The Tuticorin Port Trust and the states of Madhya Pradesh and Odisha have expressed interest in setting up renewable energy manufacturing parks in response to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s (MNRE) recent notice to states and ports asking them to earmark land with potential for setting up renewable hubs.
The latest press release issued by the MNRE said that the ministry has been working towards bringing in foreign investment by reaching out to trade commissions and representatives of various countries, inviting them to invest in these manufacturing hubs at a time when many companies are planning to shift their manufacturing bases away from China.
In line with this, it said that it has set up the Renewable Energy Industry Facilitation and Promotion Board to facilitate investments in the sector. It added that it has also strengthened clauses in power purchase agreements (PPAs) to boost investor confidence.
The ministry also said that it is taking efforts to boost the exports of renewable energy services like project designing, operations, and maintenance as India’s renewable energy services and practices in project and grid development are among the best in the world.
The MNRE said that these manufacturing hubs would not only manufacture equipment like silicon ingots, wafers, solar cells, modules, and wind equipment, but also ancillary equipment like back sheets, glass and steel frames, inverters, batteries, etc. According to the government’s statement, 85% of module requirements are met with imports currently.
In the calendar year (CY) 2019, India imported solar cells and modules worth $2.17 billion, a drop of almost 16% compared to CY 2018. In CY 2018, the Indian solar sector had imported solar modules and cells totaling nearly $2.59 billion (~₹184.57 billion), a 37% decline from the $4.12 billion (~₹269 billion) recorded during the preceding year (CY 2017). Solar imports have now declined for two years in a row because of a decrease in installations and the imposition of safeguard duty. While imports from countries like Vietnam and Thailand saw an exponential growth of 217% and 267% respectively, imports from China, Taiwan, and Malaysia declined by 21%, 81%, and 79%, respectively, as compared to CY 2018.
Mercom recently reported that MNRE Secretary Anand Kumar tweeted that all states and ports in the country are expected to identify land parcels ranging between 50 and 500 acres in size in their regions that can be used to set up renewable energy manufacturing and export services hubs.
In Mercom’s recent webinar covering market trends in the renewable industry, the Secretary reiterated this, stating that the ministry had plans to bring the entire renewable energy equipment ecosystem under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
Earlier, Mercom had reported that the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy opened an Industry and Investors’ Facilitation Centre, which would work as a focal point to provide all the information regarding programs and policies of the government and resolve issues related to renewable energy investors and industry.
Nithin is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Previously with Reuters News, he has covered oil, metals and agricultural commodity markets across global markets. He has also covered refinery and pipeline explosions, oil and gas leaks, Atlantic region hurricane developments, and other natural disasters. Nithin holds a Masters Degree in Applied Economics from Christ University, Bangalore and a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from Loyola College, Chennai.