Energy 2.0

Rising Sun In The East

Posted on: May 21, 2008

Rising Sun In The East

In the 1990s, public sector units such as Bharat Heavy Electricals entered the arena,but now private players are also jumping in. Moser Baer Photo Voltaic, a subsidiary of Moser Baer, has a 40-MW (megawatt) facility in Greater Noida. It plans to boost capacity to 300 MW by 2010. From $100 million (Rs 400 crore) this year, the company expects revenues of $1 billion (Rs 4,000 crore) by 2010.

Meanwhile, Tata BP Solar, with revenues of Rs 450 crore, exports 80 per cent of its products. The Bangalore-based company plans to double manufacturing capacity to 80 MW by end-2007 and scale up to 300 MW by 2010. Business can scale up exponentially once a viable unit price for electricity is established. Ravi Khanna, CEO of Moser Baer Photo Voltaic, says, “Our aim is to bring down cost from an average of 35 cents (Rs 14) per kilowatt to 10 cents (Rs 4).” Their product pipeline includes a solar panel six times larger than current models, slated for early 2009.

Big overseas players are also looking for a share in India. California-based Signet Solar will invest $2 billion (Rs 8,000 crore) over the next 10 years in three photovoltaic cell plants here. With an initial investment of $ 150 million (Rs 600 crore), each of these facilities will have an annual output of 300 MW.

Thin-film solar modules are ideal for energy farms, rural applications and building integrated photovoltaic markets. With increasing awareness of the need to switch to more affordable and environment friendly energy solutions, the market for thin-film solar modules is expected to grow 10 fold; from the current 250 MW to 2 GW with a market size of $5 bn by 2010.

India’s growing solar market currently consumes about 1% of the world’s photovoltaic products. Total domestic installed photovoltaic capacity is in excess of 100 MW cumulative. Most of the photovoltaic used in India are used for off-grid applications (so have a disproportionate impact in relation to their capacity), however today there is an increasing interest in on-grid applications, as well as high tech applications for various high tech sectors, including telecommunications and the ‘green buildings’ sector.

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