Hyet Solar, an Arnhem, Netherlands-based producer of flexible solar modules, is exploring the possibility of constructing a 200 MW module manufacturing facility in the Indian state of Assam, pv magazine has learned.
The Dutch firm is hoping to attract investors – either Indian or foreign – to help support the venture.
Max Middelman, business development manager for Hyet Solar, told pv magazine that discussions are at an early stage, and while there is no concrete timescale for when the fab will be built, added: “India is a really interesting solar market for us right now”.
Hyet Solar would not be directly investing the reported €200 million required to set up the fab, but would offer to tie up with local partners and financial institutions. The Dutch firm’s flexible solar modules are chiefly designed for rooftop applications due to their aesthetics and ability to fit all roof types and spaces.
The Make in India program – introduced to attract foreign investment into India’s manufacturing landscape – has so far had mixed success in boosting the nation’s largely dormant PV manufacturing space.
However, with the government currently mulling the introduction of tariffs on solar components imported from China, Taiwan and Malaysia, conditions could soon be ripe for domestic PV manufacturing.
Chinese modules accounted for 89% of all installations in India this year, with domestic manufacturers unable to compete on price (modules are imported from China for as little as $0.32/Wp) or volume – despite sitting on 7 GW of module manufacturing capacity, data from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) shows that a mere 1.7 GW of module production capacity is currently viable.
However, new data from India’s Department of Commerce shows that module imports are down 40% quarter-over-quarter in Q3 a prices for Chinese modules rose and the pending anti-dumping case put the brakes on development. Year-on-year, the $732 million volume of imports registered in Q3 was some 44% higher than the same period last year.