The Union ministry of new and renewable energy has updated the list of approved solar modules and domestic manufacturers (ALMM) to inc-lude an additional 1,767 mega-watt (MW) of module capacity. The government had earlier mandated that all solar projects bid out after April 10 under central government schemes will have to use equipment from ALMM-listed entities. The list currently includes only module-makers with manufacturing base in the country. With the latest addition, the total ALMM module-making capacity currently stands at 10,819 MW.
Companies which have been included in the latest update include Novasys Greenergy (100 MW), Pahal Solar (100 MW), Pixon Green Energy (355 MW) and Alpex Solar (240 MW). As much as 972-MW capacity from Vikram Solar’s newly-inaugurated module-manufacturing unit in Chennai has also been included in ALMM. The aim of ALMM is to promote domestic manufacturing and cut import dependency.
The first ALMM list, released in March, included major players such as Waaree (2,000 MW), Adani’s Mundra Solar (1,100 MW), Vikram Solar’s West Bengal unit (1,050 MW), RenewSys India (750 MW), Emmvee Photovoltaic (500 MW), Goldi Solar (500 MW), Premier Energies (482 MW) and Tata Power Solar (300 MW). The list was updated in August to enlist Jakson Engineers (80 MW), Patanjali Renewable Energy (70 MW) and Central Electronics (35 MW), and in the subsequent update in September, modules of other players including Gautam Solar (110 MW), Insolation Energy (100 MW) and Pennar Industries (75 MW) were also added.
As per the recent COP26 announcements, the country has set a target to install 500 gigawatt (GW) of renewable energy capacity by 2030 and much of it is to come from solar plants. The current installed renewable energy capacity in the country is 103 GW, of which 48 GW is solar. Another 50 GW of renewable energy projects are under implementation and 32 GW is in various stages of bidding. Based on the analysis of the Central Electricity Authority, around 25 GW of annual solar capacity addition is needed till 2030 to attain the optimum energy mix of 280 GW of installed solar capacity by FY30.
Module costs comprise about 60% of the total project expenditure for solar plants, and owing to cheaper rates of imported modules, solar capacity addition has majorly been done through foreign products, especially Chinese. From the beginning of FY23, solar module and cell imports will attract a BCD of 40% and 25%, respectively. To discourage imports, a 25% safeguard duty on solar equipment import from China, Malaysia and other developed countries was imposed in July 2018. The duty, as per the plan, gradually came down to 15% till the end of its regime on July 31.
On Friday, Andhra Pradesh-based transformer manufacturer and EPC contractor Shirdi Sai Electricals, BC Jindal Group’s Jindal India Solar Energy and Reliance New Energy Solar have been selected as the beneficiaries of the Rs 4,500-crore production linked incentive (PLI) scheme for solar panel manufacturing, and these companies are slated to cumulatively set up around 12,000 megawatt (MW) of manufacturing capacities under the scheme.