Mr. Girish Narang talks about Suryaday’s most commendable project, expresses his views on ease of financing for rooftop solar, government policies and more
Lets begin with a glimpse of your company’s presence and offerings in India?
We started in 2014 and have recently completed 5 years of operations. Currently we are in EPC and O&M of solar projects and are focussed on ground mount and rooftop solar projects in the range of 1-20MW. While we are based at Delhi NCR, we have worked on solar projects across 15 states in India. We have reputed companies like NTPC, ONGC, EESL, Patanjali, Walmart, Asahi Glass, etc. in our portfolio of customers. We are managing O&M portfolio of around 10 states in India as of now and are soon going to launch a separate O&M segment which shall be much different than traditional O&M service.
Which project of yours has been the most commendable one till date?
Our most commendable project was EPC of 2MW rooftop solar project at Patanjali Food Park in Tezpur, Assam. It is the largest rooftop solar project in North East India. Tezpur is around 4 hour far from Guwahati and doing a project at such a remote location was not an easy task. We created a local team and trained them in solar installation. We are also managing O&M of that project as of now.
What are the current and potential challenges faced by Indian Rooftop sector?
Undoubtedly the axes being thrown on net metering is the most potent challenge being faced by rooftop solar segment in India. While the rooftop segment has not even achieved 5% of the target set by MNRE, discoms have started curtailing its growth by limiting or restricting it.
The potential challenge is efficiency and quality of solar systems, mainly for government and residential segment. These customers are not fully aware of technical and quality requirements and may face problems once the solar systems installed on their premises undergo the test of time.
What more can be done to increase ease-of-business in Indian rooftop sector?
There is a strong need of ease-of-financing to increase ease-of-business in rooftop segment. Any ‘A’ rated customer can easily get many suitors for rooftop solar on RESCO model, which Customer isn’t in need of financing as such. However, MSME segment and domestic segment is the primary driver for future, which is currently not getting financing options for solar. Solar isn’t a priority for a MSME/ domestic segment and if they can have financing option, they can easily adopt the same.
Take an example of automotive segment, if there had been no financing available for cars, the sales would have been much less, even though the car is a higher priority asset compared to solar system. Thus, if Bank, NBFC or solar companies can provide financing to MSME and domestic segment, there can be much higher adoption of solar system by them.
What are your views on the Government policies? Do you think they have brought about the intended benefits?
About 2 years back, the government policies were all favouring adoption of rooftop solar. However, as of today, government policies have become a risk factor and international investors are scared of such negative policy decisions like re-negotiation of tariffs, limitations to net metering policy, etc. Having said that, continuation of subsidy for residential customers, encouraging domestic manufacturing of solar components, etc. are some policies which are still helping the market to grow, albeit at lesser than intended speed.
What you see for the future of the Indian PV market?
About 10 years back, Solar was driven by tariff incentives since cost of solar power was much higher than the cost of traditional power based on non-renewable resources. However, today PV solar is driven by cost economics and much cheaper than the current cost of non-renewable power. Thus, by its own economics, PV power has huge potential to grow in India.
Favouring of domestic manufacturing of components shall also help in ensuring reliability and quality of components of solar system. The next growth drivers in Indian PV market shall be domestic segment which will outpace the growth of utility and C&I segment. If the existing policies like subsidies and net metering remain consistent, the adoption of solar systems shall be rapid.