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Chinese PV Panel maker Renesola starts production in India to circumvent Duties

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Renesola in India

Chinese solar panel producers are facing duties and investigations on dumping of solar panels from multiple countries. While USA has already imposed 35% duties on imports of Chinese made solar panels, EU is investigating the issue. At stake is more than $30 billion in solar panel exports from China to these markets and 400,000 solar jobs in China. India too has domestic content rules for its national solar subsidy mission which is set to become more stringent in the future. While local state subsidies don’t mandate locally made solar panels, Indian solar companies are lobbying for a blanket import duty on foreign made solar panels. Big global solar panel companies are already readying themselves for an environment of increased protectionism. Note the solar industry is massively oversupplied with almost every solar company in the world making losses. Hundreds of bankruptcies have already occurred with many more expected as a gut wrenching consolidation in the industry continues.

Indian Solar Companies Lobbying for Duties on imports of solar panels

The Indian Government is not going to impose any new duties on imports of Chinese solar cells. This is despite the petition by the Indian solar panel manufacturers to give a level playing field. Note Chinese solar panels have virtually destroyed the solar manufacturing industry in the West with big companies falling under the relentless price pressure where solar panel prices have gone down by 60% in one year. Only the Koreans seem to be standing up to the Chinese government backed top tier solar companies from China. The rest have mostly folded up and are facing survival questions including those from Taiwan. Indian solar companies were never that big and cost competitive anyway given the headstart and support of the Chinese backed companies. The price crash in 2011 has seen most of them close their factories as they can’t even cover their costs at the Gross Margin Level. The Indian Solar Companies were hoping that like the US government , India too would impose some sort of  anti-dumping duty on imports of Chinese solar cells and panels. But the government seems in no mood to oblige. Note the import duties would hurt the powerful Indian utilities and developers who need the cheap solar panels. There is some protection for the solar players in the federal subsidy scheme JNNSM but nothing for the state subsidy programs. It looks likely that most of  the Indian solar cell and panel producers will be wiped out given the current state of affairs.

Renesola sets up first manufacturing base outside China in India

Renesola which is one of the biggest integrated solar panel companies in the world has decided to start assembling of solar panels in India. Note Renesola is present in the entire solar value chain from production of the polysilicon to installation of projects. The company plans to sell 250 MW in the Indian solar panel market . Note bigger solar panel manufacturers like Suntech, Trina Solar and Canadian Solar already have a strong sales network in the country. But none of these companies have a manufacturing base in India as of now. First Solar the US thin film solar panel maker which has the largest marketshare in the Indian market was planning to set up a factory in Tamil Nadu but nothing concrete has been announced till now.

Renesola India

ReneSola continues to implement its sales and marketing strategy of “professionalization, internationalization and localization” in India. Given the substantial demand for solar panels in India, ReneSola foresees a total quantity of 250 MW of India-made ReneSola modules over a two-year period. This is the first time the Company has provided locally produced PV modules outside of China, emphasizing the importance of the India PV market. The Company will realize this target through collaborating with local strategic partners in India. In order to import its world-leading technology to India and take advantage of India’s local management and talent resources, ReneSola is dedicated to providing localized and customized products and services to the India market.

First Solar may invest $500 million in Tamil Nadu, India

According to the Financial Express, a top US Thin Film Based module manufacturer is exploring the possibility of setting up a facility in Tamil Nadu with an investment of $500 million (about R2,255 crore) in the coming months. Note the sources have not revealed the name of the company but it is clear from the investment amount, solar technology that the company is First Solar. A top level team from the company is expected to visit sometime early next week to initiate discussions with the state government officials. Note First Solar has emphasized the importance of India for its growth aiming to supply 100 MW of solar panels in 2011 itself which would make it a leader in the Indian solar industry. Other top solar panel companies like Suntech and Trina too have invested heavily in selling their solar panels in India through partnerships with local companies.

First Solar not getting too much success in China, so it may be putting redirecting its investment dollars to India

First Solar has been facing massive hurdles in getting solar projects in China which is home to most of the top solar panel producing companies in the world. Its 2 GW Ordos project has been delayed a number of times forcing First Solar to tie up with one of the Big Five utilities in China. Note foreign companies in China routinely face discrimination and the Chinese protectionism and discrimination issue has been raised by government as well as top companies like Siemens. On the other hand India does not have such a policy though it has put in a domestic content requirement for solar projects under JNNSM. This does not apply to thin film technology yet but First Solar may be looking to preempt this by building a solar factory in India.

Also Read on GWI:

Chinese Solar Panels Review

Renesola Solar Panels Review


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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