India has bright future in solar PV, other RE: Stan Meyers, SEMI

According to Stanley T. Myers, president and CEO, SEMI: “India has a bright future in solar PV and other renewable energies. India should also acquire and develop the best research.” Meyers was speaking during a media interaction at the Solarcon India 2010 in Hyderabad.

(L-R): Daniel D. Martin, executive VP, PV Group, SEMI, Stanley T. Myers, president and CEO, SEMI, and Sathya Prasad, president, SEMI India, at SOLARCON India 2010, Hyderabad.

(L-R): Daniel D. Martin, executive VP, PV Group, SEMI, Stanley T. Myers, president and CEO, SEMI, and Sathya Prasad, president, SEMI India, at SOLARCON India 2010, Hyderabad.

He said: “The NSM is the change in India. You try to look for simplicity, see what’s going on, and speed. We hope that happens in India.”

Meyers added: “We see SEMI playing the role as a ‘connector’ in markets where technologies are emerging. Two things need to happen in emerging technologies as well as regions. One, there has to be a roadmap — clear and defined. Two, there has to be standards development. SEMI is already playing a key role in  the standards for PV manufacturing equipment and materials. It will extend that activity into India as well.

“Our experience in standards in semiconductors has shown that standards results in cost reduction and the net benefit of cost savings is passed on not only to the consumer, but this also allows the savings to be ploughed back into R&D by the industry.”

Phase 1 of NSM critical for success
Meyers said that phase I of the JN-NSM is extremely important for India as it is in now in the execution level. He added: “Significant accomplishments made in this phase may set the parameters of Phase II of the NSM. SEMI will work with the PV industry in India in the execution of NSM and will collaboratively work with the regional associations/industry members and other stakeholder to help achieve the goals of NSM.”EHS (Environment, Health and Safety) and industry standards are two aspects SEMI has always been focusing on. We look forward to the opportunity to do the same in India.”

NSM an aggressive policy
Daniel D. Martin, executive VP, PV Group (a Special Interest Group within SEMI), said that as a ‘connector’, SEMI will play the role in terms of bringing together all the stakeholders within the PV ecosystem. “The NSM is an aggressive policy. It is extremely important that phase I is executed well. It would lay the foundation to accomplish phase 2.”

He added: “Many roadmap activities are being supported by SEMI. Roadmaps sets the areas very clearly where companies can compete and and standardize to reduce costs.” SEMI will work toward activities that would help reduce the costs involved in production in the manufacturing supply chain.

Martin stressed that India indeed has a bright future in solar, thermal and renewable energy. The focus areas SEMI would look into would be R&D, and stable and quality technology development. Investments should be pumped into R&D for developing breakthrough innovations.

He said that through networking platforms like SOLARCON India, SEMI will try to bring the community together in terms of market development, finance, policies, technologies and business goals. The SEMI/PV Group’s mission is to work toward generating 3 percent of the global energy supply by 2020 through solar.

Global PV market overview
Martin also presented an overview of the global solar PV market.

New PV installations in 2009. Source: SEMI, USA.

Source: SEMI.

The global PV market has experienced rapid growth in recent years, growing at an impressive CAGR of 44 percent from 2000 to 2009.

Even though the global PV industry had encountered unprecedented challenges in 2009, the total new installations for the year reached 7.3GW, a growth of 24 percent from year 2008. Worldwide cumulative installation has passed the 22GW mark.

Looking at the regional distribution of global PV market and the new installations in 2009, Europe remains the key marketplace for PV in 2009 with over 70 percent of global demand.

Looking at the cumulative installations during 2009, again, Europe has the largest installed base. Over 80 percent of the global cumulative installations are concentrated in the top five PV markets. While strong market penetration will continue in these leading markets, emerging markets will play a bigger role in the coming years.

Cumulative PV installations in 2009. Source: SEMI.

Source: SEMI.

He also presented a snapshot of the global PV market share by technology —  multicrystalline silicon (48 percent), monocrystalline silicon (32 percent), CdTe (10 percent), amorphous silicon (7 percent), CI(G)S/others (2 percent), ribbon-sheet crystalline silicon (1 percent).

In 2009, ASPs declined sharply due to credit crisis and macro environment. Steep price falls and strong returns stimulated market growth in the second half of 2009. In polysilicon, several new suppliers have come up, especially in China.

Martin added that over a period of 15 years or so, PV solar could go on to become the lowest cost energy source. “There is a great future for solar PV and India can be at the heart of it,” he concluded.

Policy to drive PV market
Discussing the role of feed-in-tariffs (FIT) and the impact of the policy on PV market and growth, Sathya Prasad, president, SEMI India, said that scope of the policy module in India will drive the PV market in phase I.Policy drives the market! According to SEMI, over 80 percent of the 2008 PV demand was from FIT supported markets. He cited Germany’s example, where the German FIT boosted nvestments in renewable energy. FIT is one of the most effective ways of driving policy.

Feed-in-tariffs (FIT) supported markets. Source: SEMI

Global feed-in-tariffs (FIT) supported markets. Source: SEMI

SEMI had conducted an in-depth study based on a survey of the policies of 25 countries. This experience will help in bringing out the most important policy mechanism suitable to India.

A PV policy should have some guiding principles. It should be sufficient to drive predictable demand. The policy itself should be stable and predictable, as well as transparent and streamlined. Besides being accessible, it should be programmed to sunset.

Similarly, the feed-in-tariff  (FIT) best practices include technology differentiation, generation cost based rates, purchase and interconnection requirements, fixed price and long term payment, and predictable decline/ sun-setting.

Stability, accessibility and interconnectivity among the energy developers to the PV grid will also determine developments that would take place in phase I. The study’s conclusion has been that the design of National Solar Mission conforms to the best practices of FIT and it provides a strong framework for the next step of implementation.

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