Bookmark and Share

Will the Threat of Large Import / Anti-dumping Duties Force Start Solar Manufacturing in India?

0 Comment

State of Solar Manufacturing in India

Despite a long history of manufacturing of solar cells and panels and massive, growing domestic demand, India currently imports 90% of solar energy products from outside (almost all of it from China). The government of India has proposed numerous schemes and policies to promote manufacturing which will lead to job creation, value addition etc. in India.

However, as usual, poor implementation and lack of follow up has meant that let alone the creation of new capacities, even the existing players are at or near bankruptcy and desperate to sell. The much touted “Make in India” and investor roadshows have also come to a cropper with grandiose plans for huge solar investments by Chinese companies such as Trina Solar, GCL Poly, Canadian Solar remaining pieces of paper in the form of MOUs. In the last two years, hardly any new large capacities have come up apart from the Adani’s GW scale solar cell and module plant which is also not economically competitive.

solar panels india

Also, read List of Major Solar Panel Companies In India By Manufacturing Capacity

On the other hand, Chinese manufacturers are becoming more and more dominant with 10 GW plus capacities/sales each and will further build on those large revenues to rapidly move up the technology curve making them unreachable by Indian companies who are fighting for survival rather than upgrading their capabilities. The Indian government finally has come up with a preliminary recommendation to impose 70% safeguard duty on imports of solar panels finding the domestic industry being seriously harmed. Note despite this being an emergency measure, the government continues to sit on it for more than a month as of now only sowing further uncertainty for the whole solar ecosystem which does not know what will happen one way or the other.

In the midst of this chaos, MNRE and SECI have come up with further paper draft policies to promote manufacturing through various incentives like subsidies, carve up of future solar demand etc. Again these half-baked and half thought of policies are unlikely to see the light (sun) of the day lie all the other policies which were drafted and discussed over the last few years. Big figures like INR 12,000 crores were bandied about to promote solar manufacturing with hardly even INR 1 crore going to implement such schemes.

The Indian opposition keeps crying that the government is better at marketing rather than implementation and in the case of RE this seems true at least for manufacturing. While the solar energy project development has really taken off, the manufacturing remains mired in distress given the policy and objective muddle-headedness. Recently Longi Silicon, a big Chinese solar player announced that it will build a 500 MW solar cell and module plant in Andhra Pradesh. The company has already made numerous announcements over the last two years without producing a single solar cell. The companies in the solar sector are also following the lead of the government in announcing big plans without investing a single rupee.


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

No Responses so far | Have Your Say!