Vice president M. Venkaiah Naidu on Monday called for increasing production of solar photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules in the country.

The vice president’s secretariat said in a statement on Monday that Naidu has “called upon states to promote the setting up of manufacturing plants for solar PV cells and modules to accelerate their production in India.” 

Despite running the world’ largest green energy programme, India has a domestic manufacturing capacity of only 3 gigawatt (GW) for solar cells and 15GW for solar modules.

“Observing that India still relies heavily on imported components such as solar cells and modules, he stressed the importance of Atma Nirbharta (self-reliance) in solar energy through active participation of the states. He also called for encouraging small players in the industry in this regard,” the statement added.

This assumes significance given that India is running the world’s largest clean energy programme, with the Indian government keeping on hold decisions to grant Chinese solar power equipment firms permission to feature in the approved list of solar photovoltaic models and manufacturers as reported by Mint earlier. Being on the list is essential to do business in the world’s largest green energy market.

“Noting that India’s potential for growth in the renewable energy sector over the next few years, Naidu said the lack of a trained force is a bottleneck in our exponential growth in the sector. He suggested investing in training and upskilling the workforce in adopting the latest technologies and cited the instance of the scheme of ‘Surya Mitras’,” the statement added.

India’s electricity demand has been growing. In a reflection of revival of economic activity in the country, India’s peak electricity demand recorded an all time high of 200.57 gigawatt (GW) on 7 July. Also, in a reaffirmation of India’s push for green energy sources, solar and wind generation recorded an all-time high of 43.1 GW on 27 July compared with the previously recorded high of 41.1 GW on 11 June.

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