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India Steps Up the Ante on Attracting Investments in Solar PV

Photonics.com
Feb 2010
Feb. 23, 2010 — This is a continuation of my earlier post, which dealt with the semiconductor policy announced recently by the state of Karnataka, India.

Given the aggressive initiatives shown by several neighboring states – such as Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, etc., as well as other Indian states – such as West Bengal, Orissa, Punjab, Gujarat and Rajasthan – as destinations for solar PV production, the Karnataka state government has now turned its full attention to the solar PV manufacturing initiatives.

As per Karnataka's semicon policy, the rationales for promoting investments in solar PV are as follows:

* The investments are much lower at about US $200 million for a 100 MW line, as compared to semiconductor fabs, which are upward of US $3 billion.

* As solar energy is clean energy, it could attract further investments – and so, the government policies have been attractively positioned.

* Demand for solar cells/modules/systems is expected to increase, both from export and domestic markets.

Some of the investments in solar PV manufacturing have been from established players such as Moser Baer, Reliance, Signet Solar, Solar Semiconductors, Lanco Solar, etc. In fact, at the Solarcon India 2009 event in late November, the state government of Andhra Pradesh, neighboring Karnataka, had handed out allotment letters to the following companies -- Sunborne Inc., Lanco Solar, AES Solar and Titan Energy.

If this isn't enough, a SolarCity is also coming up at Anantapur. Located in Kadiri area of Anantapur district, it is spread over 10,000 acres of barren land. It has proximity to the Bangalore International Airport (85 km). The area has suitable radiation index for solar farms as well. Now, the Indian state of Karnataka already has an early mover advantage, and has even emerged as a hub for the manufacture of solar energy products such as solar water heating systems.

Seeing all of the above happen, the state government announced has now announced really ambitious plans to attract large investments in solar PV. Further, the Karnataka Power Corp. and Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd. will definitely take adequate steps to develop solar farms on joint ventures/PPP mode in Bijapur, Gulbarga, Raichur and Bellary districts of Karnataka. The government of Karnataka has also said that it will provide all encouragement and assistance to the Solar PV Manufacturing Units under the Karnataka Renewable Energy Policy.

The onus is on you to make use of this opportunity.



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