SOLARCON India 2010

SOLARCON India 2010

A few weeks ago I attended India’s largest solar energy focused business and technology event, SOLARCON India 2010. This was the second year SOLARCON was held in India and I was pleased with the positive energy, momentum and great dialogue around the conference.

The key backdrop to the event was the announcement made by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy regarding the guidelines for grid-connected power utilities, as well as the rooftop and distributed systems guidelines announced a month ago, as part of the roll out of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (NSM) — the country’s solar energy policy — announced in January. These guidelines allow utilities to better understand the feed-in tariffs and compliances. The rooftop and distributed systems guidelines enumerate the low interest loans, as well as the incentives available for funding.

There was a general feeling of optimism regarding the incentives, feed-in tariff and subsidies being offered as these will allow consumers and business to invest in solar technology for the long term resulting in growth opportunities for the solar industry in India

The industry has seen more than 300% growth of megawatt capacity of solar photovoltaic (PV) installations in the last two years as reported recently. A large number of proposals for setting up large and small solar PV power plants have been submitted by public and private sector companies to achieve the 1100MW target of Phase I of the National Solar Mission.

Solar cell and solar module manufacturing companies are exploring ways to expand their manufacturing facilities in India. There is also interest by various companies in getting into upstream sectors like poly-Silicon, as well as wafering. These are new manufacturing capabilities in India, and along with downstream utility players, will start strengthening the complete value chain of the solar industry.

SOLARCON India was highlighted by the participation of the Union Ministers for New and Renewable Energy, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Urban Development, Mr. Jaipal Reddy, as well as the Chief Minister of the State, Mr. K. Rosiah. Their participation is significant as it provides a clear message from the federal and state governments regarding the importance of the National Solar Mission, as well as support and synergies across various ministries.

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