IS THE CHASE TOWARDS LOWER PRICES CAUSING A QUALITY COMPROMISE IN THE INDIAN SOLAR INDUSTRY?

solar industry in India

In recent years, the solar industry in India has exponentially increased its capacity, which has led to a drastic fall in the prices of solar components. So much so that solar power has now become cheaper than thermal power! This may appear to be good news to some, but after one delves into the details of the industry, one will be able to identify the facts behind this solar boom – poor quality.

Reasons India is facing quality issues

Due to low prices, the trend that has prevailed in the country is that of importing PV modules from China, Malaysia, or Taiwan. But low prices come with low quality, which considerably hinders the solar industry in India. With PM Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ campaign, India is working towards developing a dynamic manufacturing market in the solar sector. But the real question we face today is whether the quality of the locally manufactured products meets the required standards. Unfortunately, the answer is not in the affirmative.

This can predominantly be attributed to the inherent attitude amongst Indians to seek the lowest prices rather than the best quality. The bidding process in solar tenders introduced by the Indian government favours the lowest bidders. This has made solar EPC companies work at shoestring margins. They are finding avenues to cut costs to increase their profitability, thereby providing low-quality products. China’s Top Runner policy that prioritizes new technology and efficiency over price should set a solid example for the solar industry in India, which is too focused on low tariffs.

The drive towards cutting costs has also led to EPC companies not offering adequate maintenance of the systems installed by them. In addition, the panel structures provided are of low quality and, more often than not, designed inefficiently. This has led to the systems’ inability to withstand the harsh weather conditions in India.

The solar industry in India has lured many individuals and companies toward the business, but providing quality service is next to impossible without adequate knowledge and technical know-how. Some key factors essential to properly installing solar panels that are mostly missed by EPC providers/installers include – near and far shadow analysis, access to solar radiation, the height of the building, terrain, weather conditions, etc. Several parameters are likely to be variable from one site to another, even in the same geographical area. Therefore it is crucial to plan a solar PV project to suit the site parameters, the knowledge of which can only come through experience and technical excellence, which most of the EPC providers in India lack.

The Government of India has set a target for 40 GW of solar power from rooftop installations by 2022. (1) However, as reported by MNRE, a cumulative capacity of only 1.35GW has been achieved until 31st December 2018. (2) In this desperate attempt to meet targets, along with factors such as price pressure, lack of awareness about the sector and its risks, extreme climatic conditions, and lowest bidder requirements from the government, the quality of the solar industry in India has taken a significant hit.

Nimbus Solar – Focusing on quality

We at Nimbus strive toward providing quality solar systems and transforming the solar industry in India. Our well-trained technicians not only install the panels and the system at your place but also educate you on how to maintain the same. Further, we employ cutting-edge optical technology in renewable and sustainable energy in an original and novel way to deliver autonomous electrical charging systems solutions.

We hope that the highest quality will hold a higher place in India’s future than the lowest bidder.

Website: https://nimbussolar.in/

Reference:

  1. https://pib.gov.in/Pressreleaseshare.aspx?PRID=1539238#:~:text=A%20target%20of%20installing%20175,year%202022%20has%20been%20set&text=The%20Government%20has%20set%20a,(NCR)%20by%20year%202022.
  2. https://taiyangnews.info/markets/india-25-gw-total-pv-capacity-end-of-2018/

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