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.
As of July, Acme Solar had about 2.8 GW solar projects at different stages of development across India. Recently, it won another 600 MW of SECI’s 3 GW interstate transmission system (ISTS) tender, at a tariff of INR 2.44/unit (USD 0.036/unit).
Responding to developer requests, the state-run NTPC has deferred a 2 GW solar auction by a week, to Tuesday. Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd is another state-owned corporation that has extended its bid submission deadline – for 33 MWp of rooftop solar – from August 9 to August 17, after similar requests.
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.
Encouraged by the state’s investor-friendly solar policy, distributed power producer Amplus Energy Solutions will install 400 MW of solar capacity for R20 billion over three years. In the first phase, Amplus will develop a 50 MW ground-mounted project in Mirzapur district.
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