According to this report, German solar technology firms came up empty-handed in India this year, raising questions about their competitiveness, a top industry expert said Thursday.
Solar industry expert Wolfgang Hummel of the Berlin Technology and Industry University presented a study which showed that German firms failed to win a single one of the 37 solar projects put up for tender by the Indian government this year.
‘This result poses questions about the competitiveness of German companies,’ Hummel said, asserting that many firms were not fit enough to compete on the world market.
He said this is a crucial issue because in the future the German solar market – till now the world’s largest thanks to the Renewable Energy Law (EEG) which promotes the solar sector – is going to start losing in importance, according to industry projections.
German manufacturers did not have the right offering and had concentrated too strongly on the domestic market, Hummel argued.
….Many were won by domestic Indian firms thanks to the unique local bid tender specifications. But Chinese firms, such as Suntech, also won a number of contracts.
The expert compared the Indian solar sector to that of the German machinery industry: ‘The Indians want practical solutions at a favourable cost and not sophisticated expensive high-tech products.’
Panchabuta broadly agrees with the observations made by Solar industry expert Wolfgang Hummel of the Berlin Technology above. However a few points to observe include -the domestic content requirement in the Solar PV bids under the National Solar Mission- except for thin film which does not have that requirement.
Also, a number of these companies he has talked about have focused more on attending Solar exhibitions and conferences organized by international European organizations where these organizations present their capability and speak about their project experiences in Europe to select audience of big companies. This has helped these manufacturers show case their technology in a large platform in India and helped spread the much needed awareness. However nothing much has happened beyond that and hence the lack of results.
The often heard request by Panchabuta from the smaller and mid-size Indian developers who have won these several of these projects is the lack of a medium for discussion and actual conferences on actual project requirements etc. A similar opinion has also been expressed by local technical consultants who are often not involved in this ecosystem.
It is probably this gap that German and other serious solar firms should insist their event organizers help arrange. Panchabuta would be happy to work with the ecosystem to help fill these visible gaps and would encourage organizations to contact us with their specific requirements for additional information or assistance.