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Sunday, June 16, 2024, 11:58 am

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Will new solar power rules increase output?

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What are the approved models and manufacturers of solar PV modules?

The domestic list of producers aims to restrict imports from China, which accounts for approximately 80% of the worldwide supply of solar modules.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has implemented the Approved Models and Manufacturers of Solar Photovoltaic Modules (Requirements for Compulsory Registration) Order, 2019, to support India’s solar module manufacturing industry.

What is the significance of the executive order?

The MNRE issued an order in 2019 requiring solar module manufacturers to voluntarily submit to facility inspections by the National Institute of Solar Energy, a Ministry-affiliated organisation. Being listed as a ‘authorised’ manufacturing facility certifies a firm as a true manufacturer of solar panels, not just an importer or assembler. India’s solar sector, despite claiming to be indigenous, relies largely on imports of comparable-quality solar modules from China.

Multiple solar panels are connected together to form modules. Solar panels comprise an assemblage of solar cells. Despite being one of the world’s top producers and committing to quadrupling solar installation by 2030, local output of cells and modules falls short of demand. India relies on imported cells because to limited capability for producing raw materials like as ingots and wafers.

Multiple solar panels are connected together to form modules. Solar panels comprise an assemblage of solar cells. Despite being one of the world’s top producers and committing to quadrupling solar installation by 2030, local output of cells and modules falls short of demand. India relies on imported cells because to limited capability for producing raw materials like as ingots and wafers.

Why does India depend on imports?

The list was created to limit imports from China, which accounts for about 80% of world supplies. Diplomatic tensions between the nations also played a role. India aims to source 500 GW of power from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030, accounting for roughly half of its total demand. By 2030, at least 280 GW of solar electricity will be generated, with an additional 40 GW added yearly. In the past five years, this has scarcely exceeded 13 GW, despite the government’s assertion that COVID-19 has influenced this trend.
The challenge is that reaching objectives requires more solar panels and component cells than India’s local industry can provide.

Why should someone pay to be on the list if it is completely voluntary?

Being on the list allows you to bid for government-issued tenders for flagship solar energy initiatives. This includes the freshly launched PM Surya Ghar Muft Bijli Yojana. The initiative aims to provide ₹75,000 crore in subsidies for rooftop solar systems to roughly one crore families across the country. Only domestic manufacturers certified under the Approved Models and Manufacturers (AMM) list are eligible. The PM KUSUM initiative intends to supply solar pumps and rural electrification. To offer components under this system, producers must be certified as authentic local manufacturers.

The government’s ₹24,000 crore Production Linked Incentive Scheme aims to encourage domestic manufacturing of solar panels and components. Eligibility for this plan involves being a legitimate local manufacturer. 14 large enterprises are eligible for subsidies to manufacture solar modules totaling 48 GW. However, these limits only apply to new projects; plants and facilities commissioned before March 2024 can use imported modules.

Is India’s production capability adequate?

Last year was a successful year for Indians in the solar industry. The United States has reduced purchases from China, which provides over 80% of worldwide solar components, due to allegations of “forced labour” by Uiyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. As Europe reduced imports from China, India benefited by exporting roughly $1 billion in modules between 2023-24. However, indications indicate that the United States may reduce tariffs on China, thus causing uncertainty for Indian exports. India imports over half of its solar modules from China, indicating a persistent demand-supply mismatch.

The government claims that industrial capacity will increase significantly starting this year. The MNRE reports that there are now 82 certified manufacturers on the AMM list, but no list exists for solar cell producers, indicating that India is still far from reaching self-reliance.

ABHISHEK VERMA


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