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Import Restrictions On Solar Panels Irk Indian Project Developers

Updated: Apr 02, 2024 04:28:32pm

Import Restrictions On Solar Panels Irk Indian Project Developers

New Delhi, Apr 2 (KNN) In a move to bolster the domestic solar manufacturing industry, the Indian government has reinstated restrictions on the import of solar modules starting April 1, 2024.

This mandate requires solar project developers to procure modules exclusively from a pre-approved list of domestic and international manufacturers under the Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM) scheme.

The reinstatement of import curbs has created a divide within the renewable energy industry.

While domestic solar panel manufacturers have welcomed the move to boost local production and create jobs, project developers fear rising costs and potential monopolistic pricing.

Renewable energy project developers have expressed concerns that the import restrictions could immediately increase solar panel costs for their projects by 6-8 percent.

Their bigger worry is the possibility of monopolistic pricing if domestic manufacturing fails to achieve economies of scale, making some projects economically unviable.

On the other hand, solar panel manufacturers have backed the government's decision, stating that it will make India self-reliant in solar energy manufacturing and create millions of new jobs.

Manish Gupta, president of the North India Module Manufacturers Association (NIMMA), said the restriction would stop imports and boost local production capacity from the current 40 gigawatts to 100 gigawatts in the next few years.

Project developers have called for a phased implementation of the import restriction to avoid market disruptions.

Sunil Bansal, president of the Rajasthan Solar Association, said the mandatory domestic content requirement would raise module prices, making it difficult for developers who have won projects through competitive bidding to absorb the additional costs.

While some industry experts acknowledge an initial upward impact on prices, they believe costs will eventually come down as India develops a strong solar equipment manufacturing industry in the longer run.

However, striking a balance between domestic manufacturing and project viability remains a key challenge as India transitions towards a greener future.

(KNN Bureau)


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