Power News We love to talk!

NOV 25 2014

Tata Power Solar to invest in plant upgrade

  • Economic Times, ET Bureau / Hyderabad
  • Created: Tue 25th NOV 2014

After having been "burnt" over the last two years, Tata Power Solar is now mulling investing in "strategically upgrading our equipment," says the company's CEO, Ajay Goel.

"A year ago, we were wondering if there was a future for us," Goel said last week. Now the company is thinking of investing. "The mood of the (manufacturing) industry has changed from `despondency to cautious optimism'."

Domestic content

A year ago, the future of Indian companies that produced solar cells and modules hung tenuously on to a government's rule that a specified chunk of government-procured solar energy should come from plants that used locally made modules. The `domestic content requirement' was under fire at the WTO and local module manufacturers were demanding protection from "dumped" Chinese products.

The government declined to impose anti-dumping duties, but promised Indian manufacturers enough demand from the solar projects that would be put up by the government-owned companies. The promise was a relief for manufacturers, such as Tata Power Solar.

Tata Power Solar's plant in Bengaluru can produce 180 MW worth of cells and 200 MW worth of modules but the equipment that produces them is five years old. Hence, the "strategic upgrade of our equipment."Subsidies hurting

Goel reiterated the oft-repeated view of the solar industry that the issue of `subsidies' is hurting the rooftop segment. The subsidies are "neither removed nor funded," and as a result customers are not able to make purchase decisions, said Goel.

The Government recently removed subsidies on solar water heaters.

This has "de-commoditised" the segment, since with the going of the subsidies, the product specifications prescribed for availing of the subsidies are also gone. As a result, companies such as Tata Power Solar are able to customise products.

Tags

Solar Energy Energy United States Power Tata Power Solar

Related News

  • Macquarie in talks to buy solar power assets of Hindustan Power  Read more
  • Activists protest against expansion of Kudankulam nuclear project  Read more
  • Indian power consultancy firm offers its services to Pakistan  Read more
  • Now 24x7 supply in 'power-packed' Andhra Pradesh  Read more
  • Oil rises above $57 as Iran export recovery remains in doubt  Read more
  • Government falls way short of renovation and maintenance targets  Read more
  • Reliance starts CBM gas production from two blocks in Madhya Pradesh  Read more
  • India to benefit from fall in oil prices: Economist group  Read more
  • Closed bids not reverse auction way to go for wind power: Siemens Gamesa India CMD  Read more
  • Accord priority sector status to solar energy in Budget 2015: Renewable Ministry to Finance Ministry  Read more