Mr. Ankit Kanchal shares experience of Enrich Energy, gives his valuable insights on the Indian Market over next 2 years, significances on energy storage and more…
Enrich Energy was incepted in 2010, how has the experience been so far?
To say in a word, ‘exhilarating’. Enrich started at a time when the industry was in its nascence, and there was a long road ahead to build the size of 30GW which it stands today. Enrich too has scaled up from its first single 1 MW project commissioning in its earlier years to a 100 MW single project which we commissioned for NLC India Limited in 2019. The industry has witnessed a series of changes in policies, technology, practices, and project economics during the decade long run up and it’s been worth the effort. At Enrich our commitment stands to support the sustainable energy initiatives of our Customers and the nation.
Tell us more about the major challenges you’ve faced in executing your projects and how you overcame those?
There are two major challenges in recent times, which are worthy of mention. First being the imposition of safeguard duty imposed on Solar modules imported from certain countries, and second challenge being the financing for our business growth. The former challenge was overcome thanks to the pro-active measures taken through strategic tie-up with key Indian manufacturers forged as part of our risk mitigation strategy in the domestic market. However, the later challenge turned out to be a daunting task, as RBI had toughened banking sector norms to plug fraudulent use, but was impacting the genuine business houses adversely. At Enrich, we diligently worked for the next few months and formed a sourcing strategy which was well accepted and supported by our key Vendors, helping to overcome the challenge to a large extent and saw us deliver the projects despite these adversities. These challenges have just helped Enrich become stronger than ever.
What is your outlook for the Indian market over the next 2 years?
Positive. There are 2 forces that are supportive, first is the federal push to achieve the 175 GW, the other is the pull generated by Private consumers due to the economic viability of
solar energy. Its overall good tailwind for the Indian solar industry to grow at an even better
pace and achieve the federal target, should the financing hurdles faced by the industry
be resolved and the DISCOMs honor their payment timely to solar power generators.
Are we seeing a major push towards better & smarter technology in solar sector by the EPC contractors?
Solar PV in particular rode the success story primarily due to its constant drive for better
efficiency components and efficient EPC practices. Also, solutions that are complementing
solar energy like Energy storage, will provide an effective clean energy solution
that responds well to “On Demand” energy.
What are the biggest threats and opportunities for the Indian industry and how do you wish to address them?
The biggest threat is the lack of funding support available to the solar energy sector.
While the federal system has undergone major uphaul in recent times, the ground reality
remains worrisome to support business growth, and it’s weighing on the financial health of
companies. There are steps taken to reduce the interest costs, mega bailouts, which should
entice liquidity in the system in the short to mid term.
How significant is energy storage for the development of solar sector?
While Solar energy has a high predictability in terms of time of availability, but the extent of
availability of the natural resource varies. Due to which solar energy is unable to provide an
effective firm power / act as a base load as would be desired by the Distribution companies
that already face demand side fluctuations, that challenge grid stability. Energy storage is
the perfect solution to this challenge. Energy storage solutions will in fact support higher
levels of solar energy adoption.