Indian government, solar industry interact on MNRE’s solar PV program


NEW DELHI, INDIA: The India semiconductor Association (ISA), along with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India and IREDA, kicked off a one-day conference on the promotion of the solar photovoltaics programs of the Government of India.
PS: The partnership between the MNRE and the ISA is very stroing. This workshop first in a series of workshops across the country. We hope you get the value add. Look forward to your feedback, so we can improve on our future programs.
Naidu: Good to be part of a new revolution taking place in India. We’ve seen the success of the IT industry and the semicon design sector. MNRE organizing an industry interaction is a step in the right direction.
Installed cap is more than 400-500MW capacity, but about 90 percent of that is exported. We have all the faetures of being a successful solar country. Germany — 4 percent of its overall capacity has been happening out of solar. Lot of emphasis also happening in the USA and Chima.
Government of India has set an ambitious target of reaching 20GW by 2020. A lot of things need to be done in the country, and by the Indian solar PV industry. We are also looking at an equal amount of participation from academia, so we can look at ways to reduce costs and improve efficiency of solar PV. ISA created the roadmap for FabCity in Hyderabad. We are also organizing a solar conference in Hyderabad. Solar is also a prominent area, where ISA has been working.
Bisht: Solar PV is going to play a big role in assuring green tech in the country. 14th Nov date set for Solar Mission Program. MNRE’s focus has been at decentralized programs, Today, we’ve 75MW of systems across the country. We’ve significant targets for SPV systems. Ministry has now tried to make new schemes. We will present those, and listen to your views. We’ll compile all that and revert to you, so we can march together.
Majumdar: The reason why we are here is clear — what exists on MNRE website — potential for renewable energy. The potential for solar is massive! When solar PV started about 15 years ago, we had small mfrs starting in garages, and have now grown to become very large.
It gives us a lot of hope that things can be done here as well. Any new tech, to begin with, expensive. Therefore, it is the prerogative of the rich to adopt it. We all hope, we’ll have volumes and technologies that can be replicated here.
We look at solar from two aspects — offgrid and ongrid. We’d like to see what kind of demand can we convert in the offgrid applications. In the subsequent session, we’ll see the steps the ministry has taken. The policy made, has been made in the best interests of the industry. We would like to get your feedback and see how best to get the market going.
Gauri Singh — Purpose is to give a loud and clear message to ind that we’d like to wrok with you as partners. A large portion of the solar mission target will come from grid connected solar power. But the offgrid opportunity is also huge.
We’ve tried to open up our policy slightly — and take the whole proces forward by taking inputs from you — and open the policy up for suggestions. One part of the thing — we already have large manufacturers who can give us modules. The other part — is our policy encouraging innovation.
Now the time is ripe where we can do only broad tech specs, etc. but leave the innovation and config of offgrid solns to the industry, and make it an enabling flavor.
We are also working to see if we can get IREDA into a refinance operation with banks. We do have scheme in place, where if anyone wants to wrok with a bank – where a lot of incentives are also available to the banks. We’d like to see incentives given to mfrs. We also need to put out a third party monitoring system.
India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) had recently announced a unified solar photovoltaic (SPV) program to promote the use of decentralised SPV systems for various applications in rural/ urban areas and SPV roof top systems for diesel saving in urban areas.

Poornima Shenoy of ISA welcoming delegates. On the dias (L-R): Dr. Dr B.M.S. Bist, Ms Gauri Singh, B.V. Naidu, Debashish Majumdar and Rajiv Jain

Poornima Shenoy of ISA welcoming delegates. On the dias (L-R): Dr. B.M.S. Bist, Ms Gauri Singh, B.V. Naidu, Debashish Majumdar and Rajiv Jain

To promote this program, the MNRE organized a one-day seminar today, in New Delhi, along with the India Semiconductor Association (ISA),  and the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd (IREDA),  to share the modalities for the implementation of the program with the concerned stakeholders such as manufacturers  of solar PV modules and equipment, system integrators, service providers, consultants, banks and financial institutions, and reputed NGOs. A government-industry interaction on the MNRE’s program was also intiated during the event.

Huge opportunity in off-grid applications
Ms Gauri Singh, IAS, joint secretary, MNRE said that the purpose of this interaction between the government and the industry is to give a loud and clear message to Indian solar photovoltaics industry that “we would like to work with you as partners.”

She added: “A large portion of the solar mission target will come from grid connected solar power. However, the off-grid opportunity is also huge. We have tried to open up our policy slightly — and take the whole process forward by taking inputs from you — and open up the policy for suggestions. One part of the scenario is — we already have large manufacturers who can provide us solar modules. The other part — is our policy encouraging innovation.

“Now, the time is ripe where we can do only the broad technical specifications, etc., but leave the innovation and configuration of the off-grid solutions to the industry, and make it an enabling flavor.” She also called for a need to put out a third party monitoring system.

She further added that the MNRE was also working to see whether it could get the IREDA into a refinance operation with banks.

There are schemes in place, where if anyone wants to work with a bank, a lot of incentives are available to the banks. Now, the ministry would like to see incentives being given to the manufacturers.

Industry-government interaction step in right direction
Earlier, welcoming the delegates, Poornima Shenoy, president, ISA, stressed on the very strong partnership between the MNRE and the ISA. She added that this workshop was a first in a series of such workshops that will be held across the country. She requested the delegates to add as much value as possible to this edition, adding, “We look forward to your feedback, so that we can improve on our future programs.”

B.V. Naidu, chairman, ISA said that it was good to be part of a new revolution taking place in India. He added: “We have seen the success of the Indian IT industry and the Indian semiconductor design sector. That the MNRE is organizing an industry interaction on solar photovoltaics is a step in the right direction.” Naidu noted that India has all the features required for becoming a successful solar country.

Incidentally, the current installed capacity of solar PV  is said to be over 400-500MW, but about 90 percent of that capacity is exported. As a case, in Germany, 4 percent of the overall power generation capacity has been generated out of solar. A lot of emphasis on solar PV also been happening in the USA and Chima.

Naidu added: “The Government of India has set an ambitious target of reaching 20GW by 2020. A lot of things need to be done in the country, and by the Indian solar PV industry. We are also looking at an equal amount of participation from the academia, so that we can look at ways of reducing costs and improving the efficiency of solar PV.

The ISA has already created the roadmap for the FabCity in Hyderabad. It is also organizing a solar conference in Hyderabad this November.

Solar to assure green technology in India
Dr B.M.S. Bist, Advisor, MNRE, said that solar PV is going to play a big role in assuring green technology in the country. A date of Nov. 14 has been set for Solar Mission Program, as already mentioned.

The MNRE’s focus has been at decentralized programs. Today, there are said to be 75MW of systems across the country. Dr. Bist added that significant targets have been set for the SPV systems. The ministry has now tried to make new schemes. These will be presented to the delegates and their views welcomed. Those views will be compiled and the ministry will revert to the industry, so both of them can march together.

A view of the government-industry interaction. (L-R): D. Majumdar, Dr. Dr B.M.S. Bist, Dr. A. Raza, BV Rao and AK Varshney

A view of the government-industry interaction. (L-R): D. Majumdar, Dr. B.M.S. Bist, Dr. A. Raza, B.V. Rao and AK Varshney.

Massive potential for solar PV in India
Addressing the delegates, Debashish Majumdar, chairman and managing director, IREDA, said the reason for the gathering today was very clear – what exists on the MNRE website is potential for renewable energy. However, it does not really highlight the  potential for solar PV, which is massive!

He added: “When solar PV started about 15 years ago in India, we had small manufacturers starting in garages, etc., and who have now grown to become very large companies. It gives us a lot of hope that things can be done very well here as well. Any new technology, to begin with, is expensive. Therefore, it is the prerogative of the rich to adopt it. We all hope that we will have the volumes and the technologies that can be replicated in India.

“We look at solar from two aspects — off-grid and on-grid. We would like to see what kind of demand can we convert in the off-grid applications. In the subsequent session, we will see the steps that the ministry has taken. The policy has been made keeping the best interests of the industry. We would like to get your feedback and see how best to get the market going.”

This is indeed, an honest attempt on part of the MNRE to work closely with the industry. Hopefully, everything will go well, following this interaction as it will sow the right seeds toward reaping a full harvest — in shape of achieving the very ambitious target of the government of India’s national solar mission plan!

There were presentations on the following topics as well:

* Details of the solar PV off-grid program (rooftop systems) — Dr. AK Varshney, MNRE
* Details of the solar PV off-grid program (other applications) — Dr. A. Raza, MNRE
* Financing of IREDA schemes for solar — BV Rao, IREDA

These presentations were followed by a marathon discussion between the MNRE and IREDA officials on behalf of the government of India and the members of the Indian solar photovoltaics industry.

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  1. ruchi bhambri
    November 14, 2009 at 8:47 am | #1

    This is very inspiring . looking forward to see more clearly how this solar mission takes shape. would be very keen to know more

  2. Narendra Bhardwaj
    May 30, 2012 at 9:25 am | #2

    Always certain to get success, I wish and approach to all entrepreneurship in solar sector for success of this mission.

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