India reaching ~20 GW in solar capacity in 2018 from less than 3 GW in 2014 highlights a trend that has received ample support from Government of India and private players both. Precise and well-timed decisions to build a policy environment, increasing finance choices, and encouragement to entrepreneurs have helped this happen. However, recent investigation on imported textured, tempered glass (used to manufacture solar modules) imported from Malaysia by India’s Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) does not appear as an act favourable towards Indian solar growth.
Office of the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping (DGAD) presiding over the hearing of anti-dumping petition on 12th of December, can be considered another step in favor of domestic manufacturers towards demand creation within domestic industry. Domestic manufacturers have had a long history (nearly 5 years) of conflict against imported modules and cells.
While India kept practically doubling its solar capacity in recent years (from 5 GW in 2015- to ~16.6 GW in 2017), domestic solar manufacturers saw lack in demand creation. The industry being focused on importing solar modules, created an issue of capacity utilization of domestic manufacturers. In such a scenario, re-visiting the recent Anti-dumping issue in the solar industry can bring the results India desperately needs to become solar reliant.
The news of The Director General (Safeguards) recommending to impose 70% safeguard duty on imported solar panels and cells has created a commotion within Indian solar industry. Domestic manufacturers have had a long history (nearly 5 years) of conflict against imported solar components, as foreign (Chinese) suppliers continued dumping solar components in India at a much lower rate than existing market price. Asking for protection of domestic industry growth was a valid appeal by the domestic manufacturers. However, recent announcement of safeguard duty imposition is not what the domestic industry hoped for.
Solar industry is growing globally and the year 2017 has been the year of expansion for solar. China led the growth spectrum by adding 52 GW of new solar installations in 2017, while US (12.5 GW), India (~6 GW), Japan (5.8 GW), Germany (2.2 GW) took positions respectively. Australia, South Korea, Chile, and Turkey also became GW markets in 2017 stepping into competition for solarisation.
With awareness growing and more developing countries investing in the renewable energy mix, 2018 is estimated to bring in huge opportunities, forwarding solar revolution to new heights.
The world has already accepted renewable energy (especially solar) as future mainstream energy instead of fossil fuels. And now global energy moves show an interesting pattern that highlights global intent of utilizing the solar energy through engineering innovation.
To make a positive change in the energy scenario, the world really needs more focus on rapid solarisation. And floating solar is a successful attempt to achieve that purpose.
The Inception and Potential
The first floating solar plant was installed in Korea on Geumgwang reservoir in Anseong, Gyeonggi Province in 2014. The plant had a 465 kW energy generation capacity and consisted of 1,600 solar modules. The inception brought insight on the benefits of such installations. And in 2015, Japan announced the installation of then largest floating solar plant, comprising of 9,000 solar panels. However, within 2016, a much bigger installation of floating solar plant (consisting of 23,000 panels) was inaugurated on Thames, capable of producing 6.3 MW energy.