New Delhi: India would require solar modules worth about Rs 15,000 crore to meet its domestic demand of 10 GW per year, according to a recent report. It added that meeting the bulk of this demand through domestic production could avoid forex outflow of Rs 7,500 crore.
“In the past five years, India, on an average, has imported solar cells and modules worth Rs 17,600 crore annually to meet the demand-supply mismatch. Imported solar modules meet 80 to 90 per cent of the demand,” said the report titled ‘Jobs, growth and sustainability’ by Council on Energy, Environment and Water and National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
It also said that these imports would be hindered by the COVID-19 pandemic-led lockdown followed by supply chain disruption.
The report added that in the long term, domestic manufacturers could tap the international market and start supplying modules to member countries of the International Solar Alliance.
It further added that accelerated renewable energy deployment would save forex from reduced coal imports. “Even if half the generated renewable power is used to replace imported coal, India can save over Rs 6.75 lakh crore during 2021-30, nearly 10 times the proposed outlay over the same period,” it further added.
According to CEEW’s Centre for Energy Finance estimates about Rs 4,500 to 5,000 crore has been collected by the Ministry of Finance from safeguard duties since August 2018.
India has an installed manufacturing capacity of about 3.1 gigawatt (GW) of PV cells and 11 GW of solar modules.
India had imported solar cells and modules worth $1,179.89 million from China in the first nine months — April to December period — of the financial year 2019-20 (FY20), renewable energy minister R K Singh had told Parliament in March.
In FY17, FY18, and FY19 India’s solar imports from China stood at $2,817.34 million, $3,418.96 million, and $1,694.04 million, respectively. The total value of solar PV cells or solar cells imports, whether or not assembled in modules or panels, stood at $1,525.8 million for the April-December period of FY20.