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Solar Threat to Suzlon

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Suzlon finally seems to be on the road to recovery, however Solar becomes a huge threat

Suzlon which is one of the biggest wind turbine suppliers in the world, has been facing a difficult issue since 2008 with aggressive acquisitions landing it into a huge debt trap. It was only a massive equity and cash infusion by one of India’s richest billionaires – Dilip Sanghvi, which finally allowed Suzlon to get enough to run its operations in a viable manner. The company has already stated that it will get out of debt restructuring next year, as it recaptures market share in the Indian market.

Wind Energy

Read more about Top Wind Companies in India.

Suzlon’s woes had allowed both domestic and foreign manufacturers to capture Suzlon’s market share in India, which is the world’s 4th largest wind turbine market. Inox Wind has come from nowhere to become the 2nd largest domestic player, with more than 800 MW of WTG sales accounting for more than 20% of India’s market. However with Suzlon seen to be rising, Inox Wind’s stock has taken a battering falling 50% from its peak, even as the general stock market has been rising strongly.

Inox Wind has faced issues with both a falling order book and a rise in receivables. Suzlon on the other hand is showing a strong operational improvement. It has managed to get out of the mess that it had got into by selling off Senvion and other expensive European acquisitions. The company is also expanding into solar energy, using its strong project execution expertise. Suzlon has promised recovery a number of times, without failing to act on its promise. However this time the recovery is on a solid ground. Against Inox Wind’s orders of 826 MW, Suzlon obtained orders totaling 1,249 MW in 2015-16.

India Wind Energy Targets

Suzlon expects the Indian wind energy market to grow steeply to 4.3 GW in FY17, up from 3.3 GW in FY16 and expects to capture 40% of the market, which implies around 1.7 GW in FY17. This will allow the company to start generating cash from operations, as its fixed costs get spread over a bigger revenue stream.

India’s Wind Industry will be adversely affected by falling solar prices

Threat of solar power is however a dampener because solar energy prices are falling steeply and have already gone below wind power in a number of cases. This makes it harder for wind energy in India to grow its annual capacity addition levels. This will mean that the market for Suzlon will be limited in India and it will have to act aggressively in the solar energy space. However solar energy is a much harder market, with much higher competition that the wind energy space. This means that the upside for Suzlon will be limited, unless it enters into new businesses or aggressively expands into solar energy.


In a blog post in April, the founder of India’s leading wind turbine maker had termed 2015-16 as a “historic year” for the Indian renewable industry. Wind energy surpassed all its previous records with about 3,300 MW installation, a growth of 43 per cent. The previous highest installation was around 3,196 MW in 2011.

“India’s wind energy sector witnessed unprecedented acceleration last year, propelled by technology and conducive policy environment for renewables, by central and state governments. The growth was way higher than the industry estimates of 30-40 per cent,” he had said.



Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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