France’s Schneider Electric SE is looking to make India the base for mass production of solar invertors – both for the local market and exports – the company’s CEO Jean-Pascal Tricoire said on Wednesday.India will be at the core of its next-generation solar inverter plans, Tricoire said, adding that the company has identified Bengalure for production of solar inverters on a very large scale for exports to all over the world.
Schneider plans to produce a whole range of invertors – for the home, for the micro-grid and for solar power plants – Tricoire, Schneider’s global chairman and chief executive, said, adding that the company is launching its next-generation solar inverters on a very large scale.Tricoire said Schneider’s new solar inverters use a technology that can take the energy produced from silicon in the panel that is currently not usable and convert it to energy that is usable and put it on the grid or micro-grid.
”Some of the programmes are completely developed here. All the programmes for inverters that we do for homes are completely done here. Some others are done in collaboration with 45 other centres in the world. India is at number 3 in Schneider, in terms of the number of people in R&D,” Tricoire said.
Schneider specialises in energy management and automation solutions, spanning hardware, software and services, and its India unit already exports 50 pe4r cent of its products every year.Tricoire did not share financial numbers of the India operations but said the company plans to invest €100 million (about Rs750 crore) in the next five years in areas such as renewable energy and smart buildings.
So far, it has invested €800 million in India.
Tricoire said the firm has 1,500 engineers at its R&D centre in Bengaluru.Schneider Electric also concluded an agreement to train Indian youth under a partnership agreement with the ministry of education of France to increase cooperation between Indian and French entities.Speaking on the occasion, union minister of state for skill development and entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy said a skilled person stands brighter chances of being employed than a person who is only educated.
”We have to reverse the system where the skilled workforce were looked down upon as the ones who dropped out of the education system,” he said. ”A trained electrician flaunting a smart toolkit by Schneider would perhaps be more employable than a person with an engineering degree,” he added.Rudy said the Modi government’s dream is to make Indian youth so smartly skilled that they can earn up to 100 dollars per hour, as skilled workers in Europe and America do.”If we put together IT, soft skills and working knowledge of a foreign language, besides the technical skill, we would be the best workforce in the world. And, the partnership with the world’s largest electric company is a step in that direction,” he said.
Schneider Electric Foundation and Schneider Electric India Foundation will donate didactic equipment, set up labs and also undertake Training of Trainer programmes in skill development centres, jointly identified in consultation with the National Skill Development Council (NSDC) and the Power Sector Skill Council (PSSC).”With huge focus in our country on national missions, like Make in India, Digital India and Smart Cities, there is a great need for skilled workforce in the power, solar energy and automation sectors. The Make in India drive is just not possible without skilled makers,” the minister said.
Earlier, Rajesh Agarwal, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE), said that since industry is the job provider, its involvement at the skill development level is crucial.