With a target to reduce dependence on imported solar cells and modules, the Indian government has announced an incentive program for solar cell and module manufacturers.
India’s finance minister announced a production-linked incentive in this year’s financial budget. The government has earmarked $640 million to incentivize solar manufacturers.
The incentive scheme is part of the government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-sufficient India) mission. The solar power sector is heavily dependent on imports, with around 80-90% of solar modules in India being sourced from China. Earlier attempts by the government to make Chinese imports unattractive (imposition of anti-dumping and safeguard duties) have had a little beneficial impact on Indian solar manufacturers.
Through the incentive scheme, the Indian government hopes to attract investment for 10 gigawatts of solar ingot-to-module capacity by 2023.
Eyeing government incentives and a renewed push to reduce dependence on Chinese imports, several companies have announced interest in expanding or setting up new manufacturing facilities.
US-based First Solar and 1366 Technologies and India’s ReNew Power, Acme Solar, Vikram Solar, and Adani Solar are among 15 companies that have expressed interest in setting up new or expanding existing production facilities. Combined, these companies have shared plans to invest $3 billion to set up 20 gigawatts modules, 20 gigawatts cells, and 10 gigawatts wafer production facilities.
In addition to this incentive scheme, the government is also considering imposing additional import duties on Chinese imports to further incentivize domestic manufacturers.
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