With India, all set to impose import restrictions from April 2022 the solar manufacturing in the country is set to get unprecedented push more than ever. Talking numbers only, India would see a need of nearly 20GW+ in beginning half of 2020-30 decade and 35GW+ in the later half on yoy basis. For a country like India wherein the manufacturing base currently stands at ~10.8 GW on yoy basis for modules1 it will not be an easy task to scale up the base. Having said so solar manufacturing will certainly attract heavy investments in near future from both domestic and global majors.
Since the advent of COVID19 the intent of becoming self-reliant in most of the manufacturing base in India has garnered momentum. Thus, is no different for solar manufacturing either as the country was heavily dependent upon imports to meet the demand which was northbound in past decade or so. Moreover, in India a level playing field in solar manufacturing did not exist and nor were adequate incentive mechanism to provide for necessary fillip to augment the solar manufacturing in the country.
Consequently, GoI bought in the PLI scheme to boost manufacturing with many other allied incentives and announced to develop three large bases to support manufacturing of entire spectrum of solar like modules, cells and wafers. To compliment the drive induced from GoI, many leading OEMs have already kicked off the plans to expand their manufacturing capacities. If we combine the leading OEMs only ~ 14GW of additional capacity in solar module manufacturing capacity is expected to come online by FY 2025-26. This would be driven further with BCD being levied from April 2022.
Solar manufacturing case when India witnesses an installed capacity of 100 GW by FY 22 depicted for Case 3 & Case 4
Companies from global hubs are eyeing India as their leading investment destination, especially the one’s from US and Europe to counter the Chinese presence from the global markets and be the part of the largest growth market in the world simultaneously. For instance, US silicon wafer manufacturer 1366 Technologies (Cubic PV) and First solar have planned big investments in India till 2025-26. Interestingly, firms like Cubic PV are scouting for local partner firms to gain the necessary momentum in order to support its initial plan of setting up of 2 GW of solar cell & wafer manufacturing capacity in India with an investments of nearly $3.5 Mn. This would be gradually expanded to 10 GW in due course with a massive investment of $ 1.1 billion. This drive of foreign companies & many other domestic majors shall get a decisive push to head north only as GoI has already announced a PLI scheme of ₹4,500 Crore which shall be scaled up to ₹ 24,000 crores in due course. Reliance Industries & Adani Energy are already eyeing the green hydrogen along with solar manufacturing. To support it’s larger objective Reliance industries are in advance level talks to acquire Europe’s largest solar panel manufacturer REC group from its China helmed company ChemChina. Apart from these companies the established players like Tata Power, Borosil Renewables (first & only solar glass manufacturer in India), Websol Energy & Waree Energy are planning huge investments to cater to rising domestic manufacturing in solar sector of India.
For India which is identified as a country designated for embellished solar installations the business interests of both domestic & foreign OEMs to envisage manufacturing bases under solar PV value chain is inevitable and looks very promising. However, when looked upon with the rationale to have a comprehensive indigenization across the PV value chain the first few connectors seem out of place which involves raw materials availability domestically in the country which essentially may pose significant threat to the planned module manufacturing capacities as approved under the ALMM List – I.
Prima facie lack of availability of high quality poly-silicon in the country would be extremely challenging to indigenize as only handful players across the globe that too in the mature markets have been able to achieve. Therefore, it becomes essential to evaluate these links of the chain in order to have a flourishing solar PV manufacturing market in the country possibly in less then a decade’s time now, which needs comprehensive assessment for market development & potential challenges map in order to project a path finding guide for all participants in the solar PV manufacturing market. Thus, eninrac consulting is coming up with a comprehensive dossier addressing all market needs & entailing dimensions involved within for solar PV market.
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