The 450 GW of renewable energy target that the central government has aimed to achieve by the year 2030, almost 2/3rd of the same would come from solar energy stated the honorable Minister of State for Renewable Energy, GOI, Shri Bhagwant Khuba at the virtual event on Global Value Chains- Backward and Forward integration, in the session –Ecosystems for Solar Manufacturing in India organized by the apex industry body, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
Speaking at the event, Shri Khuba stated that this is a huge opportunity for business houses to tap the sector for the period of next nine years. “India till recently was only importing the solar power manufacturing equipment to generate solar power, however, a lot has changed since then. The central government has adopted a 360-degree view to address all the issues and clear all the roadblocks to achieve the target,” He explained.
Shri Khuba informed that the government wants to achieve self-sufficiency or Aatmanirbharta in the field of renewable energy. “The government is also putting together a policy framework in this regard. However, I firmly believe that all this is not possible without the active participation of all the stakeholders,” He said.
Shri Amitesh Sinha, Joint Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Renewable Energy stated that India has a clear road map on part of demand visibility. “So, solar energy would contribute almost 300 GW to the renewable energy target that the country aims to achieve. India needs to add around 25 GW of Solar energy capacities every year. Apart from this, we are also moving towards a green hydrogen ecosystem,” he said.
He also explained that the government is now focusing its attention on solving the supply side problems on how manufacturing equipment can be supplied and how India can become Aatmanirbhar in this particular sector. “The earlier efforts were not encouraging to the solar equipment manufacturers. Now with the government deciding to impose 40 percent basic customs duty on solar modules and 25 percent on solar cells from 1st April 2022, imports would become more expensive and local manufacturing would be encouraged,” he said.
Shri Saurabh Singhal, Director and Partner, Auctus Advisors, ASSOCHAM’s energy consulting partners stated that currently the solar manufacturing space is dominated by China and while India has limited capacity in down stream value chain, it has no presence in the upstream.
“The government in the recent past has taken several commendable measures mostly focused on down stream value chain. Like the 40 percent basic custom duty on imported modules will restrict imports of cells. Also the Rs 4500 crores budget allocation on the PLI scheme will incentivize effective module production,” he said.
He further stated that to reduce the dependence, India needs to follow a roadmap with realistic targets to promote manufacturing of all components across the value chains.
“For the industry to come up with the manufacturing capacity, the government also needs to ensure the demand for domestic products and enable cost competitiveness,” he added.
Shri Vineet Agarwal, Managing director of TCI and President, ASSOCHAM stated that domestic manufacturing ecosystem is critical for self-reliance and Atmanirbhar Bharat. “Indigenous manufacturing of the equipment will reduce the recurring forex outgo of anywhere between $2.5 and $5 billion per annum to meet the projected demand of 450 GW by 2030. It will create 50,000 direct and 1.25 lakh indirect jobs, along with opportunities for MSME’s in the associated supply chain. And will ensure energy security without depending on other countries and create resilient supply chains,” He said.
Shri Agarwal explained that despite these policy push by the Indian Government, the the global industry is highly concentrated, and competitiveness of domestic manufacturing will require comprehensive and sustainable policy support. “The PLI scheme introduced by the government will help in creating the right ecosystem and help India go up the value chain,” he said.
Shri Deepak Sood, Secretary General, ASSOCHAM stated that while the Indian solar power generation industry has immense potential, a robust domestic supply chain of solar equipment manufacturing will promote self-reliance and energy security as also preserve valuable forex reserves. “Government of India has announced and implemented several initiatives to boost the solar manufacturing industry. ASSOCHAM and its members, we laud government’s efforts,” he said.
He further informed that despite policy directions, India’s domestic manufacturing capacity has been unable to keep pace with the growing solar generation capacity. “An end-to-end a domestic supply chain is critical in making India’s solar equipment cost-competitive in the global market. Additional measures are needed especially in the upstream segments to ensure a sustainable integrated supply chain,” He said.