In an exclusive interview with SolarQuarter INDIA, Mr. Ravinder Singh, Chief – Solar Rooftop Business, Tata Power has briefed us on rooftop scale solar projects in India. His updates on recent trends specially on rooftop solar C&I segment will help the readers understand the sector in greater detail.
1. How has the year 2020 been for Tata Power Solar especially since this has been the pandemic year? Any key learnings?
The year 2020 had its fair share of challenges for the rooftop solar industry primarily owing to the pandemic when virtually no economic activity happened for 4-5 months as well as other factors such as volatility in the pricing of modules and commodities such as copper and steel.
However, over the last few months we have seen the demand coming back with a vengeance, especially from the Industrial and the Residential sector. With Industry under pressure to reduce costs and more and more people working out of their homes, rooftop solar is the most preferred solution for such clients, primarily owing to its attractive economics. In addition, owing to the pandemic, there is a greater appreciation of the damage that we are doing to the environment and this was certainly one of the factors for adoption of on-site clean and green power by a certain section of the consumers.
2. Are you happy with the budget passed for the solar sector? Please share your views on the budgetary allocation.
In this year’s budget, the budgetary allocation of The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has gone up by 48% as compared to last year. It is our understanding that this increased budgetary allocation shall go towards bolstering the various clean energy initiatives that include solar parks, roof-top solar, off-grid renewable energy, etc.
Hence, yes we are reasonably happy with this enhanced allocation for the solar sector.
3. According to you, how was rooftop solar growth in the past few years and what will be the demand trend for the next fiscal year?
Over the last few years, the Rooftop Industry has seen robust growth. Owing to the impact of Covid-19, we believe that the short-term demand has shifted by 3-4 quarters. However, the long term fundamentals of the business remain strong and going forward we expect to see rapid growth in this Industry.
4. Can you brief our readers about the new offerings / initiatives Tata Power Solar would be providing in rooftop space?
A. Solar Rooftop plants help customers save up to 50%+ on electricity costs and also positively impact the environment by mitigating carbon emissions. With 30 years’ of expertise in providing rooftop solutions, world-class engineering and execution, lifetime service and post-sales support, Tata Power has been the market leader in the rooftop segment for the last 7 years.
We recently launched the ‘SOLAROOF’ – ‘Kamai Badhaye Dildaar Banaye’ campaign which is aimed at creating awareness about the environmental and commercial benefits of solar rooftop installation.
In addition, as a part of our continued focus to provide value added offerings to our clients, we have partnered with other Companies in the Tata Group to offer bundled solutions to our clients. Through our partnership with Tata Bluescope, we offer our industrial customers, roof installation/ replacement services together with our Solar PV plants. For our Residential customers, we have the Basera program, an innovative initiative under which various products from different Tata Group firms right from steel to home loans to white goods to rooftop solar solutions are provided at attractive rates.
Additionally, we have partnerships with various financing entities as well as insurance companies to make it convenient and affordable for our customers in the Residential as well as the C&I segment to adopt our products.
We are constantly finding newer avenues to promote our solar rooftop services and will continue to build strong partnerships to leverage the same as we move ahead.
5. Which are the major factors that will aid Solar Rooftop installation in the C & I Segment?
A. The primary factor that is driving the increased adoption of Rooftop solar by the C&I segment is the compelling economics of rooftop solar that give them at least a 30-50% savings in comparison to utility tariffs. In addition, large corporates now have increasingly ambitious sustainability targets that are driving them to source more and more power from renewable energy sources. In the coming years, the advent of high efficiency panels (500Wp+ panels are now increasingly becoming available) and lower cost battery storage solutions are going to be the key drivers of the growth of rooftop industry.