Bangalore: In keeping with India’s solar targets and the vision of Make in India, the country should take up full value chain of solar manufacturing from polysilicon to modules, according to the recommendations of a policy paper released by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi on Wednesday.
The paper, titled ‘Solar PV Manufacturing in India: Silicon Ingot & Wafer - PV Cell - PV Module’ suggested that this should be taken up in a phased manner. In the first phase, about 15 GW capacity could be targeted over a period of two to three years for manufacturing of cells and modules with full value addition and with an overlapping backward integration plan.
Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General, TERI, said that the challenge is to match demand and indigenous manufacturing capacity with international manufacturing capacity.
“It is possible to have indigenous solar manufacturing facility that delivers on the three points of reliable energy access, cost of supply, and local manufacturing that can meet demand,” he said.
The policy paper’s main recommendations are that the government should consider prioritising PV manufacturing value chain as a strategic industry and local manufacturing capacity of 15 GW of ‘full value chain Silicon Ingot to solar modules’ should be operational at competitive prices by 2024. For this it suggests initiating a Phased Manufacturing Programme (PMP), under the Make in India plan.
Stressing that India should make every effort to develop indigenous manufacturing, Ajay Shankar, Distinguished Fellow, TERI, said, “The government should invite bids for manufacturing of solar panels with full value addition in India, along with ensured sales for four years. It should also provide land, power supply and environmental clearance and develop solar manufacturing plants along the lines of SEZ.”
Shekhar Dutt, Director General, Solar Power Developers Association (SPDA), said, “The size of the solar market across the world is very big. India should develop manufacturing capacity not just for the domestic market, but for terawatt market.” He added that this will lead to enormous possibility of generating employment in India.
“The rationale for the decision to go for manufacturing is self-reliance with an aim to sustain our own national solar programme without any hiccups under circumstances of international issues,” said Dr Ashvini Kumar, Senior Director, Renewable Energy, TERI.
Highlighting that this is a good starting point, Dr Mathur added, “Further steps of inviting a group of financial experts to assess the costs and incentives (for solar manufacturing) need to be carried out.”