As ‘Solar’ takes flight worldwide, Indian Government clips wings of conventional ‘Power’

Solar Impulse-2, a solar-powered plane which is flying without any fuel, has already created a record by flying the longest ever distance for a solar powered plane going point-to-point. Over the next five months, it will skip from continent to continent, crossing both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The solar plane is an indication of upcoming solar boost throughout the globe.

India is not only eyeing its stake in the global solar market, but is also trying to emerge as an industry leader. The central government has already declared its ambitious plans for solar energy in India. The solar buzz created by Modi is attracting lots of foreign players. We talked to the Executive Director of Ornate Solar – Distributors in India for the World’s largest Solar Panel Manufacturers – Trina Solar to understand the possibilities and seriousness of involved machineries in this. Mr. Goel told us that he is very optimistic about the solar plans of India and he is satisfied with recent developments in the sector.  Re-Invest, organized between 15 -17 February 2015, was globally seen as a big milestone in renewable energy sector.  Just before the RE-INVEST Meet, FICCI also organized a Chinese and Indian Solar Energy Industry meet to explore partnerships between the companies of both the countries.

Not only that, even state governments are taking tough steps to keep this sector clean and booming. Acme Solar and Lanco Solar are leading names in the Indian Solar industry. These companies have done huge business in India and they are backed by political and business houses. Despite the fact that Lanco has been violating laws and guidelines in the past, it was allowed to run business. In fact in 2002, Lanco Solar Energy, a fully-owned subsidiary of Lanco Infratech Ltd, won the IESA Award for most innovative product 2012.

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On 26 February 2015, KREDL (Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd.) blacklisted some companies which included Acme Solar and Lanco Solar.

2015-03-10_16-12-04

Blacklisting of LANCO Solar and ACME Solar by the KREDL from participating in Solar tenders for a period 2 years is a sign of a renewed confidence of government officials to act ‘Without Fear or Favour’ in line with the increased emphasis on transparency and providing a level playing field for all industry participants – irrespective of their size.

Blacklisting also becomes a big thing because effectively they not only become ineligible to participate in Karnataka tenders, but a lot/ almost all other PSU/ State/ Central project tenders which have this clause mentioned in them:

  •  Any entity which has been barred by the Central/ any State Government, or any entity controlled by them, from participating in any project, and the bar subsists as on the date of Bid, would not be eligible to submit a Bid, either individually or as member of a Consortium.
  • A Bidder/ Consortium Member should, in the last three years, have neither failed to perform on any contract, as evidenced by imposition of a penalty by an arbitral or judicial authority or a judicial pronouncement or arbitration award against the Bidder, nor been expelled from any project or contract nor have had any contract terminated for breach by such Bidder/ Consortium Member.

The current Karnataka government is under the leadership of Congress. By taking serious action against defaulter companies, KREDL has not only raised the bar for other state organizations, but they have also added hope and confidence in machineries.

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