Sunday, August 29, 2010

Solar PV likely showstopper at electronica India 2010 & productronica India 2010!

Don't be surprised that given the major strides undertaken by India in solar PV, this industry and its pavilion could well turn out to be the showstopper or the lead attraction, besides LEDs and other electronic components, at the upcoming electronica India 2010 and productronica India 2010 – which will be held in the sprawling Bangalore International Exhibition Center on Sept. 7-10.

For those interested, since its debut in 2009, this show has been split into two sections – productronica India -- devoted to production technologies, SMT and EMS/contract manufacturers, PCB, solar and PV, laser, etc., and electronica India – focused on components, semiconductors, assemblies, LEDs and materials.

This year, there are going to be three added attractions or special exhibit areas, namely:
* Solar pavilion.
* LED pavilion.
* Laser pavilion.

Solar PV main attraction
Solar PV is likely to be the main attraction! A report on the ‘Solar PV Industry 2010: Contemporary Scenario and Emerging Trends’ released by the India Semiconductor Association (ISA) with the support of the Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA), lays out the strengths and challenges of the Indian solar PV market:

• Even though the industry operates at a smaller scale as compared to other solar PV producing nations, production in India is very cost effective as compared to global standards.

• With Government initiatives such as the SIPS scheme and JN-NSM in place to promote application of solar PV in domestic market, the Indian solar PV industry is likely to gain further edge over other solar PV producing nations.

• There is no manufacturing base in India for the basic raw material - silicon wafers.

• Over the last five years, China has emerged as the largest producer of solar cells in the world. The country currently has about 2,500 MW of production capacity for solar PV as compared to India’s 400 MW. Taiwan, with annual capacity of 800 MW, is also emerging as a major threat to the Indian industry.

• Price reduction is another major challenge for the industry as this would have greatly impact the future growth of the market.

The recently concluded Solarcon India 2010 threw up several interesting points as well. Industry observers agreed that the timely implementation of phase 1 of the historic Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JN-NSM) is going to be critical for the success of this Mission.

The MNRE also stressed on the need to develop an indigenous solar PV manufacturing capacity in solar, and build a service infrastructure. Strong emphasis is also being placed on R&D, and quite rightly. Notably, the Indian government is working toward tackling issues involved with project financing as well.

All the right steps and noises are currently being taken and made in the Indian solar PV industry. If these weren't enough, the TÜV Rheinland recently opened South Asia's largest PV testing lab in Bangalore!

This year, an exhibitor forum on PV and solar will take place at the Solar PV pavilion during electronica India 2010 and productronica India 2010.

LEDs major interest area
LEDs have emerged as another area of interest in India. In the JN-NSM, the government of India has set a target of depoying 20 million solar lighting systems for rural areas in the country by 2022! While it seems to be a moderate target, even reaching this target will be some achievement on India's part!

When we talk about off grid applications, there is a need to look at rural lighting. The 20 million target broadly means covering 4,000 households every day from the 15th of June over the next 12 years. Solar lighting is a revolution waiting to happen. There is also a need to find suitable business models of solar power for village community, and try and provide livelihood opportunities.

LEDMA is born!
Given the escalating interest in LEDs, the LED products Manufacturers Association (LEDMA) was floated in Hyderabad in the second week of August 2010. LEDMA will address the issues of the growing LED industry in India, also educate about the future lighting technology. It will serve as a platform for LED product manufacturers across the country to strengthen and develop the LED industry.

The Association aims to promote awareness about solid state lighting and introduce energy efficient lighting systems, which makes optimum use of available power resources in India.

LEDMA also seeks to draw the Government's attention towards subsidy for LED lighting products and hopes to help waive-off of taxes as in the case of solar products in the country.

Look forward to solar PV and LEDs sweeping the show this year!

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