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Solar Energy India

India’s Solar Power Sector

U.S. Technology Companies to Benefit from India’s Solar PV Module Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme.

The government of India has released guidelines for implementing a Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme ‘National Programme on High Efficiency Solar PV Modules’ with an aim towards increasing domestic manufacturing and reducing import dependence in the renewable sector.  The government has approved and allocated approximately USD $600 million for the PLI scheme that will be spent over a period of five years.

PLI scheme (https://www.investindia.gov.in/sector/renewable-energy) will be implemented by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).  The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) has been appointed as the Implementing Agency.  Per the guidelines issued by MNRE, preference will be given to fully integrated manufacturing plants with capacity of not less than 1GW, using silicon based technology, fully integrated thin film technology or other technologies having a minimum level of integration across solar cells and modules, and meeting the minimum module performance parameter set forth in the PLI guidelines.

The government also announced its intent to impose a basic custom duty of 40% on imported Solar cells and 25% on solar modules from April 1, 2022 as a means to further discourage import dependence, especially on China.

Solar power in India has emerged as a significant energy source for India’s growing energy demand.  In recent years, the Indian government has increased renewable energy capacity through the launch of various financial/funding schemes, like Solar Energy Subsidy Scheme, UDAY Scheme, Rooftop Scheme and ambitious targets for the country.  As the country progresses toward achieving its target of 175GW capacity by 2022 and 450GW capacity by 2030, India is hoping to attract high-volume solar PV manufacturing.

The PLI scheme is intended to solve the energy crises, create employment opportunities, introduce innovative and cutting-edge technologies to India, and help the country achieve its renewable energy target within the timeline.  Industry experts feel that this scheme will benefit the bigger players in the market.  Market players such as Coal India Limited (CIL) which is the world’s largest coal producing company and Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited (BHEL), India’s largest engineering and manufacturing company, are also expected to participate in the bidding process for the PLI incentives.

Notable Indian companies like Adani Solar, Vikram Solar, Renew Power, and Acme Solar are planning on making significant investments to take advantage of the PLI Scheme.  Many Indian companies, both private and Public Sector Undertakings (state-owned enterprises), are looking to diversify into the entire value chain of solar PV manufacturing, strategically moving away from fossil energy.  They seek partnerships to bring new technologies in the renewable energy sector.  The introduction of the PLI scheme presents significant technology licensing opportunities for U.S. solar PV manufacturers offering cutting edge manufacturing technology for high efficiency modules.

The U.S. Commercial Service in India is actively monitoring renewable energy sector market developments and Indian company announcements that might represent opportunities for American companies.

For U.S. companies seeking to participate competitively in these new endeavors, finding the right local partner or establishing a presence in the Indian market is very important and the U.S. Commercial Service is ready to assist.

U.S. companies interested in exploring potential opportunities in the renewable energy sector may contact Commercial Assistant Anisha Shashidharan and Commercial Specialist Renie Subin in New Delhi for further details.

06/08/2021