In Conversation With Sudhanshu Kamboj, President BD, Hinduja Renewables

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In an exclusive conversation with SolarQuarter, India Mr.Sudhanshu Kamboj, President BD, Hinduja Renewables has briefed us on multiple aspects of  solar projects.  He shared his views on current policy trends like BCD, ALMM and PLI Schemes and how they will affect the future tarif. He spoke in details about the current projects of his company and its future plan

1. Would you like to brief our readers on the current projects Hinduja Renewables are working On?

We are currently developing a cluster of ~60MWp Group Captive Projects in Maharashtra & Karnataka with one of the largest pharma and manufacturing majors in India and a leading supplier of technology and Services. Apart from these projects, we have close to 300 MWp in pipeline (Group Captive + Rooftop) with renowned industrial clients in varied geographies & locations. We have a vision to be a leader in the sustainable energy ecosystem, through value creating partnerships and innovative business models.

2. As a developer, what key challenges do you face today? What policy interventions are required to boost the growth?

Few of the key challenges faced in today’s renewable ecosystem by developer community would be high project cost fluidity due to erratic module and metal prices, uncertainty around regulations like net metering, Group captive policies in various states and a cumbersome land acquisition process.

For India’s domestic manufacturing capacity to fulfil the demand for the installation of 25-35 GW

solar power capacity every year for the next decade is not going to be easy, which is essential for the country to meet its renewable targets. But this can also be a game changer if domestic manufacturers can undertake vertical integration of various module components to bring down the costs while providing world class quality. Thus, major policy interventions are required to enable a conducive ecosystem for domestic module manufacturing (without compromising the quality as compared to incumbent international players) that will drive the module prices lower in this highly competitive segment. Additionally, policies should realign to gain an early mover advantage into emerging clean technologies like Hybrid & RTC Models, Battery Storage, Green Hydrogen, EVs Charging Infrastructure, etc. Robust enforcement of the renewable purchase obligation (RPO) mechanism will also provide a much-needed push to the sector.

3. In your opinion, how present market policy trends like BCD, ALMM and PLI schemes will affect future tender tariff?

ALMM – Undoubtedly, this will enable the domestic module manufacturer to expand their market share as majority of the government supported projects are of a larger ticket size. However, the performance of the domestic modules as against the well-entrenched foreign player will be a major driver in determining the future trend in tariffs. BCD – Again, this will give a much-needed push to the domestic module manufacturers. Considering the ambivalent stance of developers towards domestic modules, the imposition of BCD will definitely lead to higher tariffs in the near term with stabilization envisaged in the longer term.

PLI – Apart from subsidizing the domestic module manufacturers, this will also encourage foreign players to set up manufacturing facilities in the country which will enable lower module costs translation into lower tariffs.

4. Will Residential Rooftop Solar Sector Continue To Grow With Its Existing Momentum in

India?

With continued government incentives and increasing consumer awareness towards the climate changes, we see the residential rooftop solar sector to continue its momentum in the future. There is a lot of potential for the residential rooftop sector and a conducive policy to promote rooftop solar in housing societies and residential complexes will further help in increasing this trend. Like solar water heaters were made compulsory for real estate construction, it is time now to make rooftop solar compulsory so that the roofs are designed to keep this aspect and generate green power for its occupants.

5. According to you, how important is storage for increasing renewable energy?

Energy Storage is one of the critical enablers to achieve the country’s renewable energy targets given its ability to level the variability of electricity production, which in turn can increase grid reliability and stability. As prices decline, storage is expected to play a much larger role in revamping the energy infrastructure in the country. The main opponents of solar power highlight the infirm nature of this power resource and term it as non-dispatchable due to being intermittent, utility scale energy storage can change that in future.

6. What will be the Hinduja Renewables expansion plans for the renewables segment in next few years?

Our mission is to create a positive impact on the environment through sustainable energy and mobility solutions. We plan to sustainably grow a robust renewable energy portfolio in the next few years catering largely to C&I clients and utility scale large plants. We are constantly exploring to foray into emerging technologies like energy storage solutions, EV charging, green hydrogen, etc. that will help us in diversifying our product offerings and achieve our targets.

7. What are some of the key community development initiatives taken by Hinduja Renewables in the clean energy space?

Our foundation arm – Hinduja Foundation has the vision to transform the lives of the underprivileged in a self-sustaining manner and has been doing yeoman’s service to the communities. Following the same legacy, Hinduja Renewables promotes and catalyses education, health, and welfare among the underprivileged as well as the communities around its

clean energy assets. Our initiatives for development of communities around us include spread of education amongst the underprivileged, strengthening the native rain harvesting initiatives of the villages and supporting the health infrastructure of rural areas by providing medical dispensary infrastructure and organising free veterinary camps.

8. Anything else you would like to add for our readers.

Our country is gifted to have an abundant resource of Solar Energy which we should harness for the energy security of our future. We see a strong push by the Government towards this direction which the developer community will support and help achieve the country’s clean energy targets.

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