In the wake of this week’s disappointing outcome to the Solar Energy Corporation of India’s (SECI) much-trailed national PV project and manufacturing capacity tender, it has emerged the Indian government has launched another attempt to attract foreign solar producers.
With the vast majority of solar cells and modules used in Indian PV projects still imported – mostly from China and Malaysia – SECI’s attempt to procure the establishment of 5 GW of solar manufacturing capacity on Indian soil finally ended on Monday with just the 600 MW of production capacity offered by Delhi-based developer Azure Power, the sole bidder in a tender dogged by delays and revisions.
pv magazine has discovered the Central Electronics Ltd division of the federal Ministry of Science and Technology on November 3 published a call for expressions of interest by foreign solar manufacturers interested in setting up production lines through JVs with Indian companies.
The document appears identical to a similar EoI issued by the state-owned body in June, also published under the government’s Make in India initiative.
The EoI focuses on securing crystalline silicon cell and module manufacture in India but asks interested companies to describe their experience in polysilicon, ingot and wafer production as well as asking whether they would be interested in bringing such operations to India, as the federal government seeks to establish a domestic solar supply chain.
No deadline for submission of EoIs is given on the document.
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While we could develop indigenous technical know how in missile and rocket science, why is it that we lack strength in harnessing solar energy? One Abdul Kalam made the difference in missiles, one Swaminathan in agriculture and one Sridhar in metro rail. We are yet to produce that figure for solar modules.
Let us try and identify that figure and not woo foreigners. Self help is always better when our aim is sky high.
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