Going solar is no longer a bright idea for the four-decade-old photovoltaic manufacturing industry. This high-potential renewable energy sector has suffered a serious setback in India as much as across the globe. And the alarm bells are ringing loud.

In the 1970s, public sector companies Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited and the Central Electronics Limited were the first to make solar equipment in India. But these were primarily for research and development. In the 1990s, some more companies started small-scale manufacture of solar equipment. These were restricted to manufacturing for household applications.