MNRE Announces Minimum Efficiency Criteria For Thin Film Solar

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  • Utility grid- scale power plants using CdTe should have efficiency of 19%. 
  • For rooftop and solar pumping applications efficiency requirement is 18.5% and 18% for solar lighting.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has introduced separate minimum module efficiency thresholds for cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar modules required for government solar projects. Manufacturers to be approved under the Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM), have to compulsorily follow this criteria.

MNRE introduced the minimum criteria for solar modules in May 2023, but with increased use of Cadmium telluride (thin film technology), a separate criteria has now been put in place. Government is promoting the use of thin film solar because of its potential for high efficiency. CdTe is a direct bandgap semiconductor material which means it has higher absorption.  Extensive research is going on in the country to mature this technology.

According to the recent updates, utility grid- scale power plants using CdTe should have efficiency of 19%. For rooftop and solar pumping applications efficiency requirement is 18.5% while for solar lighting applications it should be 18%. This is the average efficiency that can be achieved for CdTe solar modules.

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Thin film solar PV
Thin film solar (PV)

The criteria for crystalline silicon is 20% for utility grid- scale power plants, 19.5% for rooftop and solar pumping and 19% for solar lighting applications. This criteria is the same as announced in May 2023. This difference in criteria is because crystalline silicon technology is more mature as compared to thin film technology. The thin film solar is still in its budding stage. The highest efficiency ever achieved for CdTe till now remains at 22.1% achieved by First Solar.

Government of India introduced the Approved Models and Manufacturers (ALMM) of Solar Photovoltaic Modules in 2017 to ensure better quality Indian made solar modules are used in Indian government solar applications. The aim is to reduce reliability on imported solar modules.

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