What to do to bring out the best of an industry association? Few questions and answers!
Wednesday, February 9, 2011 0 comments
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Recently, an association was formed in Gujarat, the pioneering state of solar energy in India aptly named, Solar Energy Association. The solar projects demands quick addressing multiple issues such as land acquisition, moving of utilities to the site, establishing grid network, PPA clauses, etc. The newly formed association was launched by Dr J.J. Irani, director, Tata Sons which is one of the front-leaders in solar energy space in India. There are currently 15 members and the association expected it to raise to 60 by end of the year. A good start in every respect.
The fact remains, how to make it a success? In past, we have witnessed that many associations were formed in varied industries e.g. semiconductors, heavy machinery, electricals, etc. Are they successful? Usually, the gap in what they expected in form of association objectives and what they got from government during budgets and regular policy changes is wide enough. The association would require a robust plan on what to achieve at what stage of industry development phase. Solar industry is very much in the nascent stage with only 3 MW implemented till-date of the expected 32 MW grid-connected solar power by end of the year.
Please find below few pointers which I think if implemented can extract more of the association goals. Some are radical, some can be implemented right away.
· Have 2 chairmen:
· One government official having a position in renewable cell
· One CEO of the top 5 companies competing in the sphere
· This would help to bring out upfront the consensus among the government and players on which policies can be implemented.
· The government often complains that the demands of the association are not justified.
· To mitigate this, have a dedicated research cell which develops best practices in each sphere e.g. tariffs, land acquisition regulation, project implementation.
· Best practice example: after giving substantial feed-in-tariffs to retail customers, Germany was able to introduce a subsidy cut. In the process, it became a leader in off-grid PV installations.
I am brainstorming for few more suggestions. Do you have something on your mind? Please share to make such associations a success!
Note: I am not related in any way to the Solar Energy Association. Please consider the above opinions as purely personal.