At the start of India’s fiscal year 2016-17, on April 1, 2016, the country’s solar manufacturing capacity for cells and modules stood at 1,212 MW and 5,620 MW, respectively. Under its National Solar Mission, India aims for an indigenous manufacturing to the tune of 4 to 5 GW capacity by 2020.
However, clean energy consultancy Bridge to India points out that the average size of a solar cell and module manufacturing line in India is just 86 MW and 69 MW, respectively. Compared to this, Chinese manufacturer Trina Solar is expected to surpass 6 GW module production capacity by the end of 2016, which would be higher than all 81 Indian module manufacturers put together.
Though the Indian government is continuing to make efforts to protect its domestic manufacturers even after losing a solar trade case filed by the US at WTO (see Protecting Domestic PV Makers), things seem tough for domestic producers at large. Still, there have been reports of the government working on introducing a policy to encourage large scale manufacturing for solar in the country.
Pointing at Trina Solar and Adani Group as the only serious players considering domestic manufacturing plans ‘in earnest’, Bridge to India states, “It remains to be seen if the planned capacities can become genuinely globally competitive, but scale being a key determinant of competitiveness, outlook is not very promising for Indian manufacturers despite the solar power generation business going through a boom phase.” It looks like joint ventures between existing large foreign manufacturers and Indian companies seem to be the way to go.
Among solar cell manufacturers, Moser Baer Solar Limited owns the largest production capacity (250 MW), followed by Indosolar Ltd (200 MW), Websol Energy System Limited (150 MW), Tata Power Solar Systems Limited (140 MW) and Jupitar Solar Pvt. Ltd (132 MW), among others.
As for the top 5 solar module manufacturers, Vikram Solar Pvt Ltd and Waaree Energies Pvt Ltd stand on top with 500 MW each, Goldi Green Technologies Pvt Ltd with 450 MW, Tata Power Solar Systems Limited with 300 MW capacity, Moser Baer
Solar Limited at 230 MW and XL Energy Ltd with 210 MW.