Economy

Even with solar capacity pipeline of 15 GW, sector expresses concerns

| | Updated on: Sep 01, 2016
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Inadequate funding support, cheaper imports are hurdles to growth, say players

While the country’s solar photovoltaic project capacity has a strong pipeline of 15-18 giga watts (GW), there continues to be some concern about the sunrise sector, including inadequate funding support from banks and dumping of lower cost modules from China and Taiwan.

An interaction with some of the sector players shows that the Goods and Services Tax, if implemented in the current form, will adversely impact the sector as it has the potential to jack up prices.

Surender Pal Singh, Chairman of Premier Solar said, “While the country’s solar power project capacity has topped the 8 GW mark, it has a strong pipeline of about 15-18 GW during the current year. This is good but can get better if the Government addresses some concerns, such as import of cheap products due to duty structure anomalies and availability of funding at attractive rates. Once sorted out, the country will be able to achieve the targeted implementation of 20 GW every year over the next few years.”

Speaking on the sidelines of a media event, Singh, a veteran with over two decades in the solar business, and part of the solar projects body, said the anomalies in duty structure have resulted in cheaper modules flooding the domestic market to the detriment of domestic manufacturers. The current duty structure goes against the interest of domestic module makers.

Himamsu Popuri, CEO and Managing Director of Nuevosol, expressed confidence that the price of supply of solar power, which is already on a par with coal projects, has the potential to drop further to about Rs 4 per unit, if the cost of modules comes down further.

Referring to the proposed implementation of the Goods and Services Tax, Singh said, “It will mean a tax of about 18 per cent as against State tax of 5-6 per cent. This has the potential to increase the cost of solar projects and will run counter to the Government’s overall objective to see rapid implementation of solar projects in the country.”

Earlier, Yogesh Mudras, Managing Director of UBM India, said, “India is set for rapid and sustained growth in energy demand and plans to quadruple its renewable energy capacity to 175 GW by 2022.”

UBM India is set to host the Renewable Energy India Expo during September 7-9 in Greater Noida where experts in the sector and representatives from various renewable energy companies are expected to converge. The event is supported by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

Published on January 27, 2018

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