Interview: Sunil Badesra
Country Head at Sungrow India
Advanced battery technologies gaining prominence in India's energy storage sector
November 16, 2023. By News Bureau
Que: Sungrow recently achieved a remarkable breakthrough of completing 5 years of the Indian manufacturing journey. As a provider of solar inverters and energy storage systems, how do you think ‘Make in India’ has helped India’s energy storag
Ans: Sungrow's achievement of completing 5 years of Indian manufacturing, confirms that participation in the ‘Make in India’ initiative has not only contributed to their growth but has also supported India's broader renewable energy and energy storage objectives.
By manufacturing solar inverters locally, Sungrow has been able to respond more effectively to the specific needs of the Indian market and contribute to the country's transition to clean and sustainable energy sources. The growth of domestic manufacturing has created job opportunities in the energy storage sector, benefiting the local workforce and contributing to economic development.
Domestic manufacturing has also given us control of customization to suit local needs and conditions. As India aims to increase its renewable energy capacity, having a robust domestic manufacturing base for energy storage systems is crucial.
Que: What products would be launched by Sungrow for the Indian market at REI Expo 2023?
Ans: REI Expo has consistently stood as a premier platform in India and Sungrow is ready to unveil our latest innovative products to the Indian market. Specifically, we are excited to announce the launch of our new residential on-grid and hybrid solutions. We eagerly anticipate the opportunity to showcase our pioneering products at REI Expo 2023 and have in-depth discussions with industry experts. We are confident that Sungrow's commitment to providing clean energy solutions will continue to play a pivotal role in driving the widespread adoption of renewable energy technologies across India.
Que: How important is R&D for solar inverter manufacturing? What have you been doing to foster R&D at Sungrow?
Ans: Founded in 1997 under the visionary leadership of University Professor Cao Renxian, Sungrow has firmly established itself as a global leader in the field of solar inverters. Our journey has been characterized by our commitment to research and development and we proudly boast the industry's largest dedicated R&D team. Our extensive product portfolio includes PV inverter solutions and energy storage systems, catering to utility-scale, commercial & industrial, and residential applications. Additionally, we are renowned worldwide for our innovative floating PV plant solutions and many other clean energy solutions.
With a remarkable 25-year track record in the PV industry, Sungrow's products currently power installations in over 150 countries. Our relentless pursuit of innovation is epitomized by our dynamic technical R&D team, comprising over 2600 talented professionals. Furthermore, our commitment to quality and reliability is reflected in our state-of-the-art in-house testing center, which holds approvals from renowned certifying bodies such as SGS, CSA, and TÜV Rheinland.
Que: Kindly shed some light on the current market presence and expansion plans of Sungrow.
Ans: Sungrow has been actively participating in India's growing solar energy sector, which aligns with the country's ambitious renewable energy goals. The global solar energy sector experienced remarkable growth in 2022, with over 268 GW of installations, confirming the cost-effectiveness and environmental benefits of solar power. Projections for 2023 indicated continued growth, with the global market expected to surpass 315 GW, and in India, the figure is expected to cross 15 GW. Sungrow is ready and able to offer the latest technology for the PV industry with a wide attractive portfolio both for the utility scale as well as the C&I and Residential business. It's important to note that Sungrow in the renewable energy industry is constantly evolving and adapting to meet changing global standards and market demands.
Que: Sungrow recently received the European standard EN 50549-10 certification. What steps does the company take to meet global standards and ensure quality products for the international market?
Ans: To meet global standards, companies like Sungrow actively monitor and adhere to industry-specific regulations and certifications, such as International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) standards, and regional certifications like EN standards in Europe. Sungrow recently received the European standard EN 50549-10 certification issued by TÜV Rheinland. It marks the energy storage industry's first European grid connection compatibility certification for MW-grade high-power energy storage systems (ESS).
This certification attests to the exceptional adaptability and reliability of Sungrow's ESS reinforcing the Company's leading position in the grid-connection technology field. The success of Sungrow’s products is further proven by the fact that Sungrow maintained its status as the most bankable inverter brand for four consecutive years in the BloombergNEF (BNEF) PV Module and Inverter Bankability Survey. Sungrow became the only inverter supplier ranked ‘100 percent bankable’ this year.
Que: Sungrow is known for augmenting its products in tandem with the technology advancements. Please highlight new technologies that have been adopted by the company.
Ans: Sungrow is indeed known for incorporating new technologies into its products to stay at the forefront of the solar inverter and energy storage industry. The most innovative inverter was launched last year with the name ‘1+X modular inverter’ and is widely accepted to date as it combines the best efficiencies of string and central inverters and thus optimises OPEX best compared to all inverters in the range of up to 8.8 MW. In the future, Sungrow will adhere to its mission of ‘Clean power for all’, accelerate the development of clean energy power generation system integration based on the new energy equipment business, innovate and expand new business in the field of clean power conversion technology, keep in close contact with the customers, actively participate in global competition, and strive to build itself into a respectable world-class company.
Que: According to you, what role does technology in revolutionizing the energy storage sector? What kind of market trends do you expect in the coming years?
Ans: : Technology plays a significant role in revolutionizing the energy storage sector. Advanced battery technologies, such as LFP, are gaining prominence in India's energy storage sector. These technologies offered higher energy density, longer cycle life and faster response times making them suitable for various applications which include grid stabilisation and renewable energy integration. Energy storage technologies play a vital role in mitigating the unpredictability of renewable energy sources like solar and wind. Battery storage systems are capable of storing excess energy when generation is high and releasing it when demand is at peak.
The energy storage market in India is expected to experience fast growth but it depends on government initiatives and the need for grid stability. With advancements in technology and economies of scale, the cost of energy storage systems, especially batteries are expected to decrease continuously, which will make these solutions more accessible and cost-effective. Energy storage systems are expected to provide grid ancillary services such as frequency regulation, voltage support, and fast response to grid events, enhancing grid reliability. The increase in electric vehicles (EVs) sales in India is likely to push the demand for energy storage.
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