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India’s solar PV market is flourishing

August 25, 2023 11:56 am

India’s solar PV market is flourishing

Discussing the impacts of government policies, Nitin Barvaliya, General Manager of Pahal Solar, talks about how innovations in solar PV technology are being highlighted with the support of governing bodies and how panel manufacturers are leveraging these opportunities to boost panel efficiency.

Which key factors are driving the growth of the solar PV market in India?

The growth of India’s solar PV market is driven by factors aligned with government renewable energy goals. Government initiatives offer financial incentives, tax breaks, and favourable tariffs for solar projects. The declining cost of solar PV technology, combined with India’s abundant solar irradiation, makes solar power cost-competitive and accessible. The country’s growing energy demand and concerns about environmental impact and climate change underscore the need for renewable energy sources like solar. These factors also align with global climate goals.

The solar PV industry in India has shown significant growth, supported by domestic manufacturing. However, the industry relies heavily on imported raw materials, particularly silicon wafers. The government introduced the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme to reduce dependence on imports to boost domestic manufacturing capacity for high-efficiency solar modules. Efforts are ongoing to establish integrated polysilicon plants to manufacture silicon wafers domestically. While progress has been made in reducing reliance on imports, the challenge persists. A strong emphasis on domestic manufacturing is required to achieve self-reliance in the solar PV supply chain. This aligns with the country’s broader objectives of fostering sustainable energy sources, creating jobs, and achieving energy security.

How have government policies and incentives impacted India’s solar PV and solar cell manufacturing industry?

Government policies and incentives have significantly shaped India’s solar PV and solar cell manufacturing industries. Key factors include:

Domestic Manufacturing Support: The government promotes local production of solar PV cells, modules, and equipment through financial subsidies, tax exemptions, and custom-duty benefits. This bolsters self-reliance, spurs job creation and strengthens the manufacturing sector.

Make in India Initiative: The “Make in India” drives global solar PV manufacturers to establish production units, driving investments and job opportunities.

Production-Linked Incentive Scheme: Introduced in 2021, this scheme provides manufacturers with financial incentives based on production volumes, fostering a robust solar PV manufacturing ecosystem.

Solar Parks and SEZs: Dedicated solar parks and special economic zones offer tax benefits, infrastructure support, and streamlined regulations, attracting investments and facilitating manufacturing growth.

Import Restrictions: Measures like import restrictions and safeguard duties on solar PV cells and modules safeguard domestic interests, encouraging local manufacturing.

Government actions have nurtured India’s solar PV and cell manufacturing industries. They’ve ignited investments, employment, import reduction, and local manufacturing capacity growth, reinforcing the nation’s commitment to sustainable energy.

Are there any regulatory challenges or bottlenecks that manufacturers face, such as permitting issues or trade barriers for raw materials?

Firstly, securing permits and licenses for manufacturing facilities poses a major hurdle. The process is time-consuming, costly, and intricate, involving navigating complex environmental regulations, zoning prerequisites, and building codes.

Secondly, trade barriers disrupt material flow, which is crucial for manufacturing. Dependence on imported raw materials exposes manufacturers to challenges like tariffs, import quotas, and customs restrictions, leading to amplified costs and supply chain disruptions.

Thirdly, regulatory compliance presents a multifaceted challenge. Manufacturing is subject to rigorous regulations covering product safety, quality control, labelling, and environmental standards. Ensuring compliance across diverse jurisdictions demands significant resources and entails complexity.

Moreover, environmental regulations compound complexity. Manufacturers must conform to various environmental norms aimed at pollution reduction, waste minimisation, and sustainability promotion. Adhering to emissions standards, waste management, and hazardous substance handling escalates intricacy and costs.

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Lastly, labour laws and regulations exacerbate challenges. Manufacturers must adhere to labour laws encompassing hiring practices, wages, working conditions, and health and safety standards. The nuances of labour regulations, especially in regions with stringent norms, elevate costs and administrative burdens.

Importantly, these regulatory challenges exhibit wide-ranging disparities across industries, countries, and specific manufacturing processes.

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How have your recent technological innovations positively impacted the quality of your offerings and customer experience?

At our core, we are dedicated to optimising the technology capabilities of our offerings to ensure an exceptional experience for our customers. Our recent innovations include:

Enhanced Solar Panel Efficiency: We have integrated cutting-edge photovoltaic cell technologies into our panels, elevating overall efficiency. This innovation enables greater electricity generation from the same sunlight exposure.

Intelligent Monitoring and Control Systems: Our latest products feature intelligent systems for remote real-time monitoring, energy production tracking, and consumption optimisation. This empowers users to manage their solar PV systems efficiently.

Integrated Battery Storage: Our integrated battery solutions allow users to store surplus daytime-generated energy during peak demand or low sunlight periods, enhancing energy utilisation.

Extended Durability and Lifespan: We’ve advanced product durability and longevity through upgraded materials, coatings, and manufacturing processes, ensuring a prolonged investment lifecycle.

Looking ahead, we’re actively exploring forthcoming technologies like advanced thin-film solar cells, flexible panels, and improved power electronics integration. These endeavours aim further to amplify the capabilities of our solar PV products.

Our commitment to innovation remains unwavering as we continually refine our offerings to align with the dynamic energy landscape and cater to the evolving requirements of our valued customers.

What innovation are the module manufacturers adopting to improve the efficiency, cost-effectiveness and sustainability across their product range?

Indian solar module manufacturers embrace numerous innovations to enhance efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and environmental sustainability. These advancements are achieved through technological progress, automation, quality control, improved PV cell efficiency, advanced manufacturing techniques, supply chain optimisation, waste management, and energy storage integration.

Manufacturers consistently invest in research and development to boost module efficiency. This encompasses material advancements, cell technology, module design, and manufacturing processes. Elevated efficiency modules yield greater electricity per unit area, amplifying overall output and the cost-effectiveness of solar systems.

Automation and robotics are increasingly integrated into manufacturing, bolstering quality control, reducing errors, and enhancing productivity. This fosters more cost-efficient production and superior module quality.

Enhancing photovoltaic (PV) cell efficiency, the foundation of solar modules is a focal point. Techniques like screen printing, laser scribing, and passivation are adopted for advanced manufacturing, ensuring precision, quality, and reliability.

Furthermore, adherence to industry standards and obtaining certifications, such as International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards, guarantees product quality, performance, safety, and durability.

These strategies underscore how Indian solar module manufacturers drive innovation to enhance efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and environmental sustainability. Continuous investment in research, development, and process refinement aims to bolster India’s solar power competitiveness and sustainability.

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