Energy 2.0

Solar market in India

Posted on: July 8, 2008

There are two distinct market segments for solar water heating systems (SWHS) in India, namely, (i) domestic and (ii) commercial and industrial. In commercial sector SWHS are used to meet the hot water demand e.g. in hotels and hospitals etc. while in

industrial sector, these systems are used for preheating boiler feed water or to meet the process heating requirements. In domestic sector, SWHS are used to meet household hot water requirements.


So far, the majority of installations in India are in the commercial and industrial sector, with 80% of the collector area installed in commercial and industrial sector, unlike Europe where the focus is mainly on the domestic sector. But as result of improved economics of solar systems, due to increase in electrical prices, the domestic market is increasing in India. As per MNES, the potential of solar water heating systems in the country is around 30 million m2 of collector area. The MNES policy (draft) has set the goal of installing 5-million m2 collector area during 2000- 2012, with equal distribution of collector area in domestic as well as commercial and industrial sector.



But this market penetration is still small when compared with some of the European countries like Greece, Germany, and Spain etc., especially when compared in terms of collector area installed per unit population. The installations per 1000 inhabitants are 5.1, 15.2 and 0.52 in Greece, Germany and India respectively.


In case of Indian market, the marketing, installation of systems and after sales service are responsibility of the manufacturer as the chain of dealers and installers has not been developed, which is very important for market penetration.


Although India has negligible quantum of installations as compared to potential, India ranks 5th in solar PV installations and 9th in solar thermal application installations in the world. Currently, India has 10–12 manufacturers producing about 100 MW of solar PV cells and about 20 manufacturers with total installed capacity of 120 MW in module manufacturing. India also has a large number of integrators-cum-service providers (about 80) with total capacity of about 245 MW. India exports 160 MW of solar PV products to With regard to solar thermal application, India has more than 200 manufacturers of solar water heaters and 40 of solar cookers. Also, 5–6 manufacturers are involved in producing solar drying, cooking, process heat, and air-conditioning applications. It is expected that  several players will enter solar thermal application development in the coming months.


Recently, several companies such as Tata BP Solar, Signet Solar, and Moser Baer have announced multi-million-dollar plans for investment in solar cell manufacturing capacities in the country. With announcement of the semiconductor policy in March 2007, it is envisaged that several multinational companies will enter silicon manufacturing as well as solar cell manufacturing.


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