India: Domestic PV manufacturing capacity reaches 2 GW

Since the launch of its Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) in 2010, which aims to install 20 GW of solar power by 2022, India’s domestic manufacturing capacity of photovoltaic cells and modules has increased from around 200 MW to 2 GW, says MNRE.

While domestic content requirements, among other benefits for local manufacturers, have been stipulated under the first phase of the mission – and more stringent rules are being considered under the second – there have been complaints by some in India that imported photovoltaic goods, particularly from the U.S., are causing problems for India’s manufacturers.

In response, the government launched an anti-dumping investigation into solar cells from the U.S., China, Taiwan and Malaysia. It also, however, offers concessional customs duties to imports of finished solar products and equipment, in its bid to reduce solar power costs.

Solar power

In related news, MNRE has estimated that the solar power potential per square km in most of India is between 30 and 50 MW, in shadow-free areas.

Overall, MNRE states that 27 GW of renewable energy has been installed in India. It aims to install a further 30 GW of new capacity between 2012 and 2017.

Of the cumulative capacity installed, solar is said to account for just over 1 GW. In November, Mercom Capital Group stated that around 1.1 GW of projects are due to be installed in the next six months. Meanwhile, the MNRE has allocated 1.172 GW worth of solar projects via various programs over the past three years, of which 369 MW have already been commissioned.

This year, 4.4 GW of new solar projects have been announced in India, however, Bridge to India predicts that only around 1.1 GW will be online by the end of the year. Mercom is slightly more optimistic, with forecasts of between 1.3 to 1.4 GW.

There are, however, concerns that Phase II will be "indefinitely delayed" due to a lack of funds. Despite this, it seems likely that when funds are available, a Viability Gap Funding (VGF) model will be adopted, as opposed to reverse auctions.