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Resolve policy issues: Vikram Solar CEO to Centre

V Rishi Kumar Hyderabad | Updated on January 17, 2018 Published on January 17, 2018

Gyanesh Chaudhary says norms on domestic content need a relook

The Central government needs to take some concrete steps to accelerate the growth of the solar energy sector by resolving policy-related issues facing the domestic industry, according to a senior executive of Vikram Solar, a leading solar-energy company in the country.

Gyanesh Chaudhary, Chief Executive Officer, Vikram Solar, said: “The norms relating to domestic content regulations need to be re-looked, and the recent proposal by the Directorate General of Sefeguards to impose duty, will have far-reaching impact on the country’s domestic manufacturing facilities.”

Speaking to BusinessLine, the CEO said: “If we take the import for solar sector, from 70 per cent coming from imports from China last year, it had gone up to 80 per cent this year. Something has to be done as the domestic sector capacity is not being properly harnessed.”

The industry, which was a witness to the installation of about 6 giga watt (GW) last year, is looking for triggers from the government, and some course correction, to facilitate acceleration of the sector, he said.

The domestic manufacturing capacity for solar cells is estimated to be 3.2 GW and for solar modules it is over 8 GW. The data shows that more than 50-60 per cent is lying idle. The government needs to ensure this capacity gets utilised, he explained.

Chaudhary, who is also the General Secretary of the All India Solar Industries Association, and the Chairman of Renewable Energy and Energy Storage Division of IEEMA (India Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers Association), said: “Domestic manufacturers are caught on the wrong foot due to safeguard duty imposed on all solar modules and cells.

“These safeguard measures should be used to protect the domestic industry and against dumping.”

Performance

Referring to the company business, Chaudhary said: “Vikram Solar had closed 2014-15 with a turnover of ₹623 crore, ₹910 crore in 2015-16 and ₹1,659 crore in 2016-17. This shows a compounded annual growth rate of 54 per cent over the past five years. We expect to sustain this growth.”

The company has rated annual manufacturing capacity and crossed EPC installations of over 1 GW. “We expect to accelerate the growth provided some of the irritants to the sector are sorted out. This would enable companies in the solar sector to do better and increase capacity utilisation and the consider addition of fresh capacity,” said Chaudhary.

Last year saw some volatility in the market due to various developments and external factors. “However, with the government likely to sort out some of the pending issues and providing triggers from the growth of the market, we expect to see a good year ahead,” he said.

Published on January 17, 2018
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