During the recent visit of French president Emmanuel Marcon to India, facilitating further co-operation between the two countries in the sphere of renewable energy was a key agenda with private sector stakeholders participating enthusiastically. It was quite evident in new collaborative agreements signed between Indian and French firms. Among a spate of officially announced new MoUs, from the solar energy side the proposed collaboration between Vikram Solar, a leading domestic firm in the solar space with an all round portfolio comprising module manufacturing and EPC solutions, and French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) was quite notable for its intent. CEA is a major European technological research agency focusing on four major verticals: defence and security, nuclear and renewable energy, technological research for industry and fundamental research. The agreement was signed by Gyanesh Chaudhary, Vikram Solar’s MD & CEO and Daniel Verwaerde, Chairman of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), in a function at Vigyan where French President was also present.
As per the agreement details, CEA will share their know-how and technologies in the field of solar energy, storage, smart grid and thermal efficiency while Vikram Solar will apply these technologies in large volume manufacturing with a wider objective of improving solar photovoltaic cells and modules to perform at record-efficiency in energy conversion and simultaneously developing battery solutions by increasing their energy storage capacity. Other advanced research and development areas of collaboration will include crystallization and wafering, mono and bi-facial modules, Agri-photovoltaics, Solar mobility etc. as well as exploring new competitive materials in order to reduce costs. “Our association with CEA will strengthen our focus on newer technology and in turn increase opportunity for both parties to work towards a more sustainable and efficient ecosystem, ” said Gyanesh Chaudhary, MD & CEO, Vikram Solar. Christophe Gégout, Deputy Chairman of the CEA, commented, “Our association with Vikram Solar comes at a time when the need for renewables is at an all-time high in India as well as globally.”
The CEA is particularly known for its research expertise on thermal and photovoltaic solar energy attuned to the demands of different industrial sectors. It also carries out research on the production of electricity using a thermodynamic process known as concentrating solar power technology. In the field of photovoltaics, the CEA’s research is focusing on improving the output and reducing the costs of photovoltaic modules, and also anticipating the problems of integration in the grid which will arise following a massive insertion of renewables in the energy mix