CleanTech/ Renewable Energy, Other, solar

Domestic solar cell makers slam govt for failing them

According to reports, Indian manufacturers of solar cells and modules have lashed out against the government, complaining that authorities are not supporting the industry, which is incurring huge loss and is on the verge of shutdown. The domestic solar industry association is lobbying hard for anti-dumping duty on imports and greater policy support for indigenous products.

The solar cell and module manufacturing industry is currently operational at only 10% of its capacity. The industry blamed it on cheap imports from abroad.

Addressing the media for the first time, Indian Solar Manufacturer’s Association (ISMA), an association of domestic solar cells & modules manufacturers, said it has asked the government for a clear policy for the domestic solar industry. For the second phase of the national solar mission, there are still no clear instructions for the project developers on the domestic equipment sourcing.

“Investment worth Rs 10,000 crore has jeopardised because there is no headspace for the indigenous industry among the foreign players who are dominating the Indian solar market,” said S Venkataramani, Indian Solar Manufacturer’s Association (ISMA).

The current capacity of Indian solar manufacturing is roughly 1,000 mw of cells and 2,000 mw of modules. Most of the units, including Moser BaerBSE 0.00 %, Lanco, Tata Solar have shut down their manufacturing capacity. Others like IndosolarBSE -2.64 % have scaled down to 5-10%.

Domestic manufacturers also lodged a dumping case last year in January against China, US, Taiwan and Malaysia at Directorate of Anti-Dumping (DGAD) and has sought anti-dumping duty in the range of 35-40 to be levied on products from these countries depending on the amount of dumping.

There are five Chinese, two each of Malaysia and Taiwan and one US-based solar company that have been put in dock by DGAD for dumping solar equipment in India.

In the first phase of the national solar mission, there was a domestic content clause, under which solar power project developers were supposed to source 30% of their equipment from domestic market. Just before the commencement of the second phase, the US solar industry has questioned this clause at the WTO stating that it’s hurting their imports. Hence, the Indian government is reviewing the clause.

“This clause motivated many of our industries to establish world class manufacturing facilities with expandable capacities. More effective continuum of the policy will logically support the entrepreneurial decisions,” said Venkataramani.



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