The 10th NCPRE Advisory Committee Meeting was held on Wednesday, 24th February, 2021. This was the fifth meeting of the Committee re-constituted by Director, IIT Bombay in 2016, after the start of Phase II of NCPRE. This meeting happens every year.
The following members of the Advisory Committee were present at the meeting: Prof. Subhasis Chaudhuri (Director, IITB and Chairman, Advisory Committee), Prof. Kamanio Chattopadhyay (IISc), Mr. Ardeshir Contractor (CEO, AA India), Mr. Sandeep Koppikar (Solar PV Consultant), Dr. Bharat Bhargava (ex-DG, ONGC), Dr. Vijaymohanan K. Pillai (Professor, IISER Tirupathi), Prof. Ralph Gottschalg (Fraunhofer CSP), Prof. Richard Corkish (UNSW), Prof. Ajeet Rohatgi (Georgia Tech), Prof. Gary Hodes (Weizmann Institute), Dr. William Tumas (NREL), Prof. Armin Aberle (SERIS), Prof. Sir Richard Friend (Cambridge University), Prof. Milind Atrey (Dean, R&D), Prof. Rangan Banerjee (Head ESE, IITB), Prof. Kishore Chatterjee (Head EE, IITB), Prof. Baylon Fernandes (IITB, Co-Convenor) and Prof. Suryanarayana Doolla (IITB, Co-Convenor). It was gratifying to note that all members of the Advisory Committee meeting were in attendance.
Shri Dinesh Jagdale (JS, MNRE) and Dr. Anil Kumar (Scientist D, MNRE) were also present at the meeting as Special Invitees.
The meeting was also attended by many of the NCPRE investigators. In addition, Dr. Lawrence Kazmerski (NREL), Dr. Rajiv Arya (Arya International, and ex-CEO Moser-Baer), who are Distinguished Visiting Professors at IIT Bombay, and have been contributing significantly to NCPRE’s activities, also attended the meeting.
Prof. Subhasis Chaudhuri welcomed all the members to the 10th Advisory Committee meeting. In his remarks he mentioned that NCPRE has been receiving guidance by this Advisory Committee in the last two phases. With support from MNRE, NCPRE has escalated the activities in the current phase (phase II). About 600 papers were published till date in international journals and conferences. NCPRE is one of its kind Centre in India with focus on Solar Photovoltaics. Prof. Milind Atrey also emphasized that NCPRE is a very important inter-disciplinary Centre at IIT Bombay with faculty members and students across several departments working in the area of solar photovoltaics.
Shri Dinesh Jagdale, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), gave opening remarks on India’s National Solar Mission, and the role that NCPRE can play in it. Shri Jagdale said that it has been a pride and pleasure for MNRE to have conceived NCPRE in 2010, and that NCPRE has stood up to be among the best in the international arena. Shri Jagdale said that India has achieved 92 GW of its 175 GW renewable energy target for 2022. The solar installation is currently 39 GW, and several more plants are under construction. Since the launch, there has been a 54% annual compounded growth of solar, and the latest bid revealed a cost of Rs. 1.99 per kWh. India now has to move from 40 GW to the target of 300 GW by 2030, and the annual deployment of 26 GW/year is the challenge that the government has placed before all of us. He congratulated the NCPRE team on their achievements, which he witnessed during his visit to IITB, including in the area of reliability, storage, power electronics, silicon and thin films. Shri Jagdale said that the Atma Nirbhar Bharat policy of the government will position India as a manufacturing hub across the globe. The global supply chain is very important, and it has to be distributed and inclusive. He said that India now has the scale as well as skill-sets to embark on this. Shri Jagdale said that the Ministry values NCPRE’s role and what it has done for the last 10 years. He said that NCPRE’s contributions in Atma Nirbhar Bharat will play a huge role.
All the Advisory Members appreciated the progress of NCPRE. They also gave their valuable comments and advice for the future deliverables.