EQ In Exclusive Conversation With Mr. Manish Gupta- Director at Insolation Energy
Q : Proposed BCD on Modules/Cell import in India…What are your views on this.
The government has decided to impose 40% basic customs duty (BCD) on solar modules and 25% on solar cells from 1 April 2022. There will be no grandfathering of power projects that are already bid out, considering the one-year period is sufficient to help developers secure the required raw materials in time .This is a welcome step in the right direction. This will encourage local manufacturing and reduce dependence on cheap imports thereby saving precious foreign exchange. Further the need of the hour is to have robust manufacturing base right from silicon manufacturing to modules. The Government should come out with more such stable, long term policies which are favorable to MSME sector as well as big enterprises.
Q; World market scenario and its impact on pricing and availability of modules this year. Expected pricing and availibilty this year and next year.
The world is passing through a very tough and challenging time. Second and third waves of Covid have created a situation of uncertainty and unpredictability across the world. Frequent lockdowns and burgeoning health expenses have greatly impacted the supply and demand cycle. Shortage of raw material, increased input costs, logistic challenges and manpower constraints have further aggravated the situation. In the prevailing scenario and the long term effect of this on economy we expect the availability to be tight and price to remain upwards.
Q; How much modules have you supplied to India till now? What is the target and expectation in this year and next year?
In the last Financial Year (2020-21) we have supplied apprx 100+ MW of modules. This year our target is to supply 150 MW and further 250 MW in the next year.
Q; What are the new technology innovations in solar modules, logistical aspects and usage of larger format modules
We are sitting at a stage where we can foresee the phasing out of polysilicon modules. Gradually we are seeing the narrowing of price gap between mono perc and poly modules. Stage is clearly set for new technologies like mono perc, bifacial modules
and twin peak modules …. Bigger cell sizes with multiple bus bars are going to see the light of the day. These highly efficient modules in higher wattages and higher voltages will ease the logistical aspects, reduce the land requirement, reduce the BOE cost and finally brings down the LCOE.
Q; Kindly comment on policies and regulatory aspects BCD, BIS , ALMM etc..
We at Insolation Energy are very quality conscious. Our products are made using the best of raw material, best of manufacturing equipments and best of manufacturing practices. Being a quality conscious house we appreciate the initiatives like BIS, ALMM etc. However we firmly believe that there should be uniformity in policies across the various government departments.
The policies should be such that they are transparent, easy to implement, long term and stable. In addition we request government to create lab infrastructure wherein tests are done at an economical price and quality too is ensured.
Q : What are your plans to ramp up or set up or grow your manufacturing base in India in light of the proposed BCD.
The covid-19 pandemic brought disruptions in international trade, including imports of solar modules and solar cells, affecting solar capacity additions. Considering India’s huge solar targets and that electricity is a strategic sector of the economy, India needs to develop domestic solar manufacturing capacities and reduce its dependence on imports to avoid disruption. The government has also noted instances of certain countries dumping solar cells and modules to kill the nascent domestic industry because of which the government has proposed BCD. In light of these facts we are gearing to double our capacity to 300 MW this year. We further plan to increase this to 500 MW in the next two years.