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Solar photovoltaics (PV) in India

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    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    10th Aug, 2022


India has added significant photovoltaics capacity over the past decade, achieving over 50 GW by 2022.


  • Solar photovoltaics (PV) has driven India’s push towards the adoption of cleaner energy generation technologies. 
  • India’s Journey: From less than 10 MW in 2010, India has achieved PV capacity over 50 GW by 2022.
    • By 2030, India is targeting about 500 GW of renewable energy deployment, out of which ~280 GW is expected from solar PV. 
    • This necessitates the deployment of nearly 30 GW of solar capacity every year until 2030.

India’s Solar Module Manufacturing Capacity

  • Currently it is limited to ~15 GW per year. 
  • The demand-supply gap widens as we move up the value chain — for example, India only produces ~3.5 GW of cells currently. 
  • India has no manufacturing capacity for solar wafers and polysilicon ingots, and currently imports 100% of silicon wafers and around 80% of cells even at the current deployment levels.
  • India remains dependent on import of solar modules for field deployment.

Key components solar PV value chain

  • Fabricating polysilicon ingots which need to be transformed into thin Silicon wafers that are needed to manufacture the PV mini-modules. 
  • The mini-modules are then assembled into market-ready and field-deployable modules.

Current Government Policy

  • The government has identified this gap, and is rolling out various policy initiatives to push and motivate the industry to work towards self-reliance in solar manufacturing, both for cells and modules. 
  • Key initiatives include a 40% duty on the import of modules and 25% duty on the import of cells, and a PLI scheme to support manufacturing capex.
  • It is mandatory to procure modules only from an approved list of manufacturers (ALMM) for projects that are connected to state/ central government grids; so far, only India-based manufacturers have been approved. 

Major Initiative in Renewable Energy Sector 

  • National Solar Mission (NSM): In January 2010, the NSM was launched with the objective of establishing India as a global leader in solar energy, by creating the policy conditions for solar technology diffusion across the country.
    • The initial target of NSM was to install 20 GW solar power by 2022. This was up-scaled to 100 GW in early 2015. 
  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM): It was launched in 2019 and it aims to help farmers access reliable day-time solar power for irrigation, reduce power subsidies, and decarbonise agriculture. 
    • PM-KUSUM provides farmers with incentives to install solar power pumps and plants in their fields. 
  • Atal Jyoti Yojana (AJAY) Phase-II: A Scheme for the installation of solar street lights with 25% fund contribution from MPLAD Funds was discontinued from 1 April 2020 as the Government decided to suspend the MPLAD Funds for the next two years i.e. 2020-21 and 2021-22. 
    • However, the installation of 1.5 lakh solar street lights sanctioned under the scheme till March 2020 was under progress.
  • Solar Parks Scheme: To facilitate large scale grid-connected solar power projects, a scheme is under implementation with a target capacity of 40 GW capacity by March 2022. 
    • Solar parks provide solar power developers with a plug and play model, by facilitating necessary infrastructure like land, power evacuation facilities, road connectivity, water facility etc. along with all statutory clearances.

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