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Bullish on India, First Solar scouts for partnerships

According to reports, describing Indian market as an attractive and big for solar power, equipment maker ‘First Solar’ has said it is looking for partnerships to strengthen business activities in the country.

However, First Solar noted that the single biggest challenge for the sector is availability of funds.

First Solar Chief Executive Officer James A Hughes said that India is a “growing and a very big market (for solar power) in the long time to come”.

Some other markets, including the United States and China, are also attractive for solar energy, he added.

The company has already supplied equipment for over 360 MW installed solar energy generation capacity in India.

“The cost of electricity in these markets (emerging) tend to be high relative to rest of the world. We think solar (energy) is very appropriate for markets and economies where much of the energy is imported, which again fits India.

“These characteristics make emerging markets, India in particular, attractive,” Hughes told PTI here.

First Solar has a market share of about 20 per cent in India.

“We always look for partnerships. We have already with many companies in the Indian market. We are talking to many others,” Hughes said. Noting that cost is no longer the barrier for solar energy, Hughes said the sector faces difficulties in getting funds.

“The single largest challenge in the Indian market is availability of capital, particularly debt capital. Our focus is to have broad financial relationships as possible,” he noted.

According to him, the company has participated in projects including those under the National Solar Mission.

“We are looking at bilateral industry open access contracts. We are looking at industrial roof top diesel replacement opportunities. We are looking at off grid energy access opportunities. We have clearly identified segments of the energy industry that we believe offer opportunities,” he added.

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