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Adani Solar–The Growth for Green India

by

Rahul Bhutiani- Head Sales & Marketing

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Adani Solar created a very robust Retail Distribution Network across all states of India that ensures Adani Solar Modules reach every nook & corner. Adani Solar is the only Indian manufacturer to be awarded Top Performer by DNV-GL PVEL Global Reliability Testing for five consecutive years (2018 to 2022). We ensure better control on the supply chain – which gives us the ability to ensure the best quality of the product.

1. Please brief our readers about your solar journey.

In 2017, Adani Solar became the first company in the world to start a  Greenfield Project of GW scale at Mundra, with its platinum-rated  manufacturing facility of 1.2 GW of Solar PV cells & Modules. This setup was  enhanced to 1.5 GW in 2019. This facility has been successfully catering  primarily to the Domestic Markets – Residential Rooftop projects, Ground based IPP projects, Solar Parks, and even the Agricultural Solar Pump projects  under the KUSUM scheme. Adani Solar has been a consistent performer not  only in terms of volumes in manufacturing but also in terms of Market Share – consistently being the largest and the most prominent Indian Player against  the onslaught of Chinese manufacturers.  

Adani Solar prides itself in having created a very robust Retail Distribution  Network across all states of India that ensures Adani Solar Modules reach  every nook & corner. We pride ourselves in holding a 50% market share in  residential retail and KUSUM markets.  

In 2022, Adani Solar expanded its capacity by adding a 2 GW line. With this  capacity addition, Adani Solar has brought to India the state-of-the-art,  contemporary MonoPERC technology that is capable of delivering high efficiency modules thereby making Solar projects more viable. With these,  Modules Adani Solar is now serving the domestic and international markets  very efficiently and effectively.  

Adani Solar is the only Indian manufacturer to be awarded Top Performer by  DNV-GL PVEL Global Reliability Testing for five consecutive years (2018 to  2022).

2. Which are the advanced technologies that have been adopted in your  products and processes?

The capacity expansion of 2 GW that is already done is with the latest  MonoPERC Technology that is capable of giving us high-efficiency Modules.  The manufacturing set-up is flexible and can work with both 182 mm and 210  mm cells thereby offering Modules in the bin range of 535 -660 Wp. We are  also setting up the associated Cell line which will again be flexible and capable  of manufacturing cells of 182 mm and 210 mm.  

Interestingly our MonoPERC lines are also capable of being upgraded to n-type  TOPCon technology thereby further enhancing the efficiency of modules we  can offer to the market.  

Adani Solar has also set off an expanding capacity by another 2 GW by  bringing to India, the N-type TOPCon technology with its futuristic technology  and is capable of further enhancing the Module efficiencies.

3. What makes your product the best fit for any kind of requirement?

At Adani Solar, our attempt has been to have better control on the supply  chain – which gives us the ability to ensure the best quality of the product. We  have and continue to build out integrated Cell and Module capacities. We have  also set up an ancillary eco-system to ensure supply chain independence for other critical components of the Module – like Aluminum Frame, Back-sheet,  POE, Glass, etc.  

Adani Solar Modules are ALMM approved and have all the requisite national  and International Certifications for them to be accepted for any type of  deployment – Retail, Commercial, Industrial, and IPP.

4. What are your growth and expansion plans for the next couple of years?

Adani Solar will be expanding capacities with the latest Technologies. With  MonoPERC technology we have 2 GW of Cell and Module capacities. We are  already underway with an expansion of another 2 GW which will be based on  the n-type TOPCon technology. This facility will be operational by Mid-2023.  

As a vision, Adani Solar intends to have, over the next few years, a fully  integrated capacity of 10 GW starting from Polysilicon up to Modules. The  ancillary eco-system will also be appropriately expanded to support the 10 GW  capacity. Once completed, this facility will maybe the world’s only fully  integrated 10 GW Solar PV manufacturing capacity with the entire ancillary  eco-system co-located.

5. How do you see India’s solar sector progressing in the next 5 years? How do  you see Adani Solar contributing to the sector during this time?

We at Adani Solar, believe that the Solar industry in India is poised for an  orbital change. The Government, regulators, manufacturers, the developers are  working in tandem to ensure India meets its ambitious (but achievable) targets  for Renewable Power.  

The solar industry is capable of taking India to Energy Security while helping  decarbonize the Power Generation industry in India. India is currently the 3rd  largest market for Solar Industry behind China and USA, and we will continue  to hold our position in near future too. The solar installations in the country  are expected to grow exponentially in the next 5 years and Adani Solar is  geared to support this massive growth. Adani Solar will continue to hold a  dominant market share going forward too.

6. What kind of pricing and technology roadmap do you see coming through in  the industry?

The industry has seen unprecedented price increases last year on the back of  an all-time increase in Polysilicon prices. With a lot of new polysilicon  capacities coming on stream now, it is widely expected that there would be  pressure on prices, and we may soon see a downward trend in prices for the  industry. This will augur well and help boost the growth in the industry.  

In terms of technology, the industry is gravitating towards higher and higher  module efficiency. The current favorite, MonoPERC technology will likely rule  the roost over the near future. TOPCon and HJT are the technologies that are maturing very fast and will be the technologies that the world and India will  work with in times to come.

7. How has the rupee devaluation affected the solar industry and your  business?

The Indian solar industry is reeling under pressure created by rising raw  material prices primarily driven by the Polysilicon price spurt and commodity  prices surge. The World’s geo-political situation triggered rises in Crude prices  and that has led to an impact on our Rupee.  

This devaluation has resulted in a further impact on Module prices since a lot  of the raw materials are imported and lead to a very strong linkage to dollar  Rupee movements.  

To the extent a company exports its products, there could be a natural hedge  against dollar Rupee fluctuations. However, for domestic sales, the impact of  the dollar Rupee movement is Challenging.

8. What kind of growth do you see coming in the residential sector demand?

The Indian Government has been very proactive in creating a very positive  environment for the Residential Rooftop Solar market. The schemes  announced and implemented and also under implementation are very  generous and should ensure good participation by the Residential sector.  MNRE’s grid-connected rooftop solar program is aiming for residential  installation of 4 GW and offers a 40% subsidy for the first 3 kW of generation  capacity in residential rooftop systems. Estimates suggest that Residential  Rooftop installations are only 17% of total rooftop solar capacity and just 2.9%  of the nation’s total solar capacity. Only around 0.5% of independent urban  homes have installed rooftop solar which clearly shows the potential for  Rooftop Solar in the residential sector. The major deterrents till now have  been consumer inhibition and low awareness about the technical, financial,  and operational aspects of installations, and the industry and Government are  addressing this appropriately.

9. What are the cost and raw material challenges for solar modules and solar cells?

China’s share in the entire supply chain – all stages from Polysilicon to  Modules is in excess of 80% and for wafers is as high as 95% plus. Economies  of scale, supply chain integration, innovation, and significant government  support for the last 2 decades have made China a formidable force in the Solar  Supply Chain. As a result, India like most other countries around the world is  dependent on Chinese imports (wafers, cells, etc.) for Solar Module  Manufacturing. This dependence does not augur well for the industry – always  susceptible to disruption in availability and prices.  

Our governments intentions through the PLI scheme is clearly to slowly and  steadily move away from this dependence on Chinese imports by encouraging the Indian Industry to create a domestic fully integrated supply chain that is  capable of effectively meeting the Domestic Demand.

10. Adani solar has expanded its business from manufacturing to retail  distribution. What is the company’s strategy for the domestic market? Please  explain.

Adani Solar PV modules should be available to every individual customer  across the country. In keeping with this objective, Adani Solar has built out a  very robust Retail Distribution network comprising over 20 Authorized Channel  Partners, over 50 Resellers, and through these partners, a reach of over 2500  Integrators across the country.  

Adani Solar is committed to serving the domestic market wholeheartedly.

11. Shed some light on Adani’s plans of developing domestic supply  chain/backward integration including timeframe, investment etc.

The major setback faced by the Indian solar industry is the supply side  constraints like the shortage of polysilicon, and glass, basically, the supply of  raw materials required for the manufacture of cells and modules, increase in  steel prices, aluminum, copper, silver, shortage of containers, freight spiral.  India has no option but backward integrate and build capacity for  manufacturing the whole spectrum of Solar PV supply chain domestically to  mitigate the risks arising from the supply chain constraints. 

Adani Solar has ambitious plans for the same. The backward integration at  Adani solar will start with starting with 2GW Ingot, 2GW Wafer along with  cumulative 4GW cell and 4GW module by January 2024. And by January 2026,  we look forward to becoming a 10GW Fully integrated Solar PV manufacturer  from Polysilicon to Module. To support this massive upscaling and integration,  we shall also develop a comprehensive ecosystem of ancillary units like Glass,  EVA, Backsheet, etc. to reduce our import dependency and ensure a seamless  supply of all the key raw materials.

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