Indian media outlets have reported that some of the largest renewable energy companies in the country have put in bids seeking subsidies to manufacture solar modules.
The Economic Times reported that Tata Power, Reliance Industries, and First Solar were among the bidders vying for $2.4 billion in subsidies for setting up integrated module manufacturing facilities. Other bidders include Nasdaq-listed ReNew, Avaada Energy, and JSW Energy.
Companies are required to set up module manufacturing facilities with integration as deep as production polysilicon. At present, India has no polysilicon production capacity and is completely dependent on imports, largely from China.
This is the second auction for subsidies. The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency had invited bids for subsidies worth $600 million in October 2021. A total of 19 companies, including Adani, Reliance, First Solar, and Tata Power has submitted bids to set up a production capacity of 54.5 gigawatts.
Reliance New Energy, Adani Enterprises, and Shirdi Sai Electricals were the eventual winners. All three are required to set up 4 gigawatts of module production facilities with complete backward integration — polysilion -> wafer -> cell -> module. Each company will be eligible for subsidies equivalent to 2 gigawatts of production. Subsidies paid to the companies will be linked to the actual sales and efficiency of the modules.
These auctions are part of the Indian government’s production linked incentive program that offers subsidies across multiple sectors like battery, consumer electronics, and pharmaceuticals. This program has been launched to attract foreign companies to set up manufacturing facilities in India and not only reduce dependence on Chinese imports but also transform India into a global export hub.
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