India’s Solar Modules Manufacturing Capacity Jumps 150% In 2 Years

Following the sharp increase in the installed solar power target announced by the Indian government in 2014, solar cell and module manufacturing companies have significantly increased the production capacities.

The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy recently released data for the companies active in solar cell and module production in the country, their installed capacity base and utilisation. As on 30 June 2016, India had 20 companies actively involved in solar cell production. As many as 94 companies are manufacturing solar PV modules in the country.

The 20 solar cell companies have a combined annual production capacity of 1,468 MW out of which 1,163 MW capacity (or more than 76%) was being utilised. Three companies – Jupiter Solar, Indosolar and Moser Baer Solar – represent 780 MW, or over 53%, of the total installed production capacity. Four companies – Lanco Solar, Mundra Solar PV (Adani Enterprises), Synergy Solar and Waaree Energies – are believed to be in the process of setting up their production capacities.

Solar cell manufacturing capacity in India has increased from 1,216 MW in June 2014 to 1,468 MW in June 2016. Capacity utilisation in June 2014 was a measly 20% which has increased to 76.5% in June 2016.

Capacity utilisation in solar module manufacturers is also high at around 74%. A total of 94 companies have a cumulative installed production capacity of 6,848 MW solar PV modules per year, of this 4,308 MW capacity is being utilised. Vikram Solar (500 MW), Waaree Energies (500 MW) and Tata Power Solar Systems (300 MW) are the three largest manufacturers of solar PV modules in India representing 23% of the installed capacity; all three also reported 100% utilisation of their production capacity.

Growth in the solar PV module manufacturing capacity has been much greater than that in the solar cell manufacturing sector. From an installed capacity base of 2,348 MW in June 2014, the module manufacturing capacity has increased by nearly three times to 6,848 MW. The capacity utilisation has also increased from 28% to around 74%.

The Indian government is looking to further enhance the domestic solar cell and manufacturing sector. The government is planning financial support package of $3.1 billion to solar power equipment manufacturing sector. The support, possibly in the form capital cost support, could be offered on per MW basis.

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