India’s First Solar Village Modhera Showcases Power of Renewables Investment

2022-11-10 11:39:36 By : Ms. Anita xin

As India announced its first 100 percent solar powered village at Modhera in Gujarat in October, we explore emerging business opportunities in the country’s solar sector. India offers immense potential for renewable energy generation due to its geographical location, supportive government policies, and 100 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) permitted under the automatic route.

On October 9, 2022, India announced Modhera village in the western state of Gujarat as the country’s first 24×7 solar-powered village. Modhera residents can save around 60-100 percent on their electricity bills with this move. The project was built at an investment of over INR 800 million, funded by federal and state government channels and in two phases.

Modhera village has a ground-mounted solar power plant and over 1,300 rooftop solar systems with one kilowatt (kW) capacity have been installed on houses to generate electricity. These rooftop solar systems on residential and government buildings have also been integrated with a battery energy storage system (BESS).

The village’s solar power model has improved business prospects for local residents and enabled them to sell excess unconsumed electricity to the government, thereby creating opportunities for earning additional income.

India is currently ranked fifth globally in total solar power deployment. The country also has a vast solar potential of 749 gigawatt (GW) for power generation primarily due to its geographical location in the sunbelt, that is the area within 35 degrees around the equator.

India plans to reach 450 GW of installed renewable energy capacity by 2030, with 280 GW (over 60 percent) expected from solar power. From April till December 2021, India added 7.4 GW of solar power capacity, up 335 percent from 1.73 GW in the previous fiscal. Furthermore, according to Mercom India Research, solar capacity installations in India rose by 59 percent to record 7.2 GW during first half (H1) of 2022, witnessing the highest ever quarterly and half-yearly solar capacity additions.

In H1 2022, Rajasthan and Gujarat emerged as top states in terms of large-scale solar installations, accounting for 53 percent and 14 percent of installations, respectively, followed by Maharashtra with 9 percent.

This was accomplished despite mounting challenges from supply constraints and rising costs. As per reports, project costs have been escalating for eight straight quarters, and have further increased post the imposition of Basic Customs Duty (BCD) on solar module and solar cell prices from April this year. In April 2021, to encourage local production, the Indian government announced a 40 percent BCD on solar modules and 25 percent on solar cells with effect from April 1, 2022.

Top 10 State-wise Solar Installations in India (January 2022)

Business Opportunities in the Solar Energy Sector in India

Solar EPC (engineering, procurement, and construction) or installation

Solar EPC companies obtain the necessary solar materials from a manufacturer, perform engineering work, and provide customers with installation and after-installation services.

Solar knowledge and solar product knowledge along with a great network is what are of utmost importance to establishing an EPC business in the solar industry. This business might require less investment but requires more skilled workers, a network and an experienced team.

Refining sand to obtain silica

Quartz/graphite/ceramic crucible, carbon felt and seed crystal

Saw wire, sulphuric/hydrochloric acid, green/black/recycled si-carbide

Crystalline (mono/poly), thin film(CDTE,GAAS,CIGS,A-SI), CPV, al-ag paste, isopropyl alcohol, ammonia, phosphorous oxychloride, sulphuric acid, hydrochloric acid, potassium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide, silane

Chemical salt preparation, efficiency improvement

EVA layer, low iron glass, aluminum, PVF (tedlar), lead/copper/tin coated copper ribbon, copper wires

Ultra-clear pattern/TCO coated/AR coated glass, boron, cadmium sulphide, alumina, gallium, germanium, indium, molybdenum, phosphorous oxychloride, tellurium, tin, diethyl zinc, zinc oxide, tin oxide, hydrochloric/sulphuric acid

 Manufacturing solar Balance-of-System (BoS) for utility grid

Single axis, dual axis tracking

Wires, cables, junction boxes, lightning arresters, earthing systems, transformer, earthing equipment, insulators, net metering, circuit breakers, capacitors, switchgears

Phase, phase sequence, voltage, frequency

Poles, housings, mounting structures, nuts and bolts, etc.

Lighting/lanterns/street lighting/LED lighting

FPC collector/ETC tube water heaters, parabolic troughs

Lifetime analyzer, vision inspector, resistivity inspector, material property analyzer, polysilicon tester, ingot cutting, grinding, MCZ process, DSS process, CZ equipment, ingot transportation and storage, granular feeder, acid water neutralization cell

Cutting, saws, ultrasonic cleaner, inspectors and analyzers, sorter, counter, tester, grinder/polisher, water loading, water separation

Laser/plasma/wet etching, liquid gas flow management, drying/firing furnace, cell sorter, inspector, conveyor

Inspecting/ cleaning/ tabbing, stringing, framing, flux furnace

Plasma etching, cleaning, scribing, coating

HV test, full load test (resistive load), heat run (running for rated number of hours)

High-voltage direct current (HVDC) evacuation systems

Diodes, IGBT, inductors, filters, choppers

PCB, soldering, etching, flash memory data card

RFID reader, RFID generator, GPS, ethernet slots

 Support services for information and training

Human resource development and recruitment training programs

IT services like SCADA programs, PLC manufacturing (ladder programming), forecast tools, six-sigma manufacturing, digital energy meters, microprocessor programming

EPCs, site analysis, real estate- land acquisition

Technical advisor, engineering drawing and documentation

R&D and explorative

Standardizing agencies : Specifying standards of products, machines and designs

The government has launched various initiatives to support building up India’s solar capacity and aiding adoption of solar power sources at subsidized costs. These initiatives include:

In July 2022 , leaders from I2U2 group stated that they will advance a hybrid renewable energy project in Gujarat consisting of 300 MW of wind and solar capacity complemented by a battery energy storage system.

The International Solar Alliance (ISA), headquartered at Gurugram, India, aims to install 1,000 GW of solar energy by 2030. Their objectives include making solar energy available at affordable rates, establishing solar credit mechanisms, reducing the cost of finance and cost of technology, and enhancing energy security.

ISA has launched five programs where solar technologies can be applied while reducing risks and addressing the financial crisis faced by the developing and least-developed states while adopting green power.

ISA’s primary target is to mobilize US$1 trillion low-cost financing for the deployment of solar energy by 2030 and bring together 121 countries under the same roof that lie between Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.

India Briefing is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm assists foreign investors throughout Asia from offices across the world, including in Delhi and Mumbai. Readers may write to for more support on doing business in in India.

We also maintain offices or have alliance partners assisting foreign investors in Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Italy, Germany, and the United States, in addition to practices in Bangladesh and Russia.

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