Indian solar sector has done a great job surpassing 1 GW capacity for rooftop sector out of the set 40 GW target. Given, that the numbers are not pretty impressive if we are to compare it with improvement in the dominant countries, we have to consider that the current growth shows 113 per cent growth metric in 2016 over 2015. Without the industrial strength that supports the dominant countries, India has scaled an incredible height in green energy development. However, Central Electricity Authority of India’s (CEA) latest plan to add about 24 GW rooftop solar capacity within 2027, will need more than just Government backing.

Out of the 1 GW capacity of the Indian rooftop solar sector, commercial and residential holds 263 MW and 260 MW capacity, while Government based installations stand at 121 MW. However, industrial rooftop solar surpasses other sectors with 377 MW capacity. FY 2017 is expected to add another 400 MW to the rooftop solar growth in India, leading the cumulative capacities to 1,500 MW.

India has a total of 300 million houses, and rooftop potential of the country stands up to 1,24,000 MW. And statistics show that with only 1.3% of the total household made solar compatible, it is possible to cover more than 30 per cent of the rooftop potential of our country. And Indian Government is taking incredible initiatives like- introducing huge tenders on solar rooftop installations (1,000 MW by SECI), opting for 7,000 MW rooftop installation on Government buildings to increase the solar growth in the country. However, the rooftop implementation process is not picking up the speed we need it to reach 40 GW by 2022. Solar policies like- net metering and financial support are being announced but yet to be enforced aggressively to see the result we hope for.

Current rooftop solar capacity that stands at only 1,247 MW is only 3 per cent of the 40 GW target ahead of us. Reports prove that India needs to up its game in order to add 53 GW of solar power within next three years. Obviously, the rooftop solar growth plan would involve residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural sectors, introducing a symmetrical progress in all the sectors involved.

However, special focus on residential off grid solar growth is important to bringing in common man in the fold raising awareness with ease. A robust regulatory and policy framework is needed to improve residential solar growth. Better net metering policy and enforcement processes are also needed to further the progress.

An allocation of Rs5,000 crore has already been approved for implementation of grid connected rooftop solar systems. New investments are also coming, promising a better growth trajectory for Indian rooftop sector. However, more focus on skill development, awareness, and financing solutions are needed to successfully scale heights that we are hoping for.

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Last week we celebrated our ten years anniversary. Time to look back and say thank you to all of our customers for their loyalty and partnership through 10 messages.

Founded in 2007, SMA France, which is part of SMA West Europe has today 35 employees. The French market has the particularity to be heterogeneous (both residential, commercial and utility segments are represented).


Jan Van Laethem, SMA West Europe regional manager, at the celebration.

“We have passed this symbolic 10-year milestone. But this event is primarily focused on tomorrow, with the recent political developments in France and the publication of decrees relating to self-consumption, carrying strong expectations” said Jan Van Laethem, SMA West Europe regional manager, during the event.

“If France experienced a stop & go market on the last ten years, the French market is now expected to grow again offering excellent prospects for the coming years.”

Energy that changes: the smoothie bike was a highlight at the celebration party.

Energy that changes: the smoothie bike was a highlight at the celebration party.


The 10th anniversary of SMA France in Lyon took place on May 18th. The event was attended by around 100 guests, including installers, partners, developers, journalists and SMA employees.  Two highlights were a visit of the 152 kilowatts self-consumption PV Power Plant with SMA inverters in the rooftop of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region headquarter and a smootie bike 😉


We’re looking forward to the next 10 years.

The SMA France team say thank you!

The SMA France team say thank you!

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SMA will present its new Sunny Island generation at Intersolar Munich 2017. The new Sunny Island -12 may look like the old one on the outside but this one is more “communicative”. 

1. Bye-bye Sunny Remote Control, hello WLAN

We have said good-bye to the old Sunny Remote Control (SRC-20). Now we have WLAN and a web user interface, so with a computer, a tablet or a cellphone with WLAN you can sign in to the Sunny Island to set its parameters, or get information such as current status, events, warning messages and more.

2. New configuration

The new Sunny Island web user interface makes really easy to configure a system. Instead of  the old list of parameters, now there is a simple overview of important points (AC-site, DC-site, inverter and more) and we can set different possibilities under each point.

Web User interface

3. Easy system integration

Thanks to the new WLAN feature, we have made easy the system integration. You can connect directly the system into Sunny Places or Sunny Portal via WLAN or web user interface.

This means that an extra SMA communication device is no longer needed in systems with up to four devices, the Sunny Island can sign the router via WLAN and send its data directly to Sunny Portal/Sunny Places.

4. New extended data logging

An advantage for end-users and professionals. We can download detailed data from our system via web user interface, this data can be used for system analysis or in case of failure by SMA service as the new logging intervals goes from seconds to days! With the optional SD card it is possible to extend the monitoring period.

5. Now with a 10-year warranty

How about that? We know that we build the most reliable battery inverters of the market with IP54 and a unique overload capacity compared to other off-grid inverters, so we offer a free warranty extension. The customer just needs to register their product and the warranty automaticall increases from 5 to 10 years.

6. Up to 20% reduction in system costs

And on top of the new communication interface, the extended data logging and the warranty extension, we also offer up to a 17% reduction in system costs for SI 4.4M systems and up to 20% for SI 8.0H systems.

There is also a reduction in installation costs and a time saving wizard for configuration.

Sunny Island inverters in an off-grid plant for rural areas in Ruanda. Source: Tesvolt

Sunny Island inverters in an off-grid plant for rural areas in Ruanda. Source: Tesvolt

7. Exchange of circuit board in the field

Under defined conditions, we are able to exchange the circuit board in the field. If something happens in an installation, this is extremely helpful to the end customer because we do not need to replace the entire inverter if only the circuit board is broken. We can react faster and it is cheaper to replace one part versus the entire inverter.

One last bit of information

The electrical characteristics and chassis stay the same in the new Sunny Island -12 generation as in the -11 generation. The new Sunny Island version -12 will be available in the old 8.0H, 6.0H and 4.4M power classes. The Sunny Island 3.0M will be discontinued.

More Information

For more information visit us at Intersolar Europe or check our product website.

SMA Intersolar Europe 2017

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November 4, 2016, was a very special day for Stéphane Onillon. The 42-year-old manages the hypermarket Leclerc in Pineuilh near Bordeaux, and on November 4 Michel-Edouard Leclerc, CEO of France’s largest retail chain, came personally to Pineuilh to officially inaugurate the brand-new PV system on the shopping mall’s parking lot roof.It was such an exciting moment,” recalled Onillon. “The PV system is a special project. It will not only help us make our electricity supply more sustainable but will also enable us to become more independent from the electric utility company and save money year after year.”

Onillon will save €75,000 a year on the mall’s electricity bill thanks to the system, which has an output of 500 kW. The clean solar power will be used almost completely in the shopping mall itself and will cover around 15% of its overall annual electricity demand. As a special service for customers, Onillon has installed charging stations for electric cars in the parking lot, which are also fed by the PV system.

“More and more business managers like Onillon are using self-generated solar power directly or in conjunction with storage systems to reduce their operating costs,” said Maik Brüschke, Head of Product Group Solutions Commercial at SMA. “But this is just the beginning. In the future, they will have even more opportunities to benefit from having PV systems installed on their buildings, parking lot rooftops and ground surfaces, and will see their energy costs reduced even further. The key lies in intelligent energy management.”

The idea is to manage various energy sources and loads, including photovoltaics, heat pumps, CHP plants or electric vehicles in combination with storage systems and electricity purchased from the grid, in a way that optimizes the costs of supply. And as photovoltaics are set to be the world’s most cost-effective energy source in the foreseeable future, this primarily means using as much self-produced solar power as possible.

Digitization is giving Rise to new Business Models


Customer-friendly. Hypermarché Leclerc visitors can charge their e-cars with clean solar energy while shopping.

“For private households, SMA has already been offering a comprehensive energy management solution for many years,” said Brüschke. “These experiences have also been incorporated into our energy management solution for commercial business, which we will be bringing to market over the course of this year.” When it comes to commercial energy management, far more components need to be integrated into the system and managed with pinpoint accuracy than in private households. To allow companies to reduce electricity costs effectively, the SMA system analyzes energy flows in operation, identifies efficiency potential and can manage generators, consumers and storage systems accordingly. Ensuring optimum interaction between all components is dependent upon them being able to communicate with each other seamlessly. To enable this, SMA has already been working for some time with leading companies in neighboring sectors such as heat and cooling technology as well as the automotive sector.

A key element for SMA’s new, integrated solutions is the Sunny Tripower CORE1, the world’s first free-standing inverter specially designed for commercial applications. “This means that it can be installed without a frame directly on the rooftop or on the ground in the shortest time, allowing us to reduce installation time by as much as 60% depending on the design of the roof,” explained Brüschke. To reduce project costs even further, SMA has also equipped the Sunny Tripower CORE1 with other functions that enable it to be integrated quickly and easily into the overall system. The new inverter features state-of-the-art interfaces for rapid and straightforward communication and grid integration – which will be especially important for the decentralized and digital energy supply of the future.

Operators don’t have to take care of anything

“The next step where we would like to provide our customers with greater support in the future is integration into the energy market,” continued Brüschke. “After all, decentralization and digitization of the energy supply are bringing about a whole new set of opportunities for companies.” For example, they could sell surplus self-generated solar power to other companies or become part of a virtual power plant made up of multiple decentralized generation systems. Another opportunity in the future will come from utilizing the batteries of company-owned electric vehicles. Targeted charging with cost-efficient (PV) electricity as well as discharging while vehicles are not being used will present additional opportunities for energy optimization of the overall system.


Efficient. With the Sunny Tripower CORE1, commercial PV system operators like Stéphan Onillon will be able to save up to 60% on installation time and further reduce their operating costs.

But doesn’t that all sound rather complicated and like too much hard work? Brüschke laughs: “We wouldn’t be SMA if we left our customers to handle all this alone. With our expertise and our partners, we are there for our customers to make the actually complicated world of decentralized energy supply systems as simple as possible. This is why we offer end-to-end solutions from a single source. This includes tools for system design and system simulation as well as system components and also integrated energy services for analyzing and optimizing energy flows or integration into the energy market. We also take care of operational management and system maintenance on request. And, where needed, we adapt the system flexibly to suit changes in operators’ needs at any time, thus allowing our customers to concentrate fully on what they do best: their core business.”

This article was first published in Annual Report 2016.

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