“We Are Committed To Bring Latest Technologies & Greater Efficiency Solar Modules To Reduce LCOE On All Solar Projects”

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In Conversation with Mr. Prashant Mathur, CMO, Adani Solar

You are a global leader in the solar industry. Could you please tell us about your current business presence in India?

 Adani Solar is the Solar PV manufacturing arm of Adani Group, one of India’s largest businesses spanning across Resources. Logistics, Energy, Agri and ancillary industries. Our company is the largest & only vertically integrated cell & module manufacturer in India with 1.2 GW capacity. We continue to increase our presence with large EPC & medium EPC –that continues to be our bread & butter segment. Apart from that we are focused on expanding our retail presence/ footprints. We have channel partners all over India, through which we are now going deeper in to the market and becoming the choice of our consumer who would demand Adani Solar modules from their EPC companies, so in terms of brand visibility Adani Solar is now getting deeper in to the rural market as well as the last mile connectivity with the customers.

Tell us more about the latest innovations in your product and solution offerings for the Indian market.

We continue to make innovations in our products, with greater efficiency and bringing latest products in the global market. Bifacial and half-cut cells, N heterojunction, Multi bus bars etc. and the kind of technologies we will bring to India that is gaining popularity globally. To mention a few, in multi-crystalline modules we continue to produce highest Wattage modules of 335 – 345 Wp, in MonoPERC series of modules of 365 – 380 Wattages and we also have Bifacial modules, though in India Bifacial modules are not popular, but we feel that in future Bifacial will become more popular.

 What exciting opportunities do you see in the Indian and global markets?

 I think solar has now taken the pace which we envisioned several years way back, that brought us into solar manufacturing. Now the cost of developing solar energy is so low that more people are adapting to solar energy that gives us a whole new canvas in India, like we see opportunities on the Rooftop. In terms of penetration, the rooftop segment is less explored compared to Utility and ground mount projects. In future, more roofs will be solar powered. Rooftop solar will become more popular and that’s going to be a driving force for India. Globally solar is now no longer a developed nation’s commodity, it is now getting popular in Far East countries and more developing countries are now adapting solar. Many projects and opportunities happening now in Middle East countries, Africa, South America which never had solar earlier, are now realizing that solar is very competitive and it produces clean energy. Globally now solar has arrived, and that is what we see opportunities everywhere.

Would you be focusing on international/ export market. If so, how different is Indian PV module market from the International market?

Now Indian PV Market is evolving at a faster pace. Earlier it was a price sensitive market, as the customer would not realize that the product which they bought may perform or not, because a mediocre product will stop generating power after few or prolonged usage. Quality, Brand & the supplier credentials are now becoming more important. People are now paying that extra to get that better quality from reliable suppliers. So a lot of this has changed that was never there in Indian market. In International market, the customers were well aware of the importance of quality and the manufacturers background, which is now being considered important in India as well.

With a growing competition from Indian as well as global companies, is there sufficient demand in India to match the supply? At times, Indian demand actually outmatches the supply, so I think there is a huge demand in India, it will continue to grow. Now with customers getting more aware, they are realizing the importance and prefer to buy products from Indian manufacturers who will stand with the product if there is any issue. At least they will be sure who the supplier is? What will be the warranty and how will be the after sales support? Global competition is good; because that drives and motivates us to be on our toes, by bringing the best products at the best competitive price. But there is no dearth of demand in India with the government policies in favor of solar, this will go up indeed.

Please could you shed some light on your plans for India over the next 12 months?

We are targeting to elevate Wattage peaks in our modules. For Multi-crystalline modules at 345-355 Wp. With the Mono PERC we are targeting to hit 380-390 Wp in the next 6 months and with the half cut technology we are targeting to deliver 390-400 Wp in the next 6 months’ time period. We are working on new technologies which will get us to more than 400 Wp in the next 12 months’ time period.

We see trend is now moving towards Mono PERC and there are good prospects for products such as Multi bus bar, heterojunction and half cut cell modules in the near future. It should be noted that we are the only manufacturer in India to produce high efficiency monofacial and bifacial modules. We are confident of boosting these efficiencies. Our objective is to achieve a capacity of above 400 Wp modules in the next 6 to 8 months.

What technical advantages Adani Solar providers to their consumer?

Since inception of Adani Solar, we have been the early adopters in the production and manufacturing technology. Adani Solar is India’s first vertically integrated business that offers products along with services across the spectrum of photovoltaic manufacturing and yes going forward, we will convert greater capacity from Multi to Mono depending on LCOE trends.

PV Industry is seeing some interesting changes on the PERC, PERT, HJT, TopCon manufacturing where multiple manufacturers are trying new technologies. There are certain technologies that offer very high wattages but that do not support the LCOE benefits at current market conditions due to high input cost. Economy of scale should be driving costs lower and we at Adani Solar are geared to meet the LCOE roadmap.

Adani has been awarded as the most Reliable PV module manufacturer. How would you like to keep the momentum?

After achieving Top Performer ratings during early June 2019 in terms of performance & reliability among all its industry peers in the PVEL scorecard report for two consecutive years 2018 & 2019, Adani Solar emerged as the only Indian manufacturer considered as a bankable company for projects outside India, ahead of many other Indian solar manufacturers in terms of brand recognition.

We honor and acknowledge such accomplishments and ratings from globally renowned bodies like PVEL and BNEF. In solar Industry, vertically integrated manufacturers like Adani Solar are more often considered bankable than non-vertically integrated ones as they have both control over process and quality. Such accreditations demonstrate that Adani Solar is a committed manufacturer which has implemented state-of-the-art facility with best industry practices ensuring superior performance and reliability of its products.

Quality, Costs and Performance are key concern areas for Indian project developers. How would you like to address these issues for your offerings in India?

I think solar modules are already at their lowest in terms of pricing, we don’t see it moving up and down by more than 4 to 5 % in the next few years, but the cost of ownership of the projects built will continue to go down and not by a big margin, because the module prices won’t go down but high efficiencies modules will become more popular, that’ll drive the balance of system costs lower, so we still see that the project cost overall will go down, which will make projects viable. So our offerings will be to give the best quality product at the most competitive price and to stand with the product performance and after sales service that is going to be our USP coming from a well-diversified group.

What differentiates your company’s offerings from your peers?

I think the most important offering for any module manufacturer is the reliability, i.e. product reliability and company’s reliability. With Adani Solar you get both, as we manufacture cells and modules in house, we are also looking to set up wafer and ingot facility, which will be one-of-its-kind in India. We are bringing the best quality product along with the reliability associated with the Group. That is our differentiating factor from other manufacturers who are only dependent on solar business.

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