While Africa has emerged as a dynamic, fast-moving hub, Asia leads in capacity deployment with its total capacity more than tripling to nearly 4.3 GW in 2017 from 1.3 GW in 2008, finds IRENA. Particularly, in India, a strong policy has pushed deployment of off-grid solar for agriculture and public end-uses.
The two-year period of the recommended safeguard duty is very short, discouraging any investment in setting up new solar manufacturing capacity, say analysts and companies pv magazine spoke to. At the same time, for solar project developers, the duty will impact tariffs to the tune of 12-15%, posing an immediate threat to viability of projects under execution, they add.
Dr Rashi Gupta, Director at Vision Mechatronics discusses the EV landscape in India, particularly focusing on the potential for battery manufacturing. While there are currently many challenges, like a lack of raw materials and infrastructure, the opportunities are immense.
The Indian Government must create a complete ecosystem to ensure the effective on-ground execution of its ambitious solar program, says Chakradhar Byreddy, Director–Renewable Energy, UL, Asia Pacific, during an interview with pv magazine. This includes investing in laboratory infrastructure, and skills for technical due diligence, energy yield assessment and forecasting.
More than 80% of India’s solar equipment requirements are met through imports from China. Against this backdrop, industry analysts see the predicted 30% lower module pricing, following China’s revised policy, as a good news for Indian PV projects.
Madhya Pradesh recently floated a tender for the implementation of grid connected rooftop solar PV projects under the RESCO (renewable energy service company) Model. Manu Srivastava, principal secretary and commissioner, New and Renewable Energy Department, Government of Madhya Pradesh, and managing director of Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikas Nigam (MPUVNL), speaks to pv magazine about the tender and initiatives taken by the state government.
The projects are to be developed on a build-own-operate basis for an aggregate capacity of 2,500 MW. The eligible bid capacity is 200-500 MW, with a project capacity of at least 50 MW at one project site. The maximum tariff payable to each project developer is fixed at Rs 2.93/kWh for the entire term of 25 years.
Waaree Energies has set up a 1 GW solar PV panel plant in Vapi, which is in addition to its existing 500 MW plant in Surat, Gujarat. The company intends to further increase capacity to 2 GW. Among other key developments, it has partnered with third-party equipment suppliers to manufacture batteries.
While news of Japan’s SoftBank announcing up to USD 60-100 billion investment in India’s solar PV power generation is creating ripples across the industry circles, industry analysts feel that the committment sounds unrealistic in view of India’s current PV market status and future needs.
India saw the issuance of 13 new utility-scale solar PV tenders totaling 11,945 MW in the quarter ending March 31, 2018, which is 68% more than in the entire of 2017. However, tender capacity for rooftop solar PV (greater than 1 MW in size) was down 50%, at 102 MW.
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