The National Solar Mission might have placed a goal of 20 Million Meter Square (m2) solar thermal power with panels of “Make in India.” But the planned incentives package of the government has left this sector of the local solar market out in the dark although it is getting rushed off under feet by affordable imports from Chinese.
The ministry of renewable energy has planned a swing of incentives only for local solar photovoltaic (PV) market, disregarding the fact that the sector of solar thermal has lost 60% share in the market to affordable deliveries from Chinese firms. The solar thermal sector was previously the single 100% indigenized solar tech.
STFI (Solar Thermal Federation of India) predicts yearly solar thermal market of India to be of almost 14 Million m2, capitalized at Rs1000 Crore. Apart from a couple of huge companies such as Tata Power Solar, solar thermal makers are hugely in the medium or small scale sector and offer almost 1 Lakh jobs. On the other hand, units of solar PV are either marketed or have links with projects of huge energy market companies riding on the target of the government of 100 Giga Watt (GW) capacity of solar power by the end of 2022, offering somewhat 4 Lakh opportunities of employment.
The government is thinking of applying 70% safeguard tax to defend the local solar PV market but has overlooked the demand of solar thermal industry for analogous protection. The demand of STFI for installing up facility of quality testing for imported components or units also has not induced any response. This operates contrary to the aim of the government of marketing green energy as fraction of its commitments for climate mitigation. Solar thermal factories, which were previously supported by flat panels but are now employing tubular tech, are believed more well organized than solar PV.