US locks horns with India again on domestic content requirements in National Solar Mission

By Editor


The U.S has challenged the domestic content requirements in Phase II of India’s Solar Mission.

The country, which aims a bigger pie of India’s solar market that is estimated to be the second largest in the world based on its potential, is approaching WTO, U.S government sources revealed.

Mike Froman, the U.S trade representative, said the country is forced to take measures so as to protect some 10,000 jobs for its countrymen and aim a bigger share in the emerging solar market in the world.

Indian solar

The trade dispute alleges India’s solar content requirement is discriminatory and against international norms.

Also read: India should protect the interests of indigenous solar manufacturers

In Phase II of India’s Solar Mission, the Government of India has mandated participating solar developers to use Indian-made solar cells and modules instead of imported products. The government, through the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is offering subsidies of up to 50 percent in addition to several other benefits to producers.

Within India, there is a trade war going on among domestic manufacturers and importers. While many solar project developers in India argue Indian PV manufacturers fail to meet the quality and quantity demands of the industry, supporters of domestic solar industry says they can do so with the support of various industry stakeholders and through restrictions on solar imports.

The trade dispute over solar products took ugly turn last year, when India challenged U.S’ stand on the same issue. U.S, which has imposed import taxes and anti dumping taxes on Chinese products, has no right to criticize India for taking similar measures, India said. Moreover many states in the U.S are offering the same kind of incentives to manufacturers using domestic products – which they allege is discriminatory in Indian market.

India has taken stride in solar energy through its ambitious Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission which has set a whooping 20,000 MW target of solar power capacity by 2022. A key objective of this is to boost the domestic solar industry. In addition to subsidies, the Government is ensuring long-term competitive rates for solar power.

The Government last year revealed that 70 percent of JNNSM Phase I projects used imported solar modules.

In the first phase of solar  mission, developers were required to use only local modules, but for the second batch, even the cells had to be locally produced. However these rules applies to only crystalline technology.

However, thin film modules account for majority of solar imports. Currently there are no thin film manufacturers in India. This makes solar import essential for this category of solar deployments.

[email protected]


Latest News