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National Programme on High-Efficiency Solar PV Modules

High Efficiency Solar PV Modules

  • Objective: It aims to build an ecosystem for manufacturing of High Efficiency Solar PV Modules in India.
  • Outlay: It was approved with an outlay of Rs.19,500 crore for achieving manufacturing capacity of Giga Watt (GW) scale in High Efficiency Solar PV Modules.
  • Plan of the scheme:
    • High Efficiency Solar PV Modules manufacturers will be selected through a transparent selection process.
    • PLI scheme for solar power energy will be disbursed for 5 years post commissioning of solar PV manufacturing plants on sales of High Efficiency Solar PV Modules from the domestic market will be incentivized.
  • The outcomes/benefits expected from the scheme:
    • It is estimated that about 65GW per annum manufacturing capacity of fully and partially integrated, solar PV modules would be installed.
    • The scheme will bring direct investment of around Rs.94,000 crore.
    • Creation of manufacturing capacity for Balance of Materials like EVA, Solar glass, Backsheet, etc.
    • It will generate direct employment for around 2 lakh persons and indirect jobs for around eight lakh persons.
    • Import substitution of approximately Rs.1.37 lakh crore.
    • Impetus to Research and Development to achieve higher efficiencies in Solar PV Modules.
  • Significance:
    • Reduce import dependence in Renewable Energy.
    • It will strengthen our goal of Atmanirbhar Bharat and generate employment.


High Efficiency Solar PV Modules Manufactures in India: Stats IQ

  • Currently, India’s annual installed solar PV manufacturing capacity is 3 GW for solar PV cells, 10-15 GW for High Efficiency Solar PV Modules, 5 GW for solar inverters while we have no manufacturing capacity for “polysilicon/wafer/ingots”, another critical component in case of solar power systems.
  • The government plans to create an additional domestic manufacturing capacity of 25GW each of solar cells and modules, and 10GW of wafers by April 2023
  • China accounts for over 80% of India’s import bill for solar PV cells and modules.
High Efficiency Solar PV Modules
High Efficiency Solar PV Modules

High Efficiency Solar PV Manufacturing in India: Challenges

  • High import dependence: Over 80% of India’s demand for solar PV cells and modules is met through imports.
    • Several raw materials such as silicon wafers, metallic pastes of silver and aluminium to form the electrical contacts too, are almost 100% imported.
  • Low efficiency: Currently in India, 90% of the current solar photovoltaic (PV) panel installations are based on crystalline silicon, which maxes out at about 22% efficiency.
    • There are other technologies being developed such as ‘Perovskite crystal coated panels’ which can bring up this efficiency to about 27%.
  • Obsolete technology: The majority of domestic production (60-70%) of solar PV in India employs multi-Si module technology – which is nearing obsolescence, leading to low capacity utilization in factories.
  • Competitiveness: Out of the 15 GW of module manufacturing capacity, only 3-4 GW of modules are technologically competitive and worthy of deployment in grid-based projects.
  • Poor R&D: India has hardly invested in creating high-quality high-TRL technology centers such as IMEC Belgium or the Holst Centre in the Netherlands, which can help the industry to try and test the technologies in a cost-effective manner.
  • Lack of coordination between center and states: Lack of cohesive renewable energy policies among centre and state governments and frequent fluctuations in policies have stalled the growth of solar installations mainly in the open access and rooftop solar market in India.


PLI Scheme for Solar PV Modules Manufacturing in India

  • Production Linked Incentive Scheme on ‘National programme on High Efficiency Solar PV Modules’.
  • India has implemented a 40% duty on the import of modules and 25% duty on the import of cells.
  • Government has made it mandatory to procure modules only from an approved list of manufacturers (ALMM) (till now only India-based manufacturers have been approved) for projects that are contracted to state/ central government grids


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