SEMI Names Sathya Prasad President of SEMI India

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SEMI Names Sathya Prasad President of SEMI India

New Regional Office Created to Address Growing PV Opportunities in Region

Sathya Prasad has joined SEMI as the first regional president of SEMI India and will oversee development of the association’s programs, committees, products, and services in the region. He is responsible for relationships with SEMI members as well as industry, government, academia, and other local associations in India. Additionally, he is charged with supporting SEMI members from all regions that have interests in India's burgeoning microelectronic and photovoltaic manufacturing supply chains.

India is quickly becoming a global force in solar power. In announcing the National Action Plan on Climate Change in June, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, “We must pioneer a graduated shift from economic activity based on fossil fuels to one based on non-fossil fuels and from reliance on non-renewable and depleting sources of energy to renewable sources of energy. In this strategy, the sun occupies center stage…we will pool our scientific, technical and managerial talents, with sufficient financial resources, to develop solar energy as a source of abundant energy to power our economy and to transform the lives of our people.”

In 2007, the India cabinet approved incentives to attract foreign investment to the semiconductor and PV sector. The government announced it will bear 20 percent of capital expenditures in the first 10 years if a unit is located within Special Economic Zones (SEZs), including a major economic zone in Hyderabad called “Fab City”. Currently, fourteen crystalline cell and module manufacturing plants and three thin-film fabs are in operation throughout the country.

Solar companies taking advantage of the government incentives include: Titan Energy Systems Ltd; NanoTech Silicon India; XL Telecom & Energy Ltd; KSK Energy Ventures Ltd; Solar Semiconductor Ltd; Chandradeep Solar; Neotech Solutions; Photon Energy Systems Limited; Surana Ventures; and RamTerra Solar Pvt. Ltd.

Moser Baer Photovoltaic Ltd. is India’s largest PV producer with an 80 MWp crystalline cell plant and 40 MWp thin film plant (Solar Wind and Energy, April 2008). They are also planning for more than 600 MW of thin-film and 500 MW of crystalline and concentrator modules by 2010.

Signet Solar has signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Tamil Nadu to manufacture 300 MW of thin-film PV modules in a project worth an estimated $500 million. The plant will be located in the Sriperumbudur SEZ. Signet Solar also plans to build three plants (1 GW) in India over the next 10 years at multiple locations (Renewable Energy World, October 14, 2008).

Earlier in the year, Tata BP Solar announced that they had signed an agreement to raise $78 million to fund a 128MW solar cell expansion project, eventually totaling 180MW solar cell manufacturing capacity.

On the demand side, India has a long-term goal of generating 10% of the country’s electricity from renewable sources by 2032. India introduced a new incentive scheme for solar power plants in January 2008 that could enable rapid market growth in the coming years. With state utilities mandated to buy energy from solar power plants, several state electricity regulatory boards are setting up preferential tariff structures.

Supporting the growth and prosperity of the emerging PV supply chain will be among Prasad’s primary objectives. He brings over 16 years experience to SEMI. He has a diverse set of experiences incorporating technical engineering and strategic marketing for high-value, high-complexity semiconductor products with industry bellwethers Intel and Cadence Design Systems.

"We congratulate SEMI and Sathya Prasad on this appointment,” said Poornima Shenoy, president of the India Semiconductor Association (ISA). “ISA and SEMI have a history of cooperation in supporting the development of high tech manufacturing in India and ISA has valued Sathya Prasad's many contributions to our research projects. We look forward to continuing our cooperative relationship in the future."

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