Softbank Targets Indian Solar Manufacturing To Strengthen Modi’s Goal


NEW DELHI: Japan’s SoftBank is planning a manufacturing collaboration in India that could produce the solar panels required to meet PM Modi’s Modi’s energy targets, Bloomberg report states.

According to reports by Bloomberg Manoj Kohli, executive chairman of SB Energy said in an interview in New Delhi. “SoftBank’s strategy for India includes solar panel manufacturing. Making the panels through the company’s existing joint venture, formed last year with Foxconn Technology Group and Bharti Enterprises Pvt. will generate about 20 gigawatts of solar power”.

The report on Bloomberg stated, “While Modi seeks 100 gigawatts of solar capacity by 2022 — a target second only to China — the country’s manufacturers will need to ramp-up production in order to tap into the growth. Only about 40 percent of India’s 1.2 gigawatts of annual solar-cell manufacturing capacity is operational, according to estimates by Bridge to India. Module manufacturing capacity is about 5.6 gigawatts, of which 60 percent capacity is operational.”

“To build large-scale manufacturing efficiency matching Chinese economics of scale will require government support,” Kohli said. he described Indian support policies in an “evolution stage.”, as per Bloomberg reports.

Kohli, the ex-managing director at Bharti Enterprises Pvt., said that India could also play a role in the manufacture of power-storage solutions. Once prices near the rupee a kilowatt-hour level, Indian companies could be primed to compete.

“It will take three more years when storage will reach the affordability that India needs,” Kohli said. Government policies encouraging local production could make India one of the biggest storage manufacturers, he said, as per Bloomberg reports.

SB Energy’s existing joint venture is currently concentrating on the development of 350 megawatts capacity in Andhra Pradesh, Kohil said. The $400 million project may be commissioned by March 2017.


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