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New business model to power solar sector: ABB’s Maxine Ghavi

According to reports, India’s ambitious target to scale up solar power generation capacity to 20,000 MW by 2022 from around 2,100 MW now looks achievable if the country reduces policy uncertainties to induce confidence into inventors, Maxine Ghavi, ABB’s head of solar business, told ET in an exclusive interview.

Earlier this year, ABB’s global rivals Siemens and Bosch decided to shut down their solar business as losses mounted. But for ABB, solar business continues to be a part of its strategy to expand its renewable energy portfolio and India plays a key role in that plan. “India is a key market for us. We have a fully-dedicated team, a manufacturing capacity and a solid services set up in India. We want to leverage on the infrastructure that we already have in India,” said Ghavi.

 “The solar market is in the state of transformation in India. We will see changes in the industry and gradually a new business model would develop that would help India build solar power base,” she said.

Ghavi said that India will have to give a thrust to renewable energy, solar in particular, as it would help the country reduce the power deficit, reduce dependence on fossil fuels and have a well-balanced energy basket. ABB has faced rough winds at home market as well as in India as its traditional businesses have been hurt due to economic slowdown.

In India, with the slowdown in industrial capital expenditure and fossil fuel-based power projects hitting a roadblock, the company has been struggling to protect its profits and keep the order book ticking. However, ABB India’s revenue from the sale of solar equipment, although a fledgling business with a low sales base, witnessed an increase of over 200% to Rs 500 crore.

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