Get it right on renewable energy

Get it right on renewable energy

It's a long-term game, and getting it right on renewable energy. There is no debate on the opportunity if the challenges are met in time.

One potential hurdle is India's ability to become a manufacturing hub. It will need a combination of high investments, access to good technology at an affordable price and a sound policy framework. None of this can be underestimated.

India will need to do a few things right according to Gaurav Sood, CEO, Sprng Energy, a renewable energy platform set up by private equity fund Actis.

He says that we need to address key factors, such as domestic demand and export markets, to help manufacturing become competitive, create an ecosystem for production of equipment, various raw materials sub-components, and create an environment for production of equipment. He outlines the costs of financing, reliable and competitive power supply, and other factors.

The measures were taken by the government. Sood points out the Rs 4,500 crore incentive scheme to set up manufacturing for polysilicon, cells and modules.

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Imposing basic customs duty on solar PV cells and modules is viewed as a step in the right direction, making it attractive to support local manufacturing and compete with the biggies in the world.

Vibhuti Garg, Energy Economist, Lead India, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, and others agree that the government needs a stable long-term strategy and a balanced framework.

They should not only boost domestic production but also provide opportunities for Indian companies to tap into the global market. She maintains that it is necessary to formulate plans to support backward integration and set up cell, wafer and ingot manufacturing facilities in addition to modules.

The acquisition of land and utilities at concessional rates and expedite regulatory approvals should be a priority for the state governments, according to Garg.

India can change the landscape of renewable energy by building an ecosystem for solar product manufacturing along with storage manufacturing to enable renewable energy grid integration. Garg said clear political intent along with a long-term vision is what is needed for this sector to grow sustainably.