Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Plans To Lessen India’s Solar Equipment Import Reliance, Announces Launch of Interest Subvention Scheme for Loans Of Cell and Wafer Manufacturers

RK Singh

The ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) with an intention to lessen the country’s solar equipment import reliance, is planning to launch an interest subvention scheme for loans of cell and wafer manufacturers, officials announced on Tuesday. Cells and wafers are the basic building blocks of solar modules, and the tiny manufacturing base of these products is the reason why we still continue to heavily depend on the imports.

There are no wafer makers in India until today, the cell manufacturing capacity is only 2.5 gigawatt (GW), indicating that the 10GW of domestic solar module makers have to import most of their parts from different countries.

This Tuesday a virtual symposium titled ‘India PV EDGE 2020’ was organized, MNRE officials declared under the proposed scheme, discounts on interest would be given to wafer and cell manufacturers on capital expenditure and working capital necessities. However, MNRE didn’t mention the percentage of interest subvention. Manufacturers through this scheme would also receive interest subvention on loans taken for technological improvement of their plants after three years of the undertaking. Schemes are underway to nullify the cost of power for wafer manufacturing too.

Union power minister RK Singh declared, the government will also provide supplementary incentives for firms who use modern technologies under the interest subvention scheme.”

Niti Aayog, on its half, has additionally projected a production-linked incentive program for exports of star modules from the Republic of India, wherever star module manufacturers are incentivized per the potency of the panels. China continues to be the most important supply of star cells and panels for the Republic of India, with imports price $1.3 billion in FY20. the worth of such imports from China in FY18 was an enormous $3.4 billion. The share of outstanding Chinese module suppliers like Trina, Hanwha, JA star and Canadian star (which includes a giant production base in China) within the Indian market has considerably born during this amount.

To reduce Chinese imports, the Union government had obligatory a twenty-fifth safeguard duty in July 2018 for 2 years (it has simply been extended for one more year to July 2021, at a rate of 15%). the govt is additionally considering to impose a two-hundredth basic duty on star imports; a final turn this is often nonetheless to be taken. star project developers like Chinese instrumentality because of lower costs. international module costs square measure systematically returning down and presently go at $0.17/watt power (wp) — virtually [*fr1] the first 2018-levels.

Investments

The session on investments brought large investors like International Finance Corporation (IFC), Goldman Sachs, Black Rock, and State Bank of India (SBI) to catalyze investment momentum in cutting edge PV technologies.

Sarwal stated that the NITI Aayog would work with the Department of Science and Technology (DST), MNRE, and international development agencies to catalyze an ecosystem of applied research, backed by international inter-institutional collaborations, with a sharp focus on academia-industry partnership. Interestingly, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) declared that they would want to collaborate with solar PV manufacturers.

During the conclave, CEO of Renew Power, Sumit Sinha, said that a $150 billion investment is needed to attain 300 GW of solar cells and module capacity by 2030 coupled with research and development to develop new tech.

Sinha said that independent power producers (IPP) need to invest in manufacturing to bring the overall solar technology cost down. He further added that operations and maintenance must be improved to increase the project’s efficiency and reduce costs.

The CEO of Adani Solar, Ramesh Nair, stated that long-term policies are required for manufacturers to gain confidence. Apart from this, backend integration is also needed, including the manufacturing of polysilicon, wafers, and ingots. He added that the country should ramp up manufacturing of aluminum, glass, and EVA back sheet, which are part of the solar module production process.