EQ In Exclusive Conversation With Mr. Sunil Badesra, Business Head at Sungrow (India) Pvt. Ltd.
- How much Inverters have you supplied to India till now, what is the target/expectation in 2020-2021
Ans: Sungrow has supplied more than 5.5 GW to India till now and we are expecting to add 1 GW more by end of this fiscal year.
- Please share your Road Maps – Pricing, Technology etc
Ans: The pricing and technology go hand in hand to generate more value at an optimal cost from a solar project during its entire life. Sungrow has always been at the fore front to introduce the latest technological upgradations which set the industry norm. To name a few, i) 3.125 MW outdoor central inverter to design the largest block size of 12.5 MW, ii) offering the most powerful 1500V string inverter of 250kW as a first for the customers to reap substantial benefits with flexible design which have been followed later by the industry. There has been continued downward pressure on price as India is a price sensitive market. At the same time the quality, reliability, bankability, agile support also must be carefully evaluated against the appropriate price to get the maximum benefit while reducing the project risks substantially.
- What are your views on BIS and other tariff barriers
Ans: Any country specific standardization is always welcome to meet the specific requirement in that local climate and conditions. BIS on smaller capacity string inverters have been on the move with latest extension till end of this year. There is paucity of testing facilities at labs for higher capacity and central inverters, and technologies are changing at a rapid pace. With a new product being launched to market frequently, it would be better for the industry, if MNRE comes up with a long term roadmap for testing of these inverters in consultations with BIS, the labs and OEM.
Since Sungrow is having a local factory of 3GW annual capacity, tariff barriers will have comparatively less impact on our business. At the same time, considering the present supply chain in India, minimum or nil import duty on major components would be a boost to the Made in India products to make them more competitive till we achieve a threshold volume of sufficient local content of high quality within India.
- What are your views on Inverters – Make in India
Ans: Make in India is a positive step for solar sector in India as we try to achieve a mammoth target in the next decade. Sungrow has already been supporting “Make in India” initiative since more than two years while supplying products locally as well as exporting to other markets. We are more enthused now to expand, if required, as demand grows in future and hence help to build an Aatmanirbhar Bharat in green energy.
- Currently 10GW + Solar Projects are in the offing, Whats your plan to Capture this opportunity.
Ans: As mentioned earlier, we have already secured couple of big orders from the said pipeline. Sungrow is in constant engagements with all the major IPPs and other customers to offer its latest products in both Central and String inverter categories for their upcoming projects. We evaluate each project thoroughly to offer the best solution to achieve maximum and sustained ROI from the project.
- What according to you is the current opportunities, biggest challenges, in Indian Solar Market.
Ans: Solar market in India has a huge potential and with the recent thrust on Vocal for local, there is more opportunities for both Global and Indian manufacturers now to take a long-term view and invest in local manufacturing.
In terms of challenges, Covid-19 is the most obvious one, which has paralyzed the execution of projects to a large extent and hence stalled the momentum. In addition to this, the financial strength of Discoms and some drastic steps by few states are also adding to the wobbliness of the sector. Similarly, occasional counter measures by state policies hinders the growth of rooftop solar market to some extent.
- Expectations from Indian Government Budget next year ?
Ans: We would expect more incentives for local manufacturers to grow and scale up rapidly.
- Kindly enlighten our readers on the performance of your Inverters in India in various geographic locations, customer feedback,
Ans: Sungrow’s first installations of Central and String inverters near Pokhran and Bhadla, Rajasthan respectively are running smoothly even after 5 years of operation. These are the testimonials of the quality and robustness of Sungrow’s inverters in harsh tropical climate. Further, our inverters are installed in all solar parks, on agricultural lands, at various industries where gaseous chemical substance are more. In addition, Sungrow inverters are spread across India performing ceaselessly from hot deserts of Rajasthan to snowy places of J&K, from rainy climate of Assam to hilly terrains of Uttarakhand.
- Present some noteworthy projects, case studies of solar plants built using your solar Inverters
Ans: Sungrow has supplied to many large scale projects of the top IPPs in India. Few among them are 400 MW project at Bhadla, 250 MW project at Pavagada, 250 MW project at Ananthapuramu etc. and we are having more than 25% share in India’s top three biggest solar parks. Further Sungrow is the No.1 supplier with more than 50% of the total share for the rooftop solar projects at various Railway stations in India. Other noteworthy supplies are to the leading players in e-Commerce, Automobile, Cement, Healthcare, Hospitality etc.
- Please describe in brief about your company, its vision & mission
“Sungrow” is the world’s most bankable inverter brand with over 120 GW+ installations worldwide as of June 2020 and its products and services cover more than 120 countries. The company specializes in R&D, manufacturing, sales and service of solar energy, wind energy, energy storage, electric vehicles, and other new energy power supply equipment. Main products include PV inverters, wind converters, energy storage system, new energy automotive drive system, and floaters for floating PV power projects.
Sungrow’s Mission: “Clean power for all”
& Vision: “To be the global leader of clean power conversion technology”
- What is the size of your company in terms of manufacturing capacities, growth chart, future expansion plans, revenues, shipments
Ans: Sungrow has the largest manufacturing factory in the industry with annual production capacity of 50 GW. This includes a 3 GW local manufacturing unit in India with possible expansion in future as the market evolves. Sungrow’s total installations crossed 120 GW by end of Jun 2020 across the globe.
Sungrow’s financial displayed solid result in first half of 2020 with a huge growth on revenue, and strong competitiveness despite the impact of the pandemic. Specifically, the revenue increased by 55.57% year-on-year (YoY) to US$ 987.2 million in 1H 2020, while net income grew by 34.13% YoY to US$ 63.4 million, due to strong performance in Americas, Europe and China.
- What are your plans for India, your view on the GOI target of 100GW Solar Power by 2022
Ans: India is a large solar market with a target of 300 GW by 2030. Hence, Sungrow has a very strategic long-term plan for India market to remain an integral part of this almost ten-fold growth journey. In addition, our 3 GW India factory has already been an essential element in our long-term plan to provide the cutting edge solutions to customers in India. As the solar project installations proliferates, we will also be expanding the factory capacity to meet the growing demand.
Till date, 35 GW have been installed in India and more than 30 GW are under various stages of execution. The impact of Covid-19 has dragged the capacity addition this year. However, with acceleration in next two years, India can reach close to the 100 GW target by 2022.
- How much is your R&D budget as % of your sales / profits
Ans: Innovation has been one of the key cornerstones for Sungrow to come up with the optimal Product-Market-Fit (PMF) offering. Hence Sungrow invests heavily in R&D to stay ahead of the curve to build the technologically advanced products to meet the multiple requirements from ROI to Project design, from compatibility with newer modules to grid friendliness etc. Sungrow has one of the largest R&D team in the industry with more than 40% of its total employees contributing their part to Research areas.
- What are the top 5 markets for your company in the past, present and future
Ans: Sungrow has presence in more than 120 countries after providing its solutions for more than two decades. At present all the largest solar markets such as China, Europe, US, India, South East Asia are top markets for us. We are also having significant presence in regions such as Latin America, Middle East and Australia.
- Kindly comment of Energy Storage as a game changer, its technology, cost trend etc.
Ans: To address the challenge of intermittent supply of renewable energy, energy storage has become more vital than ever before. These assets can also offer a multitude of use cases consisting of frequency regulation and ancillary service.
Particularly, the solar-plus-storage system needs to fully consider the management of batteries and PCS when dispatching the output, to improve the safety and ROI of the whole hybrid plant. So only an experienced company which excels at both energy storage and PV industry can integrate an efficient system through an intelligent EMS.
Sungrow is among only few players which can offer complete all in one solution for such complex integrated requirements. When paired with renewable energy, the all-in-one system can meet requirements like frequency regulation, peak shaving, demand charge management, ancillary services. Flexible with DC-coupled or AC-coupled design, the solutions enable minimized cost, safe and reliable operation and competitive levels of profitability.
- Kindly highlight your product, technology & company USP’s, distinctive advantages etc…
Sungrow keeps pioneering on new innovations and is now offering comprehensive updated PV and energy storage solutions in India. The flagship products cover both utility-scale and rooftop segments., including the 1500V, 5 MW & 3.125MW outdoor central inverters, the world’s most powerful 1500V string inverter SG250HX, and prominent commercial PV portfolio ranging from 33kW to 110kW. Our C&I inverters have passed stringent local grid compliance requirements in various countries as required such as VDE 4110 & 4120 in Germany, Korean Standards (KS) and soon we will also have BIS certifications.
In addition, Sungrow has many distinct advantages, few of them are as follow:
- Sungrow is the only supplier which has 100% bankability track record for two straight years and holds the No.1 position as the most bankable brand as per BNEF. This clearly shows the trust and confidence by the lending institutions to give non-recourse term loan for the large-scale projects anywhere across the globe.
- Sungrow is the only company which has very focused approach with 100% of its business being into renewable industry.
- It has the largest R&D team in the industry with more than 40% of its total employees in Research and Development division.
- Sungrow has the highest production capacity of 50 GW per annum to develop cutting edge products in time to meet the rapidly growing solar energy demand.
- Sungrow has the industry’s biggest service team in India along with dedicated service warehouses, local repair & maintenance centers at key locations, and 3rd party service partners to provide high quality and timely support