The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved a ₹8,580-crore scheme under which companies owned by the Central Government will set up 12,000 MW of solar power plants over the next four years using India-made solar modules. With this, the Government has made good a promise it had made as a proposal via a December 2017 ‘concept note’ of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
“The 12,000 MW or more capacity of grid connected solar power projects will be set up by the Government producers in 4 years period, i.e. 2019-20 to 2022-23, as per the terms and conditions specified in Government Producer Scheme. The scheme will mandate use of both solar photovoltaic cells and modules manufactured domestically as per specifications and testing requirements fixed by MNRE,” said a statement issued by the Centre. The scheme is expected to engender investments of ₹48,000 crore and create around 200,000 jobs.
Most of the Indian solar manufacturers make only modules using imported cells. The leading companies are Tata Power Solar, Vikram Solar, Waaree Energies, Indo Solar and Surana Solar. Some of them (ex: Tata Power Solar) also have cell manufacturing capacity. India has about 3 GW of cell and 9 GW of module manufacturing capacity, though only 1.5 GW and 3 GW of them, respectively, are actively in use.