India’s renewable energy industry, mainly solar is suspected to see challenges ahead due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Since, India depended on Chinese firms to supply about 80% of solar cells and modules used in the country, the viral outbreak will present the issue of depletion in raw material supply to support Indian green energy future.
Supply disruptions, delays in production, delays in quality checks and transport of components due to the outbreak are already visible in China, which are leading developers to declare force majeure. In this scenario, we should be appreciative of the Government for supporting this measure to aid solar project developers.
As domestic solar manufacturers, we feel that although, Indian module manufacturing capacity can satisfy its own demand, prolonged slowdown in China will cause raw material shortage and affect us as well. Therefore, the Government should immediately turn focus on building in-house manufacturing scale and making financial solutions available.
Coronavirus outbreak has highlighted that depending on China or any other country to build a sustainable energy future for India is not viable. Only improving the manufacturing scale can lead to success in establishing energy security and reliability. In such a scenario, it is certainly a possibility for India to step up as the leading solar supplier for the world. However, such a venture would require immediate and enhanced support in solving internal issues (safeguard duty, GST) and implementing favourable policies to invest and aid in building domestic solar manufacturing capacities that can satisfy India’s domestic green energy requirement and help the country to take on a larger role as a global solar exporter.