In keeping with India’s solar targets and the vision of ‘Make in India’, the country should take up full value chain of solar manufacturing from polysilicon to modules, according to the recommendations of a policy paper released by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi on August 14, 2019.
The paper, titled ‘Solar PV Manufacturing in India: Silicon Ingot & Wafer – PV Cell – PV Module’ suggested that this be taken up in a phased manner. In the first phase, about 15-GW capacity could be targeted over two to three years for manufacturing of cells and modules with full value-addition and with an overlapping backward integration plan.
Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director General, TERI, said the challenge is to match demand and indigenous manufacturing capacity with international capacity. “It is possible to have indigenous solar manufacturing facility that delivers on the three points of reliable energy access, cost of supply, and local manufacturing that can meet demand,” he said.
The policy paper’s main recommendations are that the government consider prioritising PV manufacturing as a strategic industry and local capacity of 15 GW of ‘full value chain Silicon Ingot to solar modules’ should be operational at competitive prices by 2024. For this it suggests initiating a Phased Manufacturing Programme.
Stressing that India should make every effort to develop indigenous manufacturing, Mr. Ajay Shankar, Distinguished Fellow, TERI, said, “The government should invite bids for manufacturing of solar panels with full value addition in India, along with ensured sales for four years. It should also provide land, power supply and environmental clearance and develop solar manufacturing plants along the lines of SEZ.”
According to Mr. Shekhar Dutt, Director General, Solar Power Developers Association, India should develop manufacturing capacity not just for the domestic market, as this will lead to enormous employment generating in India.
“The rationale to go for manufacturing is self-reliance with an aim to sustain our own national solar programme without any hiccups due international issues,” said Dr. Ashvini Kumar, Senior Director, Renewable Energy, TERI.
“Further steps of inviting a group of financial experts to assess the costs and incentives (for solar manufacturing) need to be carried out,” Dr. Mathur added.
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