pv magazine: What has been the impact of Covid-19 outbreak on solar installations in India?
Pinaki Bhattacharyya: The installations are getting deferred by a quarter as of now as India sources around 80% of its solar modules from China making it heavily dependent on one country for meeting its clean energy goals. However, the production has restarted in China, but supply won’t restart till the lockdown is over.
pv magazine: Now that China has almost recovered from the outbreak, and resumed production to almost normal levels, but rest of the world including India is battling Coronavirus, what impact do you see on PV equipment supply and pricing?
Pinaki Bhattacharyya: The pricing of the modules should remain stable as the demand is also lower.
pv magazine: What steps can help build a positive sentiment in the Indian solar industry?
Pinaki Bhattacharyya: The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued a notice that projects affected due to Covid-19 would be allowed time extension. Also, implementing agencies are directed to treat this delay on account of supply chain disruption as a Force Majeure.
Although this is a positive step by the government, this would differ for companies due to the different nature of the contracts. A blanket extension of about 3-4 months must be given to projects scheduled to come online in the next two months.
Government can help by subsidising the difference in domestic and imported modules to tide over the crisis. This will also aid in capacity deployment and not slow project completion.
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