NEW DELHI: To stop Chinese imports into India's growing green economy, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued an order enforcing a list of approved solar photovoltaic (PV) models and module manufacturers for government-sponsored programs. including projects where distribution companies procure electricity to supply their consumers.
This Approved List of 23 Modules and Manufacturers (ALMM) is a non-tariff barrier and part of India's strategy to erect other barriers, including subsidizing finance to encourage the use of local electricity and pre-approval requirements for imports from countries with which the country co-exists a conflict like China.
Mint had previously reported on the move aimed at boosting domestic production and protecting domestic businesses from cheap and substandard imports. A similar scheme, the registered list of models and manufacturers, exists for the Indian wind energy sector.
This is against the background of the government's decision to impose 40% basic tariff (BCD) for solar modules and 25% for solar cells from April 1, 2022. This would make imports more expensive and encourage local production. These successive contracts are designed to help India become a global leader in these items and meet India’s needs locally.
A March 10 MNRE mandate stated: “Only the models and manufacturers on this list may be used in government-sponsored projects / projects under state programs and programs installed in the country, including projects that have been established for the sale of electricity to the government in accordance with the guidelines and amendments issued by the central government under Section 63 of the Electricity Act 2003. “
The development is gaining momentum as India runs the world's largest clean energy program to reach 175 gigawatts (GW) of renewable capacity by 2022, including 100 GW of solar power. According to the Central Electricity Authority, India's electricity is 817 GW, solar power will be 280 GW by 2030.
India has a domestic production capacity of 3 GW for solar cells and 15 GW for solar modules. The center's move will also review the practice of some manufacturers who claim to make cells and modules made elsewhere.
“It is possible that some units could claim the production of solar cells and modules that were made or made elsewhere. The reliability of the manufacturer is crucial in order to protect consumer interests and ensure greater energy security in the country, “says the MNRE regulation.
Mint reported on September 7, 2017, about poor quality Chinese solar panels rejected by developers, which were sold at a discount in the domestic market.
The development follows the government's announcement of a Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) program that will provide an overall benefit to manufacturers in 10 sectors including high efficiency solar panels £1.97 trillion. The Union budget has also announced a program under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Package to set up three production zones for critical energy and renewable energy devices.
At stake is India's renewable energy program, which would require investments of $ 80 billion by 2022. That number will more than triple to $ 300 billion between 2023 and 2030. India imported solar PV cells, panels and modules worth US $ 2.16 billion in 2018-19.
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