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Players from Gulf nations plan to invest in Indian solar sector

According to reports, solar manufacturing sector in India is all set to get a boost players from Gulf countries are contemplating to invest in the country both in terms of finance and technology. They plan to form joint ventures with Indian manufacturers based on their engineering capabilities.

The seeds of this collaboration were sown during a recent meeting of members of National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI) and officials of Solar Alliance of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Saudi Arabia Solar Association. The collaboration assumes significance in view of India gaining experience in Solar energy in recent years and oil rich GCC countries increasingly focusing on solar energy and regional co-operation against global warming and climate change in general and solar energy in particular.

“There is a need for regional collaboration for countering the global warming and climate change taking place across the world. For this solar energy is the best alternative,” said NSEFI chairman Pranav Mehta. “The collaboration is aimed for mutual benefit. Gulf players will benefit from affordable engineering and designing capabilities of Indian counterparts, while that later would benefit from the induction of better technology and investment,” he added.

As many as a dozen manufacturers from Gulf countries have shown interest in setting up joint ventures with Indian companies, said Mehta, adding that a delegation from Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia and UAE are likely to visit India later this year. “However, how much investment the companies would be making cannot be gauged now. But, they are mainly field of polysilical ingot and wafer manufacturing which are key for making cells and modules for solar panels,” he added.

During the meeting with GCC and Saudi Arabia Solar Associations Mehta had discussed various areas of synergy between the two associations.

It was further discussed that collaboration in Solar manufacturing between GCC Companies and Indian manufacturing companies should be promoted as joint venture involving technology, finance and entrepreneurship creating win-win situation for the GCC countries and India, Mehta said.  It was also decided to collaborate in the areas of trained and skilled man-power as well as training and education in the area of solar energy.

In India the central government is betting big on solar energy with the launch of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), under which states have been encouraged to promote solar energy in the states. Number of solar parks and solar power stations are coming up in states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh.

Gujarat tops the list of solar power generating states in the country with total commissioned capacity of 860.4 Mw. Gujarat is followed by Rajasthan at 666.75 Mw till January 31, 2014. In fact, the total commission capacity in India stands at 2,208.36 Mw, of which Gujarat constitutes 39 per cent.

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) is setting up 4,000 Mw solar power park in Rajasthan where six central public sector undertakings are partners. SECI will the technology partner.

Similarly, a 1,000 Mw solar park was being developed in Andhra Pradesh by SECI, which is also planning 5,000 Mw solar park in the Kharaghoda region of Gujarat, details of which is likely to be finalised after the general elections.

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