EQ In Exclusive Conversation With Mr Rajneesh Khattar, Senior Group Director – Energy & Construction Portfolio, Informa Markets
So far this year the localization of supply chains and manufacturing has been the major topic worldwide for the PV industry. How is this playing out in India?
Covid-19 has taught us a hard lesson that dependency on external economies , at times, can become quite tricky. Hence, the momentum of a “Self-Reliant India” has picked up rapidly.The federal and state Governments are supporting solar manufacturing with an array of incentives and policy frameworks.
A new genre of manufacturers have joined the revolution wrt manufacturing alongside many lead players, thus, aiming to set up the entire value chain……From upstream to downstream – All under one roof !! When you witness large players like Reliance and Adani investing into strengthening the manufacturing base on Indian soil, this definitely casts a silver lining for other stakeholders and helps them in gaining even more confidence in the sector.
For now, the new PV manufacturing plans taking shape in India largely focus on the cell and module segments. Do you see ingot, wafer and polysilicon projects going ahead as well?
The future of the Indian PV manufacturing sector is bright. India is set to reach 110 GW of solar PV module capacity by FY 2026 with 72 GW of new manufacturing capacity coming online in the next three years. The significant jump will make the nation self-sufficient and the second-largest PV manufacturing country after China.
After India attains self-sufficiency in two to three years, the next course of action will be to compete for dominance in both quality and scale in the global PV module market.
The Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme is one of the primary catalysts spurring the growth of the entire PV manufacturing ecosystem in India. Besides the augmentation of infrastructure in all stages of PV manufacturing, from polysilicon to modules, it will also lead to the simultaneous development of a market for PV ancillary components, such as glass, ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), and back-sheets
While the PLI scheme is a supply-side measure, the government has also taken steps to bolster the demand side, thus, increasing the demand for locally made solar PV modules viz. PM – KUSUM Scheme and the Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) Scheme.
If you don’t have these fundamentals in place, it can derail your mission. The stage is set though, but, it will take a little more time.
Alongside PV, we have seen a steady flow of big announcements on green hydrogen. Is this this is something you expect India to be a global leader in as well?
India has embarked upon a rather ambitious and robust Green Hydrogen mission of producing 5 MMT GH by the Yr 2030 that’d require 211 GW of Solar PV energy in addition to 1,41,000 hectares of land and 168 Bn liters of water. In the latest announcements, India is talking about installing 500 GW, but if 211 GW of that goes to green hydrogen, even this 500 GW may not be enough. Green hydrogen is a very hot topic, and it is on the top of Govt. agenda. Time will tell how far we’d reach, but, all I can say with confidence and conviction that India is moving in the right direction. And in India we are privileged that we have the capacity to bring 500 GW of RE installation online, so the country can also potentially sustain large-scale green hydrogen production as well.
Kindly elaborate on how the 7th edition of RenewX 2023 Expo will contribute towards the growth of the industry?
The 7th edition of RenewX is all set to showcase who’s who of the industry with large participation from domestic and few of the top global brands. Their presence on the exhibit floor will further boost the ambitions of State of Telangana and Southern region as a whole. The good news is also that in one of the recent report of Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation ( MoSPI ), the State of Telangana has ranked # 1 in Per Capita Income in Yr 2022 – 2023 surpassing all other states in the country. Besides a thriving Exhibition, there’re Knowledge-led Conference tracks deliberating the steps India needs to take next. The niche topic of AgriPV has found huge traction as it showcases the combined strength of Agricultural land coupled with array of Solar panel atop, thus economically helping the farming community besides generating clean electricity suiting their power needs concurrently.
One of the thriving element of current edition is “Industry Awards” which are destined to felicitate the Top Performers from each category, but, also encourage and motive industry to perform even better and shoulder India’s ambitious journey in coming years.
Going ahead, what are your future plans on growing and expanding the RenewX ?
Future plans will definitely be towards expanding the scope and scale of the event, incorporating new technologies and trends, new domains of RE sector and increasing participation from domestic and international players.