First Solar eyes big in Indian solar energy market

Greentech Lead India: The solar energy wave is sweeping towards the East and South. Thanks to the impending EU anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar panels, many Chinese providers are shifting their focus to countries like Japan, India and Africa.

Indian solar industry, despite the opposition from domestic solar makers over cheaper solar imports, continues to shine as a hotspot for overseas solar companies.

First Solar, the largest solar PV manufacturer in the U.S, is planning to compete aggressively in the Indian market.

Indian solar energy market got a push in the recent years thanks to the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) that promotes renewable energy through various schemes like generation based incentives and viable gap funding (VGF).

Government of India has allocated Rs.1521 crore (nearly $280 million) during 2013-14 for the development and promotion of renewable energy activities, in comparison to GBS of Rs. 1385 crore ($260 million) and revised estimates of Rs. 1150 crore ($210 million) during 2012-13.

Over the past 18 months, First Solar has supplied 365 mw of solar panels to various solar power project developers in India, which comprises roughly 20 percent of the total market. First Solar aims to grab 25 percent of Indian solar energy sector in the coming three years.

In the first phase of the National Solar Mission, 70 percent of the projects used imported solar panels. First Solar supplied 200 MW of solar panels to project developers during the first phase.

First Solar CEO James Hughes is not pessimistic about the anti-dumping case filed by Indian solar manufacturers against 10 solar equipment manufacturers from four countries including US

“We don’t expect any adverse result to come out of the anti-dumping case. We are here to compete in the solar imports industry,” said Hughes.

According to Hughes indigenous players could benefit only when the Indian solar market is developed with all kinds of players in the field.

First Solar is also eyeing the off-grid segment. According to Economic Times, the company is in talks with local players, financial institutions and the government to provide affordable solutions for energy access.

Companies like Kiran Energy, SunEdison, Moser Baer and Welspun are also in talks with Indian solar providers.

Also read: India welcomes foreign manufacturers to set up solar PV production facilities, says PM

editor@greentechlead.com