A growing number of Indian firms working on solar energy are seen enhancing capability to counter rising imports from China. India has set itself a target to generate renewable energy of 175 GW by 2022. Anticipating higher custom, these companies, which manufacture solar modules and related equipment, have developed technology to maximise energy generation thereby helping meet the target with lesser area and infrastructure. Though firms in the Tata and Adani groups are leading on this front, smaller companies are excelling through innovation in a bid to make India self reliant. Mumbai-based Waaree PV Technologies, which has a 500 MW PV module manufacturing plant at Surat has developed technology that allows modules to generate more power. “Through indigenous technological advancement, we have improved the efficiency of our modules by 3.5% to 4%. Which means…, 1 MW of power can now be generated from 4 acres of land as against 5 acres earlier,” Pujan Doshi, business head, Waaree, said.
“Now the same amount of power can be generated from 20% less land. We are also working to further improve the efficiency of our modules. This will result in bringing down the overall capital cost of energy production,” Mr. Doshi said. Similarly, Pune-based Scorpius Trackers has developed technology to help solar modules track the movement of the sun, thereby enabling producers achieve at least eight hours of output a day, compared with four hours earlier. “Our technology is completely ‘Made in India’ at our R&D centre in Pune. Our systems… have been installed in Japan, Africa, Middle East and India,” according to Ritech Pothan, senior vice president, business development, Scorpius Trackers. He said with the company’s solutions, producers were generating ‘maximum power from minimum area and components.’ “As compared to four hours of harnessing in the fixed system, our tracking technology is helping producers to generate energy for eight hours a day. So, with limited resources, India can achieve the target,” Mr. Pothan said.
Industry officials said the efforts were intended to create a local ecosystem to support the ambitious plan and make India a global supplier of solar energy equipment. Besides, there is an effort to reduce imports from China. “Over ten years, the number of Indian companies participating in our exhibition has increased from 32 to 370,” said Yogesh Mudras, MD, UBM India, which organises the annual Renewable Energy India Expo. “This is because the number of homegrown companies has spiralled upwards, a natural consequence of the Government’s focus on renewable energy.” No wonder solar energy tariff has dropped to around Rs 2.5 per unit from Rs 15-17 in 2011. The tariff may drop further with innovation.