The Union government has said that is working toward a policy for 100% ‘Made in India’ solar panels and will not promote the import of components in the next four years.
Minister for new and renewable energy R.K. Singh said on Friday that solar panels made up of only domestically manufactured cells, wafers, and polysilicon will be registered under the Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM).
Singh’s ministry had issued the “Approved Models and Manufacturers of Solar Photovoltaic Modules (Requirement for Compulsory Registration) Order, 2019” on 2 January 2019.
“We will bring in a policy after two years, under which even PV Cells should be manufactured in India and not imported from elsewhere. After a further two years, we will insist on wafers to be made in India so that our solar panels will be 100% Made in India and high-quality solar panels, where first cells and later wafers too shall be Made in India,” the minister said, adding that he has asked the concerned officers of his ministry to prepare a policy in this regard.
“You import cell from outside and assemble it here and sell it saying it is made in India, whereas it is 90% made in China this will not do,” Singh said.
Emphasizing on India’s commitment to quality, he said, “India is not going to be satisfied with second best; we want nothing but the best. So, lesser efficient panels will be removed from the ALMM over time; outdated models will not be endorsed by the government.”
Singh also launched a standards and labeling program for solar PV modules, which will help citizens make informed decisions regarding the installation of solar panels. The star labeling scheme prepared by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) for PV modules is from 1 January 2024 to 31 December 2025.
Besides helping customers to be better aware of the cost and energy savings from using solar panels, the program will also reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30 million tons per year by 2030.
India aims to install 280 gigawatts (GW) of solar power capacity by 2030, against an installed solar capacity of 66.77 GW. The country needs to add about 30 GW annually to meet the target. According to government data issued in May, the ALMM list consists of 91 module manufacturing facilities (all domestic) with an aggregate solar PV module manufacturing capacity of 22.4 GW per year.
The government is implementing the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) to achieve domestic manufacturing capacity of solar panels with an outlay of ₹24,000 crore ($2.9 billion). The Scheme is being implemented in two tranches, with an outlay of ₹4,500 crore ($540 million) for Tranche-I and an outlay of ₹19,500 crore ($2.34 billion) for Tranche-II Letters of Award have been issued to three successful bidders for setting up 8,737 MW of fully integrated solar PV module manufacturing units under Tranche-1. Selection of solar PV manufacturers under Tranche-II has not yet been done.