Charting the course of solar

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Charting the course of solar PV in India


Tuesday, November 11, 2014


 3.00pm Indian Standard Time
10.30am Central European Time
Check your own time zone here


ca. 1 hour


Free of charge


Dr. Arul Shanmugasundram (Speaker)
Dr. Tobias Engelmeier (Moderator)



Solar is unique in its limitless potential for power generation – from distributed to centralized generation, and residential KW to GW scale solar plants, the permutations are endless. To solarize our economy, it is important to find the right mix of pathways that will have both economic as well as social impact. In order to chart the way for solar PV in India, let us categorize it into four distinct scenarios of solar power generation- residential rooftops, large rooftops, utility scale projects and ultra-mega projects. This webinar would address each scenario in terms of speed of deployment, implementation challenges and potential for job creation. Each scenario would be analysed not only in terms of levelized cost of energy (LCOE) but also landed cost of power (LCOP). The economics of solar power should be evaluated at point of consumption than point of generation.

Gradually solar in India is moving out of its protected niche to become a mainstream, probably even central, solution to an energy power constraint country. This process has been accelerated by the new government in Delhi, which has put solar at the top of its agenda and is thinking about it in a different order of magnitude.


Dr. Arul Shanmugasundram

Executive VP (Projects) & CTO
Tata Power Solar


Dr. Tobias Engelmeier

Founder and Director


Dr. Arul Shanmugasundram
oversees the engineering, R&D and product development functions, driving Project sales and delivery functions at Tata Power Solar (TPS). With the Tata Group since August 2010, Arul headed the solar business at Tata International, where he launched a profitable Module Mounting System business and commercialised innovative foundation and structure designs. Under his leadership, Tata International Solar business has executed over 100 MW installations in 2012-13 after which he moved to TPS in 2013. Arul brings with him valuable experience in product development, sales, marketing and product support  with companies like Applied Materials. He was  a part of the team that commissioned the first 5.7 m2 large substrate 40MW thin film plant.

Dr. Tobias Engelmeier founded BRIDGE TO INDIA in 2007, as a strategic environmental consulting company, based in New Delhi. Since then, his focus has been on developing strategic business models for international companies looking to enter the Indian solar market. Tobias has had a very strong affinity for India for a long time and feels that this is a very interesting time to be in this country, where enormous challenges meet with talent, technology and capital. He is deeply concerned about the resource use of this rapidly growing economy and believes in finding India-specific models to cope with this. He is the lead partner for the Technical University of Munich in a long-term research project on “Adapting Renewable Energy Products to the Indian Market”. Tobias is also very interested in governance structures in India and their impact on market developments. He regularly liaises with the key political decision-makers. Tobias was awarded a doctorate in political science from the South Asia Institute of the University of Heidelberg, Germany for his thesis on the relationship between identity and strategy in Indian politics. Prior to his doctorate, he worked for a leading strategic management consultancy. During that time, he advised large European utilities on how to engage with the fast-rising market for renewable energies.

This webinar is open to discussions around:

- How do the implementation challenges of large capacities of GW scale, MW scale and kW scale solar compare?

- What is the policy support required for different categories of projects?

- What is the overall potential of different approaches and when are different saturation points reached?

- What is the trade-off between the cost reduction potential due to the scale effect of ultra-mega scale projects vs. the additional costs incurred for balancing power and spinning reserves as well as the transmission and distribution of power to the consumer?

- Do the existing solar policies encourage investments and an easy implementation process?

- Is the end consumer’s interest taken into consideration while designing the policies?

- What kind of support and mind-set is required by the policy makers to make this ambitious plan a reality?