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27 Aug 2023

Ready, Set, Go: India’s Solar Manufacturing Ambitions Are Flying.

That is why even as the country chases a total nameplate module making capacity of almost 100 GW by 2026, the interesting addition is the 30 GW worth of polysilicon-making capacity, and an even higher share of ingot/wafer and cell-producing facilities by the same time. Those numbers easily place the country behind China in terms of projected capacities by 2026.

But industry watchers point to just one figure to point out how it’s not all easy—the installation numbers for the first six months of calendar year 2023. Based on the official figures, at 6,974 MW or just under 7 GW, solar capacity additions have already trailed 2022 numbers by 19%, thanks mainly to a struggling utility-scale segment. Capacity additions in all of 2022 at 13 GW had grown over 27% compared to 2021, kindling hopes that it would only be up, up and away from 2022 on. So the stumble this early in 2023 is a clear warning that obstacles remain, as always. Keep in mind that manufacturers, even today, that we spoke to insist that 30 GW plus per year from here on is a clear possibility and expectation, one might add.

Bharat Bhut, Director and Co-Founder at Goldi Solar, is happy to share his own estimate on the table. “According to my analysis, there will be a demand for 50 GW or more per annum and numerous uncalculated and unpredicted demands in the current market landscape. We must only estimate the nature of these demands by calculating utility PPA, awarded contracts, and new tenders. However, when we consider all these factors and calculate the deployment rate year-on-year, we can observe a significant surge in demand over the next three years,” he said.
He also added, “I cannot foresee any decrease in demand in India, considering the widespread adoption of solar power across various sectors, such as the C&I segment and residential and farming pump sectors. The industry’s growth, the rising electricity demand, and expanding the manufacturing sector will lead to a higher demand for electricity. Moreover, more manufacturing companies will adopt renewable energy to lower production costs, boosting the demand for solar power.”
Goldi Solar has backed its conviction with money, going from a 500 MW nameplate capacity to 2.5 GW currently, with a further expansion to 6 GW module production and a fresh 5 GW of cell production capacity planned by 2025.
With the Power and MNRE Minister R.K. Singh asserting in Parliament recently that there is a pipeline of over 55 GW of renewable projects in place, you would imagine that those numbers will play catch up soon. Unfortunately, it hasn’t really happened.

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