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“C&I Market Growing Well And In The Future Indian Solar Industry May See A Major Contribution From This Segment.” Pradeep Kumar, Director of Business for India and Sri Lanka, Longi Solar

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1. With BCD getting implemented from April, what do you think its impact will be on LONGi’s India business?

– LONGi is not the direct recipient of the effect that it will cause economically on the implementation of BCD. But we are worried about the impact on the bottom line of our EPC customers and on the overall project viability of small developers.

– The impact LONGi will have to take, is a shrink of top-line growth on a temporary basis. But we all know that technology and quality always prevailed. So, in due time the industry will adjust itself and make its choices wisely. The solar module is the heart of an energy generating plant that will have to survive for a long time. To complete its lifetime the heart will have to be durable. 

– While we respect the intent behind the decision, which is for the greater good of the industry. But only time will say how the energy supplement will leave its side effects on the industry. I am sure the authorities will closely monitor that and will make any course corrections if needed.

– The greater goal as a county is to achieve energy independence while leaving a better world for the next generations. To achieve that we need more solar projects in the present economic framework. Any abrupt change can harm economic harmony with a long-term effect on viability. Any disruption in the supply chain can be counterproductive to the industry. 

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2. What are the ALMM effects and how are you foreseeing overcoming the challenges posed by them?        

– We understand the intent behind the ALMM to ensure the quality of the modules being installed on Indian soil. In past, we have seen such measures as BIS. While the intent is good, due to the cumbersome implementation process the industry gets deprived of the latest technology. The rest of the developed markets receive the latest technology products than India. By the time modules with the latest technology gets BIS approval the global solar market already started embracing the next generation products. In the case of ALMM, we are seeing the same trend. In the end, because of the implementation issue, the good intent becomes counterproductive and ends up depriving the whole industry.

– Although we understand that implementation of ALMM is not a Non-Tariff barrier, we would like to see some out of box measures to prove that. 

– We as a company are respectful of the regulatory policies. To substantiate that we applied, completed our documentation, and made payment to enlist us on the ALMM list much before many domestic manufacturers. We are confident implementation authorities will reciprocate by taking the necessary measures to enlist us.

– Any industry will only become mature if healthy competition is in place. If we take an example of the automobile industry, it only prospered when renowned global manufacturers got a chance to compete in India. The global manufactures and domestic manufacturers both grew and still growing parallelly. We all know how the industry was before that. Improper implementation of any good regulatory measure can push us towards that era of the automobile industry. We should learn from our success and abstain from repeating our mistakes.

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3. How much capacity is lined up for the current year 2022?

For Mono PERC Modules – 75GW* and Mono PERC Cell capacity is about 45-50GW* and with Wafer capacity, about 100GW* of wafer capacity has been planned cumulatively for this year.

*numbers mentioned are estimated capacity planned not a confirmed capacity.

4. What have been some latest technological advancements in terms of your products?

Longi has always proved itself as a technology leader. We allocate the highest amount of funds for Research and Development. On a broad base, we have seen the major technological shift that happened in the industry was from Poly Crystalline to Mono-PERC. Post that changes there has been a trend among manufacturers is to move towards larger size modules. Due to a lack of long-term vision, many manufacturers are running towards launching a size higher module without assessing the boundary conditions of a module’s performance. Longi does not believe in a hurry or does not launch a product without assessing the greater good for the global energy sustainability initiatives. Presently we are focusing on optimizing our bi-facial technology which we know will be next to go to market product. Along with that internally we are evaluating various technology innovations of ours to deliver the best pathbreaking product for the future. 

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5. What is LONGi’s outlook for the Indian solar market for 2022? 

– Recovering from slowdown because of the SGD tariff barrier the Indian solar industry performed well in 2021 and we are expecting in 2022 it will remain as vibrant as it should be. 

– While the pipeline is about 28GW, practically implementable capacity addition should be around 14~16GW 

– C&I market growing well and in the future Indian solar industry may see a major contribution from this segment.

– While the Govt Institutional business is shrinking the residential rooftop business is growing in a promising way. Way forward Govts should investigate pulling out subsidies and focus on a smooth approval process

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