Inputs by Gautam Mohanka, Managing Director, Gautam Solar
Q1. What is your perception about the status and scope of the Solar industry in India?
I believe the solar energy industry is developing pretty quickly in India. According to Mordor Intelligence, the solar energy market in India is expected to grow from 2020 to 2026 at a CAGR of 8%, which is great news. The government is also planning to build a renewable energy capacity of 450 GW by 2030, and the solar energy segment is expected to contribute a lion’s share of 60% (280 GW) to the total capacity. It means that the market will continue to expand in the coming years.
Q2. What are the real fundamental benefits and challenges of Solar power? How is GAUTAM SOLAR helping in these aspects?
The greatest benefit of relying on solar energy is that it reduces your dependency on fossil fuels. Therefore, it helps us to tighten the leash on pollution. Given how most of our metropolitan cities are struggling to maintain safe levels of AQI (Air Quality Index), we can infer that solar energy is the need of the hour.
Another major benefit of solar energy is that it is available in abundance in our country – especially in the northern states like Rajasthan, Haryana, UP, and MP. Solar products also require lesser maintenance and upkeep as compared to their fossil fuel-based counterparts – which means that the maintenance cost is comparatively lower.
The biggest challenge for the Indian solar energy sector at the moment is the lack of domestic production. Most solar manufacturers tend to import finished and unfinished products from foreign countries, which slows down our progress. However, with government intervention and announcement of PLI scheme, we might be able to boost domestic production soon.
Q3. Could you share what product range is more suitable in the Indian context?
Given how most of our population still resides in the rural areas and is dependent on agriculture for its livelihood, I believe solar water pumps can make a world of difference. We have been, in fact, providing solar pumps at subsidized prices to farmers in Rajasthan, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh under the Pradhan Mantri Kusum Yojana to reduce farmers’ reliance on diesel based generators, which not only cause pollution but are costlier as well over long term.
Q4. What are your priorities and expansion strategies in India?
For the time being, we’re looking to scale up our production capacities and establish a pan-India presence. After the announcement of the PLI scheme, we have doubled our production capacity at our Haridwar unit from 120 MW to 240 MW, and we look forward to innovating and launching new products that can provide solutions to people’s energy needs.
Q5. China is considered a potential competitor to India in the Electrical sector; How well is India poised to take on the global challenge?
As solar manufacturers our priority is to meet the challenge of building 280 GW of solar energy capacity before 2030. It means we’ll have to add approximately 28 GW of capacity every year. To do this, we need to reduce our dependency on foreign countries for importing solar modules, invertors, batteries, etc. We need to encourage domestic production and the PLI scheme that has been launched this year, will help with that. Once we have met our target, then only can we think about entering the international market. However, we must also acknowledge that India has tremendous potential to become a global solar energy hub.