Covid-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact on the global economy. As governments set out for economic revival, their recovery plans must be geared towards greening the infrastructure. With a growing and gargantuan appetite for energy, India has a unique role to play in re-building a more sustainable world.
In a bid to address the gargantuan appetite for energy global symposium India PV Edge 2020 was organized by NITI Aayog, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE), and Invest India on Tuesday. The global symposium harbored on the perfect time to bring together various market players and catalyze cutting-edge PV manufacturing in India,
Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, highlighted that “India has a 31 GW demand from government-sponsored schemes that require locally made solar panels and a large 300 GW target over the next ten years”. He urged the PV manufacturing industry to utilize this large demand to invest in state-of-the-art manufacturing lines and collaborate with startups and research institutions to continue to increase the performance of the solar panels and reduce the cost.
“We are convinced that PV technology improvements will exceed general market expectations and will be the key anchor towards reducing the Solar deployment costs. India should innovate in every part of the value chain and strategically collaborate with global innovators to take a generation leap in Solar PV manufacturing. I urge the Indian solar industry and research labs to focus on new technologies like direct wafer manufacturing, Hetero-junction, tandem cells, and biaxial modules” said Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog.
The symposium consisted of three sessions. The first session was the Plenary Session, in which India’s most prominent policy makers highlighted India’s strong impetus on renewable energy, the investment climate and the country’s ambition and opportunities in solar manufacturing.
The second session included three parallel pitching sessions on wafer / cell, module / production equipment and BOM. 21 experts from across the world gave a snapshot of the future of solar manufacturing. Dr. V.K. Saraswat, in his opening remarks of the pitching session highlighted that “cutting-edge giga-scale solar manufacturing stands on three pillars: Disruptive PV chemistries (Pillar 1), Manufacturing by custom-engineered advanced production equipment (Pillar 2), and utilization of innovative BOM components like special glasses and coatings (Pillar 3)”. He further stressed the importance of manufacturing industry in collaborating with research labs in India to continuously improve the products.
The third session – “Investment Conclave” brought in large investors like IFC, Goldman Sachs, Black Rock, SBI, and climate funds to catalyze investment momentum in cutting edge PV technologies. Dr. Rakesh Sarwal, Additional Secretary, NITI Aayog, thanked the dignitaries and emphasized that “India cannot be a global manufacturing hub of advanced PV without developing strong global scale R&D capabilities and strategic partnerships.” He mentioned that NITI Aayog will work with DST, MNRE and international development agencies to catalyze an ecosystem of strong applied research backed by international inter-institutional collaborations and with a sharp focus of academia-industry collaboration.
The symposium delivered a message to the global and Indian solar Industry & investors that India aspires to be a cutting-edge solar manufacturing hub, which is a top priority for the Indian government. A momentum for collaboration between technology providers, solar developers and manufacturers has been catalyzed by this symposium.
Solar deployment has been the flagship green growth story of the last decade, and will be instrumental in stimulating growth and building a climate-resilient world. Solar PV manufacturing is one of the strategic champion sectors announced by the Hon’ble Finance Minister as part of AatmaNirbhar Bharat. Subsequently, efforts are underway to make India a global hub for solar PV manufacturing, and significant Giga-factory announcements are made by local and global firms.
India’s Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement in 2015 call for extraordinary vision, leadership, compassion, and wisdom to combat climate change. India PV Edge 2020 has served as one small step towards that ambition and will go a long way in making India the giga-scale manufacturing destination for breakthrough PV technologies.