According to the two reliable sources, the Indian government is showing strictness towards Chinese solar power equipment firms. Along with this, the Indian government has just put their decision on hold to the Chinese Solar Photovoltaic (PV) modules to be included in the Approved List of Modules Manufacturers (ALMMs).
The Indian market has become a big market for solar energy in the world. So, it is important to be on the list for doing business here. This is because solar components for schemes and projects can be procured only from government-backed listed firms. As electricity distribution companies (discoms) buy electricity from these firms. MNRE released the approved list on 10 March 2021, which features around 23 manufacturers but there were no names of Chinese solar manufacturers & suppliers in the list. For listing themselves, the Chinese solar manufacturers submitted the application to the MNRE. But MNRE has put its decision on hold. This is a non-tariff barrier, effectively discouraging Chinese imports.
An Indian representative of a Chinese solar power equipment company said, “Despite us submitting the paperwork a long time ago, no decision has been taken on including us in this list.”
Due to China’s economic pressure on India, Chinese solar modules and manufacturers have to be approved by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and MNRE. Along with this, for Chinese manufacturers to be included in the approved list, a team from MNRE will have to inspect facilities in China and conduct production and sales audits.
As per MNRE’s 10 March order, “Only the models and manufacturers included in this list shall be eligible for use in government/government-assisted projects/projects under government schemes and programs installed in the country, including projects set up for sale of electricity to government as per the guidelines issued under Section 63 of the Electricity Act, 2003, and amendment thereof.”
On this matter, another Indian representative of a Chinese solar power equipment company said, “The Indian team could not travel to the Chinese factories due to the pandemic. The applications have been pending for a while even after payment of fees.”
Despite being a huge green energy market, India’s domestic manufacturing capacity has been only 3GW for solar cells and 15GW for solar modules. Due to which the Indian solar market has always been dominated by Chinese module manufacturers like Trina Solar Limited, Jinco Solar, ET Solar, Chint Solar, and GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Limited.
According to a JM Financial Institutional Securities Ltd report, “MNRE had released an approved list of module manufacturers (ALMM). This implies that all bids auctioned post 10 April (notification date) will have to procure their module requirement from the list of manufactures specified on the ALMM list.
With travel restrictions in place, ALMM includes only Indian module manufacturers having a cumulative capacity of 8.1GW versus annual target additions of 25GW (to meet the 450GW renewable energy target by 2030)”
To stop the import of solar equipment from China, the Indian government has also started adopting many other methods. Out of which, tariff barriers like 40% basic customs duty on solar modules and 25% on solar cells are included. Which will be applicable from 1st April 2022.
After which Indian Solar Manufacturers like Renewsys, Waaree, Vikram, etc., will get more boost. In which, Renewsys Solar is the only Indian leading integrated Solar PV Modules manufacturer which is also dealing in key components – Encapsulants, Backsheets, and Solar PV Cells.
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