India’s PV module production capacity hits 64.5 GW, cell output reaches 5.8 GW

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From pv magazine India

India added 20.8 GW of solar module manufacturing capacity and 3.2 GW of new solar cell production lines in calendar year 2023, according to Mercom India’s latest report, “State of Solar PV Manufacturing in India 2024.”

The report said that PV manufacturing capacity additions in 2023 were primarily driven by the anticipated reimposition of the Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM) order from April 2024, as well as potential export opportunities.

India’s cumulative solar module manufacturing capacity stood at 64.5 GW and total solar cell capacity 5.8 GW hit Dec. 2023. The state of Gujarat accounted for 46.1% of the country’s cumulative PV module manufacturing capacity, while Telangana accounted for 39% of all solar cell production capacity.

Monocrystalline modules accounted for 67.5% of the country’s panel production capacity, followed by polycrystalline, tunnel oxide passivated contact (TOPCon), and thin-film modules.

About 60% of the installed module manufacturing capacity was equipped to manufacture solar modules in M10 and G12 wafer sizes. As of January 2024, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy's (MNRE) updated List-I shows that installations under the ALMM order accounted for just 22.2 GW of the total module production capacity.

India imported 16.2 GW of modules in 2023, 158% up from 10.3 GW in 2022. Domestic manufacturers exported 4.8 GW of solar modules in 2023, up 204% from 1.6 GW in 2022. India’s solar cell imports stood at 15.6 GW in 2023, up 169% year on year. Solar cell exports reached 286.3 MW in 2023, up 2,765% from 10 MW in 2022.

Mercom projects that India’s PV module manufacturing capacity will surpass 150 GW and cell capacity will reach more than 75 GW by 2026. Based on the nation's current pipeline, monocrystalline modules are expected to account for 59.7% of annual module production capacity and 50.5% of cell production capacity by 2026, followed by TOPCon, heterojunction (HJT), and other cell technologies.

“As Indian manufacturers continue to invest in expanding their solar panel production capacities, they need to carefully navigate through the complexities of geopolitical tensions and trade disputes. Cheaper Chinese products will continue to challenge the competitiveness of locally produced modules,’ said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group. “A policy change in the US, post-elections, could potentially shrink export opportunities, and demand for solar energy in India needs to ramp up significantly to consume the projected increase in module production in the coming three years.”

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