IT HAPPENS ONLY IN INDIA,
GREAT JOB MR. PARMAR
it is good to eat as many as vegetables and fruits (totally vegetarian), but my aurvedic doctor asked me to stop eating every...
Articles by the Author
Industry claims vested interests are likely to take advantage of lax bidding rules for 1,000 MW solar power
Earlier mandate of domestic content requirement only for crystalline silicon technology led to most developers importing cheaper thinfilm solar panels
Uncertainty over payment and short time frame keeps developers away
Larger projects under National Solar Mission doing better than smaller ones
Draft of national solar mission’s second phase fails to learn from past mistakes
Draft document proposes 9,000 MW of grid-connected solar power and 800 MW of off-grid application; lacks clarity on critical issues
State aims to have same amount of solar as is now installed in all of India by 2014
About 40 kilometres from Delhi, in the bustling real estate market of Noida-Greater Noida, lies the biggest irony that the renewable energy industry faces. Indosolar, the country’s largest manufacturer of solar photovoltaic cells, has set up a 400 megawatt unit. Its entrance is slick and ultra-modern, typifying the product it manufactures. Stepping into the 28,000 square metre production unit, one is struck by the shimmering clean, futuristic and sleek production line, symbolic of the clean future that solar power promises.
Polysilicon wafers, the raw material, can be fed at the starting point. Solar cells, efficiently packed in boxes, can be collected at the end point. But none of this is happening. The production line stands still. One production line of Indosolar stopped making cells in January last year. The other was shut down a few months later in September. In fact, at present, 80 per cent of the country’s manufacturing capacity is shut.
Herein lies the irony. Why is India’s largest solar cell maker not producing at a time when the country is in the midst of implementing its most ambitious and arguably the world’s quickest solar energy mission?
The answer is simple, yet perplexing. “We have no orders,” says Rahul Gupta, who set up Indosolar in 2009. “We took the pains to get the most modern manufacturing units designed in Austria. Our in-house research and development increased the efficiency of our cells remarkably. As Rajasthan and Gujarat have gone into an overdrive and are installing hundreds of megawatts of solar energy, it should have been heydays for Indian manufacturers. Instead, there is bankruptcy, loan restructuring and pleas to the government for support against international competition,” he rues.
The sunshine industry, literally and figuratively, has been allowed to fade away. There are loopholes in the existing policies. While foreign manufacturers dump their products at dirt cheap prices in the country, domestic manufacturers are finding it hard to compete.
Kushal Pal Singh Yadav and Jonas Hamberg analyse what ails the country’s solar manufacturing industry and how it can be revived
Should solar thermal be preferred over photovoltaic solar power?
A number of solar mission projects operational only on paper
NVVN recovers Rs 28 crore from erring firms
Jonas Hamberg stumbles on fictitious companies dealing in public funds
For the Government of India the first phase of the national solar mission has been a grand success. It not only managed to attract industry to invest in the generation of an energy considered costly, but also dramatically drove down the cost of producing this energy. In its celebration, little did the government realise that a major conglomerate had subverted rules to acquire a stake in the solar mission much larger than allowed legally. Like the big telecom players in the 2G scam, here a company called LANCO Infratech set up front companies that bid for solar power projects under Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. When the government has adopted a policy of one-project-per-proponent under the mission to encourage competition, LANCO managed to get nine. At the end of the first phase of the solar mission, LANCO has got its hands over 235 MW of allocation, almost a quarter of the total 1,000 MW to be derived from solar radiation under the first phase. And with this it has cornered an assured revenue of about Rs 13,000 crore. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and power purchaser NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam could not check this. Their monitoring mechanisms are either not present or have been switched off after the bidding for the first phase. Chandra Bhushan, assisted by Jonas Hamberg, explains how LANCO bypassed ministry rules and where the solar sector is headed
About half the projects miss deadline
Will Britain's court of appeal uphold government decision to slash solar power subsidies?
Lowest bid in second batch of solar energy projects was for Rs7.49/unit
Developers face penalty in the range of Rs. 2 crore for a month’s delay
Project proposals total 2,500 MW solar energy in second batch of bidding
What will prevail? Crystalline PV or thin-film