India: Statistics to Determine Vacuum Tube Market Share

India Market StatisticsFlat plate collectors – India’s dominant solar thermal technology about a decade ago – has lost a significant portion of its market share in recent years. Although the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), the Indian authority responsible for solar heating statistics, has never published an official figure for the market share of vacuum tube collectors in a given year, a June 2013 interview with former MNRE Director Veena Sinha revealed that the share of vacuum tubes in the residential sector was close to 60 % in Financial Year 2012-2013. The 2014 statistics of online portal Solarwhin still show just about the same percentage: Of the 607,751 m² of subsidised collector area in 2014, 61 % were vacuum tube collectors (369,292) and 39 % flat plate collectors (238,459 m²) – see also the attached PDF, which resulted from a query to the online Solarwhin database. The pie chart above shows the Indian states in which most of the collector area was installed in 2014.
Source: Solarwhin
 
Maharashtra and Karnataka accounted for almost two-thirds of the total newly installed collector area in 2014, a sign that there is still vast, untapped potential for solar thermal use in all other states. The Solarwhin statistics only show one part of the year because subsidies were discontinued in August 2014. 
 
Another source for analysing the vacuum tube share in the nation’s solar thermal industry are the official import statistics of Legumex Impex, as not a single vacuum tube manufacturer has surfaced across the nation, meaning all vacuum tubes are imports. Website https://www.zauba.com offers the opportunity to search by HS code and by technology. The database provides monthly figures on either “evacuated solar tubes” or “solar vacuum tubes”. The following table shows the 2014 statistics for four different HS codes, all of them related to solar.
 

HS Code

84199010

84199090

84191920

70023900

Technology

Solar vacuum tubes

Solar vacuum tubes

Evacuated solar tubes

Evacuated solar tubes

Number of pieces Jan 14

82,969

171,337

51,175

6,210

Number of pieces Feb 14

75,538

169,370

29,050

26,055

Number of pieces Mar 14

71,007

105,018

13,900

29,780

Number of pieces Apr 14

90,567

128,747

12,405

26,080

Number of pieces May 14

168,763

262,957

18,990

0

Number of pieces June 14

114,772

82,740

31,881

0

Number of pieces July 14

19,800

21,183

31,385

38,250

Number of pieces Aug 14

54,298

65,266

42,620

0

Number of pieces Sep 14

168,811

118,032

19,460

0

Number of pieces Oct 14

233,677

193,735

0

41,662

Number of pieces Nov 14

345,303

138,270

28,070

0

Number of pieces Dec 14

568,665

87,437

77

11,600

Total

1,994,170

1,544,092

279,013

179,637

Statistics from https://www.zauba.com. You can enter the HS code and the technology on the starting page and use the link “Click here to view detailed analysis and trends of Import of solar vacuum tubes under a particular HS code” to view a diagram showing the number of pieces per month from the beginning of 2012 on. 
 
Tubes imported through all four HS codes over the twelve-month period added up to 3,996,912. Most of them had a diameter of 47 mm and a length of 1,800 mm. The vacuum tube importers confirm that their tubes possess an active surface area of 0.133 m², which means that the total tube area amounted to 531,589 m². Factor 1.5 is used to translate vacuum tube area into gross collector area, so that the around 4 million imported tubes correspond to 797,384 m².
 
This figure needs to be compared to the newly installed collector area in 2014, a number calculated based on the achievement tables, which are regularly published by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). According to the latest MNRE achievement table, the total installed collector area on 31 December 2014 was 8.63 million m². As per MNRE data at the beginning of January 2012, cumulative installation area added up 5 million m², which means that the newly installed collector area during the three-year period between 2012 and 2014 was 3.63 million m², of which 1.45 million were installed in 2012 and 1.05 million in 2013. This leaves 1.13 million m² for 2014, increasing the share of imported vacuum tubes to 70 % and making it a bit higher than the one shown in the Solarwhin market statistics. 
 
This text was written in cooperation with Jaideep Malaviya, an expert in solar thermal based in India (malaviya@solrico.com).
india_solarwhin_statistiscs_2014.pdf 13.8 Kb [295 download(s)]
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