Opportunities for solar power abound in India, along with possibilities for collaboration between India and the U.S. That’s according to the Washington Post.
But even though India’s solar industry is growing, there are still major hurdles to overcome before it can meet India’s power needs.
Two years ago, India set to boost its solar energy via subsidies, setting a generation target equivalent to about 3% of the country’s projected power needs by 2022, the Post says. And the private sector responded.
India has more than 300 days of sunshine a year and lacks electricity to power its fast-growing economy. But India also lacks the technological expertise and access to cheap capital that the solar industry requires. The Washington Post says that’s where companies such as Indian power producer Azure Power come in.
Azure Power is trying to tap into American technology and capital. In addition to Azure, companies like Welspun and Areva are confident that India’s reputation for low-cost innovation and engineering will help drive down installation and operating costs, the Post says.
Companies predict India will soon be able to live without subsidies and compete with coal-fired power stations, which charge about 4 rupees/kWh.
The government is also eager to promote domestic manufacturing in the solar industry and is wary of what some see as the dumping of cheap Chinese solar panels on the Indian market. To qualify for subsidies, some components of crystalline silicon panels have to be manufactured locally.
This year, most companies are focused on providing on-grid power, which is where barriers to entry are low and margins are squeezed. More opportunities and money will be made in the second phase, which will supply small-scale solar products to power tens of millions of rural homes, the Washington Post says.
To read the full Washington Post article cited in this story, click here