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With the recent COVID-9 outbreak, the industries worldwide have come to standstill. The renewable sector in India has also been affected by the outbreak. Given the widespread factory shutdown, the manufacturing of the solar products has been impacted adversely and hence delaying the timelines and completion of the solar projects. Let us understand from Mr. Mayank Bansal, President – Strategy and Operations at ReNew Power, how the company is standing strong and coping with the challenges and uncertainty of the outbreak. Also he shares his valuable views on technology advancement in India and quality parameters set by them for their projects
How much additional capacity did ReNew add in renewables? What are your targets set for the current year?
In the Financial year 2019-20 ReNew Power added 600-700 MW additional capacity and achieved a total installed capacity of 5.5 GW in India. ReNew Power is the first Indian renewable energy company to cross the 5 GW milestone and now stands as the 11th largest renewable energy company in the world (Except-China).
Ranked as India’s largest utility scale developer for 2019-2020, ReNew will look at adding 1 GW of additional capacity next year. However, the capacity addition will be contingent upon lockdown restrictions and the easing formula that the government adopts. An extended lockdown is likely to push the commissioning dates a little further than what we have planned for.
Which are the key market segments that you are to target this year?
ReNew power will continue to strengthen its presence in utility scale and wind projects both of which have been historically strong areas for the company. However, as the sector matures we are also looking to develop in house competencies in new areas such as storage, RTC and transmission and engaging more frequently with commercial & industrial customers.
What do you believe is the strength of your organisation and how do you stand apart from your competitors?
If there were two qualities that could define ReNew, they would be the ability to execute projects and raise finances for growth and expansion. Both of these capabilities have enabled us to become India’s largest renewable energy company. The company has raised more than ₹10,000 Cr till date in equity from some of the marquee investors like Goldman Sachs, CPPIB, ADIA and JERA.
Does India have a robust technology infrastructure? Is an organised system needed for greater solar energy production?
India’s renewable energy market continues to develop and mature. As the market grows India must now pursue technology infrastructure more aggressively. In wind, India has already put in place the complete value chain for manufacturing locally. In Solar, we still have to look overseas for technology support.
Covid-19 and related supply chain disruptions may hasten domestic manufacturing of solar modules in the country. We may also see many global manufacturers tying up with Indian players to set up large manufacturing units to supply the Indian as well as the global market. In this the government has to play a key role by ensuring an enabling environment for investment in manufacturing, both domestic and foreign.
How do you ensure that the safety and quality parameters are met at your project sites?
Safety and Quality are two critical components of ReNew’s management philosophy. We as a company have enshrined these in our vision, mission, values and work principles. Safety and Quality is integrated in planning of all our construction and operation activities which enables us to achieve the best result throughout. This concept has been thoroughly tested during the lockdown where we were not required to put any additional efforts while running our plants or carrying out maintenance work.
Even before Covid-19 became a problem in India necessitating social distancing measures, ReNew power had put in place stringent guidelines to ensure employee safety. We proactively implemented Work from Home, separated O&M teams at site, created separate infrastructure to support site teams by ensuring they stayed in separate accommodation, vehicles and had PPE’s to protect them from Covid risk. The disinfection arrangements were in place at our sites much before they became commonplace in the country.
The safety operation across 140 sites is directly supported by our digital capabilities. We plan to augment our capabilities in this direction and expand focus in other areas to drive efficiency in the coming year as this seems to be a new way of life.
What is your outlook for the Indian market by 2020?
By all yardstick 2020 has been a challenging year and it will be like that for the next two quarters. Government has been supportive to the renewable energy industry, ensuring that the must run status of plants continues unabated. We anticipate that the work at construction sites will resume soon, however the activities will gather steam only once the labour movements pick up. We anticipate a lot of tendering activity to happen in the second half of the year as the capacity auctioned this year is expected to come on stream by 2022, the year by which the industry is committed to achieve 175 GW.