India has a very ambitious program under Jawaharlal Nehru mission. While the whole country is going gung ho about the targets set under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, the manufacturing industry is facing its worst period. With solar cell prices nose diving and government policies which can rarely be described a fair for domestic manufacturing industry, the solar industry has been hit very badly.
The Indosolar,the country’s largest manufacturer of solar photovoltaic cells, has set up a 400 megawatt unit near Delhi. The production lines are shut for last many months. This has been the scenario all over the country. Solar manufacturers are looking for government intervention. Roughly country’s 80% production lines are shut. Domestic manufacturers are facing bankruptcy, looking towards loan restructuring etc.
While promoting solar investments in Gujarat and Rajasthan, the policies never restricted import of solar cells and modules. Thin film technologies which are inefficient and lesser in costs have inundated the country’s solar setups.
With European markets also losing sheen and their governments withdrawing support, it appears that solar industry will have to make itself stand on its own feet without any support from Feed-in Tariffs.
The estimates suggest that global demand is about 30000 MW while the manufacturing capacity is double of that.
The rough and tough times are here to stay and may take another 3/4 years to stabilize and enable manufacturers to earn profit.