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Bright Future for Solar in India

Photonics.com
Aug 2010
Aug. 24, 2010 — Hello friends, how have you been this past week? I'm back, and here's one more from the recently held Solarcon India 2010 in Hyderabad, India.

Following the aggressive announcements made by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Indian state government of Andhra Pradesh, Stanley T. Myers, president and CEO, SEMI, echoed similar sentiments regarding the Indian solar PV industry.

He said: “India has a bright future in solar PV and other renewable energies. India should also acquire and develop the best research.” Meyers was speaking during a media interaction at the Solarcon India 2010 in Hyderabad.

“The NSM (National Solar Mission) is the change in India. You try to look for simplicity, see what’s going on, and speed. We hope that happens in India.”
He added that SEMI would play the role as a ‘connector’ in markets where technologies are emerging. Two things need to happen in emerging technologies as well as regions. One, there has to be a roadmap – clear and defined. Two, there has to be standards development. SEMI is already playing a key role in the standards for PV manufacturing equipment and materials. It will extend that activity into India as well.

Sathya Prasad, president, SEMI India, discussed the role of feed-in-tariffs (FIT) and the impact of the policy on PV market and growth.

He said that the scope of the policy module in India will drive the PV market in phase I. Policy drives the market! According to SEMI, over 80 percent of the 2008 PV demand was from FIT supported markets. He cited Germany’s example, where the German FIT boosted investments in renewable energy. FIT is one of the most effective ways of driving policy.

A PV policy should have some guiding principles. It should be sufficient to drive predictable demand. The policy itself should be stable and predictable, as well as transparent and streamlined. Besides being accessible, it should be programmed to sunset.

Similarly, the FIT best practices include technology differentiation, generation cost-based rates, purchase and interconnection requirements, fixed price and long-term payment, and predictable decline/sunsetting.

Stability, accessibility and interconnectivity among the energy developers to the PV grid will also determine developments that would take place in phase I. The study’s conclusion has been that the design of NSM conforms to the best practices of FIT and it provides a strong framework for the next step of implementation.

Pradeep




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