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Second Hand Chinese Solar Panels Find A Market In India’s Burgeoning RE Industry

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India a Huge Market for Second hand Chinese Solar Panels

While India has always been a major market for low quality Chinese solar panels, what is interesting is now that even second-hand Chinese solar panels are finding their way into the Indian market which is always receptive to low cost equipment. The Indian market’s obsession with low costs even if the quality is not that great has led it to become a hot market for second-hand equipment.

This is not strange as Indian industry has used cheap low cost second hand machinery from European and American nations in the past. However, what is causing concern is that these solar panels will deteriorate much faster than normal solar panels leading to a bad image for the industry.

Solar India

These solar panels according to sources are sold for around 30-40% lower prices but only come with a 1-year warranty. This is compared to the 25-year warranty normally sold by solar panel manufacturers with their equipment. This will be lead to a bad outcome as solar panels are expected to have a lifecycle of 25-30 years and if they die in let’s say 5 years, this will lead to a huge loss for the rooftop solar owner who uses these solar panels. Illegal solar panels from China have always found a market in rural markets in India in places like Bihar where cost is the biggest USP of solar panel sales.

India has made it compulsory to have BIS certification for solar panels from next year but India has a large grey market which does not follow rules and regulations. Though the incidence has come down, Indian electronics industry always had a big grey component to escape the large imports duties on equipment imports.

Indian developers are finding themselves in a pickle with solar panel prices increasing sharply over the last 3-6 months due to high Chinese and USA demand. With aggressive bidding disregarding the risks, developers may have to cut concerns in a desperate move to build their projects.

“We were offered these modules at a substantial discount of as low as 25 cents per watt on cost, insurance, and freight (c.i.f) basis. It was claimed that these were used A-grade solar panels which were installed at the seller’s plant site for just two months,” said a person requesting anonymity.

Source: Livemint


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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