JERA’s Indian renewable energy partner to enter solar cell, module manufacturing

17, Jul. 2020

Photo by Justin Lim on Unsplash
Photo by Justin Lim on Unsplash

NEW DELHI, NNA – India’s leading renewable energy producer ReNew Power Pvt. Ltd., in which Japanese energy firm JERA Co. holds a stake, will invest 15 to 20 billion rupees ($200-266 million) into solar cell and module manufacturing in a bid to reduce its import dependence.

According to a ReNew Power spokesperson, the company is currently in talks with various Indian states to set up a plant with two million kilowatts of manufacturing capacity.

Local manufacturing will give the company better control over its supply chain for critical components such as solar cells and modules, which are now imported mainly from China.

“India has grown into a big market for renewable energy, and the time has come to reduce our dependence on imports and start domestic manufacturing of key components,” Sumant Sinha, chairman and managing director of ReNew Power, said in a statement on Thursday.

ReNew Power has said it aims to become an integrated renewable energy company with manufacturing, generation and transmission business. The manufacturing plant will supply ReNew Power’s own green energy generation, which has over 4.5 million kw of projects in various stages of development, and it will also meet both domestic and export requirements of other clean energy generators.

JERA is an equally owned joint venture of TEPCO Fuel & Power Inc. and Chubu Electric Power Co. The Japanese regional utilities acquired an equity stake of 10 percent in ReNew in 2017, seeking to tap into India’s renewable energy market.

The Indian government is encouraging companies to reduce dependence on Chinese imports. Last month, Adani Green Energy Ltd.said it plans to set up two million kw of additional solar cell and module manufacturing capacity by 2022.

According to the country’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), China accounted for around 77 percent of India’s imports of solar cells and modules worth a total of $1.1 billion during the first nine months of the last financial year through March 2020.

A joint report released in June by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water and the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy estimated that $2 billion worth of solar modules would be needed each year to meet annual domestic demand of 10 million kw.

India had renewable energy capacity of 86.75 million kw in place as of the end of February 2020, MNRE’s data shows. Additional capacity of 33.72 million kw was in various stages of implementation, while capacity of 34.07 million kw was in the bidding stage.