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India’s Solar Anti-dumping Duties gets bad press from western and vested media

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Anti-Dumping Duties India

India’s solar manufacturing industry has been hollowed out from the inside by imports from China and other countries. Global oversupply due to massive capacity expansion by China led to a 90% fall in solar panel prices in the last 5 years. The Indian industry which used to do decently well by exporting to Europe and meeting domestic needs, was caught in a perfect storm. There was no way that the small Indian solar manufacturers could compete against the well-funded Western and Chinese competitors, who took on billions of dollars in losses. Many western companies failed, while others were rescued by their governments. The Indian industry could never do much, as the Indian government led by UPA was not interested in governing the country.

The result was that Indian industry saw very low utilization, as the market was flooded with solar cells from First Solar (FSLR) and other Chinese companies. While the solar electricity prices went down drastically and demand soared in India, the likes of Tata Power and Moser Baer saw huge losses from their solar operations. The Director General of Foreign Trade after one and a half years, finally decided to recommend duties against the foreign players. This made all the foreign players and the Indian developers take up arms against these duties. They also have the MNRE ministry behind them and leading NDA ministers without examining the totality of the implications, have been supporting the solar developer lobbies.

First Solar which has been a huge beneficiary of the Indian growth story powered by the super low interest loans from USA’s EXIM bank, has even filed a case against the anti-dumping duties in an Indian court. The poor Indian solar manufacturers have very little support as they fight against the whole array of foreign governments and strong Indian developers like Welspun, Azure etc. Some Indian solar consultants such as Headway Solar and Bridge to India are sounding the death knell of the Indian solar industry if duties are imposed.

USA which has itself imposed large duties on imports of Chinese and Taiwanese solar cells is a vociferous opponent, as India is the only large market for its solar companies. First Solar, SunPower (SPWR) have zero presence in China and very little in Japan, which are the two largest markets. It knows that the Indian government is generally weak kneed and does not protect the national interest. It has already filed a case against India at WTO for supporting the Indian companies.

I had hoped that the NDA government would support domestic manufacturing, but the negative attitude displayed by some of the ministers leaves a lot to be desired. The support for the solar developers by Nitin Gadkari who was the Transport Minister left everyone surprised, because the Transport Ministry has very little connection with solar panel imports and solar electricity generation. The only motive could be that solar developers have pushed him to rally against the duties.

I think that India should impose anti-dumping duties on imports , maybe not the quantum suggest of 81c/watt on Chinese solar cells, but at least 10c/watt so that a level playing field can be brought about. This can be gradually reduced in a calibrated manner over the next 2-3 years, so that the Indian companies can scale up to compete effectively. After the damage they have suffered this is the least that the government should do.


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

One Response so far | Have Your Say!

  1. pramod ranjan arora

    Anti dumping duties shall provide temporary relief to Indian solar industry. Now, there is need to develop long term vision for development of solar industry in India. Need to make Indian solar industry globally competitive for survival in the international market. Government should give all assistance to solar industry to stand globally.