With a massive solar power installed capacity target of 100 GW by 2022, the Indian Government is looking to promote and expand local manufacturing capacity for polysilicon ingots and wafers.
The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy has called for comments from stakeholders regarding its plan to provide support for the production of polysilicon ingots and wafers in India. The support will be part of the Indian Government’s Make in India program that envisions increased domestic and foreign investment in the manufacturing sector.
According to the Ministry, India currently has an installed manufacturing capacity of 1,386 MW of solar cells and 2,756 MW of solar modules. However, there is no facility in the country that manufactures polysilicon ingots and wafers.
A minor but substantial share (in absolute terms) of the planned 100 GW installed capacity shall be commissioned under the Domestic Content Requirement (DCR) wherein project developers are required to source solar panels and equipment from Indian manufacturers only.
The most recent auction under the DCR regime saw allocation of 150 MW capacity to two project developers in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh who will be required to acquire modules manufactured in India. These modules, in turn, will also be required to be manufactured from cells produced in India. However, the raw material for manufacturing of cells can be imported from other countries.
High demand for Indian modules and cells is expected over the next few years as the government has asked government entities to set up large-scale solar power projects. This includes government-owned entities and companies like the Indian Railways, Coal India Limited, NHPC Limited, NTPC Limited among others. The Indian armed forces have also been directed to set up large-scale solar power capacity.
The move can also be seen as an attempt to address the concerns of Indian solar module manufacturers who have been urging the government to levy anti-dumping duty on cheap imported modules. The government had categorically refused to levy such duties.
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