According to reports, components of solar-powered products will become cheaper by at least 5-7%, thanks to finance minister Arun Jaitley’s announcement to boost the solar sector.
Jaideep Malaviya, CEO, Malaviya Solar Consultancy, said a company setting up a 100 MW solar plant would now be able to save around Rs 50 lakh because of the several duty and tax reduction and exemptions relaxations. “The excise duty exemption on machinery and equipment required to set up solar power plants will be a huge boost to solar power component manufacturers,” Malaviya said.
The finance minister has announced excise duty exemption for solar tempered glass used in the manufacture of solar photovoltaic cells and modules, flat copper wire used to manufacture photovoltaic ribbons, EVA sheets and solar back sheets and other specified inputs used in the manufacture of solar cells. He also announced exemption for machinery and equipment required for setting up solar power plants. It is expected that solar thermal heaters will also become cheaper.
“The budget proposals are mostly for solar photovoltaic components. Hopefully, the next budget will focus on solar thermal systems, which can integrate legacy systems with renewable energy,” said M S Unnikrishnan, managing director and CEO, Thermax.
“Today, mostly all solar equipment is imported. Continued import will be a drain on India’s foreign exchange if solar energy is to be leveraged on a largescale. If we promote and incentivise local manufacturing, it will generate employment and reduce emphasis on imports. Thus this is a step in the right direction,” said Sulajja Firodia Motwani, vice chairperson of Kinetic Engineering.
Malaviya said as the payback period will be faster, more entrepreneurs will enter the solar energy sector.