- The recent steps by the government have created a more positive environment for cell and module manufacturers in India and the solar manufacturing industry is ready to support the Government in achieving its vision, said ISMA
- The solar manufacturing industry is now confident of quickly enhancing its capacities to meet the burgeoning requirements of its stakeholders, said the ISMA president
New Delhi: The government’s recent policy initiatives to promote domestic manufacturing of solar power equipment will put the industry on a strong footing and help achieve ambitious targets, the Indian Solar Manufacturers’ Association (ISMA) has said. Currently, India has about 4 GW of solar cell manufacturing capacity and 13 GW of module manufacturing capacity. India has so far been largely dependent on imports from China to meet its solar power equipment requirements. Solar modules import accounted for more than 65 percent of total module demand in 2021.
Of the total modules manufactured in India, only one-third of them used Indian cells. These imports have historically led to low-capacity utilisation of cell and module manufacturing in India. However, commending the steps taken by the government to give a boost to the indigenous industry, Ashwani Sehgal, president, ISMA, said, “The recent steps by the Indian government have created a more positive environment for cell and module manufacturers in India and the solar manufacturing industry is ready to support the Government in achieving its vision.”
RE capacity addition to drive demand for solar power equipment
The government’s Domestic Content Requirements (DCR) schemes like CPSU, PM-KUSUM and rooftop solar, have ensured that Indian solar cells find favour in the solar industry, leading to high-capacity utilisation rates for Indian solar cell manufacturers. These schemes have also helped hasten the movement to distributed solar power across the country, said Sehgal.
The government has set out an ambitious target of putting in place 500 GW of renewable energy (RE) capacity by 2030. And solar is going to account for a large part of this capacity addition, touching 280 GW by 2030. This would require India to add 29 GW of solar every year for the next eight years, which in turn is expected to create demand for solar cells and modules. The levy of basic customs duty (BCD) of 40 per cent on solar modules and 25 per cent on solar cells from April 1, 2022, will provide Indian solar manufacturers a level playing field, said ISMA.
On top of it, increasing the kitty of incentives to be provided in the Production-Linked Incentives (PLI) scheme for solar manufacturing to Rs 24,000 crore will be a major boost, it added.
Solar manufacturing industry confident of quickly enhancing capacities
“The solar manufacturing industry is now confident of quickly enhancing its capacities to meet the burgeoning requirements of its stakeholders,” said Sehgal, adding that these steps will lead to a multi-fold increase in new and high-efficiency capacities with upstream and downstream integration, resulting in a significant decrease in dependence on imports in the coming years.
The government has also introduced import tariffs on ancillaries like glass, EVA, backsheet and other components to encourage the development of local capacities for these materials which are an integral part of the solar manufacturing ecosystem.
All these moves by the government will have a significant impact on domestic manufacturing, leading the country onto the path of energy security while ensuring significant development and employment in the industry, said the ISMA.
“We appreciate the Indian government for all its concerted efforts to grow solar power in India and make India one of the largest solar markets in the world. The solar industry fully commits itself to deliver to the nation a fully independent and self-sufficient solar manufacturing hub,” added Sehgal.
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