New Delhi (Agencies): Prompted with prospering demands for silicon wafers, India is exploring opportunities of setting up a joint venture company in Russia to source the key component required for its fledgling solar energy initiatives.

This came up for discussion during the recent meetings top officials of RUSNANO, the nanotechnology initiative of the Russian government, had with the Department of Science and Technology (DST) here.

As per the plans, India and Russia are exploring possibilities to set up a joint venture company, at a cost of Rs 1,000 crore to manufacture silicon ingots which could be brought here and sliced into thin wafers to make photo-voltaic cells for its ambitious solar mission, DST officials said.

RUSNANO Chief Executive Officer Anatoly Chubais that his company was exploring avenues to bring its nanotechnology initiatives, including in photo-voltaic, to India.

The company has an impressive list of projects which include a few solar energy initiatives. It is also setting up high-tech complexes to manufacture polycrystalline silicon and
monosilane.

DST officials are also pitching for a strong research component into the joint venture which would enable Indian scientists participate in further development of solar photo-voltaic cells.

"There is a huge demand for silicon wafers as efforts are on to meet the 22 GW solar power target under the National Solar Mission," an official said.

Currently, companies launching solar power projects source silicon wafers from the international market which witnesses massive fluctuation of prices, DST officials said.

The joint venture company could offer stability in prices and assured supply, they said adding India was looking at sourcing 2000 tonnes of silicon ingots from this venture.

"We see several promising platforms in nanotechnology for collaboration between companies in our countries. We can build new and important projects in nanotechnology,  that will contribute to our global aims," Chubais said.

RUSNANO, which has received USD 10 billion funds from the Russian government, invests in six clusters including solar energy, nano structured materials, medicine and biotech, mechanical engineering and metal working, optoelectronics and infrastructure projects.