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Can India be the next Solar Power hub?

The impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on the global economy is earth-shattering. The restrictions on global supply chains have halted industrial growth. Besides developing a safe environment, COVID 19 has created an urgent need for building domestic manufacturing facilities risks associated with over dependence on imports.

The present actions and initiatives taken by the Government of India aim towards making India a manufacturing hub in a manner that it is able to export while meeting all the in-house requirements. Initiatives like Make in India, the introduction of SEZs, increasing export incentives, launching phased manufacturing programme (PMP) and Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme have helped India grow into a lucrative market for investment and progress. India’s best chance for a phenomenal revival is also within one of these initiatives.

The Indian manufacturing sector has the potential to become a $1 trillion industry by 2025, thus powering industrial and technological growth, creating jobs, claiming export markets, generating revenue, and bringing in socio-economic growth. SEZs play a major role in the growth of the manufacturing industry. They provide direct employment to more than 25 lakh people and have attracted an investment of more than Rs 5.50 lakh crore, contributing one-third of the total national exports (Rs 7.87 lakh crore).

The Special Economic Zone in India was made in the year 2000. The prime objective of SEZ was to give exporting and foreign investment a hassle-free environment so that the economy can grow. The industrial sector can benefit from this policy in a time of darkness.

At this juncture, India has already deployed 87 GW RE projects whereas 64 GW additional capacity lies under varying stages of bidding or installation. These figures need to be viewed against the target of having 175 GW installed by 2022.

This is where the situation stood when the coronavirus outbreak turned things on their head by disrupting global supply chains. The current crossroads offer an excellent opportunity for the past plans for making India self-sufficient in the manufacture of solar cells and modules, batteries, and ancillary equipment, which includes wind power. In this way, India will curb its import dependency and save tremendous foreign exchange.

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