Renewables' share in ABB's order books jumps from 2% to 15%

Solar energy powering rural growth
Growing emphasis on renewable energy has augured well for power equipment major ABB which has renewables contribution to ABB's order book rise from two per cent in 2014 to 15 per cent in 2015.

What's more, according to Sanjeev Sharma, CEO & Managing Director, ABB India, as on date, roughly 50 per cent of all solar energy generated in India passes through ABB equipment and 45 per cent through ABB inverters. ABB's solar offering includes inverters, low-voltage products, monitoring and control systems, grid connection, stabilisation and integration products, SCADA, relays, transformers as well as complete electrical balance of plant solutions.

"ABB's play spans the complete renewable chain of a host of product and system requirements to make renewable energy usable and reliable. There are also a wide range of support and maintenance services, including remote operations and diagnostics, which ensure solar installations deliver optimal performance. From power plants (balance of plant), integration of solar in the grid, to rooftop commercial and residential building applications, remote location applications for microgrids - each of the areas outlined provide a huge opportunity in terms of local manufacturing and supply. Renewables contribution to order book has increased from two per cent in 2014 to 15 per cent in 2015," Sharma told Business Standard.

Further, the company will be installing a fully integrated and standardized solar based microgrid at its Vadodara facility in Gujarat, India to help boost renewable energy generation while reducing dependency on fossil fuel. Microgrids are considered a viable and cost-efficient solution to not only improve access to electricity, but also to address other pressing issues related to energy supply, including growing demand, climate change, energy security and reliability for both industries and villages.

The microgrid, with a rooftop photo voltaic field at the company's biggest manufacturing location in India with around 3,000 employees, will help ensure uninterrupted power supply.

ABB has three manufacturing locations in Gujarat, the biggest of which is in Vadodara, followed by Savli and Halol. At its Vadodara facility, ABB manufactures products ranging across its four divisions of power grids, discrete automation and motion, process automation, electrification products, transformers, high voltage products, distribution relays, medium voltage gas-insulated switchgear, motors, generators and turbochargers along with power consulting services .

In recent times, ABB India has also seen a rise in contribution from small and medium suppliers. Out of more than 7,000 suppliers, 15 per cent are from SME "About 15 per cent of them contribute to approximately 30 per cent of our external spend," said Sharma.

On the export front, ABB India caters to around 100 countries. "ABB has multiple global feeder factories based in India, which manufacture these products only from India for across the world. Despite the slowdown, there is a need for products and solutions pertaining to grid development, power infrastructure, clean energy in markets in the sub-continent and the AMEA region. ABB has been enhancing business-led collaboration across countries and businesses to offer best value to customers across geographies," Sharma added.

Exports have witnessed 21 per cent compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over the last 4 years, contributing to 14-15 of ABB's orders and 16-17 per cent in revenue in the second quarter of this year.

Meanwhile, ABB's revenue in 2015 stood at $1.3 billion (roughly Rs 8,800 crore). ABB has 40 factories across 12 manufacturing locations across the country.