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High-efficiency mono-parks to become prominent in the solar sector

August 26, 2022 12:52 pm

High-efficiency mono-parks to become prominent in the solar sector
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India ranks fourth in the world in terms of installed renewable energy capacity. The government has increased the solar park scheme from 20 GW to 40 GW. Rajib Das, Marketing Director at Greenfinity Powertech Pvt. Ltd., discusses how the solar power segment is rising in the renewable energy sector. Following the recent COVID scenario, people are concerned about saving money and are becoming interested in solar power.

Can you tell us about India’s current solar energy capacity?

As per the latest statistics published in June 2022, the total installed renewable energy is 114 gigawatts, which excludes hydro projects. Solar power accounts for 13.2 per cent of the total installed capacity.

What steps are the government and industry taking to double India’s solar and wind energy capacity?

The Indian government is launching several initiatives to help domestic manufacturers and boost the sector’s growth. The government is currently offering domestic consumers up to 40 per cent subsidy to encourage solar rooftop installation. To encourage small and medium-sized industry consumers, net metering of 500 kilowatts is provided. Also, a production link incentive (PLI) is available for domestic companies for solar panel manufacturing. According to the PLI, the government offers a 25 per cent incentive on manufacturing unit costs to encourage the production of solar panels. Also, 40 per cent accelerated tax depreciation in the first year for the industry on solar energy project costs, among other tax-saving benefits.

What are the implications of the announcement of a tax on solar imports of solar products for your company?

Currently, there is a 30-40 per cent increase in import tax on solar goods, which raises the overall cost of a solar project by 15-20 per cent. In addition, the GST rate rose from 5-12 per cent.

What are the cost and raw material challenges for solar modules and cells?

China is a major supplier of solar raw materials. In the domestic market, 70 per cent to 80 per cent of solar panels are assembled. Solar cells, for example, are imported as raw materials. The import duty on these solar products is exceptionally high. During the final months of COVID, the entire supply chain was disrupted, and solar goods were stranded.

How may the commissioning of a solar power plant be made more effective?

Obtaining net metering is a lengthy process. It entails obtaining multiple approvals and sending hard copies of documents to distribution companies, which is time-consuming. Because everything is going online, the installation process will be shorter and faster.

What are the most recent trends and developments in the solar sector?

 Nowadays, high-efficiency mono perc panels are taking up less space by generating more electricity from a smaller area. For example, previously, per MW solar plant required 4 to 5 acres of land; now, it is produced on 3.5 acres. Agri-solar is a new concept introduced in which land is used for multiple purposes, such as producing electricity and crops beneath solar panels.

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