Intersolar India 2012 – A roundup

Intersolar India, one of India’s most top global events on the solar industry, was held from 5th November to 8th November 2012 in Mumbai. The conference was held at the Leela Hotel whereas the Exhibition took place at the Bombay Exhibition Centre, Goregaon. The conference, spread over 4 days, brought together various stakeholders ranging from the policy makers at central and state level, regulators, project developers, financial institutions, EPCs, PV manufacturers, consultants among others.
Of the 4 days, the first day had the Inaugural session in the morning followed by 2 parallel tracks post lunch(one each on Solar PV and Solar Thermal). On the second day, there were 3 parallel tracks – the first on grid-connected utility scale PV projects, the second on off-grid PV and the third on PV manufacturing and Solar Thermal. The last 2 days of conference were held at the Bombay Exhibition Centre and had only one track each on both the days. The last two days covered topics like Training and Education, Balance of Systems(BOS) and energy storage, and a CEO PV Panel discussion.
The inaugural session had an impressive array of speakers like Dr. Winfried Hoffman, President of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association, Mr. Sunil Gupta, Head of Technology & Clean Tech at Standard Chartered Bank, Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Chairman of Solar Energy Corporation of India(SECI) and Mr. Tarun Kapoor, Joint Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy(MNRE).
Dr. Hoffman highlighted some of the global trends in the PV industry and narrated how solar PV is now an integral part of the energy mix in Europe. He also explained how PV is reducing the daily peak loads in Germany and as a result, the reduction in power prices during the peak load periods. Dr. Hoffman said that the PV market is now shifting away from Europe to the sun-belt countries like India, parts of USA and China.
Mr. Sunil Gupta spoke about the Global trends in the PV sector upto 2015 and the implications for India. According to him, the current global excess production capacity and the resultant consolidation will have implications on the bankability of projects as well as on the price trends of solar PV systems. Since the topics he addressed are very important, I have written a fairly long summary which can be found here.Dr. Anil Kakodkar stressed upon the need for the industry, academia and research institutions to come together to create products that address some of the unique challenges facing the country. Mr. Tarun Kapoor spoke next and he presented the status of the JNNSM so far and also the focus areas for the Phase 2 of the mission(More details available here).
Apart from the inaugural session, I could not attend many other sessions. I was part of a panel on off-grid PV and my presentation is available for download here.
Though the number of exhibitors were less than last year due to the tough market conditions, the exhibition also saw some very good footfall. Many of the exhibitors I spoke to said that they were impressed by the visitors who came to their booth since they were very well informed about solar and could be prospective customers.
This year, the organizers introduced the Intersolar awards in India. The details of the award winners can be found in the video below. The jury for the award were Professor Chetan Singh Solanki, Indian Institute of Technolgy(IIT) Mumbai, Mr. Oliver Herzog, Director, Bridge to India and Yours truly.

Intersolar TV has a couple of videos with some of the highlights of the conference and exhibition.