The new guidelines fall into the “Phase 1, Batch II” category and are applicable to solar PV projects that will be selected during 2011-2012. According to Debasish Paul Choudhury, president, SEMI India, “The newly announced guidelines will pave the way for the country’s leading Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to participate in and exploit the benefits of scale with the cap per developer going up to 50 MW. The increase in the size of projects was a key recommendation that SEMI highlighted based on a stakeholder survey exercise we conducted earlier this year. We are pleased to see this implemented. The extended timelines for project milestones in Batch-2 are also a welcome step. Along with these, it would be prudent to include a technical filter in the selection of projects for this and future phases.”
Indian manufacturing leaders believe that to provide a boost to manufacturing in the country, an aggressive domestic content requirement is needed, without keeping out the best, newest and proven technologies, in a limited way. “India has a great role to play in solar manufacturing—
Mr. Choudhury stated, “We believe that, alongside the strengthening of crystalline PV manufacturing, where we have an established and proven manufacturing base for cells and modules, thin-film manufacturing needs to develop in India. It is an important step towards building up a complete solar manufacturing eco-system in the country and improving our global competitiveness. Also, while we are happy to see some leading businesses setting up integrated solar manufacturing facilities, including polysilicon and wafer manufacturing, other segments of the supply chain, such as materials, need to be established for the industry to be able to innovate and drive down costs”.
Challenges remain for solar manufacturers and developers in the country. Financing is expensive and hard to secure for solar projects and questions persist around the bankability of documentation that developers need to submit to secure financing. Government payment security schemes and loan guarantee schemes are starting to address the situation, but more remains to be done. “If interest rates may be brought down, through priority lending to the solar sector, the Indian solar industry will see huge growth avenues,” added Mr. Subramanya.
SEMI India produces SOLARCON India, the premier solar technology and business event in the country, which will be held November 9-11 in Hyderabad. It combines a three-day industry exhibition with an international conference and will attract high-profile participation by renowned solar energy experts from all segments of the industry supply chain, academia and the government, from India and around the world. For more information, please visit www.solarconindia.org.
About SEMI and PV Group
The SEMI India PV Advisory Committee represents companies that include manufacturers, equipment and materials suppliers, solar power project developers and academia, and connects the complete PV supply chain in India. The 15 members represent: Tata BP Solar, Applied Materials India, Lanco Solar, Solar Semiconductor, Moser Baer India, Titan Energy Systems, Oerlikon Solar, Websol Energy Solutions Ltd., SunEdison Energy India Pvt. Ltd., AES Solar Energy Pvt. Ltd., Department of Energy Science and Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, and Siemens Ltd.
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Association contact: Deborah Geiger, SEMI Headquarters, Phone: 1.408.943.7988, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org