New Delhi conference to feature an array of solar energy experts

Organized by Solarplaza, a preeminent global solar energy (PV) think-tank, and with support from ISA and SESI from India, a two-day conference is slated for Jan. 24-25 at The Grand New Delhi. The conference will feature some of the leading financial, PV industry and government experts from India and abroad on the subject, including Debashish Majumdar – the Chairman and Managing Director of the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), Mario Zen – Vice President of LDK Solar, the world’s largest vertically integrated manufacturer and Jigar Shah, visionary solar expert and founder of SunEdison and now CEO of the Carbon War Room.

When India, in 2010, made public the National Solar Mission – a directive aimed at increasing to 20,000 Megawatts its solar installation by 2022 – purveyors, educators and advocates of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy immediately took note. The brisk growth of India’s population and economy and a landscape conducive to PV implementation all bodes well for a future of clean technology and blossoming PV business opportunity. But the country, hampered by permanent electricity shortages and unique energy needs, faces challenges regarding the feasibility and timeline of its large-scale solar agenda; challenges that will be addressed at the upcoming solar conference, The Solar Future: India.

Other key-note speakers at the event are Barclays Capital’s Vishal Shah, a solar supply chain expert who will discuss potential cost reductions in the solar industry. Invictus CEO Jan Van der Henst will explain more about the world’s largest solar PV roof of 40 MegaWatt in Belgium.

“As it is our mission to empower the future of the photovoltaic solar energy industry, we are certainly pleased to present this truly important conference to the world and we have done our due diligence in assembling a wide array of experts and authorities who can speak to the future of PV in India,” said Solarplaza CEO, Edwin Koot. “Our work at Solarplaza entails providing a platform of knowledge, and with guest speakers the likes of visionary Indian urban planner Ashok Bhalotra (Fews for More) and (Astonfield’s President and Head of India Operations) Ravi Raina – just a few of our esteemed panel members – we know we have done that; so we can thoroughly discuss the potential of solar PV power in India.”

Other experts scheduled to speak at the event include Shri S.K. Shakula, the Head Solar and Director of the Chhattisgarh State Renewable Energy Development Agency (CREDA), AES Solar Energy Managing Director Srinivas Nagabhirava, KfW Bank Project Manager Ramana Reddy, M.M. Vijayvargiya – the Technical Director of Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation (RREC), V.H. Buch — Director of the Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA), Orb Energy CEO Damian Miller, Photon Energy CEO Gautham Nalamada and Pashupathy Gopalan, the Head of Indian Operations for SunEdison and MEMC.

Day one of the conference will focus on policies, incentives, experiences, market and opportunities in India and topics such as regional support, legal issues and residential PV systems will be broached, as well. Day one will also include a plenary discussion regarding PV power plant development in India. On day two of the event the speakers will focus their attentions on the cohesion of industrial opportunity with big solar PV power plants and the reality of cheap energy alternatives. Also covered on day two will be topics such as the ‘10 cent per kilowatt hour challenge’ and the financing of large scale PV power plants. A plenary discussion regarding India’s possible future as a new Solar Super Power will ensue.

The variety of event speakers and their combined wealth of knowledge on the subject will, hopes Solarplaza’s Koot, produce a great range of thoughts and articulations. But one theme that seems to hold true, no matter who is at the podium, is the enthusiasm that frames the discussion of solar PV energy in India.

“You will see the emergence of both small- and large-scale plants in India,” noted event speaker, Gopalan — Head of Indian Operations for MEMC and SunEdison. “It’s not either-or. I think the government is smart enough to realize that we better utilize both strategies. I think as the cost comes down the government will support larger and larger power plants. At the same time, they realize that solar makes a lot of sense because PV by nature is very scalable and can exist in smaller sizes, which is quite powerful.” is the independent global platform for knowledge, trade and events for the photovoltaic solar energy (PV) industry. The company is based in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Till date, Solarplaza organized more than 25 international conferences and trade missions, including in Greece, California, Taiwan, India, China, Italy, UK, Germany and Spain.