Review Report: Indian Solar Energy Industry

Dec 23 10:01 2014 Kshitij Thakur Print This Article

This Indian Solar Energy Industry review report talks about the Indian solar energy industry and some of the key events of this industry. The report discusses the factors driving the growth of solar energy industry in India and also the challenges this industry is facing.

The Indian solar energy industry is full of potential and is poised for a long and sustainable growth. The industry has been on growth track internationally in many countries but in India it has now gained critical significance. The announcement of Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) in 2009 and its subsequent launch in January 2010 by the Government of India highlights its importance to the nation. India heavy reliance on coal for its energy needs,Guest Posting regular shortages in its supply, quality problems and its limited resources; criticality of electricity for the manufacturing industry, regular electricity shortages faced by industries across India, & rising electricity costs and thus rising manufacturing input costs; and millions in India living without electricity. These are some of the factors that point towards the need of an alternative and efficient energy source and underline the launch of JNNSM. Solar energy is needed by, and would serve the industries and consumers in general alike. The launch of JNNSM project has given a real boost to solar energy production in India. JNNSM targets of producing 20 GW of solar energy by the year 2022.


India has been manufacturing solar cells and modules for a long time, however, the focus had been on exports, with majority of solar equipment being exported to Europe and other countries including Japan. The domestic solar energy production was almost negligible till the launch of the project in India. By the end of fiscal year 2009-10 the solar installed capacity in India was just 10.3 MW. It went to 35.15 MW by the end of FY 2010-11 which increased exponentially to 941.24 MW for FY 2011-12. Along with this capacity rise the project launch also shifted the focus of both domestic as well international manufacturers towards India. The first phase of JNNSM saw solar power producers in India using imported solar equipment on a large scale, along with some domestic sourcing. The second phase of the project, which was just launched, would shift the sourcing focus to domestic suppliers as JNNSM is expected to expand its domestic solar cell sourcing clause to include thin film solar panels.


More and more exhibitions and conferences are being held in the Indian solar industry to help it grow. The North India Solar Summit (NISS) was held in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh in March 2014 aimed at filling the awareness gap about solar power. This was the first summit organized by the Indian Industries Association which was about North India solar industry and was very well attended. It focused on two objectives: One, to provide information to investors interested in setting up solar power plants and, second, provide information on manufacturing of equipment for solar power generation. RENERGY 2014, an international exhibition and conference on renewable energy organized by Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA), is another such event focusing on Tamil Nadu solar industry. It will be held in June 2014 at Chennai Trade Centre. Among the highlights would be the Tamil Nadu solar industry and state solar policy, country largest Solar Rooftop program, and product launches. Another solar exhibition focusing on Tamil Nadu solar industry to be held at the same venue in July 2014 would be the Solar South. It is organized by Smart Expos & Fairs (India) Pvt. Ltd. Another exhibition & conference to be held in July 2014 is the SolarTech India 2014. The event organized by Green World Conferences Ltd will be held in The Leela Ambience, Gurgaon. Intersolar India 2014 is yet another solar exhibition & conference organized by MMI India Pvt. Ltd. It is going to be held in November 2014 Bombay Exhibition Centre, Goregaon, Mumbai.


The growth prospects of India’s solar power industry are bright and enormous. Both demand and supply sides present good prospects. The demand side growth drivers include large number of power consumers due to high population; potential growing use in industries, manufacturing and agriculture; and large rural and remote areas without electricity. On the supply side there are areas with abundant sun shine and large availability of barren, desert and other land areas for putting up of solar plants. India being a tropical country enjoys availability of sunshine in great intensity and for longer hours a day. The government support and push for the solar industry at both national and state levels is another important driver. The industry life cycle stage is then perhaps the biggest and the most fundamental factor. The early and nascent stage of the industry offers it a long term growth prospect.


The solar power industry, although full of potential, faces many challenges. The year 2013 had not been particularly a good one for the national solar mission, and it experienced all kinds of bottlenecks. The progress of solar industry slowed down in 2013 due to various factors. The steep depreciation of rupee in 2013 further affected the mission in various ways including rising import cost for producers and rising subsidies for government. There are other challenges which are coming up and may continue and affect the progress such as widespread testing and adoption of new technology like CSP, project funding and lack of clear and supportive policies, product quality and regular supply from domestic market, and sales of renewable energy certificates.


Apart from this, the industry is caught into a tussle between solar power producers and manufacturers in India. The Indian Solar Manufacturers' Association (ISMA) representing domestic manufacturers has accused the US, China, Taiwan and Malaysia, key exporters of thin-film and silicon PV cells and modules to India, of dumping and asked the Indian government to impose import duties to benefit the domestic manufacturers. On the other hand, the National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI), the body of energy producers, complained to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) about Indian manufacturers. In the complaint NSEFI has blamed the domestic manufacturers of lacking in quality in their local-made technology, falling short in manufacturing capacity against their claims. It even pointed towards lobbying by some of the larger scale domestic manufacturers of solar cell.


These challenges are long term and short term bottlenecks for the industry. These challenges, some of these pointing towards flaws in structural, regulatory and policy environment surrounding the industry, and some are even unwanted ones in the face of progress, needs to be addressed and resolved to put the industry back on growth track.

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Kshitij Thakur
Kshitij Thakur

Market Width is a business travel focused website providing news and information on various industries, Industry Events, MICE sector and Industry Associations. Visit Market Width to find more such Industry Review Reports; news related to Events, Industry Associations; upcoming and past industry events; list of industry associations; and much more.

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