoltaic technologies, ranging from n-type, black silicon and PERC to double printing and knotless screen. The paste is a significant product to define the efficiency of solar cells.
Heraeus also offers its industry recognized cell optimization consulting and diffusion consulting to its Indian customers. Both services aim at providing world class technical expertise to Indian cell manufacturers so that they can compete with the best in the world and turn the “Make in India” vision to reality.
The Heraeus group has been active in India for more than 60 years and employs around 500 people in India. In order to serve the Indian market better, we have opened a new customer office in Delhi and will provide R&D and support services through our new India and Southeast Asia Application Center in Singapore.
Q2. What have been some of the recent developments at your organisation?
Heraeus Photovoltaics is developing strongly into a technology provider for the Photovoltaic Industry. Besides our full range of high efficiency silver paste products awarded, we have increased our offerings throughout the value chain. We are also offering hardware such as Infrared Lamps and screens for the silicon solar cell production as well as consumables such as diffusion barrier coating (Heraglaze)for enhanced crucible performance in the Si ingot manufacturing.
The key for our success, however, is our close relationship and on-site presence during the introduction of new products. Each solar cell production line is different and therefore, it is important that we work closely with our customers to adapt our products to their production process.
Photovoltaic is a people’s business and only by working closely together, we achieve the best results.
Q3. What are the recent technology advancements in your sector?
Due to the diamond wire cutting becoming highly competitive, we see anextremely fast shift towards the mono cells. Simultaneously, we see PERC becoming the dominant cell architecture replacing BSF. HJT and bifacial cell are also gaining foothold in the market. At the paste level, we will continue to see the finger widths decrease further and the print speed increase. At module level, we see half cut cells and shingling.
In a summary, we can say that we will continue to make sure that the PV industry will have functional materials at hand enabling them to successfully transfer R&D results into mass production and at globally competitive prices.
Q4. What are your growth plans for the Indian market? What are the milestones you wish to achieve by the end of this fiscal?
First of all, our interest is to provide the Indian PV manufacturers with high efficiency functional materials. As they become competitive on an international level, we enable them to cover more and more of the Indian installation market. As our customers grow, we happily grow with them.
In India, we are on the track to have >50% market share by the end of 2017. In 2018 and beyond, we plan to be proactive and aggressive to grow our market share even further. As the market evolves, we would announce other customer centric initiatives.
Q5. What have been the latest trends in demand for your products and services in India? Where do you see the next demand growth coming from?
Energy will be key for India’s future growth. You need energy for new factories and modern IT infrastructure as well as for basic needs in households and farms. Photovoltaics today, is already the cheapest form to generate electricity. It is scalable and with short planning timelines the Levelized Costs of Electricity continues to decline. Photovoltaic is easy to install and you create energy where you need it. This means that you can build micro or mini grids and don't necessarily require major investments in transporting the energy.
During the REI in Delhi we noticed very strong interest in PV from investors and consumers alike. They clearly see the economic benefit and the easy installation. The PV market in India is set to grow over proportional.
Heraeus Photovoltaics wants to be the partner of choice for the Indian PV Industry to establish market leadership and also want investors to better understand our technology and the benefits that high efficient cells bring for their return on investment.
Therefore our presence in the market will build stronger ties with the Indian PV industry and our new resources in Singapore will ensure very fast application engineering services to customize our products.