(Bloomberg) — Trina Solar Ltd. will invest in a $500
million plant with India’s Welspun Energy Ltd. as the world’s
biggest supplier of panels seeks to circumvent U.S. and European
Union sanctions on solar shipments from China.
The 2-gigawatt facility will be in either the western state
of Gujarat or southern state of Andhra Pradesh, Zhiguo Zhu,
senior vice president of Trina Solar, said in a phone interview.
Construction of the plant, planned in two phases, will take
about 18 months, Zhiguo said. “We’ll use Indian products to
export to the U.S. or even Europe,” Zhiguo said.
Driven by the policy barriers, Chinese companies are
setting up capacities globally. Southeast Asia is attracting the
most investors, with advantages of low labor costs, local policy
incentives and proximity to China, the source of the most raw
materials, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Global renewable energy companies are flocking to India
after Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November set a national
target of installing 175 gigawatts of clean power by 2022, an
almost fivefold increase from the current installed capacity.
India has 11 of the top 20 cities with Earth’s worst air
quality, the World Health Organization said in May 2014.
Trina expects demand of as much as 600 megawatts in India
this year, the executive said.
“Next year, India will become our third-largest market,”
Zhiguo said. “In future, it could become our biggest after
Welspun Energy Managing Director Vineet Mittal is traveling
and can’t be reached for comment, his office said.
China will lead the world’s solar demand this year with
17.5 gigawatts, followed by Japan with 11.48 gigawatts and the
U.S. with 8.78 gigawatts, BNEF said in its 2015 forecast. India
will probably come in fifth with 2.5 gigawatts.
“India could become the fourth-largest market next year
although climbing further up in rankings will be an uphill task
given the current progress,” BNEF solar analyst Bharat Bhushan
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Indranil Ghosh, Randall Hackley