Solar Photo Voltaic Industry (as of source of energy in rural environment)


The current total international PV market is estimated at approx. 46.5 MW with an average annual growth rate of 15% during the last couple of years. The percentage contribution by different countries is as follows :

% Share by countries
USA 31.8
Europe 22
Japan 36
Others 10


The major contribution in others category came from the two Indian manufacturers constituting 36% of its total share.

Single crystalline PV based modules constitutes the major share. The share by various technologies is as follows :

  % Share by Technologies
 Single crystalline 35.6 
 Multicrystalline silicon 32.9 
 Amorphous silicon 31.6 
 Ribbon and concentrator 0.2 

The market for single crystalline silicon though currently maximum has declined countinually over the years. On the other hand, the market for multi crystalline cells have increased during the same period. The market for amorphous silicon seems to be saturating at the current level.

Among the countries, USA has dominated single crystalline module market by making almost 44% contributions to the global shipment whereas the amorphous silicon market have mainly been dominated by Japan accounting for over 73.5% of the total shipment.

Currently stand alone PV applications constitute the largest market share among various applications in USA where as in case of Japan, the consumer market have a major share of 56%. The Government sector demand accounts for less than 8% of the total demand both in USA and Japan.

In India the current total off take of PV systems is around Rs. 50 crores constituting almost 1.2 MW. Over the last 3 to 4 years the market has remained virtually stagnant. Almost 100% market share is for single crystalline based technology. The current market is dominated by demonstration market rather than commercial or consumer market. The Government’s sponsored projects constitute the major application of PV systems constituting almost 75% of the total requirement or even more. Most of the PV applications in India are for stand alone systems for rural areas basically for rural electrification, water pumping, domestic street lighting and decentralized consumer power packs. The consumer segments of PV market has so far been neglected.


Majority of the solar cells are being manufactured by public sector organisations in India, namely, Central Electronics Ltd., and Bharat Heavy Electronics Ltd. The current total capacity is 2.5 MW for crystalline silicon cells. Several private organisations have now moved in areas of cells, modules, system integration, installation and commissioning of PV systems. BHEL has recently set up a pilot plant facility for manufacturing amorphous silicon cells with a capacity of 500 KW peak per shift per annum.

In the case of storage batteries, there are 3 major private sector lead acid storage batter manufactures who have now started offering tubular plate lead acid batteries for PV applications. There are also 2 or 3 nickel cadmium cell manufactures in India.

In the area of BOS a number of small and medium scale private sector firms are involved but they lack considerably on technical grounds particularly in electronic BOS.

In case of raw materials about 70% of crystalline wafers are imported. In addition, poly silicon CZ ingots are also imported to an extent. Metkumn is the major raw material supplier in India with a current capacity of 60,000 wafers per month.

Number of module materials are also not manufactured in India including EVA, toddler, high transitivity glass, crane glass, interconnects and consumables for wafers and cell manufactures.

For modules and system tests there is no uniform criteria followed at present. BIS has initiated the activity of establishing standards for PV covering the entire field including soalr cell, the modules and its interface with electrical systems to which energy is supplied. Among the several product development activities that have been incorporated include small size modules, foldable modules, compact flouroscent lamps, use of maximum power point, tracking system, improved module packing densities and use of high efficiency submersible pumping systems.

There is big programme sponsored by Government for demonstration of PV application in rural areas. The programme is monitored by DNES and its supporting agencies.


The major problems in widespread diffusion of PV technologies can be summarized as follows :

1. Lack of commercial viability for various applications.
2. Far too small a semi-conductor industry leading to small production capacities of poly silicon and thus higher prices.
3. Lack of infrastructure for module materials, leading to lower efficiencies of cells and modules compared to western countries.
4. lower average yield
5. Poor quality and reliability of BOS systems components.
6. Lack of site specific approach to the engineering design of SPV systems
7. Small product range offered by Indian manufacturers compared to international range.
8. Lack of uniformity in testing and monitoring of most of the PV systems in India.
9. Use of sub standard components leading to unacceptable performance in the field.
10. Poor commercial marketing network base
11. Near negligible after sale service set up.
12. Poor coordination between various agencies etc.                                                                                                Back