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USA Opposes India’s Solar Energy Domestic Content Requirements

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USA has opposed India’s Local Content Requirements for the Federal Solar Energy JNNSM program.Note according to the JNNSM rules,solar panels will have to be produced in India for the first year and solar cells will also have to produced from the second year.There is also a proposal that the local content requirements may be extended beyond 2013 and will also include solar inverters.US administration is opposed to these rules as it will lead to export hurdles for its solar companies Sunpower and First Solar.India installers and developers have also opposed the move as it will lead to lesser choice amongst suppliers and probably higher costs.

Note India solar cell/module manufacturers are heavily in favor of the domestic content rules as it will be difficult for them to compete with much larger and lower cost Chinese companies.Note China has not protested against these moves as it promoted its Domestic Wind Energy Industry in 2006 through this policy.Ontario,Canada too is following the same policy and has been take to the WTO by Japan.Note USA has not been a party to the Japanese move,as its companies have won large contracts in the region.There are both pros and cons to the domestic content policy for solar energy but one thing is for sure if free imports are allowed,Indian companies are not in a position to compete with the foreign ones on cost.

U.S. Pushes India to Lift Solar Import Restrictions

U.S. government officials and companies are pushing India to remove its restrictions on imports of solar technology, regulations they say threaten to cut American firms out of a promising market as India embarks on a major rollout of solar power.

A spokesman for the office of the U.S. Trade Representative said that “limiting access to high-quality solar equipment that is available outside India is likely to only frustrate” India’s plans to boost solar power production and “discourage further investors from developing solar projects in India.”

Bryan Ashley, co-chairman of a task force that represents U.S. solar companies, and chief marketing officer of Suniva Inc., a Norcross, Ga., photovoltaic-cell maker, says the import restrictions will cut off Indian solar companies from advanced technologies. “This has been pushed by some in the Indian industry to give themselves a monopoly,” he said.


Abhishek Shah

3 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Rohit

    “U.S. Pushes India to Lift Solar Import Restrictions” article says US wants the restrictions to be off? Don’t the provisions in JNNSM do off with these restrictions? It says in the incentives section in JNNSM article that there will be “Zero import duty on capital equipment, raw materials and excise duty,exemption,Low interest rate loans, priority sector lending” etc. So does this mean that these restrictions are off now?

  2. Abhishek Shah

    It mentions in the JNNSM document that the modules (solar panels) should be made in India for projects under the JNNSM scheme which use crystalline solar technology.Means you can import solar cells,inverters etc at zero duty but you have to make solar modules here.This does not apply to thin film technology