REGULATION | Staff Reporter, India

Local developers OK India's 12GW solar scheme for state enterprises

The scheme is now approved at the Cabinet level.

Local developers approve of India’s 12GW solar scheme for central public sector undertakings (CPSUs) — which include the military, health, energy, government and mining sectors — that mandates the use of domestically sourced solar equipment, pv tech reports.

The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) first proposed the 12GW CPSU scheme, which has now been approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), with significant Viability Gap Funding (VGF) subsidy support of $1.2b (INR85.8b).

Also read: India's 25% tariff on solar glass imports fails domestic manufacturers

Sunil Rathi, director at Indian PV manufacturer, Waaree Energies said, "We are elated with CCEA's inclination towards boosting domestic module and cell manufacturing in the country, by allocating 12GW of PV projects exclusively to domestic players. The move is expected to have a dampening short-term and a positive long-term impact on the industry.”

“Whilst on the face of it, the proposal is set to provide relief to solar domestic manufacturers for the next four years, even with immediate implementation, the on-ground reality indicates a gestation period of at least a year, till this proposal actually yields operational benefits. The move fails to provide the much needed immediate support to the sector, due to which, mid-scale players may not be able to sustain the pressures for the next year,” he added.

H.R. Gupta, general secretary of India Solar Manufacturing Association (ISMA) and managing director of Indian cell manufacturer Indosolar, told pv tech that he was also "elated" with this "well thought out" plan. He agreed with Rathi that the caveat at present is that smaller players might struggle if the scheme is not expedited.

Gupta added that it is also in the government's interest to speed up the rollout in order to meet UN climate objectives and its own 2022 solar targets. The scheme requires around 4GW of installations a year and if the government loses one year that will be problematic.

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