InterSolar 2010 in Mumbai

I attended the InterSolar exhibition in Mumbai on 15th December. Surprisingly, Intersolar was on a much smaller scale than expected; with most of the exhibitors being from Europe and China. From the Indian side, there were the usual big guns: Tata BP, Reliance, Lanco, IndoSolar complimented by SMEs such as Vikram Solar, Surana Ventures, Gensols and upcoming companies such as DFX Systems, and Photonix.

Finally managed to “put face to” numerous calls and emails shared with Mr.Tejwant, Director DFX Systems.  Wishing the company great success in their work.

Not to forget, this was Chemtrols first as an exhibitor with their foray into solar module manufacturing. I have been interacting with Anish (MD Chemtrols Solar) since the last few months and I wish him great luck in his new venture.

Krish, promoter of GloGreen was there as expected and very busy. We always touch base before an exhibition/conference and promise to take out time to discuss opportunities; but its difficult to get hold of him during the event. Hopefully I will manage to get his time soon to discuss at length.

One important point to notice is that now all Indian solar module manufacturing companies are promoting themselves as an integrated player with module manufacturing and EPC (with little or no experience/track record in the game). I wonder how many of them have secured MW orders from big investors in India (except Tata BP). Most of the production is currently being exported to Europe, the biggest market for solar.

With the European market expected to shrink by 15%-20% in 2011 and the Chinese companies expanding their production capacity, we may see a huge marketing push in the Indian market accompanied by import of thin-films and decrease in prices. (I will like to take this effect into account while working on financial forecasts of solar module manufacturers in India; whereas I know many are yet to accept this).

Discussion, over a nice hot soup (its getting cold in Mumbai), with Praveen, Director KK Nesar, revolved around how we have seen a decrease in number of Indian companies participating as exhibitors from Solarcon in 2009 to Pune Renewtech, Solarcon, DIREC and now the Intersolar (all in 2010). Reasons for this are pretty evident. Some other interesting topics discussed with Praveen were the sales & marketing strategy currently being deployed by Indian solar module manufacturers and the expected turnaround in solar module manufacturing with more PPAs being signed. Praveen, I think, has been able to feel the pulse of the Indian solar space due to his extensive research and passion for this field.

It was nice to again meet friends from Photonix, InSolare, Chemtrols, Gensol, Alfa Solar, Soleg, GloGreen and KK Nesar. Except this,  the exhibition was a slight disappointment for everyone (and yes the food counters did not help much either).

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