Push for PM Modi’s dream: $100 bn solar plan the new investment magnet for MNCs

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: India’s $100 billion push into solar energy over the next decade will be driven by foreign players as uncompetitive local manufacturers fall by the wayside, no longer protected by government restrictions on the sector.

The money pouring into India’s solar industry is likely to be soaked up by foreign-organised projects such as one run by China’s Trina Solar – not the country’s own solar panel manufacturers.

Last week, Softbank became the latest foreign player to enter India’s solar market, leading an investment of up to $20 billion. The Japanese firm said it would consider making solar panels locally, but with Taiwan’s Foxconn rather than a local manufacturer.

Many Indian solar panel producers have benefited over the past six months from a surge in demand for panels not yet fulfilled by foreign companies. But their small scale and outdated technology will quickly make itself felt when the global players arrive.

“The smaller manufacturers of India, especially the cell manufacturers, will be adversely hit because they are unable to compete both on technology and even on price structures,” said Jasmeet Khurana at solar consultancy Bridge To India.


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