Indian solar market has an immense potential with an average demand of 10 GW per year. India has set an ambitious plan for solar with a target of 100 GW capacity by 2022. Currently, the wafer production capacity in India is Nil and cell manufacturing capacity is nearly 3.5 GW. Of this only 1.50 GW is operational. So, there is huge gap between demand and supply for wafer as well as cell.
Hence, there is a huge potential for cell and wafer manufacturing in India, believes Manish Gupta, Managing Director, Insolation Energy, a domestic solar PV module manufacturer. In conversation with Manu Tayal, Associate Editor, Saur Energy International, Gupta shared his views on various topics which the power sector is currently dealing with along with his company’s future expansion plans in the renewable energy space.
Here’re the excerpts from that exclusive interview published in the Saur Energy International Magazine’s January 2020 edition:
Q. How much of the total module production figures touched by Insolation Energy till date? What are further targets for 2020?
Till date we have supplied more than 100 MW of solar modules in various power projects across the country. Further we plan to achieve 100 MW of solar modules in 2020, keeping in mind the expansion plans we have in next few months.
Q. Do you have any further plans for expansion of your current production line?
Currently our production capacity is 100 MW. We plan to expand this further to 200 MW in a few months’ time. Our aim is to have separate lines for big and small modules.
Q. As government issued some domestic manufacturing linked solar tenders last year, do you think they help in increasing the demand for domestic products?
Yes definitely, more than 90 percent of solar panels used in Indian solar projects are imported. Indian manufacturers are facing tough time as they are running at low capacity. This despite the fact that quality standards of Indian Modules are at par with International Standards. So, domestic manufacturing linked solar tenders are a welcome step in the right direction not only to support the ailing domestic module manufacturers but also to save the precious foreign exchange.
Q. How do you see the scope for cell and wafer manufacturing in India?
Indian solar market has an immense potential with an average demand of 10 GW per year. India has set an ambitious plan for solar with a target of 100 GW capacity by 2022. Currently the wafer production capacity in India is Nil and cell manufacturing capacity is nearly 3.5 GW. Of this only 1.50 GW is operational. So, there is huge gap between demand and supply for wafer as well as cell. Hence, there
is a huge potential for cell and wafer manufacturing in India.
Q. As 2020 has already been started, rooftop solar has failed to grow well. Where do you think we have missed the growth opportunity?
India has set an ambitious plan for solar projects installations with a target of 100 GW capacity by 2022 out of which 40 GW is through rooftop. Till date the achievement is merely 4 GW. Some of the probable reasons are:
- Incoherency between State and Central Government Policies
- Lack of Long term Policy for Rooftop
- Lack of Interest on the part of Discom
- Shortage of trained man power
- Non- availability of easy funds
Q. As per the rapidly changing technology, how do you ensure the technological upgradation of your products, machinery as well as staff? Do you see the Indian market shifting from poly to mono modules in a big way in 2020?
We are upgrading and incorporating new equipments for technology upgradation. We have one of the best testing equipments for quality assurance and product upgradation. Along with this we regularly organize the product and process training for our staff by internal and external agencies. As with international trends the Indian market is also seeing a trend shift from poly to mono perc modules.
Q. Are you currently exporting or having plans for export of your made in India modules? If yes, in which countries and what are further export plans?
We are already exploring export opportunities and are in touch with few overseas clients for this. We are planning to enter into Mid East, Africa and selected European countries.