Harbouring on the perfect timing to bring together various market players and catalyze cutting-edge PV manufacturing in India, NITI Aayog, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE), and Invest India together organized a global symposium ‘India PV Edge 2020’ on October 6, 2020. It was one of its kind platform for global cutting-edge technology providers, equipment makers, and PV champions to present their technologies to the Indian stakeholders who are drawing up their PV manufacturing plans and collaborate, thus boosting the ‘Make in India’ campaign. The participating companies also had the opportunity to hear from the Indian policymakers involved in developing manufacturing schemes. Around 60 prominent Indian and global CEOs attended the event.The symposium consisted of three sessions. The first session was the Plenary Session, in which India’s most prominent policy makers highlighted India’s strong impetus on renewable energy, the investment climate and the country’s ambition and opportunities in solar manufacturing. Shri R.K. Singh, Hon’ble Minister for Power (IC), and Minister for New and Renewable Energy (IC) stated that IndiaIndia has largest RE growing capacity in the world. India had promised on sidelines of COP-21 that by 2030, 40 % of the country’s energy capacity will be from Non-Fossil Fuel sources. We arealready at 38.5 % and by 2030, 60% of our energy capacity is expected to be from Non-Fossil fuel sources. He further said that we are on our way to achieve our targets of 175 GW of RE capacity by 2022 and 450 GW of RE by 2030.Shri Singh further said that the addition of RE capacity will continue due to two reasons, one because country’s power demand is growing and another due to replacement gradually phasing out traditional power generating systems with Renewable Energy systems.The minister mentionedthat we are committed to fulfil our visions to “electrify our economy” and to “Green our Electricity”. He also pointed out the ambition of e-mobility and Clean cooking based on electricity and powered by green energy. He also talked about various interventions of Ministry to realise the Prime Minister’s vision of “Aatmanirbhar Bharat”. He said that we have taken various steps like safeguard duty, interest subvention and Approved List of Models and Manufacturers etc. He said that future bids will be planned to encourage manufacturing using advanced and latest technology.
While thanking NITI Aayog for organising the global symposium, Shri Indu Shekhar Chaturvedi, Secretary, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, Government of India, said that the ministry is implementing a number of supply side interventions including BCD( Basic Customs Duty), Performance Linked Export Scheme and Interest Subvention Scheme to promote domestic manufacturing in RE sector. He also mentioned about demand side interventions like domestic content requirement under KUSUM and Rooftop Scheme that are being implemented by ministry to supplement the Aatmanirbhar Bharat efforts.Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, highlighted that “India has a 31 GW demand from government-sponsored schemes that require locally made solar panels and a large 300 GW target over the next ten years”. He urged the PV manufacturing industry to utilize this large demand to invest in state-of-the-art manufacturing lines and collaborate with startups and research institutions to continue to increase the performance of the solar panels and reduce the cost.“We are convinced that PV technology improvements will exceed general market expectations and will be the key anchor towards reducing the Solar deployment costs. India should innovate in every part of the value chain and strategically collaborate with global innovators to take a generation leap in Solar PV manufacturing. I urge the Indian solar industry and research labs to focus on new technologies like direct wafer manufacturing, Hetero-junction, tandem cells, and biaxial modules” said Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog.The second session included three parallel pitching sessions on wafer / cell, module / production equipment and BOM. 21 experts from across the world gave a snapshot of the future of solar manufacturing. Dr. V.K. Saraswat, in his opening remarks of the pitching session highlighted that “cutting-edge giga-scale solar manufacturing stands on three pillars: Disruptive PV chemistries (Pillar 1), Manufacturing by custom-engineered advanced production equipment (Pillar 2), and utilization of innovative BOM components like special glasses and coatings (Pillar 3)”. He further stressed the importance of manufacturing industry in collaborating with research labs in India to continuously improve the products.
The third session - “Investment Conclave” brought in large investors like IFC, Goldman Sachs, Black Rock, SBI, and climate funds to catalyze investment momentum in cutting edge PV technologies. Dr. Rakesh Sarwal, Additional Secretary, NITI Aayog, thanked the dignitaries and emphasized that “India cannot be a global manufacturing hub of advanced PV without developing strong global scale R&D capabilities and strategic partnerships.” He mentioned that NITI Aayog will work with DST, MNRE and international development agencies to catalyze an ecosystem of strong applied research backed by international inter-institutional collaborations and with a sharp focus of academia-industry collaboration.The symposium delivered a message to the global and Indian solar Industry & investors that India aspires to be a cutting-edge solar manufacturing hub, which is a top priority for the Indian government. A momentum for collaboration between technology providers, solar developers and manufacturers has been catalyzed by this symposium.Covid-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact on the global economy. As governments set out for economic revival, their recovery plans must be geared towards greening the infrastructure. With a growing and gargantuan appetite for energy, India has a unique role to play in re-building a more sustainable world.Solar deployment has been the flagship green growth story of the last decade, and will be instrumental in stimulating growth and building a climate-resilient world. Solar PV manufacturing is one of the strategic champion sectors announced by the Hon’ble Finance Minister as part of AatmaNirbhar Bharat. Subsequently, efforts are underway to make India a global hub for solar PV manufacturing, and significant Giga-factory announcements are made by local and global firms.India’s Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement in 2015 call for extraordinary vision, leadership, compassion, and wisdom to combat climate change. India PV Edge 2020 has served as one small step towards that ambition and will go a long way in making India the giga-scale manufacturing destination for breakthrough PV technologies.