Just talk, no work
This is with reference to "It's nice but not sunny" (January 1-15, 2015). It's surprising that today neither a gram of polycrystalline silicon nor a single silicon wafer is being produced in the country. These are the basic materials for making solar cells and photovoltaic (PV) modules, which produce electricity from sunlight. Given that the cost of PV modules is about US $0.5 per Watt, the country would need a foreign exchange of US $0.5 trillion for importing 100 GW of PV modules. This will make our balance of trade more precarious. Moreover, our country would be dependent on China for its entire requirement of PV modules, which is not good from a strategic point of view. Way back in 1986, we had established facility for producing polysilicon and silicon wafers, which were competitively priced, excellent in quality and were sought by all solar cell producers in the country. Unfortunately, this has been killed, and today we do not have any base for these materials. Should the government not consider making this in India?
H S GOYAL
I was thinking that the incumbent government has eventually grasped the country's power crisis scenario as it is introducing ambitious renewable energy plans. The article, however, made me realise the hurdles the country faces in the solar energy sector, such as policy uncertainties and power purchase agreements. Though rooftop solar system is a good initiative, it is important to sensitise people to this project.
RAGHAVENDRA C G HASAN