What is India's solar manufacturing strategy

How green energy can turn India into Atmanirbhar

The economic slowdown we have seen due to COVID-19 and so it is necessary to make India Atmanirbhar. The solar sector can play an important role in this. According to the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), expanding solar power generation and device manufacturing can make the Indian economy and Atmanirbhar sustainable.

Therefore, according to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement with a focus on 'Make in India', India &’s solar energy has a welcome opportunity to boost the domestic economy and make it GG’s economy. ” India GG's ambitious goal of reaching 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022 has been disrupted by China due to the coronavirus.

Now let's take a look at the avenues that can lead to economic recovery after COVID-19.

As the countries of the world draw up plans to recover economic growth from the COVID-19 pandemic, several debates have opened on how to choose the right economic growth model. Do you know that the old quantitative economic growth model relied on fossil fuels for energy and the new qualitative economic growth model relied on renewable energies?

Indeed, large countries in the world have shown a marked shift from an old economic growth model to a new economic growth model. As with European Green Deal, post COVID-19 should play a key role in a robust recovery. Even South Korea wins the Green New Deal after the ruling party elections.

Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan: All you need to know

What is India & about?

India is committed to using clean green renewable energy for economic growth. By 2022, India has established 175 GW of renewable energy capacity, including 100 GW of solar and 60 GW of wind capacity.

However, the generation of solar energy and the manufacture of solar systems did not take on the importance it deserved in Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.

How can the solar sector make Atmanirbhar Bharat?

India undoubtedly has great potential for solar power generation. It is a tropical country with around 300 clear sunny days a year. In several ways, solar sector development can help India achieve Atmanirbharta or be self-sufficient.

- It will create jobs.

- It will lead to rural development.

- On the other hand, the fuel import bills will be reduced.

- It will also reduce dependence on oil producing countries.

- Faster installation of power generation units.

- It also supports a clean environment and improves the quality of life.

If we see a job creation sector, the solar energy sector can provide employment to all types of work, including skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled people in various activities such as solar system manufacturing, solar power plant development, and rooftop solar panel installation and maintenance .

In the solar field, the demand for installing solar panels on the roof will create entrepreneurship and jobs in rural India. The availability of electricity will boost home and small industries in rural India. The income gaps are also bridged between rural India and urban India.

It has been shown that the import of coking coal and non-coking coal has increased from 2013/14 to 2018/19 and that we are dependent on other countries for this. Not only that, but the oil import bill for the fiscal year is increasing every year. India is one of the fastest growing economies but is largely dependent on energy imports. At this point in time, sustained growth is dampening and India’s strategic interests are at risk. Here non-conventional energy sources such as solar energy, wind energy etc. are the key sources.

However, it takes about 18 months to build a 500 MW solar system, and it can take two to three times longer to build a thermal or hydroelectric system. It should be noted that the costs of building and financing a new solar system are 14% lower than those of a thermal or hydropower system.

The reality is that the solar sector in India is heavily dependent on China. With the ambitious goal of solar power generation, India has a solar cell production capacity of around 3 GW per year, but the average annual requirement is 20 GW. Out of the top 10 Indian GG module suppliers, 7 come from Chinese companies. India had already imported around $ 16 billion worth of solar panels in the past five years. And by 2030, India could import around $ 42 billion worth of solar panels.

How much debt does the Indian government have?

Hence, it is clear that India needs a solar manufacturing strategy.

The manufacture of solar systems takes place in four phases:

- Production of semiconductor bars.

- Ingot semiconductor wafer production.

- Production of photovoltaic cells from a semiconductor wafer.

- Manufacture of solar modules by assembling photovoltaic cells.

India lacks the manufacturing of these semiconductors. In order to achieve self-sufficiency in the production of solar systems, India needs a strategy, a new development policy for the solar sector that focuses on three topics:

- Development of a core competence in semiconductor manufacturing.

- In order to subsidize the solar sector, the government needs an adequate policy.

- It is also necessary to reduce the cost of capital or cheap loans.

The manufacture of solar cell processes is technology and capital intensive. As explained above, the manufacture of solar PV involves the assembly of polysilicon, wafers, cells and modules. Most Indian companies deal with later module assembly processes. India has no technological expertise in capital-intensive processes of silicon and ingot production. Its mission is to advance its own research and development of low-cost, indigenous technologies to manufacture next-generation solar panels.

It is now clear that ingot formation and wafer manufacturing play a role in the semiconductor industry. When it comes to semiconductors, Indian companies have no educational background when the solar industry started to grow in 2011. In order to expand this capacity for the future, state governments must support the production of semiconductors as part of a determined industrial policy. According to experts, the human and technical learning curve could be 5 to 10 years. The government must provide subsidies for the development of the solar sector, including land acquisition, raw material procurement, labor law, taxation and export policy.

The development of solar systems would therefore require high up-front costs. The cost of debt in India is 11% or more in the Asia-Pacific region, compared to 5% in China. Under Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan a great opportunity for the solar ambition of India & was opened. And it is time for the government to implement the necessary reforms on the ground.