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PV Landscape and its Attractiveness for India

Photonics.com
Nov 2009
Nov. 18, 2009 — The keynote session at Solarcon India 2009 focused on the photovoltaics market landscape in India. One of the speakers was Dr. Rajeewa (Rajiv) Arya, CEO, Moser Baer Photovoltaic.

The landscape of the PV industry is going to be characterized by change, and cost is going to drive the industry. In this regard, there was a need to focus on multiple technology verticals. According to Arya, multiple technologies will likely coexist for the next five to 10 years. Further, there was significant room for cost reduction/innovation in the existing technologies

“Photovoltaics is the most fascinating way to produce electricity,” Arya said.

The recent declines in solar PV prices makes the technology a financially attractive business option for India. According to him, renewable energy (RE) has to participate very actively in the ongoing endeavor to find an answer India's power requirements.

India has the potential to reach a share of 20 to 25 percent, up from the existing share of 9 percent. The government of India has a target for RE: 12.5 percent by 2012, and 20 percent by 2020. The ‘Solar Mission Plan’ targets 20 GW by 2020.

So far, renewable energy has been dominated by wind. However, wind is very site-specific. The potential of other alternatives is not that significant as compared to solar. There are multiple sites in India with solar irradiation >1,800 hours/year.

Arya reckoned that the power utility companies could be the most crucial ‘Phase 1’ growth driver. India is on the verge of a 'solar revolution,’ and the National Solar Mission draft needs to be implemented on a crisis footing at the earliest.

This discussion about power utility companies is quite interesting! Some of the other speakers also touched upon the role that power utility companies could play.

One such aspect was brought out later, during the plenary session, by Jigar Shah, founder, SunEdison, and CEO, Carbon War Room. He talked about Utility 2.0 in the Indian context.

According to him, the main challenge is that the state electricity boards (SEBs) do not know how to integrate 21st century technologies or "Utility 2.0." This involves energy efficiency, self generation, independent power producers, etc.


Pradeep


Nov. 18, 2009



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