‘PV in India has a wonderful future’

BANGALORE: HHV Solar Technologies Pvt. Ltd produces world-class, technologically advanced solar photovoltaic (PV) modules and solar technology-based solutions-to meet the exacting demands of c

Published: 18th April 2012 10:29 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 07:36 PM   |  A+A-

BANGALORE: HHV Solar Technologies Pvt. Ltd produces world-class, technologically advanced solar photovoltaic (PV) modules and solar technology-based solutions-to meet the exacting demands of commercial and industrial establishments around the world. HHV Solar’s state-of-the-art automated manufacturing centre is located at Dabaspet, in Bangalore. This facility has the capability to produce both Crystalline and Thin Film Solar PV Modules. In its entry into the global solar photovoltaic market, HHV Solar has leveraged on the expertise and reputation of its parent company, HHV (Hind High Vacuum Company Pvt Ltd), which is a leader in High Vacuum Technology. Prasanth Sakhamuri, Chairman of HHV Solar speaks to City Express on the scope of Solar PV industry in India and the company’s future plans.

What is the scope of the solar PV industry in the country? Has the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) helped it in anyway?

The solar industry as such has become the buzz word of the next source of energy in the world and has the attention of most governments. The conflict is about the cost of the subsidy versus the immediate burning issues that most governments face on the economic front. The progress in India has been significant in the deployment and utilisation of solar power. The solar mission has triggered interest and the industry has begun to roll. For the first time India has become a significant market where other countries are beginning to take notice and plan investments. PV in India has a wonderful future.

We have some of the best areas in the country to produce solar power. We are a power hungry country. We have barren lands which cannot be put to productive use and the sunshine in those areas is the highest. What more does solar power need to be viable?

We need to build our full eco-system and not be dependent. Since we do not have poly silicon, it would be best for India to focus on thin film technologies and work toward becoming a dominant manufacturer of thin film modules and promote it to get more involvement of industry and research.

The industry feels that the rates offered by China are cheaper compared to that in India. If so, what can be done to lower the rates in India?

China has a full eco-system in solar and they manufacture 80 per cent of the worlds modules today. They have high internal subsidies which drive their competitiveness. They have developed a strong equipment and machinery manufacturing base. There is no comparison of costs with China. We lack in comparison. The scale of operations is highly skewed. The capacity of all the Indian cell manufacturers would not match the capacity of one medium player in China or Taiwan. The overall moulding capacity in India would be less than the capacity of one of the larger players in China. With this differentiation, India does not stand a major chance in C-Si technology.India’s answer will have to be thin film. The installation and technology adaptation time is smaller creation of capability and manufacturing capacity will be faster. Our knowledge assimilation capability is higher and we can get this technology off the ground quicker.

The improvements will be rapid in this technology and we should be in with the future technology rather than develop an eco system of a technology where we can barely compete and to the mature level of its life cycle.

Could you elaborate on the HHV Solar facility in Dabaspet?

At HHV Solar we have been working on developing a capability in manufacture of primary equipment for thin film module production. We have developed expertise in a-Si process and also in micro morph technology. We have been able to demonstrate our capability to build a fully automatic production line which is state of the art and have been able to show that the technology developed in India is equivalent to the best in the world.

The equipment has always been the challenge in thin film processing and that is where HHV has made substantial advances by making the equipment at very highly competitive prices and at the same time be as sophisticated as the best in the world. Our Dabaspet plant is a demonstration of our technical capabilities and is a state of art facility for thin film processing.

We do not have any subsidies for our effort in this line and we have become competitive only with use of technology. We are looking to expand our thin film capability to meet the demands of the local markets. We will be able to attract investment as soon as we are assured of a level playing field in the country.

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