• Indian imports of foreign manufactured solar cells and modules increased three times from $752 million in 2014-15 to $2.31 billion in 2015-16
  • India won’t impose any anti-dumping duties on foreign modules as Indian manufacturers are not in favour of continuing with their anti-dumping petition
  • Government planning many steps to push the domestic manufacturing industry
  • More imports from China can be expected as Bridge to India says there will be a sharp fall in module prices in India owing to oversupply in the Chinese market

Despite a growing share of foreign made solar cells and modules used in Indian project, the Indian government won’t impose anti-dumping duties on PV panels from the US and China, among other nations. That’s because Indian manufacturers have stated that they are not interested in continuing with their anti-dumping petition, according to the Ministry for New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

Notwithstanding the disapproval of the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding the mandatory use of locally manufactured solar cells and modules in Indian solar PV projects, the Indian government is trying to strongly encourage local manufacturing. In the solar power project auctions, the government is reserving a certain quantity for locally manufactured solar products. However, the response to this type of auctions has been rather low so far. The country is now planning to hold separate auctions for PV projects that mandate the use of domestically manufactured modules (see Separate Auctions For Solar Made In India).

Yet, the PV manufacturing industry in India is producing well below what India needs to reach its target of 100 GW installed solar power capacity by 2022. On April 1, 2016, the country had annual manufacturing capacities of 5.6 GW for modules and 1.2 GW for cells (see Indian PV Manufacturing Capacity). Let aside that foreign manufacturers offer cheaper and often even higher quality products.

Hence, developers are increasingly importing foreign made solar cells and modules, the figure of which surged over three times from 2014-15.

According to a Press Trust of India (PTI) report, the Minister for New and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, the
upper house of the Parliament of India, that the import of solar modules and cells was 9.36 billion INR ($139.3 million) in April of the first quarter itself.

There was a huge increase of imported shipments from 43.17 billion INR ($642.8 million) in 2013-14 to 50.51 billion INR ($752.2 million) in 2014-15, and 155.2 billion INR ($2.31 billion) in 2015-16.

A recent commentary by clean energy consultancy Bridge to India stated that due to oversupply of modules in China, there is expected to be a sharp fall in PV module prices. This means more imports can be expected in India. “Indian project developers will welcome the steep fall in prices, which will provide much needed relief after the intense price bidding seen recently,” says Bridge to India. Adding, “Projects from the Telangana state allocations are expected to be biggest beneficiaries of this price drop as they have relatively better tariffs and a bulk of the projects are likely to be commissioned in Q1 2017.”