Domestic solar cell and module manufacturing is way behind the country’s demand for the equipment, going by data collated by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in January end. Under the National Solar Mission, the government targets achieving an indigenous manufacturing capacity of 4-5 GW by 2020.
India’s import of solar cells and modules is more than 35 times its export, as per a recent study by Mercom Capital Group. Till December 2016-end, the country’s installed solar cell manufacturing capacity stood at 2,953 MW, including the 1200MW Mundra project by Adani Group. Further, the operational capacity of solar cell manufacturing is 1,448.05 MW in December-end, marginally higher than the 1,123.05 MW in June-end last year.
As far as solar module manufacturing capacity is concerned, MNRE’s data pegs the installed capacity at 8,113 MW while operational capacity is 5,286.55 MW as on December-end. This has grown from 5,848 MW of installed capacity and 4,307.55 MW of installed capacity in June 2016-end. Here too, 1,200 MW, a major chunk of the growth is attributed to the uncommissioned Adani project.
A majority of solar power projects in India will continue to prefer cheaper cells and modules from China. India imported solar equipment worth $2.17 billion (Rs 14,630 crore) in the 10 months between April 2016 and January 2017, its exports were just $60.3 million (Rs 404 crore).
Indian solar modules comprise of only 5% of the domestic installations. Britain is the biggest importer of Indian solar modules, accounting for 31% of India’s solar exports ($18.84 million), followed by Italy and Belgium. India’s primary export markets include those which have anti-dumping laws against the Chinese manufacturers.
Chinese modules are generally priced 20% lower than India-made modules making it difficult for Indian module manufacturers to compete with them. The further fall in the solar module prices has also been fuelling the recent free fall in the competitive biddings.
Analysts say that with a slowdown in the Chinese market, the prices are expected to fall further by 20% over next year.
- Font Size
- Reading Mode