NPD Solarbuzz: Idled solar cell capacity in India belies bigger issues

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email

Market research firm, NPD Solarbuzz reports that a significant amount of crystalline-silicon solar cell production in India lays idle, despite almost US$0.5 billion of investment in solar cell equipment between 2006 and 2012.

The reason for the idled capacity was said to be down to “limited expertise in running cell capacity”, while the domestic Indian market is catered for by a host of leading PV manufacturers from the US and China.

The market research firm highlighted that US$470 million had been invested in new cell lines between 2006 and 2012 in India, though even if all lines were running at full-capacity hey could barely support 10% of the Indian market over the next 12 months.

Indian manufacturers therefore lack both expertise and scale to effectively compete.

The shocking situation is in contrast with claims from some of India’s nascent PV manufacturers that foreign firms are to blame for the sectors slow development, mainly due to pricing, which have led to Indian Government investigations into the situation.

Finlay Colville, vice-president at NPD Solarbuzz said, “The prospects for Indian c-Si [cell] manufacturers remain bleak, with many of the existing producers lacking cash to restart operations. Although trade investigations by the Indian government against imported PV products are ongoing, the lack of high-volume and low-cost fab expertize forms the key barrier to local solar cell makers. As a result, continued growth of solar deployed within India has become dependent on low-cost foreign supply.”

That low-cost foreign supply has been dominated by CdTe thin-film and PVEP leader, First Solar, which according to NPD Solarbuzz has a 15% market share during the trailing twelve months to the end of the second quarter, 2013.

Chinese PV module manufacturers, Canadian Solar, JinkoSolar, Renesola, Trina Solar and Yingli Green were said to occupy the next five ranking positions for module supply, with a combined 46% market share in India.

In recent quarterly conference calls several of the above China-based suppliers highlighted the Indian market was expected to remain strong through 2013 with some expected to supply increasing quantities of modules in the future.

However, several Indian module manufacturers that have also focused on the domestic downstream market, across off-grid, residential, commercial and utility-scale sectors, such as Tata Power Solar are said to be running at full-capacity and looking to expand capacity and market products overseas.

The idled solar cell equipment reinforces the challenges for equipment suppliers hoping to eventually capitalise on the next capacity expansion phase as PV demand continues to grow, closing the gap on excess ‘effective capacity.’

23 February 2022
Held annually since 2016, the Energy Storage Summit Europe is the place to be for senior stakeholders in the European storage industry. Designed to accelerate deployment of storage, we examine evolving chemistries, business models, project design, revenue stacks and use cases for storage. The 2022 edition will include exclusive content around longer duration solutions, energy strategies for wide-scale deployment of EVs and "EnTech", the event which sits at the intersection of digitisation, decentralisation and decarbonation of the power system. Come to meet TSOs, DSOs, Utilities, Developers, Investors and Lenders and leave with new contacts, partners and a wealth of information.
7 March 2022
Take your chance to join the most powerful platform in the MENA region. Middle East Energy (MEE), Intersolar, and ees, the leading energy exhibitions are joining hands to co-deliver an outstanding renewables and energy storage event at Middle East Energy 2021. Renewables and energy storage at MEE is the largest gathering of solar and renewable energy industry professionals in the Middle East & Africa, offering the most effective trade focused platform to international manufacturers and distributors looking to meet regional buyers.
8 March 2022
As Solar Finance & Investment enters its ninth year, we sit on the cusp of a new power market with solar at its heart. The 2022 edition of the event will build on our years of expertise and relationships to bring investors and lenders together with top developers. Connect with leaders in the field and use exclusive insights to drive investment and development decisions for the future. Meet new and existing project partners at the largest gathering of European solar investors and lenders.
23 March 2022
When it comes to storage, the US market exceeded a gigawatt of advanced energy storage installations (weighted towards lithium ion) at 1.46 GW, more than the previous six years in total! An exponential growth rate could see the market hit 7.5 GW p.a. by 2025. The summit will provide a wealth of content around this vital piece in the US power puzzle, with sessions dedicated to explore how companies are making money from batteries, the latest chemistries and their applications as they apply to different use-cases. We ask how investors can match ESG criteria to batteries and we will bring case studies of successful deployment and project execution onto the stage to examine how you can ensure your own projects are successful.
29 March 2022
Now in its 10th sell-out year, Large Scale Solar returns to Lisbon in 2022. We are excited to gather together face-to-face with the European solar industry as we provide unique and exclusive access to a powerful selection of the market's key stakeholders. Join this elite summit to find out how the market is maturing, which new markets are becoming more exciting, how technology is evolving and who's driving the market forward into the 2020s. Always senior, packed with developers, EPCs, utilities and investors this is the event for companies serious about European solar PV.
7 April 2022
Solarex Istanbul, Turkey’s first and unique exhibition on solar energy, provides a huge opportunity to Turkey on the way to being a solar energy hub. Solarex Istanbul will take place on 7-9 April 2022 for the 14th time. It will be a commercial platform to have the latest technologies and combination of new products from all around the world. It takes place annually at Istanbul Expo Center, Turkey. It is also called the most important platform for manufacturers, suppliers and dealers of the solar industry in Eurasia.

Read Next

January 27, 2022
Renewables owner and operator Brookfield Renewable has tripled its US development pipeline to 31GW through the US$650 million acquisition of clean power developer Urban Grid.
January 27, 2022
Hecate Energy’s first stage application for a 500MW solar PV plant in the state of New York has been accepted by the newly formed New York State Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES).
January 27, 2022
Italian asset manager Green Arrow Capital (GAC) has signed a framework agreement with Spanish solar company Progressum Energy Developments (PED) to acquire 508MW of ready-to-build solar PV projects in Spain in a deal worth over €400 million (US$446 million).
January 27, 2022
Tesla’s solar installations jumped 68% in 2021 to 345MW despite a slight dip in additions year-on-year during the fourth quarter.
January 27, 2022
Major European solar developers have called on the European Union (EU) to develop a PV supply chain strategy to avoid cost increases and disruption to projects, with the group calling for 20GW of manufacturing capacity by 2030.
PV Tech Premium
January 26, 2022
s solar finds itself deployed in further and more far flung climes, it is also having to operate in increasingly harsher climates. In this article, VDE Renewables assesses how such climates affect PV performance and what must be taken into consideration when formulating O&M strategies.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 8, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal
Solar Media Events
April 25, 2022
Berlin, Germany