The International Solar Alliance signals India’s hope to be a global competitor in emerging technologies and cement its place as an institution builder. But how does India’s vision translate into domestic policy? Has India led by example?
India’s solar tariffs—whilst some of the lowest in the world—are almost double the Gulf region’s US¢1.35-1.80/kWh.
The Solar Power Developers Association (SPDA) said one-year safeguard duty extension had already resulted in escalated capital costs. Any additional tariff barriers would jeopardize the Government’s ‘100 GW by 2022’ target.
India imported solar cells and modules worth $1.3 billion from China in FY2019-20. Domestic manufacturers have demanded a level playing field to compete against cheaper imports.
In March, the government said delays in renewable energy plant construction on account of Covid-19-prompted supply chain disruption would be considered a force majeure event.
The import duty will be levied on Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai solar cells – whether assembled into modules or not – at 14.9% from today and falling to 14.5% in six months’ time. Malaysian products are exempted as their imports have fallen dramatically since the duty was imposed, in July 2018.
The investigating arm of India’s commerce ministry has proposed continuing to apply the duty levied on solar cell imports from the east at a rate of 14.9% from July 30 and falling to 14.5% six months later.
The country—which meets over 80% of the solar module demand through imports—can turn the present crisis into an opportunity by ramping up domestic manufacturing with measures like fiscal incentives.
A new report outlines key considerations for Indian regulators and other stakeholders when designing behind-the-meter distributed solar-plus-storage system programs, based on evidence from similar programs in the United States.
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