In a nutshell, please describe about Sungrow’s PV inverter business in India.
Sungrow has maintained its leadership position in PV Inverter business in India with more than 17% market share in 2019. Last year we launched the highest rated inverters in both Central (5MW, 1500V DC) and string inverter (250 kW, 1500V DC) categories for utility scale projects. These new products will greatly help our customers to optimize their design and achieve significant BoS savings. This has helped us to continue the long-term partnership with some of our prestigious clients and closure of few big orders. We have also achieved 100% Y-o-Y growth for our string inverters in 2019 and thereby increasing Sungrow’s penetration in C&I segment.
What is the current efficiency rate of PV inverters and highlight on the energy storage capacity?
Sungrow is always leader in the industry to achieve 99% efficiency in both central and string categories. In addition to the power efficiency, thermally efficient designs are very important as we deploy high power density products with smaller form factors which run in hot climatic areas. Sungrow not only leads both in inverter performance and quality, but also pays more attention to the two dimensions of “overall system optimization” and “grid-friendliness” for our customers. With growing RE power penetration and hence stricter grid compliance norms, Sungrow inverters are highly suitable to meet all the requirements and improve the overall efficiency for the project.
Sungrow is one of the leading companies with more than 900 deployments of Battery Energy Storage Systems across the globe for various applications. As SECI has recently concluded one of the largest storage tender, we are looking forward to this opportunity as well.
How do PV inverters from Sungrow help minimize energy wastage?
Our latest string inverter series for utility scale projects has both in-built PID recovery and Anti-PID function. This feature helps to reduce losses due to module degradations and thereby energy wastage at the granular level. Innovative design has been the core features of Sungrow inverters to minimize the losses while delivering high rated power continuously irrespective of terrain/climate such as deserts, water bodies, high altitude areas, corrosive/ salty environment etc.
What is the company’s growth strategy for expanding its PV inverter business in India?
Sungrow has always a very consistent growth strategy for Indian solar market. We had understood the high potential in this region very early and hence we had set up the local manufacturing unit of 3GW in 2018. As we are now established for more than five years in India, we have the largest service network spread across India to ensure highest level of responsiveness. As market demand evolves and customers’ requirements change, we are always the first, to bring the most advanced products to have best optimized design with higher ROI. Sungrow has crossed 100GW installations globally as a first in the industry and we are equally committed to contribute our humble part towards 100GW and more solar power in India.
What are the recent tech trends in inverters?
In terms of technology shift, we have always been the frontrunner in power conversion technology.
- The efficiency of power electronics components will further going to increase up to a limit with improvements in IGBT technology and new materials.
- Effective thermal design will be more critical to minimize failures as the inverters are getting bigger in power rating with compact form factor.
- The inverters are gradually becoming modular in nature with higher redundancy options to achieve higher uptime and more yield.
- More functionality and the option for seamless integration of storage with the inverters will add the flexibility to the overall system
What are the strategic collaboration and investment opportunities in Indian Renewable Energy sector that the company is eyeing at?
The portfolio of some of the big solar developers in India have grown significantly with the ISTS and other large-scale tenders. We have already entered into strategic partnership with few of the leading players. As the No. 1 bankable brand in the large-scale project financed projects, where projects risks are critically examined by the lenders on a long term perspective, we look forward to more strategic collaborations in coming time.
What are the impediments to growth in terms of complex regulatory environment and lack of adequate government support?
Last year, tender cancellations, tariff renegotiations by few states increased the uncertainty of some of large-scale projects and hence delayed their executions. Similarly, policy flip flops, regulatory changes by few states have posed a challenge for rooftop solar market to achieve its true potential. We acknowledge and appreciate that BIS certification has been extended by MNRE in 2020. A more clarity on timeline of BIS testing for larger capacity inverters (Central and string) would help us to plan in a better way.
In view of the recent budget 2020 announcements and reforms introduced, how do you think this will foster growth of Sungrow’s business in India?
Indian Government has always been highly supportive and shown its intent to drive the growth of solar projects in India. The major thrust to schemes like Kusum and solar projects across Indian Railway tracks in the recent budget will open new avenues for small scale solar projects. With our wide and advanced product portfolio, we look forward to cater to all the segments of the market and consolidate our position as the leader.