According to the latest figures from the MNRE, cumulative grid-connected ground-mounted solar PV capacity has reached 22 GW in India, with 1.3 GW connected between this April to July. Module prices, meanwhile, are said to have come down “considerably”.
Even though postponing the duty on solar cell imports from China and Malaysia is not a long-term resolution, it will offer relief to developers with ongoing PV projects, especially for those with shipments in transit or which arrived after 30 July.
As per the court order, Shapoorji Pallonji can retrieve its solar PV panel consignment at Chennai port, which has been cleared by customs, provided it pays the safeguard duty in case the related notification is upheld.
The Government of India will also consider changes to the 25% safeguard duty imposed on solar cell imports from China and Malaysia only after the next hearing in the Odisha High Court, which stayed the levy.
The tariff means PV projects will pause as developers adjust procurement strategies and new tenders risk delays or cancellation. The two-year limit on the duty will not be long enough to prompt more cell manufacturing capacity and as for imports, there are doubts over how the origin of cells will be adjudicated so that Chinese and Malaysian cells are subject to the charge, say analysts.
Narendra Modi’s Minister for New and Renewable Energy has waved aside complaints about safeguarding duties by telling India’s upper house the nation’s ambitious four-year solar target is ‘comfortably’ within reach.
Despite safeguard tariffs against certain imports of solar PV products into India, Chinese manufactured modules will remain competitive, says TrendForce. It further anticipates PV demand falling 30% in fiscal year 2018 in India, while cost pressures will mount for EPCs and project developers.
Inspectors from solar risk management company PI Berlin visited six projects and exposed cost-cutting in installation, non-existent warranties, serious safety concerns and improbable performance figures.
The remarkable 4 GW of solar capacity added last year has seen the state displace Tamil Nadu as the nation’s renewables top dog. And there is more to come, according to a new report, with PV set to account for a third of rising energy demand over the next decade.
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