On the opening day of the Renewable Energy India (REI) trade conference near New Delhi, Chinese solar manufacturer Trina Solar has boasted of becoming the first company to have supplied more than 4 GW of modules to the nation.
In news that may be greeted with as much dismay in the corridors of power and among Indian manufacturers as it is celebrated by solar energy developers and environmentalists, Trina marked the opening of this year’s event in Greater Noida by making the announcement.
Trina’s India director Gaurav Mathur, quoted in a press release issued today to mark the milestone, noted interest is rising in India for commercial and industrial solar installations, as well as the large scale solar farms which have driven most of the Chinese manufacturer’s shipments to the nation.
“Businesses here are keen, with many from the textile, pharmaceutical, chemical, logistics and IT industries installing 50-500 kW rooftop and ground-mount installations,” said Mathur. “Solar is a sensible choice for businesses as grid electricity can be expensive. Energy-intensive businesses in India are also following respected brands like Walmart and Honda in going solar with us as they want to reduce their reliance on the local grid, ensuring that communities nearby are not affected by their energy usage.”
700 MW in one quarter
According to Trina, the company has gone from shipping less than 15 MW of modules to India during 2010 to a high water mark of more than 700 MW during one three-month period in 2017.
The news demonstrates how ineffective the safeguarding duty slapped on Chinese and Malaysian solar modules by the Indian government has been in stemming the tide of imports. That situation is likely to worsen – from domestic manufacturers’ point of view – after the duty rate fell from 25% to 20% in July and with a further fall, to 15%, due in February.
The government is attempting to incubate a domestic solar manufacturing industry but a tender being conducted by the Solar Energy Corporation of India to secure production capacity has been downsized in scale and repeatedly dogged by delays and lack of interest.
India’s National Solar Mission is targeting 40 GW of rooftop generation capacity by 2022 and Trina today plugged it’s TrinaPro all-in-one residential and small scale commercial offering of a system comprising a module, inverter and mounting system.