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The 2nd Annual Renewcon India 2011 conference took place in Mumbai from 27-30 September 2011. The 4 day event covered the three segments of renewable energy – Solar, Wind and Waste-to-Energy. The event was attended by regulators, renewable energy industry leaders, the financial community and aspiring entrepreneurs. Speakers included some of the industrial leaders like

  • Dr. Pramod Deo, Chairperson, CERC
  • Mr. V.P.Raja, Chariman, MERC
  • Dr S. Gomathinayagam, Executive Director, CWET
  • Mr. Sanjay Chakrabarti, Partner and India Cleantech Leader, E&Y
  • Mr. Alan Rosling, Chairman, Kiran Energy Solar
  • Mr. Shiv Shukla, President and CEO of Abengoa Solar India
  • Mr. Peter Ballinger, Director at OPIC

EAI was a partner at the event and released two whitepapers titled PV beyond PPA and Taste the success from Waste as part of it. The whitepapers are available for download here.

Mr. Narasimhan Santhanam, Director of EAI, chaired the one-day seminar on Waste Management which covered topics like Municipal Solid Waste to Energy, E-Waste management, Regulatory and Policy support from the government and financing options in the segment. Narasimhan made a presentation on the topic “Leveraging advanced technologies to achieve the effective conversion of waste to energy”. The presentation can be downloaded here.

I was part of two panel discussions during the solar conference (2nd day of the event). The first panel discussion, titled “Clarifying the ambiguity of the Power Purchase Agreements and understanding how it will drive the next stage of solar power projects”, was moderated by Mr. Sanjay Chakrabarti and had Dr. Pramod Deo, Chairperson, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission(CERC) as the other panelist. I had the good fortune to share the dais with these stalwarts and share my perspectives on the topic.

 

 

(L to R) Mr. Sanjay Chakrabarti, E&Y, Dr. Pramod Deo,CERC and me

Dr. Pramod Deo spoke about the JNNSM first phase and shared his ideas about the challenges and opportunities in the phase 2 of the JNNSM. He also shared his views on the RPO mechanism and how it could drive the entire renewable energy market in the future. Mr. Sanjay Chakrabarti had earlier made a presentation about the lessons learnt from the bidding for the first round of solar projects under the first phase of JNNSM. He also gave an insightful comparison on the different aspects of the JNNSM round 1 and round 2 selection guidelines. On my part, I spoke about how REC is evolving as a very good alternative for the preferential PPA.(Some more details on this discussion is available here)

The second panel discussion I was part of was on the topic of “Solar PV manufacturing Excellence”. This discussion examined the status of the Indian PV manufacturing sector and analysed how helpful the JNNSM policies have been in promoting indigenous manufacturing of solar PV cells and modules in India. I got the opportunity to moderate this session that had eminent speakers like Mr. Kolan Saravanan, General Manager, Centrotherm Photovoltaics India, Dr. J.N. Roy, VP, R&D, Solar Semiconductor and Mr. Deepak Chawla, Director at E&Y.

Dr. Roy spoke about the status of PV manufacturing from a module manufacturer’s perspective whereas Mr. Saravanan spoke about it from a manufacturing equipment vendor’s perspective. Mr. Chawla shared his thoughts on the global solar PV market dynamics and how regulatory support can stimulate the growth of the solar PV manufacturing in India. Overall, the panel felt that even though the JNNSM policy support for promoting indigenous manufacturing is helpful, more support is required to develop a fully developed PV manufacturing ecosystem in India.

The solar conference had some more very good sessions like

  • REC mechanism by Indian Energy Exchange(IEX)
  • Commercializing Independent Power Production by Kiran Energy Solar Power
  • Analysis of Balance of Systems by Bonfiglioli Transmissions
  • Captive Solar Power Generation(for telecom towers) by Bharti Infratel
  • Concentrating Solar Power by Abengoa Solar India and
  • Financing of Solar Power Projects

The panel discussion “Financing of Solar Power Projects” was perhaps the highlight of the conference with as many as eight experts sharing their views on the ground realities of solar in India. The session, moderated by Mr. Vineeth Vijayaraghavan of Panchabhuta, had speakers like

  • Mr. Peter Ballinger,OPIC
  • Mr. Alan Rosling, Kiran Energy
  • Mr. Shiv Shukla, Abengoa Solar India
  • Mr. Umesh Agrawal, Pricewaterhouse Coopers
  • Mr. Sai Ram Prasad, Bharti Infratel
  • Mr. Deepak Chawla, E&Y
  • Mr. Shiva Rajaraman, L&T Finance

The discussion ranged from solar resource assessment, project implementation challenges, risk assessment and mitigations, financing challenges, recourse and non-recourse financing, insurance for solar projects, lending for REC based solar projects among others. The perspectives shared by the speakers very thought provoking and extremely beneficial for the delegates.

Overall, the solar conference proved to be very good because of the quality of the speakers as well as the exclusive networking opportunities it provided.

 Solar Workshops

 The first day of Renewcon 2011 had solar workshops on Solar EPC and PV operations and Maintenance. The Solar EPC workshop was conducted by Mr. Manish Singhal, Business Development Manager at L&T and Mr. Udayadittya Shome, V P, Marketing and Sales at Juwi India, Renewable Energies.

The focus of Mr. Singhal’s presentation was EPC selection, contract structuring between the project developer and the EPC and the various risks faced by EPCs. He shared L&T’s experience on these areas and recommended some risk mitigation strategies for EPCs. He also shared some practical problems faced by EPCs during the project implementation phase. The presentation was well received by the audience who were able to understand the nuances of solar EPC .

Mr. Shome made a presentation that looked at some aspects of EPC like

  • Technology selection :a comparative analysis of crystalline silicon vs Thin Film Technologies, inverter selection, etc
  • PV plant design : factors that have to be considered like duration, tilt angles, optimum land usage, etc
  • Project implementation : importance of excellent project planning and management skills, infrastructure considerations, power evacuation, etc

He shared some of the global practices followed by Juwi and how the company is leveraging these best practices.

Another parallel workshop was conducted by Mr. Sebastian Duerr of iPLON. The focus of the presentation was “Solar PV – Operations and Maintenance”.

 Wind Conference

 The wind conference was held on the third day and some of the speakers were

  • Kalpana Jain, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
  • V.P.Raja, MERC
  • P. Krishnakumar, Orient Green Power
  • Vineeth Vijayaraghavan, Panchabhuta
  • Chintan Shah, Suzlon
  • Rajiv Samant, Tata Power
  • Dr. E Sreevalsan, CWET
  • Dr. Gomathinayagam, CWET

The sessions focused on the following issues

  • Government Policies and Regulations
  • Commercializing Wind Power Generation
  • Innovative Business Models
  • Off-shore wind power generation
  • Captive Wind Power Generation
  • Manufacturing Excellence

The conference was well planned and the organizers of the event, UBM, deserve good credit for the same. EAI wishes UBM more success in the future and looks forward to continue its collaboration with UBM for the upcoming conferences.