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ISMA fears that Chinese Solar Panel flood could hit India after European Duties

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Indian solar industry has been lobbying to get anti-dumping duties imposed on solar panel imports for a very long time. The global solar industry downturn has severely hurt the solar makers worldwide. With even the biggest and best solar companies like Yingli Energy (YGE), Suntech (STP) showing huge losses, smaller solar companies have closed down. Indian solar companies were never very big and most of these operations have been in the hibernating mode. Most solar cell and module factories are running at a 10% utilization as they can’t compete with the cheap solar imports from Taiwan, US and China.

Read about Solar Panels in India.

With the JNNSM Phase 2 to launch in May 2013, the solar manufacturers are pushing the government to give some sort of incentive to the domestic industry. Note most countries give incentives to domestic manufacturing either explicitly or implicitly. China which is the lowest cost maker of solar products used to protect its domestic wind industry in the early part of the last decade. Canada, USA, Italy, Greece all give special incentives to locally made solar panels. The Indian government does not seem too enthused and I don’t think we will see much movement. Besides there is a strong corporate lobby of solar energy installers and developers who want cheap solar panels and would oppose the much weaker ISMA.

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India too started its Anti-Dumping Investigation

Indian Solar Panel Companies are asking for protection from cheap imports from China and other countries. Note the prices of solar panels have fallen by 60% in 2011 due to a number of reasons such as cheap raw material polysilicon prices, high competition between major module manufacturers, dropping processing costs. The biggest reason for the solar panel price crash has been the support of the Chinese and other Asian government to their respective domestic solar industries. It is a fact that many of the major solar module companies would be bankrupt right now without government support. LDK is the prime example of a zombie company flourishing on the back of Chinese government support. Indian solar panel makers have got some protection with the federal subsidy policy JNNSM mandating that cell and modules be made in India. However thin film solar panel technology is exempt which means that they are not fully protected. Besides state government solar polices do not protect them at all. The consequence has been that most of the solar panel companies are running at 0 to 20% utilization as orders dry up.

India joined the solar panel wars starting it own anti dumping investigation into imports of Solar Cells imported from China, USA, Malaysia and Taiwan. The Ministry of Commerce has found evidence that these imports have led to damage of the local solar manufacturing industry. The Indian solar industry has been crying hoarse for quite some time now against the imports of cheap solar panels from USA and China. Despite the central subsidy JNNSM mandating use of local solar modules for projects, thin film modules have been exempt. This has meant that the vast majority of the winners have used thin film solar panels making First Solar the biggest solar panel supplier in India.

Business Standard

With Europe expected to decide on anti-dumping duty on solar equipment on June 6, Indian solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturers are seeking imposition of 70-80 cents duty for every kwh capacity on eight Chinese companies and 20-30 cents on American, Malaysian and Taiwanese companies.This will be in line with the 35 per cent anti-dumping duty on tier-1 Chinese companies and 200 per cent on the remaining companies, which is in place in the US.
In Europe, imposition of an interim duty of 70-80 per cent is expected when the pronouncement is made on June 6. Subsequently, 60-70 per cent anti-dumping and 10-15 per cent anti-subsidy duties are expected by the year-end, industry representatives said on Tuesday.

The domestic industry had in November 2012 initiated the anti-dumping case with the Directorate of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties under the finance ministry. “Cheap imports have put Rs 10,000-crore investment in plant and machinery in problem,” said Ajay K Goel, chief executive officer, Tata Power Solar.




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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