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June 23rd, 2008
When operational, the MBPVL plant is expected to generate annual sales approaching Rs. 408.67 crore ($100 million), largely but not exclusively through exports. The photovoltaics business is not capital-intensive and promises a high return," Khanna said. MBPVL is also evaluating emerging technologies, including nanotechnology and concentrator photovoltaic cells, to bring down the cost of solar equipment, Khanna said.
Cypress Semiconductor, meanwhile, is reportedly considering a Rs.204.33 crore ($50 million) facility to make solar cells and wafers near the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, likely through SunPower Corp., in which it holds a majority stake.
SunTechnics Energy has a manufacturing plant in Bengaluru and plans to expand it. "The upsurge in demand in India, by nearly 25 per cent annually, is prompting several players to put in huge investments. Companies make these investments [largely] for export reasons, to cater to global needs, which are far greater than local needs," said Rajesh Bhat, director and country manager for SunTechnics.
Bhat believes the cost of solar cells must come down to encourage solar-energy adoption. Adoption of nanotechnology can help on the cost front, Bhat said, but "the day the government introduces attractive feed-in tariffs, incentives to individuals and industries, renewable energy will become the next booming industry in India, after software services."
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