The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) concluded in a report that increased investment and support for the manufacturing industry is necessary for the National Solar Mission to truly “unleash its potential”.
Last week the report Laying the Foundation for a Bright Future was released, which provided a comprehensive analysis of the manufacturing industry for Indian solar. The document recommended that “to be a dominant player in the global arena, India needs to make prompt, smart, and concerted investments in manufacturing.” With fantastic potential in the country (the MNRE released figures of 979MW of grid-tied PV in India this week), manufacturers are gearing up to service this demand.
However, four major challenges to the burgeoning manufacturing market were identified in the report. The first was the technology gap between India and other countries, which has been a consistent theme of analysis on the industry in recent months. The relatively small scale and fragmented nature of the industry was identified, which therefore led to a lower quality product. Finally, the lack of raw materials, inverters, and balance of system component manufacturers make self-sufficiency a major issue for India.
Overcoming these challenges is therefore critical for the industry to progress, and in August the key industry players will be meeting with Tarun Kapoor, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to discuss the next steps at the PV Manufacturing Summit India (1-2 August, Delhi). Key topics to be addressed are local content requirements, bridging the quality gap between local and international manufacturers, and ways that the industry as a whole can fight cheap competition and get competitive.