From pv magazine India
JMK Research says in a newly published report that India could create 13.75 GW of solar module production capacity and 6.9 GW of cell output over the next 18 months.
Module manufacturers with 1 GW+ capacity have proposed cumulative capacity additions of 9 GW of modules and 6.4 GW of cells. This also includes Vikram Solar’s plan to set up a 3 GW fab for modules, cells and wafers in Tamil Nadu over the next four to five years.
Two key manufacturers have already achieved a certain degree of expansion recently. In April, Tata Power Solar expanded its cell manufacturing capacity. Earlier this month, Premier Energies also expanded its module manufacturing capacity from 500 MW to 1.25 GW with the addition of 750 MW of cell capacity.
JMK Research said Indian manufacturers are upgrading their capabilities to meet domestic and foreign demand for higher-efficiency modules. Mono-PERC tech is rapidly gaining prominence over multicrystalline modules, with the domestic utility-scale solar market expected to entirely shift to mono-PERC by December of this year.
Wafers are also becoming bigger. This is already being felt in the domestic rooftop solar segment, which is moving toward bigger and bifacial modules.
“M6 wafer-based modules are expected to become mainstream in new domestic rooftop solar capacity additions soon. Also, domestic manufacturing capacity for bifacial modules is expanding as manufacturers foresee high growth potential in demand for these modules, especially from the residential rooftop market,” said JMK.
The new capacity announcements follow the government's introduction of the Basic Customs Duty (BCD) and a Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme to reduce solar import dependence and scale domestic manufacturing capabilities. India meets more than 80% of its solar module demand through imports from other Asian countries such as China, Vietnam, and Malaysia. In 2020, the nation imported $1,527 million worth of solar cells and modules.
India’s ambitious installation target of an additional 280 GW of solar by 2030, along with its high dependence on solar imports, calls for the rapid development of the domestic PV manufacturing industry, which currently has 16 GW of cumulative module capacity. The manufacturing capacity for polysilicon, ingots, and wafers is non-existent, primarily due to high production costs. However, the lack of scale and integration of PV manufacturing has been a critical barrier to India’s solar program.
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