Narasimhan Santhanam Presentation at Chennai Solar EPC - Developer Meet, Jan 22, Le Meridien - India Renewable Energy Consulting – Solar, Biomass, Wind, Cleantech
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Excerpt of a presentation from the EAI Solar PV Developer – EPC Meet, Chennai, Jan 22, 2013

Taking Solar Forward – Narasimhan Santhanam, Director, Energy Alternatives India

Mr. Narasimhan Santhanam, Director of Energy Alternatives India, made a presentation on Taking Solar Forward. He examined various pain points for Developers and EPCs.

Mr. Narasimhan Santhanam began his address to the audience by discussing the rationale for having speakers make presentations at a networking meet. He explained that based on feedback from EAI clients, they understood that

  • Even experienced EPCs find that solar energy is an emerging field which requires knowledge sharing amongst players to enhance value provided and encourage adoption
  • Developers need knowledge on the unique issues and challenges faced when implementing solar projects in India

and it was with this in mind that speakers with implementation, rather than management, experience of solar projects had been invited to speak.

He continued by saying that though solar energy in India received its kickstart from the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission 2 years ago, it was the recent emergence of several state policies that indicated that a tipping point had been reached for solar energy in India. Explosive growth comes with its share of problems that need to be addressed quickly. For Developers the pain points are

  • Clarity on Benefits (particularly for Rooftop)
  • Falling F-i-Ts and Falling RoIs (for grid connected projects)
  • Real cost of solar power
    • How comprehensive are the quoted prices
    • Technology & Performance Uncertainties
      • What determines Thin Film vs. Crystalline
      • Financing
        • Wind continues to be easier to finance than solar
        • Selecting the right EPC

For the EPCs the most pressing pain points are

  • Competition
  • Differentiation
  • Establishing credibility in nascent industry
  • Delivering high quality at shrinking margins

which are of particular concern for small and medium sized EPCs who don’t have the brand value of established players to protect themselves from a price war in a market with low barriers to entry while simultaneously ensuring quality standards to deliver a plant that can last 25 years.

He concluded his presentation by speaking of how EAI helps Developers and EPCs address these issues, and the knowledge resources available on EAI’s website.

For those specifically interested in getting comprehensive intelligence on rooftop solar, you might want to check out Solar Mango

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