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Has large-scale solar got its sums right?

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Panel prices are rising as project costs are tumbling – but is the drive for lower tariffs doing more harm than good?


Discussion participants

Rainer Gegenwart , Phanes Group, CTO
Vikas Bansal, Sterling & Wilson, Head of International Business Development, Solar EPC


Ian Clover, pv magazine Managing editor

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Introduction of Ian Clover
Presentation of Vikas Bansal
Presentation of Rainer Gegenwart

Panel prices are rising as project costs are tumbling – but is the drive for lower tariffs doing more harm than good?

The march for low-cost solar shows no sign of halting, with developers and IPPs increasingly quoting aggressively low prices, particularly across growing solar regions such as India, Latin America and MENA.

With module prices found to be rising, and record-low PPAs squeezing profitability, is the solar industry getting its sums right? Under this tough new financial climate, is there a mismatch between what solar developers and financiers want, and what diligent EPCs can realistically deliver?

This webinar, co-hosted by Indian-headquartered EPC Sterling & Wilson, attempts to address these questions, examining whether there is a widespread misunderstanding between the various stakeholders about the true viable cost of solar plant development.


Joining pv magazine and Sterling & Wilson on the discussion will be representatives from the finance, developer and supplier world (companies TBC), each sharing their experiences, thoughts and suggestions on how to maintain quality, profitability and reliability in the grip of such financial squeeze.

Points that will be discussed during the webinar:

  • Why are some regions at the forefront of record-low solar PPAs?
  • Are investors fully aware of the true, viable cost of large-scale solar plants, from development through to O&M?
  • What impact does module pricing have on development costs?
  • How can EPCs better manage expectations of cost vs. profit?
  • How best can standards be maintained during the price squeeze?

As Chief Technology Officer at Phanes Group, Dr. Rainer Gegenwart leads a multi-disciplinary, international team and oversees projects from origination through the realization and execution phases. He is responsible for the development and realization of a diverse pipeline of utility scale ground-mounted and rooftop PV projects with focus on the sub-Saharan and MENA regions. Rainer also leads the project and technical team to develop off-grid and hybrid solar energy solutions such as solar powered mini-grids for rural communities. Other projects include utility-scale systems in the Caribbean, commercial rooftops in the MENA region as well as residential applications for UK housing associations.

Vikas Bansal is a seasoned professional with an expertise in growing businesses in international energy landscape. He has an experience in power sector, majorly renewable energy. Business Growth Strategy, Business Development, Acquisition, JV/Consortium formations, Project Due Diligence, Contract negotiation and financial analysis are his forte. Under Vikas's leadership, Sterling and Wilson (SW) offers Solar EPC Solutions in more than 30 countries across the globe including Latin America and USA. SW is now implementing around 1.8 GW of solar projects worldwide. Vikas is B.Tech Electronics and holds MBA degree in Business Strategy and International Business.

Questions can be submitted beforehand or during the webinar through a chat window. We look forward to your participation!

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