The 22nd century is going to witness a new dawn when 15 firms explore opportunities to build solar wafer, cell and module capacities. 15 firms including US silicon wafer maker 1366 Technologies and First Solar have decided to invest around $3 billion to build facilities that manufacture solar equipments following the Indian government’s move to push local manufacturing. These companies are planning to manufacture a total of 10 gigawatt (GW) of wafer, and 20GW each of solar cells and modules. Major companies such as Acme Solar, Vikram Solar, ReNew Power and Adani Solar are also interested.
The Indian government has announced a production-led incentive (PLI) scheme that offers manufacturers in 10 sectors, including those of high-efficiency solar modules with a total benefits of ₹1.97 trillion. The government is to impose a basic customs duty of 40% on modules and 25% on solar cells imports from 1 April 2022. To build three large manufacturing zones in a coastal state, a hill state and a land-locked state for power and renewable energy equipment is also on the agenda. The government would also provide incentives to the manufacturers. According to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi India would not be able to fully use its solar power potential unless it works on better solar panel, battery and storage manufacturing capacity.
A government official stated that interested solar manufacturing companies are expected to create a manufacturing capacity of 20GW module, 20GW cell and 10GW wafer in India. Manufacturing of wafers and ingots is the key to India’s goal to become a solar country. By encouraging solar manufacturing companies, India aims to reduce dependence on Chinese solar products. China is the largest solar wafer and ingot manufacturer in the world, while India only has a 2GW and 10GW domestic manufacturing capacity of solar cells and modules respectively.
Vikram Solar that presently has 1.2GW of solar module capacity is expected to achieve a 5GW capacity by 2024 by building a 3GW manufacturing plant, consisting of solar modules, solar cells and solar wafer. Acme Solar looks forward to building a 1.5GW solar module manufacturing capacity. While ReNew Power plans to set up a 2GW solar cell and module.
manufacturing facility in India, Adani Solar, with a lead of 1.5GW solar cell and modules manufacturing capacity, would build another 2GW capacity.