In conversation with MR. MANISH GUPTA, President, NIMMA (North India Module Manufacturer Association)
HOW IS NORTH INDIA MODULE MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION (NIMMA) CONTRIBUTING TO DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN MODULE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY?
NIMMA (North India Module Manufacturer Association) is a non- profit organization set up under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.NIMMA is an umbrella association for solar module manufacturers. The members of the Association are covered under the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Act. The Association has been assisting the members in promoting, developing and improving the product as per the quality standards prescribed by the Government of India. NIMMA is actively pursuing with Ministry of New & Renewable Energy for the resolution of challenges faced by the domestic module manufacturers. NIMMA in fact is working as a bridge between the manufacturers and the Ministry. NIMMA is also assisting its members in sourcing of quality raw materials at competitive prices.
CAN INDIA MEET THE GROWING DEMAND WITH DOMESTIC MANUFACTURING?
India has installed around 10 GW of solar power plants in year 2017, it is expected to add another 8 GW in year 2018. The present domestic module manufacturing capacity is approx 9 GW which is sufficient to cater to the existing demand. But due to non availability of right policies and incentives to the domestic manufacturing capacity will not run on full swing. Maximum capacity utilisation is within small projects, rooftop, government domestic tender and off grid module applications where as more than 80% of solar module import by large EPC company and projects. If government policies will support domestic manufacturing than we can also compete with international market for price & quality
AS THE SOLAR SECTOR IN INDIA IS GROWING, WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL BE THE PROJECTED DEMAND OF MODULES IN THIS FISCAL YEAR?
The demand forecasted for this year is approx 8-10 GW. Rooftop demand is also increasing in this year. State & Central Government also releasing many tenders on this year. Solar pump, street lights, off grid applications, domestic & commercial rooftop applications can boom in solar market.
DO YOU THINK THERE IS NEED OF PRICE STABILITY FOR MODULES IN THIS SECTOR AND HOW IT CAN BE ACHIEVED?
There is definitely a need for price stability for modules. Solar Cell which is a major raw material for modules is primarily sourced from China & Taiwan. Any policy changes in China government affect the cell prices, further the Dollar – Rupee fluctuation is adding to the woes. In addition the uncertainty on the part of Anti Dumping Duty & Safeguard Duty is making the things complicated. In fact the domestic module manufacturers are facing tough and unhealthy competition from the cheap imported modules. The price stability can be achieved by developing robust vertically integrated manufacturing base form silicon to modules. Long term industry friendly policies with proper timely implementation will further ensure the stability in supply chain and prices.
DO YOU THINK THERE IS NEED OF PRICE STABILITY FOR MODULES IN
Presently the domestic manufacturers are not getting support from the Government. There are no preferential loans available from the Government for plant & machinery and working capital. There is hardly any initiative for sharing R& D benefits with the manufacturers. Government has only one lab for the quality testing of modules. Where as other private labs charge very huge amount for module testing. Government also removing the condition of solar module sourcing from Tier-1 suppliers which has nothing to do performance of modules, instead of putting Tier- 1 condition a performance related condition i.e. module must be BIS Certified should be applicable. These are some of the initiatives we suggest to the Government to include in policies.
ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD FOR OUR READERS.
India has abundance of sunshine and waste land for meeting its power demand through solar.
With right and long term policies and incentives it can be a world leader in Solar Energy.