Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is planning a 210 billion-rupee ($3.1 billion) package of state aid for India’s solar panel manufacturing industry, according to two officials.
The so-called Prayas initiative, short for for “ Pradhan Mantri Yojana for Augmenting Solar Manufacturing,” a central-government plan designed to lift India’s installed photovoltaic capacity as well as to create an export industry, according to two senior government officials with direct knowledge of the plan. They asked not to be identified because the policy isn’t yet public.
Modi wants to raise renewable capacity to 175 gigawatts by 2022 from 45 gigawatts at present. In addition to meeting its own energy targets, which Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates may cost $200 billion, India wants to emulate industrial developments in neighboring China, where solar manufacturers have created a world-leading export industry.
The Prayas program, part of Modi’s “ make in India” campaign, is intended to create 5 gigawatts of photovoltaic manufacturing capacity from 2019 and build 20 gigawatts of projects in the country by 2026, according to the officials. The policy, which is being developed by the ministry in charge of renewable energy and industrial policy, along with the Niti Aayog government research group, will be presented to the Finance Ministry within a month before going to the cabinet for final approval, they said.
Last month Power Minister Piyush Goyal said in Mumbai that a policy to encourage domestic manufacturing of solar equipment is in works. When reached on phone, the spokesman for the power and renewable energy ministries declined to comment.