28 September 2020

RenewSys … Adding Wings to #AtmanirbharBharat

The benefits and potential of solar power in India have increased tremendously over the past 6-8 years. However, domestic solar PV module manufacturing has not seen the same growth as the country has seen in installations. Even today, over 80% of solar modules used in Indian solar plants, whether rooftop or utility, come from neighboring countries, mainly China.

There’s an urgent need to break this cycle by encouraging and empowering domestic players if we want our economy to thrive. It’s time to build a self-reliant and robust India. Brick by brick and module by module.

One such solar equipment manufacturing company embracing the ‘Vocal for Local’ movement for an #AtmanirbharBharat is RenewSys India.

With a powerful presence in over 40 countries worldwide, RenewSys is India’s 1st integrated solar PV modules manufacturer with two state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in India and is keen to further expand its manufacturing capacity.

RE Master Talk caught up with Avinash Hiranandani, Global CEO & Managing Director, RenewSys India, to understand the challenges grappling solar manufacturers in India. Excerpts from the exclusive interview.

Avinash Hiranandani, Global CEO & Managing Director, RenewSys India

RE Master Talk: What kind of challenges has the COVID-19 crisis brought up for RenewSys in the Indian market? How have your operations been affected in other global markets?

Avinash: There have been several challenges that cropped up due to COVID 19, and the quarantines that followed in its wake had its cascading effects.

Skilled workforce availability, once it was safe to open up, was and continues to be a significant constraint. We could run only at 60-65% capacity once we opened up post the lockdowns due to this. We are hopeful that we will overcome this challenge over the next 2-3 months.

RenewSys DESERV Solar PV modules are supplied across the world. Travel restrictions and delays in shipments to various countries have reduced about 60% of our planned export revenue. This is another challenging circumstance that was a direct result of the COVID-19 crisis.

RE Master Talk: Tell us about your company’s manufacturing capabilities. Do you plan to expand your manufacturing capacity?

Avinash: RenewSys is planning to expand its Encapsulant capacity to 3 GW from the existing 1.4 GW. This will include both the purchase of new equipment and technology upgrades to the existing lines. This will increase our existing capacity by 100%. We will soon be producing over 3 GW of Backsheet as well.

RenewSys is targeting at least 500 MW of new (additional) Indian made cell capacity and technology up-gradation.

RenewSys is in advanced negotiations to order state-of-the-art global module manufacturing machinery within the next six months to address the increase in wafer and cell sizes and technology upgrades. This will take our module manufacturing capacity from an existing 750 MW to 1 GW. We are also working on plans to add another 1 GW to our module manufacturing capacity. This will take our total capacity to 2 GW in phases.

RE Master Talk: What will be the impact of BCD on solar manufacturers located in India’s SEZs?

Avinash: Solar modules manufactured overseas still reach India at 25-30% less prices than the cost of Indian manufactured modules. These prices are at an all-time low. Hence levying BCD will not increase the cost per unit of solar power.

Whereas BCD will give a significant boost to local solar manufacturing. Expenditure of 2 billion dollars on CAPEX will save 16-20 billion dollars of forex over the next five years.

BCD will bring in long term stability and so the Indian manufacturers will be able to plan their capital expansion accordingly.

It is important to note here that over 50% of India’s domestic solar manufacturing capacity is located in SEZs. Hence, the government needs to come out with a Preferential Duty or Equalisation Levy for SEZs and BCD implementation.

Otherwise, this entire 50% of manufacturing capacity, along with its expansion plans, will come to a grinding halt, and this will be totally against the Aatmanirbhar Bharat plan of the Honourable Prime Minister.

RE Master Talk: What are some of the issues grappling the domestic solar manufacturing industry? What measures or policy reforms are needed to support the domestic manufacturers and help India become self-reliant?

Avinash: Preferential Duty or Equalisation Levy for SEZs has to be announced along with the announcement of BCD, whenever it happens, as this is the key to the growth of the sector.

If SEZs are left out, then all investment plans will have to be reassessed. A ‘Tech Upgrade Fund’ will be of prime importance as well. Due to the fast-paced nature of this industry, frequent technology upgrades are required. A technology fund at reasonable interest rates will go a long way in keeping India up to date with the world market. It will help the domestic industry compete not just locally but globally as well.

RE Master Talk: What is the demand outlook for the Solar PV Module market in the short to mid-term?

Avinash: Over the next two years, we foresee a 15-20 GW YOY demand, which will remain more or less steady up till 2030.



Informa launches ‘AllSecure’, an approach for enhanced healthy & safety standards at its events in the NEW NORMAL.

Whether they are exhibitors, attendees, visitors, speakers or sponsors, customers come to events to connect, learn, know more and to do business effectively, safety & confidence. To conduct physical trade exhibitions amidst the new normal, Informa Markets in India has created the ‘AllSecure’ safety standard. A detailed set of enhanced measures, AllSecure provides attendees the reassurance and confidence that they are participating in a safe and controlled environment. These international protocols are based on the broader principles of Physical Distancing, Protect & Detect, Cleaning & Hygiene and detailed Communications on these principles. It includes a commitment to ten key priorities across all Informa events, as well as fuller range of standards & recommendations that will be followed at our events wherever applicable & possible.

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