Indian billionaire Gautam Shantilal Adani couldn’t have asked for a better start to September.

After closing August by buying a majority stake majority stake Mint Adani to acquire Mumbai airport Read more in India’s second-busiest airport—Mumbai—he had yet another reason to celebrate. On 1 September, Adani Green Energy Ltd (AGEL) was anointed the world’s largest largest Mercom Capital Group Top 10 Leading Global Large-Scale Solar PV Developers Report Read more solar energy company by Mercom Capital Group, a clean energy research firm. AGEL is the most valuable company, worth nearly Rs 1,05,000 crore ($14.3 billion), in Adani’s sprawling infrastructure empire.

With a portfolio of 12.3 gigawatt gigawatt GW 1 GW = 1,000 MW (GW), AGEL rose to the top by winning one of the biggest solar tenders in the world. In January, AGEL  bagged bagged The Economic Times Adani, Azure top bidders for manufacturing-linked tender Read more an 8 GW project from the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), a government body. The project is accompanied by a commitment to set up 2 GW of photovoltaic (PV) cell and module photovoltaic (PV) cell and module PV cell and module A solar module is a collection of connected PV cells that convert sunlight into electricity. manufacturing capacity. As part of the same tender, AGEL’s rival Azure Power Global won a 4 GW project, with 1 GW of module and cell production capacity. Azure has 7.1 GW of operational and under-development solar farms.

The SECI tender’s total manufacturing requirement of 3 GW will double India’s current cell capacity and increase its module capacity by a third. The Adani Group, which currently operates a 1.3 GW cell and module plant in Mundra in the western state of Gujarat, will see a 3X growth in its capacity.

However, even as India has made great strides in setting up solar power plants, its perfunctory stabs at becoming a solar manufacturing base have yielded little success. In 2018, it tried to make cell and module imports dearer by imposing a two-year safeguard duty of 25%, which eventually fell to 15%. But Indian module makers were not enthused either by the duration of the levy or its tapering nature.

India still depends on imports for 85% of its cell and module requirements, out of which China’s contribution alone is 80%.

AUTHOR

Seetharaman G

Starting out as a business journalist in 2008, Seetharaman has written about energy, climate change, retail, banking, and technology. He has worked with Business Today, a fortnightly, and the Sunday edition of The Economic Times.

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