Sweet Answer from Solar Mango: (updated Jul 2015)
With the Indian Government’s Make in India program in full swing, there is a significant interest among businesses and entrepreneurs, both from India and abroad, in investing in manufacturing opportunities in solar.
What indeed are the prospects?
The following are the broad perspectives for solar manufacturing in India:
- Upstream Opportunities Only for Select Businesses – It will be almost impossible for small and medium businesses to invest in upstream parts of the value chain, viz., polysilicon and ingots/wafers. Solar Mango would not advise them to invest in these even if they could afford it, as the global competitive market for these will only favour investments form very large companies.
- Wider Opportunities in Cells & Modules – For cells and modules, opportunities exist for small-medium and medium firms to invest. The critical driver is the extent to which Indian cell and module manufacturers can enhance demand for their products and succeed in spite of the onslaught from lower priced Chinese products. In this context, any incentives and protectionist policies from the government will be critical for the industry to increase demand for local products.
- Significant Opportunities in Components & Sub-components – Solar Mango feels that there could be significant opportunities at the components and sub-component levels for the original equipment such as modules, cells, inverters and mounting structures. While the demand for sub-components are indeed dependent on the demand for local products, competition from Chinese products challenges exist mainly for cells and modules, while components such as mounting structures, cables/wires etc., are mainly procured from India and the threat from Chinese products are significantly lower for these.
- Opportunities for Small and Micro Enterprises in Off-grid Solar Products – Most off-grid solar products are simple assembly operations, and as a result require relatively little capital investments or technical sophistication. Diverse opportunities are available in the off grid solar products area – from solar water pumps, to solar lanterns, solar street lights, and small offgrid solar power packs that can power a rural home.
An overview of the opportunities is provided below:
- Which sectors within solar PV manufacturing require high capital costs?
- What off-grid solar products have high profit potential in India?
- Is solar power the best sector for me to invest my money in?
- What kinds of business opportunities exist in the solar-diesel hybrid sector?
- What is the difference between manufacturing solar cells and manufacturing solar panels?
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