Solar PV industry scenario in India!

October 5, 2009

It is well known that India already has the advantage of being a well established, low cost producer and assembler of solar PV cells and modules.

It is also very likely that grid connected power would emerge as the major segment in India over the next few years, according to B.V. Naidu, chairman, India Semiconductor Association. He was speaking at the recently held 3rd Global Demand Conference in Hamburg, Germany.

India currently has an installed manufacturing capacity of solar cells and modules of 400 MW and 700 MW, respectively, as per the ISA chairman.

Giving an overview of the industry during 2007-08, Naidu added that India produced:

* 110 MW of solar cells and 140 MW of modules.

* Solar PV industry turnover was over $1.0 billion.

* Ninety percent of the manufacturing capacity is currently exported.

* The current grid connected capacity is less than 2 MW.

Policy initiatives from the government

The government of India has announced several incentives for manufacturing.

Manufacturing: 20-25 percent of incentive for solar PV.

Incentives for grid connected applications:

* Generation based incentives (GBI): $0.30 per unit.

* Limited upto 50 MW from the government of India.

* State governments are independently announcing their incentive programs.

Incentives are also available for off-grid applications such as home lighting systems, street lighting systems and roof top systems. Next, there is an agenda to develop 60 cities as Solar Cities, aimed at reducing the energy consumption by 10 percent through energy lighting conservation and renewable energy.

Also, the National Solar Mission aims at achieving a target of 20 GW of solar power by the year 2020.

Market opportunities in India

All of these lead to the question: what are the kinds of market opportunities that exist in India?

According to Naidu of ISA, India is already well established as a low cost producer and assembler of solar PV cells and modules. Also, it is a large market for DDG (Decentralised Distributed Generation) applications.

Next, grid connected power would emerge the major segment, as India achieves grid parity. Also, the country boasts of a large pool of talented manpower, which can serve a good resource to develop applications suited to Indian market.

The benefits that will arise by the adoption of solar photovoltaics for India are immense. One, solar energy will help the country meet its energy security requirements, reduce dependence on exhaustible fossil fuel reserves and reduce the carbon footprint.

It will also help in providing remote/rural villages faster access to electricity. Finallly, it will create several thousands of jobs — both, direct and indirect — in manufacturing, applications and R&D.

ISA’s role

Highlighting the role of the India Semiconductor Association (ISA) in demand promotion, Naidu added that it acts as an umbrella industry association for the solar PV companies in India.

Also, the ISA enjoys a strong and credible working relationship with the key concerned ministries in the government of India, and advises it on policy initiatives for demand growth.

Further, the ISA has also made some bold recommendations on demand promotion in its comprehensive report on the sector carried out with government support, which have served as a useful reference for the government in policy formation. The ISA organises industry events and delegation visits as well.

Folks, this is probably just the time to enter the Indian solar/PV market!

  1. Pradeep Chakraborty
    October 5, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    This report was delivered at Hamburg, Germany, during the recent Solar conference — 24th EU PVSEC.

  2. Virat Damania
    October 12, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Great insight on Indian Solar/ PV market. Please keep me in the loop for more information on the same.

  3. Pradeep Chakraborty
    October 15, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Hi Virat, do try and come down for Solarcon 2009 — Hyderabad, Nov. 9-11, 2009. 🙂

  4. Kumar
    October 23, 2009 at 7:29 am

    Very good article on PV market. Is there any forum from where I can get latest news/developments on Indian PV market. I shall definitely make it to the Solarcon 2009.

  5. solarukweblog
    November 19, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Like the Indian government, the UK one is introducing a solar incentive or two. From April 2010, there will be a feed-in tariff — other countries already have this — which will mean a fixed, guaranteed income for small-scale microgenerators and the potential to sell surplus energy to the national grid. Companies such as SolarUK could see more uptake in photovoltaic enquiries.

    Economic factors play a part too in the solar energy world, and a solar hot water system such as the LaZer2 is looking more and more cost effective when compared to the rising cost of oil and gas and its impact on the size of consumers’ bills.

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