India intends to export solar energy

According to the article, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is working to increase solar module production in the country, with the goal of making India a net exporter of solar modules by 2026.

How is it possible for India to be a net exporter of solar energy?

  • Increased PV module manufacturing: By 2026, the Indian industry will be able to produce 100 gigatonnes (GW) of solar modules per year, allowing the country to become a net exporter of solar power.
  • Increased installation capacity: This would significantly aid India’s goal of installing 500 GW of non-fossil energy capacity by 2030.

Solar power sector issues

  • Slow motion: India had hoped to install 175 GW of renewable energy by December 2022, including 100 GW of solar power, but has only installed 122 GW, with solar power accounting for only 62 GW.
  • Significant expense: The cost of solar modules has been a major bottleneck (or panels).
  • Import duties that are regressive: While India has traditionally relied on Chinese-made components such as poly-silicon wafers, which are required to manufacture modules, higher customs duties have reduced supply. This was done to make equivalent components made in India more competitive.

The reason for export promotion

  • Surplus generation: India requires approximately 30-40 GW for domestic use each year, with the remainder available for export.
  • Manufacturing boost: The PLI scheme for polysilicone manufacturing is in place and is intended to encourage ingot and wafer manufacturers in India.

What is impeding the growth of solar power in India?

  • Aside from module prices, solar power manufacturers have faced significant difficulties in acquiring land.
  • Despite the Centre’s recent commissioning of 57 large solar parks totaling 40 GW, only 10 GW have been operationalized.
  • A megawatt of solar power requires four acres of land on average. As a result, various developers are having difficulty acquiring it, which is one of the reasons for the delay.

Various initiatives for solar energy in India

  • The International Solar Alliance (ISA) was founded in 2015 by India and France as a global platform to promote the use of solar energy.
  • Solar Parks: The government has established Solar Parks to provide developers with land and infrastructure for the installation of solar power projects.
  • Rooftop Solar Program: To encourage the installation of solar panels on the rooftops of residential and commercial buildings, the government has launched a rooftop solar programme.
  • Incentives and subsidies: The government has provided a variety of incentives and subsidies to encourage the use of solar energy, including tax breaks, accelerated depreciation, and capital cost subsidies.

Way forward

  • India has the potential to become a major exporter of solar energy. Here are some steps that India can take to promote solar power export:
  • Increase domestic production: In order to encourage solar power exports, India must increase domestic production of solar panels and equipment. This can be accomplished by providing incentives and subsidies to domestic manufacturers, lowering import duties on raw materials, and investing in R&D.
  • Quality must be prioritised: Indian manufacturers must concentrate on producing high-quality solar panels and equipment that can compete with products from other countries. To ensure that Indian-made products meet international quality standards, the government can establish quality standards and certification programmes.
  • Build infrastructure: India must build a strong infrastructure to support solar power exports, including transportation, storage, and transmission facilities. The term “sustainability” refers to the process of reducing the environmental impact of a project.
  • Collaboration with other countries: India can collaborate with other countries to promote solar energy exports. In this regard, the International Solar Alliance, of which India is a founding member, can play a critical role.
  • Sign trade agreements with other countries and participate in international exhibitions and events to increase market access for India’s solar power products. The government can also help Indian companies participate in international trade shows and exhibitions.
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