India is developing renewable energy to break the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) monopolistic control over the solar panel supply. As a result, major developers in India have started planning to produce solar panels for their country’s demand.
Last month at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, UK, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised zero emissions by 2070. By 2030, renewable energy will meet half of India’s energy needs.
After the border dispute last year, China-Indian relations have deteriorated. As a result, the Indian Government has initiated a campaign to encourage the development of domestic industries. The solar energy industry is one of them.
The Indian Government has issued several policies such as temporarily banning the import of solar panels from China, imposing import tax on solar panels from other sources, and approving millions of dollars in subsidies for the domestic solar energy industry.
Vijay Kumar Saraswat, a technical adviser of NITI Aayog, the apex public policy think tank of the Indian Government, said that they should be self-sufficient in the field after what happened during the pandemic. So it was an urgent decision.
Manoj Upadhyay, CEO of Acme Solar Holdings Ltd., said they want to control the supply chain.
Several Indian companies have opted for mergers and acquisitions. For example, in October of this year, Reliance Industries, a prominent Indian conglomerate, acquired the Norway-based solar panel manufacturer, “REC Solar Holdings” from China National Bluestar (Group) Co. Ltd. and also acquired Indian Sterling and Wilson Solar up to 40% of the shares.
Reliance, owned by Mukesh Ambani, the richest man in Asia, has announced a plan to invest $10.1 billion in clean energy within three years. The grand scheme includes installing at least 100 gigawatts (GW) of photovoltaic capacity by 2030, one-fifth of India’s total target (450 GW).
However, it is not easy for India to start a domestic solar industry to compete with the CCP in terms of price. A large portion of the polysilicon used in solar panels worldwide comes from Xinjiang, where it is claimed the CCP exploits forced labor.