The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency has invited applications for incentives from solar manufacturers prepared to set up high-efficiency module factories under the INR4500 crore ($619 million) production-linked incentive scheme.
Manufacturers setting up any solar technology-based production facilities will be eligible for assistance, provided they commit to develop facilities which manufacture at least solar cells and modules; meet a minimum level of production capacity; and adhere to minimum standards for solar module performance. The latter requirement sets standards for module efficiency and level of temperature coefficient of Pmax – which concerns the amount of power generation lost for every degree Celsius a panel is above 25 degrees Celsius.
Applicants bidding for incentives must indicate the annual scale of compensation they expect, based on the number of rupees they will accept per Watt of product manufactured and how many megawatts of products they expect to sell each year. They will also have to list any local value addition and any tapering factor to the incentives they are applying for.
Beneficiaries of the separate manufacturing-linked solar plant tender conducted by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy or the Special Incentive Package Scheme run by the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, cannot also apply for support from the production-linked incentive program.
Applicants must also meet minimum requirements related to the size of their business or the volume of equity investment they can commit to each gigawatt of planned production capacity, with the value varying depending on how many layers of the solar production chain their facilities will perform. Those requirements are as follows:
India aims to install 175 GW of renewable energy generation capacity by next year, and 450 GW this decade. Based on techno-economic analysis, the Central Electricity Authority has projected an optimal clean power generation mix will require the nation to add 280 GW of solar capacity by 2029-30. That would mean around 25 GW of solar would need to be added annually.
The government wants to ramp up Indian PV module manufacturing to support such growth. With the country currently hosting only 9-10 GW of solar module annual production capacity, and around 2.5 GW of cell fabrication facilities, India’s solar industry is heavily reliant on imported cells and modules.
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