Windfall gain for Indian Solar Project Developers
Chinese solar panel prices have fallen off a cliff over the last few months, due to overcapacity caused mainly due to falling Chinese demand. This has led to even more overcapacity being pushed out to foreign markets something akin to the steel industry. Prices have crashed and given that there is hardly a bid Indian solar manufacturing industry, there has been no big call for imposing anti-dumping tariffs on massive Chinese imports. Indian solar developers who had bid very aggressively in the last couple of years are now in a sweet spot. Their wafer thin margins are suddenly looking much better, with a 10% fall in solar panel prices. Given that solar panels makes up around 60% of the overall project costs, it translates into a 6% fall in project costs from the baseline that they would have calculated during the bidding initiation.
Read updated Solar Cell & Panel Cost in India.
Solar Panel Prices falling in China
Solar panel prices are now going for 42 cents/watt in the Indian market, as compared to around 48 cents/watt a year ago. This is a large windfall for the large Indian procurers, who are suddenly finding buyers for their projects. SunEdison who was finding it hard to sell its 500 MW AP project, which it had won at INR 4.63/kWh may suddenly find it much easier to sell. Even other developers would find it easy to hive off the projects for a nice profit, instead of building the plant and waiting for 25 years to reap the cash flows.
International average solar panel prices are now around 48 cents/watt down from around 55-60 cents/watt. Indian prices are lower than the international solar prices in a strange quirk which nobody can easily explain, except that the quality of the panels bought is generally of lower quality than those shipped to international market.
Also Read Effect of GST on Solar Business in India.
Most of the Indian manufacturers import solar cells to make their panels so they would not be impacted that much, given that solar cell prices have also fallen sharply to the 25 cents/watt level. While the Indian steel industry is large and strong and can make life difficult for cheap imports, solar industry on the other hand is small and depends largely on imports of intermediate materials. A blanket duty on cells and panel would hurt it almost equally. Also many of the manufacturers are developers who depend on cheap Chinese solar panels for their project development activities.Google+