Interview: DV Manjunatha

DV Manjunatha,
Founder & Managing Director at Emmvee Group
 

“There Must be Atleast 40% of BCD on Solar Modules for Indian Manufacturers to Compete”

Building strong integrated solar industrial clusters along with clear policy framework from the government a must for solar manufactures to prosper in India. The government should also create a specialized infrastructure covering the entire value chain from R&D, testing, training center, and other required supporting services. We need a clear policy framework from the government ensuring substantial solar cell and module production demand in the next few years for Indian solar manufactures. There must be at least 40% of BCD on modules for the Indian manufacturers to compete with their Chinese counterparts, belives D.V. Manjunatha, Founder & Managing Director, Emmvee Group, in an exclusive conversation with Manu Tayal, Associate Editor, Energetica India. Manjunatha also discussed about his company’s products offerings, expansion plans, 2021 outlook, expectations etc. Here’re the edited excerpts:

“Kindly tell Energetica India readers about the company, reason behind its formation along with various business verticals. Can we say it a truly Make in India?”

Emmvee, since its inception in 1992, has been a pioneer in manufacturing and developing innovative Solar Water Heating Systems and Solar PV Modules.
Emmvee started with the manufacturing and marketing of thermal and PV products soon recognized the increasing demand for solar water heaters and started manufacturing them at their production facility located at Bengaluru, India. Our brand name ‘Solarizer’ water heating system has grown to be the largest manufacturer of solar water heating systems in India and Europe.
In the year 2007, Emmvee embarked on the manufacturing of solar PV modules at their manufacturing facility at Bengaluru, India.
Emmvee over the years has built a strong brand legacy of providing world-class quality products across the world. Emmvee right from its inception has focused on Make in India ideology and has a proven record of supplying and installing world-class quality products across the world including countries such as Germany, France, UK, Yemen, South Africa, and Canada etc.

“What are Emmvee’s latest product offerings for Indian customers along with their certifications if any?”

Our latest product offerings include:
• Solarizer solar water heater: Under ‘Solarizer’ brand name we have grown to be the largest manufacturer of solar water heating systems in India and Europe and installed over 5,00,000 solar water heaters in homes and institutions which include some of the most prestigious names in India and across the world.
• PV Modules: We have manufacturing facility with 500 MW of capacity in Bengaluru, India. Our modules are produced on the fully automated M10, Burkle & 3S machines in dust proof and air-conditioned production facilities. We use world-class top-quality German components to achieve the highest standard of process reliability, production results, and product quality.
• Emmvee Spowdi: It is aimed at boosting the agricultural industry by restoring groundwater levels. Solar-powered Spowdi’s design helps in curtailing the problems of traditional water pumps which can create a threat to the available groundwater. It is capable of providing high yield using less water for irrigation. Also, it doesn’t require any technical experience to operate it.
• Emmvee Power Hub: A German-designed intelligent electric energy storage system capable of optimizing power storage by controlling per unit energy consumption with easily scalable features. Its highly intelligent control system provides long-lasting performance by operating under low voltage.

Accreditations and Certifications:
• An ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, OHSAS 18001:2007, IEC61215 and IEC61730 accreditation.
• Emmvee modules are certificated by UL and BIS and have a saltwater mist corrosion certification.
• Emmvee’s Solarizer is the only Indian solar company to acquire Solar Key mark certification indicating full conformity with international and European standards to assure constant quality.
• Emmvee’s Solarizer is the 1st Indian solar company to receive a certificate of product conformity from the Dubai Central Laboratory Department (DCLD) an international standard performance indicator.

“In which industries/sectors do you currently see maximum demand for solar water heaters? Do you think promotion of solar water heaters in Dairy industry can open a large market for solar energy in a country like India?”

Solar energy implementation is happening across the industries. It has created a broader perspective in the minds of different industry leaders about the environmental advantages and the cost saving elements it will bring in to its manufacturing and operational business routine.
The only answer to rising concerns of protecting the environment from increased consumption of fossil fuel by the industries is by opting for a green energy transition.
India is one of the largest producers of milk and milk products. It has more than 1,000 large, medium, and small dairy production units and produces more than 170 million tonnes of milk annually.
Energy plays a vital role in processing milk and milk products which are primarily sourced from fossil fuels such as furnace oil, etc. More than 25% of their manufacturing cost is spent on fossil fuels and electricity.
The installation of solar systems to generate thermal energy and for generating energy for other processes will not only reduce CO2 emission but will also provide uninterrupted energy supply at a much lesser cost when compared to traditional systems.

“Till date, how much capacity of solar modules Emmvee supplied both in India and overseas markets, along with solar projects installed and commissioned?”

Emmvee has commissioned over 200 MW of solar projects and has manufactured and supplied more than 2GW of solar modules in India, including 150 MW to Aditya Birla Renewables and 250 MW to NLC India, and across the world. It has developed rich expertise in executing solar photovoltaic roof top projects, large scale solar photovoltaic power projects, land to PPA (Power Purchase Agreement), EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) projects, O&M (Operation & Maintenance) of large projects and OEM and retail sale of solar PV modules for DCR & Non-DCR requirements.

Our some of the solar PV rooftop and EPC projects installed and commissioned include:

• 15 MW solar power plant for facilities of Reddy’s Lab at Hyderabad, which saves approximately 19,440 tonnes of CO2 annually.
• 40 MW solar power plant at Bagepalli, Kunigal, and Bidar in Karnataka with 132,000 polycrystalline modules and a power generation capacity of 72 million U/a.
• Planned and executed many rooftop projects for large Manufacturing units and factories. WE have installed 1 MW rooftop PV plant at our own solar water heater manufacturing facility at Dobespet, Karnataka, capable of generating approximately 1.43 million units of power yield annually and saving approximately 1814 tonnes of CO2 annually.
• Emmvee was one the first solar company in India to execute 1 MW of solar project for Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL Infrastructures Ltd) in Kerala. It is the first Greenfield airport project executed in a public-private partnership model in the civil aviation infrastructure sector in India. The Airport was officials declared the first airport in the world to be fully powered by solar energy.
• Developed a flat RCC solar power project of 1.1MWp at the University of Hyderabad approximately saving 1426 tonnes of CO2 annually.

“In your view, on which pointers currently the government need to focus amidst Covid-19 scenario to provide further boost to the solar energy sector?”

Building strong integrated solar industrial clusters along with clear policy framework from the government a must for solar manufactures to prosper in India.
The government should also create a specialized infrastructure covering the entire value chain from R&D, testing, training center, and other required supporting services.
We need a clear policy framework from the government ensuring substantial solar cell and module production demand in the next few years for Indian solar manufactures.
The current safeguard duty percentage will not help the Indian manufacturers as Chinese prices are still comparatively very low. There must be at least 40% of BCD on modules for the Indian manufacturers to compete with their Chinese counterparts.
Emmvee right from its inception in the year 1992 has set high standards of manufacturing process. By taking the same standard forward, we have decided to increase our production capacity in the coming year to give the domestic manufacturing a further boost. The increased production line will have the most advanced and world class state-of-the-art facility to compete with the best of the solar manufacturers across the world.

“How do you see the scope for technological advancement and innovation in the domestic solar manufacturing industry amidst PM Narendra Modi’s call for AatmNirbhar Bharat?”

Technological advancement and innovation is the key to truly achieve AtmaNirbhar Bharat in solar manufacturing sector. It will also lower the dependence on imports eventually leading the way for an increased demand for local solar manufacturers.
To achieve this goal, the government should build integrated solar industrial clusters in India and create a specialized infrastructure covering the entire value chain from R & D, testing, training center, and other required supporting services.
By creating value chain at a single location within the country will not only help India to compete with China at the domestic level but also in the international market. It will also reduce the reliability on duties/tariffs imposed by the Indian government.

“How do you analyze the year 2021 will be for the solar sector, as compared to 2020?”

The on-going corona virus pandemic has aggravated the problems faced by the solar industry. The lockdown disrupted the supply chains leading to delays in the execution of ongoing as well as new projects. Also, the inconsistency in the supply chain resulted in cost fluctuations of components which further aggravated the liquidity issues resulting in decrease in solar power demand. This economic crisis has largely affected India’s solar import and export along with on-going solar construction activities, which affected even before the actual lockdown started in India.
The pandemic has resulted in a deep economic crisis which may lead to a long term impact on the renewable sector including the solar industry. But the demand for solar power is expected to bounce back as the crisis settles and all the delayed projects will rollback reaching the same level as expected.
Solar energy is considered to be more resilient to handle the pandemic situation than other conventional sources such as coal and other fuels. The important factor being it is a relatively cheaper and cleaner source of energy along with the significance it has on the economic viability.
The government of India is also expected to provide a supporting hand to the domestic solar industry by taking the present situation into cognizance. The government should create a proper road map that will help them reach the aggressive targets of 450 GW of renewable energy target by 2030.

Interview 22/02/2021 by Manu Tayal
 
 
 
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