SEMI, the global industry body of the microelectronic, display and photovoltaic (PV) industries, has formally marked its presence in India by setting up an office in Bangalore.

With the PV industry growing so strongly in India, the solar photovoltaic market will comprise SEMI’s initial area of focus out of India.

SEMI will form a PV advisory committee comprising executives from major solar cell, module, equipment and material manufacturers to support various SEMI initiatives in India - according to Paul Davis, Executive Vice-President of SEMI.

Advisory members include Applied Materials, Signet Solar, Tata BP Solar India, Titan Energy Systems, Moser Baer India and Oerlikon Solar India. All association activities in the solar photovoltaic space in India will now come under the aegis of SEMI’s PV group, which is a global initiative of SEMI.

As more than 15 companies have announced plans to set up fab operations in India, significant growth in the Indian PV market is expected.

SEMI India President, Sathya Prasad, said that his organisation’s focus on the solar PV industry coincides with this growing solar PV market and the opportunities it presents in India. SEMI plans to hold an international PV exposition (Solarcon India, at Hyderabad) in November 2009, to scope out manufacturing opportunities in the PV market.

“Schemes like the semiconductor incentive policy will help investment flow into the region, which could reach as much as $10bn by 2010,” Prasad said.

Around 90 companies are involved in the $17.2bn solar PV industry in India, of which nine are manufacturers of solar cells, 19 are solar module makers, and 60 are assemblers and suppliers of solar systems.

India is expected to ship approximately 130 MW of solar power in 2009, from 30 MW this year, and become the fourth largest generator of solar energy in the coming years. Current growth projections for the Indian market range from 25-50% while in terms of demand, India has a long-term goal of generating 10% of its power requirements from renewable sources by 2032.

The PV group has established committees in most major PV regions of the world, including China, Europe, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and North America.