Renewable Energy – Wind, Tidal, Geothermal, etc.

India plans to export Solar Power


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NA

Mains level: Solar energy promotion and export


Central idea: The article states that the Ministry for New and Renewable Energy is working towards increasing the production of solar modules in the country, with the goal of making India a net exporter of solar modules by 2026.

How can India be a net exporter of solar energy?

  • Increased manufacturing of PV modules: By 2026, Indian industry will be able to manufacture solar modules worth 100 gigawatts (GW) annually, and help the country be a net exporter of solar power.
  • Increased installation capacity: This would significantly aid India’s target of installing 500 GW of electricity capacity from non-fossil sources by 2030.

Issues with solar power sector

Ans. Reduced capacity

  • Slow pace: India had planned to install 175 GW of renewable energy by December 2022, including 100 GW of solar power, but has only achieved 122 GW, with solar power accounting for only 62 GW.
  • Huge cost: A key bottleneck has been the cost of solar modules (or panels).
  • Regressive import duties: While India has traditionally relied on China-made components such as poly-silicon wafers, necessary to make modules, higher customs duty on them has shrunk supply. This was done to make equivalent India-manufactured components more competitive.

Motive behind export promotion

  • Surplus generation: India need about 30-40 GW for our domestic purposes annually and the rest can be used for export.
  • Manufacturing boost: PLI scheme for polysilicone manufacturing is in place are designed to encourage the manufacturers of ingots and wafers in India.

What obstructs solar power growth in India?

Ans. Land crunch

  • Apart from module prices, land acquisition has been a major challenge for solar power manufacturers.
  • Despite the Centre commissioning 57 large solar parks worth 40 GW in recent years, only 10 GW have been operationalized.
  • Installing a megawatt of solar power requires on average four acres of land. So various developers face challenges in acquiring it and that’s one reason for the delay.

Various initiatives for solar energy in India

  • International Solar Alliance (ISA): India, along with France, launched the ISA in 2015, a global platform to promote the use of solar energy.
  • Solar Parks: The government has set up Solar Parks to provide land and infrastructure to developers for the installation of solar power projects.
  • Rooftop Solar Program: The government has launched a rooftop solar program to promote the installation of solar panels on rooftops of residential and commercial buildings.
  • Incentives and subsidies: The government has provided various incentives and subsidies to promote the adoption of solar energy, including tax exemptions, accelerated depreciation, and subsidies for capital costs.

Way forward

India has significant potential to become a major exporter of solar power. Here are some steps that can be taken to promote solar power export by India:

  • Increase domestic production: To promote solar power export, India needs to increase domestic production of solar panels and equipment. This can be achieved by providing incentives and subsidies to domestic manufacturers, reducing import duties on raw materials, and investing in research and development.
  • Focus on quality: Indian manufacturers need to focus on producing high-quality solar panels and equipment that can compete with products from other countries. The government can establish quality standards and certification programs to ensure that Indian-made products meet international quality standards.
  • Develop infrastructure: India needs to develop a robust infrastructure to support the export of solar power, including transportation, storage, and transmission facilities. The government can provide support for the development of this infrastructure, such as funding and regulatory support.
  • Partner with other countries: India can partner with other countries to promote the export of solar power. The International Solar Alliance, of which India is a founding member, can play a key role in this regard.
  • Expand market access: India needs to expand market access for its solar power products by signing trade agreements with other countries and participating in international exhibitions and events. The government can also provide support for Indian companies to participate in trade fairs and exhibitions abroad.

By implementing these measures, India can promote the export of solar power and become a key player in the global solar energy market.


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