Future bright, expectations high

India Achieves 20 GW Solar Capacity Target Four Years Ahead Of 2022 Deadline Set By UPA Government
February 22, 2018
Solar Industry Seeks Clarity On Safeguard Duty
February 22, 2018

Industry is on path of progress, but needs right environment with positive policy push, feel RE movers & shakers

Level playing field needed

Dhruv Sharma, Governing Council Member, ISMA

 Achievements – 2017

  • 2017 was a record year for installations ranging from 8 – 10 GW based on Frantic tender activity in 2016.
  • It saw the initiation of Anti-dumping case filled by ISMA. ISMA also applied for Safeguard Duty
  • Tender activity dropped considerably and China Module prices spiked by 12 – 15%.
  • Custom interpretation of Solar Panels led to huge inventory pileup at ports and additional unforeseen costs to developers.

Way forward – 2018

  • Level playing field by imposition of significant duties. This will incentive local manufacturing units.
  • Internal competition amongst manufacturing in India (Overseas & Domestic) will quickly mitigate temporary increase in cost of power.
  • Government has projected to tender 30GW in 2018-19.
  • SECI has issued Expression of Interest for 20 GW with local sourcing including Poly, Wafer, Cells and Panels.
  • We look forward to a busy and robust year for both manufacturers and downstream solar deployment.

Pre-Budget Expectations

  • Export incentive to be increase to 7.5% for solar components.
  • GST requested at 0% (NIL) and correction of Inverted Duty structure on solar components.
  • Super deduction upto 200% on taxable income for expenses relating to R & D and skill upgradation.
  • Graded incentive plan for backward integrations. Interest subvention for capex on manufacturing to have ceiling cost of debt of 3% maximum.
  • Solar manufacturing to receive priority lending status with a significant allocation to provide impetus to the 20GW local manufacturing vision.
  • Subsidy for cost of electricity for solar component manufacturing.
  • Government of India credit guarantee scheme for purchase of capital goods for solar components manufacturing.
  • Inclusion in the Finance Bill with respect to rectification of SEZ duty free clearance of input material and traded materials on which Antidumping Duty and Safeguard Duty is imposed.



CERC amendment on the ISTS waiver should extend till 2022

D.V.Giri, Secretary General, IWTMA

Achievements – 2017

  • After witnessing 5400 MW in 16-17, the industry is not confident of commissioning more than 1200 – 1500 MW in 17-18 fiscal.
  • Procurement of Wind Power witnessed a paradigm shift from Feed-in-Tariff to Competitive Bidding where price discovery is transparent. Two SECI bids have issued of 1000 MW each and the third is in pipeline for 2000 MW. The discovered price of SECID bid-1 was Rs.3.46 per unit and fell down to Rs.2.64 per unit in the second bid.

Similarly, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu floated a procurement plan of 500 MW each under state bidding. The stressed market conditions and market dynamics with unsold inventory and aggressive bids by developers in a slow market contributed to the low bid. One expects tariff stabilization from 18-19 onwards when there is higher visibility and Government plans to achieve 60 GW by 2022.

Way forward

Ministry of Power (MOP) has issued guidelines for intra and interstate transactions under the Electricity Act. The guidelines does mention two envelop bidding which may be termed as Close Bid as well as Reverse Bid. Government plans to bid 10 GW each in 18-19 and 19-20 total adding up to 28 GW and achieve 60 GW by 2022 (32 GW already achieved). The need of the hour is to get CERC amendment on the ISTS waiver for wind issued by MOP and valid till 2019. We need to work towards the waiver till 2022 which will coincide with the Govt plans of 60 GW.

Pre-Budget Memorandum

  • Reinstatement of AD up to 80% to create a level playing field for retail investors of project size of 10 MW
  • Similarly to accelerate the target of 60 GW, GBI continuation till 2022 or achievement of 60 GW whichever is earlier.
  • GST set off to be made available for Captive and Group Captive or Open Access as electricity generated is utilized for manufacturing in end product that would have GST rate card.



Next year to see India acquiring capacity to manufacture 1GWh li-ion battery pack

Rahul Walawalkar, Executive Director, IESA

Achievements – 2017

Energy storage industry will look at 2017 as a year, when India crossed 2 GWh of sales of advanced energy storage solutions. eRickshaws and telecom tower has been the sectors that led to the early deployment. Also this is the year, when Indian industries have started investing in setting up manufacturing capabilities for developing li-ion battery packs in India. There were over 100 MWh of Grid scale energy storage project RFPs released during 2017, unfortunately most have been stuck due to mixed signals from MNRE. We anticipate most of these projects can move forward in 2018.

 Way forward – 2018

By mid-2018, India will have over 1 GWh of li-ion battery pack manufacturing capacity. We also anticipate that in 2018 at least 2 li-ion cell manufacturing plants with capacity of 500 MWh or more will start construction in India with anticipated completion for end of 2019 or early 2020, bringing India on the global map of Giga Factories. With introduction of various EVs 9across 2W, 3W, 4W and commercial vehicles), India will start witnessing adoption of EVs in 2018, fueled by central procurement led by EESL and various state agencies. 2018 should also witness pickup of EV charging infrastructure deployment in various metro cities. Stationary energy storage market will also start seeing tracking with MW scale deployments for both renewable integration as well as C&I applications.

Pre-Budget Expectations

Reduction in GST for energy storage technologies, particularly for RE integration and EV applications. Incentives for setting up manufacturing in India for advanced energy storage and power electronics industry. Incentives for encouraging investments in domestic R&D for next generation energy storage, micro grid and EV technologies.



Achievements are on the high

Ashish Khanna, ED & CEO, Tata Power Solar

Achievements – 2017

“Tata Power Solar, India’s largest integrated solar company, driven by its 27 years of expertise and empowered by the government’s holistic focus on the industry, completes 2017 as its best year ever. We have achieved some great milestones but more importantly, collectively we have ensured to put India firmly on the global solar map. We hope the government continues its focus on solarenergy generation and also increase its effort towards solar manufacturing sector. The company till date has commissioned projects of 1 GW in utility scale and more than 940 MW in rooftop. The company also doubled its manufacturing capacity 400MW during the year while streamlining its businesses for increased efficiency and profitability. Tata Power solar also achieved the distinction of being the No.1 rooftop player for four years in a row, which is a testimony to our engineering skills and technology capabilities.

2017 has been a great year for Indian Solar Industry and for Tata Power Solar, it has been exceptionally good. Some of the landmark projects that were commissioned includes India’s first rooftop solar carport built on the Unity Mall, India’s largest solar carport at Cochin International Airport, the largest vertical solar farm for Dell International Services India Pvt Ltd. of 120 Kw at Bangalore, First Solar PV Power Plant in an iron ore mine, a 3 MW Solar Power Plant at Noamundi, Jharkhand where the plant reduces CO2 emission by about 3000 tonnes per annum, first of its kind solar carport on rooftop at commercial mall at Delhi.

The company won some prestigious awards in recognition of its efforts during 2017, notable of which include ‘Dun & Bradstreet – Everest Infra Awards 2017’ under Infrastructure Project, India Solar Week Excellence Awards 2017, SmartLogistic Awards 2017, which recognizes the best performers across the value chain of shipping and logistics industry in Karnataka Region, The International Safety Award from the British Safety Council London – Tata Power Solar is the only solar company, globally, that met the criteria and won this prestigious award after rigorous assessment of our safety management systems, Unnatha Suraksha Puraskara award for the year 2017 by National Safety council of India.”


Promotion of solar with robust storage is needed

Sanjeev Aggarwal, MD & CEO, Amplus Energy

Expectations for 2018

  • State govts to be at par with Centre on promotion and adoption of RE
  • Empowering state regulators and providing them with greater powers
  • RPO enforcements to become a statutory requirement and introduction of penalties for non-compliance
  • Scale up domestic manufacturing

Challenges faced

  • Bankability of discoms and improve financial health of discoms
  • Grid infrastructure needs to be strengthened to accommodate 175 GW of RE
  • Standardization of contractual bids
  • Single window for land acquisition to grid evacuation
  • RE specific lending/ financing to meet the current investment requirements of the sector

Growth prospects for Industry

  •  Promotion of Solar with storage
  • Smart grids
  • Increased domestic manufacturing for solar equipment and components to promote international export market.
  • concerted action from all stakeholders across policy makers, project owners, investors, lenders and power off-takers.



Govt. should encourage indigenous manufacturing

Hartek Singh, CMD, Hartek Group


The past one year has been spectacular for Hartek Group with all our five business units registering steady growth. Hartek Group bagged 1,025-MW solar grid EPC orders in 2016-17, a phenomenal increase of 733% as compared to our order size in the previous year.

Taking its rooftop solar business to the next level to tap the huge opportunities brought by the rapidly growing market for rooftop photovoltaic plants, Hartek Group also embarked on Hartek Solar Pvt Ltd, its rooftop solar vertical, in April this year.

Having commissioned 13.75-MW rooftop solar plants across the country in Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, West Bengal, Punjab and Chandigarh, the Hartek Group rooftop solar business division has been rated among the notable rooftop solar installers in India with a 2% market share by Mercom Capital Group, a leading market analyst.

Firming up its standing as one of India’s prominent transmission and distribution (T&D) companies excelling in adoption of latest technologies, Hartek Power, the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) arm of the Hartek Group, also bagged its first GIS project in October from the Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam Ltd (HVPNL) for executing a 132-KV gas-insulated substation at the 31-acre National Cancer Institute of the AllIndia Institute of Medical Sciences in Jhajjar.

As an acknowledgement of its expertise in executing smart grid technologies, Hartek Power even bagged a prestigious smart grid order from the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd this year for the supply, installation and commissioning of SCADA relays at 55 substations in the upcoming Smart Cities of Ludhiana, Amritsar and Jalandhar.

Way forward:

While T&D will continue to be at the heart of all our businesses, we also have plans to take our rooftop business to the next level by coming up with innovative rooftop/small-scale solar solutions and attractive business models to capitalise on emerging trends.

Sustainability being at the core of our strategies, we will continue to invest in sustainable technologies and focus on the key factors that have contributed to our success, namely timely execution of projects, unmatched quality standards, a high-quality product basket and emphasis on services.

Building on last year’s momentum, when we had secured more than 1-GW solar EPC orders, we will now be targeting larger projects to get to the 2-GW mark by the end of the current financial year. We will be next going for the extra high voltage class in a big way. We are already working on 220 KV grid and plan to take this up to 400 KV and 765 KV, for which we are heavily investing in design and engineering and integrating latest technologies to be ahead of the game. We are also looking to take up more Smart City projects under area-based development, brownfield and rooftop solar projects.

Budget Expectations:

The government should address the concerns associated with GST and announce measures which boost investments. The government should announce special incentives for the renewable energy sector to offset the possible increase in project costs owing to GST. It should also encourage indigenous manufacturing of solar panels so as to reduce dependence on imports by extending special concessions to domestic manufacturers on one hand and increasing import duty on the other. Low-cost finance options can go a long way in promoting the Indian solar panel industry.


India’s winning streaks will continue

Rohit Kumar, Head of Indian Subcontinent, REC

Achievements – 2017

2017 has been a fantastic year for REC in India, with Q1 witnessing the best ever performance of REC in India with 75MW of modules shipped. This included us getting the largest deal of 40 MW from Greenko, which remains our biggest Utility- Scale installation so far for the Indian Sub-Continent.

The rooftop segment which has emerged as the most attractive market segment for REC in India, owing to the performance and reliability of our modules, and emerged as the largest European Solar Module supplier in India across the segments.

One of the major highlights was upgrading our authorized distributor, Redington to Platinum Partner and unveiling our Global Partner Program in India.

Overall our shipments have grown with 134% as compared to the last year’s number, which is quite encouraging.

Way forward – 2018

Looking ahead at 2018, we are optimistic that our winning streak will continue with India planning a slew of policy incentives, it will surely be interesting to watch how the market responds. Rooftops will continue to be a major focus area for us with C&I segment marking a bulk of our orders.

We look forward to implementing our Global Channel Program, which helps create a robust ecosystem to deliver high- performance and reliable solar solutions to Indian customers. It also intends to create a depth in the market along with adding much needed skills and imparting the global best practices along with our technical expertise.

We are also looking to see how the residential market in India reacts to the government policies and what are the ways in which companies can add more value to the customers in this segment. Globally REC is known for its Rooftop Installations and is the preferred choice for home owners and those looking for a reliable and long-term partner which also is a technology leader in its domain. Storage will also play a major role and it would be very interesting to see how the Rooftop sector as a whole responds to the falling prices of the storage in India.

 Budget Expectations

One of the major decisions that is causing a continued state of confusion for the entire industry is the status of the Anti-Dumping Duties, sooner the government brings clarity on this, better it is.

Another very important decision by the government in recent times is the Introduction of the BIS Standards and this will most likely be implemented with effect from next financial year. We are very encouraged by this and hope that its execution will be closely monitored.

Planning to commission 20 MW of solar power next year

Mr. Ketan Mehta, CEO, Rays Power Infra

Achievements – 2017

2017 has been a very exciting year at Rays Power Infra. We launched plans to commission 60MW of solar power generating capacity in Karnataka through Open Access or third party sale, commissioned a 72 MW solar power project in Uttarakhand, and won a bid and signed a Power Purchase Agreement in Tamil Nadu for the development of 100MW in the state. In addition to these achievements, we also began operations in Maharashtra with our first project of 10 MW completed in just 3 months in Mohari village. Our business arm, Rays Future Energy, also built on its strengths and achieved greater scale in this landmark year.

 Way forward – 2018

Our outlook for 2018 is looking even more promising, with plans to commission 20MW solar power generating capacity through the RESCO model for institutional and government projects, a 30MW rooftop Power Purchase Agreement with a private entity, and with our planned entry into the international market in the offing. The company will be bidding and partnering with local players to mark its presence in the Middle East, North Africa, and the Asia-Pacific market. The company also has plans to contribute towards the reduction in usage of fossil fuels by focusing on energy storage and e-mobility charging infrastructure.

Pre – Budget Expectations:

We are also looking forward to the 2018 budget, and we hope that the government continues its exemplary record in promoting and pushing for the greater adoption of solar power in India. We hope for an increase in depreciation benefits offered to the sector from 40% to 80%, and the re-implementation of the tax holiday for solar power firms. We are expecting that solar modules will be exempted from GST with a view to improving solar unit economics and enhancing the sector’s growth. In addition, we are hopeful that the government will take regulatory action against cheap solar power imports, which should attract anti-dumping levies.


 Targeting to add 50 MW this year

Himanshu Yadav, Director, Ultimate Sun Systems

Achievements of Ultimate Sun Systems

Ultimate Sun Systems is an ‘MNRE Channel Partner’ company & pioneer in the field of renewable energy solutions that are environmentally friendly, energy efficient & cost effective. Founded in 2013, Ultimate Sun Systems aims to be identified as one of the leading companies in India across distributed power generation & micro systems, catering to the growing power needs of rural and remote areas across the country. It is headquartered in Gurgaon, Haryana, and has offices & after-sales service network in Ambala, Derabassi (Punjab), Aligarh (UP), Narnaul (Haryana), and Bangalore. The achievements so far:

  • USSPL had been awarded the “Rising Star- Solar PV, EPC company of the year”, by India’s most prestigious solar industry awards – India Solar Week Excellence Awards 2017.
  • As per the Solar Grading by MNRECRISIL we have been Graded SP-2B (which indicates High performance and High financial strength).
  • USSPL registered an exponential Growth of 2000% in year 2016-17.
  • USSPL had installed a Solar Roof Top System of 2.5 MW at MM University (which is the largest Solar Roof Top System in an Educational Institution in whole of North India and one of the biggest in the whole Country)
  • USSPL is in process of some global tie-ups to expand and take up Large MW scale projects under OPEX/RESCO model. Going ahead in the year 2017, it has already signed a PPA of around 25 MW in North India and South of India.
  • Had Recently set-up a Branch Offices in Bangalore and Mumbai and appointed Executive Directors to look after the West & South Operations.

Way forward 2018

USSPL had a very ambitious but practical Target to grow and expand on a Pan-India basis.

  • An internal target of around 50 MW within the next Year is set.
  • USSPL is targeting to upgrade the Solar Rating from SP-2B to SP-1A
  • USSPL would like to diversify to Renewable Retail Products related to Solar and other Renewable Source of Energy.
  • USSPL plans to work and integrate Block Chain Technology to De-Centralised Renewable Energy Generation for increasing the Access to Electricity

Pre-Budget Expectations

USSPL has certain expectation which is as follows

  • To ensure a sustained growth in the sector, extension of 80 IA tax holidays for at least twothree year period would be highly desirable.
  • The Clean Energy Cess needs to be Rolled Back to support the development of renewable energy sector in the country.
  • With the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST), the tax benefits availed by the renewable energy is disappearing. This is leading to raise cost of production of renewable based energy. To have as less of an impact as possible, Renewables (especially Solar) should be kept in the lowest tax bracket of GST.
  • To promote and increase the usage of the Solar Systems the Subsidy to be continued for the Residential and Institutional Sector.
  • To promote and support the Make in India initiate and bring policies which favour production of solar cells and equipment in India.


Aim is to solarise more rooftops

Gagan Vermani, CEO, MYSUN


2017 as a year has been the best year in the rooftop space in India and at MYSUN it was no different. With increased momentum and traction, it further re-energized our belief that rooftop solar would play a crucial role in the mass adoption of solar in the coming years. We continued to see an uprising demand especially in the residential sector and continue to channelize and service that. With a lot of focus on retailization of solar, we continued to focus on key aspects such as Finance and Servicing to ensure a smooth and standardized customer journey. In the coming year, we will continue to focus and further develop our in-house financing and service products named MYSUN FlexiPay™ and MYSUN Assured™ respectively, strongly aided by use of cutting edge and latest technology.



Working on creating two verticals each for Govt and Pvt sectors

Sushil Sarawgi, Director, Kor Energy India Pvt. Ltd.

Achievements 2017

Year 2017 has been a year of phenomenal growth for KOR Energy India Pvt. Ltd. Before 2017, KOR Energy was majorly focusing on residential rooftop markets in NCR with installation sizes of 5 KWp to 15 KWp. In early 2017 we bagged the prestigious orders of 100KWp Rooftop Solar Plant at Delhi Public School Varanasi and 50KWp Rooftop Solar Plan order of Jain Mandir Sonagir. After this we executed 233KWp Rooftop Solar Plant at 3 Cold Storages in Haryana.

In later 2017, we bagged 2.8MWp Rooftop Orders in Uttar Pradesh from prestigious clients like Apollo Metetax Ltd, Apollo Pipes Ltd. We are now a well-known player in Northern India in Rooftop Solar EPC segment in residential, commercial and industrial segment.

We currently are focusing on recruitment of quality manpower and building a good engineering and execution team.

Way forward – 2018

In 2018 we plan to focus more on industrial rooftop segment PAN India. We will also be doing residential installation across Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh under government subsidy schemes. Our focus will be very much on Government Business from April 2018 and we want to create a separate vertical to cater to the same.

Budget Expectations

Our expectation from budget is to have a greater allocation of capital subsidies for rooftop solar in terms on lower interest financing for Solar Installation for commercial sector as Capital Investment is still a deterrent for majority of customers. Further there should not be any further reduction in Accelerated Depreciation Benefits for at least few years.



India’s market share to go up to 20 % from 5.2%

V.V Kamath, Managing Director, Fronius India


Fronius India currently services solar clients across sectors like manufacturing, automotive, hospitality, government, educational institutions and Commercial. Fronius solar inverters have been successfully deployed across cities like Pune, Kolhapur, Nasik, Bangalore, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Ranchi, to name a few, resulting in over 100 MW of solar installations till date.

Solar inverters from Fronius are of world class quality and include upto a 20 year warranty. Products are available in a wide choice of models and are easy to install, repair and service at site. Fronius inverters help to maximize the yield of PV systems and stabilize the grid, thanks to advance grid functions implemented on all our devices. Quick repairs are possible due to unique Snaplnverter design, and hence ensure minimum down time and service cost. Fronius solar inverters are future ready and are already capable of meeting the requirements of the grid of tomorrow.

In the four years since the company entered the Indian market they have completed over 5000 inverter installations in about 20 states across India and have a client base of over 250 companies, like Fourth Partner Ltd, Sunshot solar, Rely on Solar, to name a few.

Way forward

Given the rate at which the solar industry is booming, we are expecting high returns by 2019. Currently, we have a market share of 5.2% and are expecting it to increase to 20% in the next two years. When we entered the solar market back in 2014, a handful of other players had already created a strong base by then. However, we were able to strengthen our position in the market through the high quality products and services we had to offer.


India to add new projects worth 20 GW this year

Karunesh Chaturvedi, Head-Corporate Affairs, Vikram Solar

Achievements – 2017

During 2017, we expanded our annual rated manufacturing capacity to 1 GW. We completed prestigious projects namely, NTPC-Bhadla, Rajasthan- 130 MW, Gujarat Industries Power Company LTD- 80 MW, NTPC-Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh – 50 MW, Jindal Aluminium Limited – Bavihalu, Karnataka-20MW, Tirumala Tirupati DevasthanamChittoor, Andhra Pradesh-10 MW, and SBI Patna- 100 kW.

Our year-on-year revenue growth also showcased an 82.23% growth in FY 16-17. Facts clearly highlight that last year we have considerably increased our contribution in the Indian and consequently the global solar revolution (completing nearly 300 MW of projects).

We have focused on technology innovation to manufacture products that are designed to the highest standards of quality, reliability and performance.

Our modules have scored high in leading test facilities such as- DNV GL, PV TechnologyUniversity of Cyprus, met international quality standards, and corroborated our commitment towards quality and performance.

VSL has recently launched new products with mono-PERC cell technology having peak power >350W and a system voltage of 1500V.

Our mission is to speed up the growth of solar energy acceptance and implementation within and outside the country, and we believe our strategy to dominate the industry by providing efficient modules and services will keep us competitive.

And with new opportunities coming forward, it is our strong belief that Vikram Solar will become one of the highest contributors of solar growth in India during the upcoming years.

Way forward – 2018

The company has expanded its solar manufacturing capacity from 500 MW to 1 GW in 2017 and we have installed finest machinery and equipment imported from Switzerland, Germany and Japan in our manufacturing factories to uphold the quality and performance of our products and services.

We see huge potential in 2018 with new projects (20 GW with domestic solar sourcing), new Government initiatives (ISA) appearing. We believe the best way to lead the solar industry is through focusing on innovation. Therefore, we have introduced a new line of monocrystalline module ‘Somera’. This new range of modules have higher voltage operation capacity (1500V), PERC cells, extremely Low Light-Induced Degradation, and MC4 compatibility, that means the energy yield would be at least 10% higher with these modules as compared to the earlier modules.

We have also signed MOUs with international tech leaders like teamtechnik, Finwind to reduce the learning curve and implement best-inclass technology to support innovation and quality product manufacturing which 2018 will demand.

We have already developed an in-house

Budget recommendations

  •  We would recommend that the 80% accelerated depreciation benefit should be reinstated for Solar industry to achieve the 100 GW target of National Solar Mission.
  • MAT should be removed for the next 10 years for units operating in Special Economic Zones in order to increase their competitiveness
  • We would recommend that this implementation of this sunset clause to be extended to 31st March, 2022 in line with the National Solar Mission target of 100 GW by 2022
  • Corporate tax should be brought down to 25% by 2020.
  • The benefit of Section 32AC should be extended.
  • All equipment involved in deploying solar power plants including work contracts should be categorised under 5% tax bracket.
  • We recommend that the input services provided to power sector should be 100% exempt/zero rated project.
  • We recommend that NCEF should be made available to Solar manufacturing firms to expand their Research and Development.
  • In wake on WTO ruling on DCR Government buildings like school & hospitals should have mandatory rooftop installations (manufactured indigenously).
  • The revised MSIPS notified vide Notification No. 27(35)/2013/IPHW dated 03.08.2015 should extend all relaxations to all projects approved before 3.8.2015 and not limited to units set up or expanded with effect from August 2015.
  • 5% Interest subsidy should be provided on interest costs for the funds borrowed towards investments in Capex and Working Capital for current and new investment with a loan tenure of 10 years.
  • 10% production subsidy to counter-act the export subsidy offered by China should be provided.
  • Solar power equipment manufacturing should be included under the priority sector lending.
  • Land for solar manufacturing units should be provided on 99 years lease and low cost electricity should be provided.
  • Super-deductions of 200% of the R&D expenditure for new and clean solar technology development should be allowed.
  • The incentive given to Solar Industry under MEIS Scheme of 2% should be increased to 5% to promote export of solar products globally
  • Every unit eligible for CSR should spend at least 25% of their CSR expenditure on clean energy deployment in rural areas.



Forthcoming budget to address pressing issues of solar

Shekhar Singal, Managing Director, Eastman Auto & Power Ltd.

The solar power sector is one of the thrust areas with government setting an ambitious solar target of 100 GW by the year 2022. However, the solar mission can only be successful if the domestic manufacturing sector is also developed. Currently the solar module manufacturing capacity is around 7.5 GW annually and the solar cell manufacturing capacity is around 1.7 GW. Currently 85-90 per cent of the solar module installations are from China. Such high volumes of imports lead to a forex outflow of approximately INR 20,000 Crore or USD 3 Billion. If unchecked, this is expected to increase to USD 20 Billion by the year 2025.

While some of these challenges could be addressed with non-budgetary action, we do hope the forthcoming budget will address some of these pressing issues. The Central Board of Excise and Customs has sought to reclassify imported solar panels and modules in a category that attracts 7.5% duty and various kinds of cess with the cost of a solar cell, around 30 cents at present, will go up to around 50 cents for Indian developers if 70% safeguard duty is imposed. The cost of solar power will accordingly go up to around Rs. 7 per unit.  We do hope the forthcoming budget will address this issue.

We think domestic solar industry is faced with a significant loss of potential employment and innovation opportunities with manufacturing units and R&D. This could also act as a roadblock in the Make in India initiative in the power Industry. Introducing favourable policies for domestic solar manufacturing, driving innovation through R&D support in the sector, focusing on skill development – are few of the many steps that Indian solar industry drastically needs for growth.


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