HyET Solar, a Dutch flexible solar module manufacturer plans a Make in India facility in partnership with other panel manufacturers and a polymer producer. HyET manufactures some 5 MW of solar panels and expects to achieve 300 MW output in India, where setting up the fab would entail investment of €200 million (Rs1,620 crore).
“Since 99% of these solar panel sheets are polymer, it makes business sense for an existing polymer maker like Reliance (Industries) to get into this business,” HyET commercial director Pieter Veltman told the Economic Times, referring to the Indian conglomerate.
As part of the memorandum of understanding, the Gujarati state Department of Energy and Petrochemicals would help HyET Solar obtain approvals and clearances for the project.
Last month, pv magazine reported Arnhem-based HyET hopes to attract investors – Indian or foreign – to support its Indian venture.
Max Middelman, business development manager for HyET Solar, told pv magazine that while there is no concrete timescale for the fab’s construction, “India is a really interesting solar market for us right now.”
A boost for Make in India
HyET Solar would seek to join forces with Indian partners and financial institutions rather than directly financing the reported €200 million facility.
The Dutch firm’s flexible modules are chiefly designed for rooftop applications due to their aesthetics and ability to fit all roof types and spaces.
The Make in India program – introduced to attract foreign investment – has had mixed success in boosting the nation’s largely dormant PV manufacturing sector.
However, with the government mulling tariffs for solar components from China, Taiwan and Malaysia, conditions could be ripe for domestic production.
Chinese modules accounted for 89% of installations in India this financial year, with domestic manufacturers unable to compete on price – modules are imported from China for as little as $0.32/Wp (Rs22.77) – or volume, despite India sitting on 7 GW of module manufacturing capacity. Data from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy shows a mere 1.7 GW of module production capacity is currently viable.