The government announced its decision of rejecting the peal made by domestic manufactures solar cell and modules, to protect them from the intense competition with imported solar cells and module. Few weeks’ earlier domestic manufactures of solar cell and module had appealed to government, to grant them subsidies and support them to scale up their business and increase their product demand compared to imported products.
“Solar power projects using imported equipment are more cost-viable than those using domestic content,” said Tarun Kapoor, joint secretary, MNRE. Hence, the government made the decision, though the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has planned to provide the local players with a small part otf the projects to be awarded in the next phase of the solar mission.
The government is releasing the tender for solar photovoltaic power projects in May end. The tenders are worth 750 MW for competitive bidding. The senior officials of MNRE said that, a small amount of about 200-250 MW will be provided to the domestic manufactures to produce domestic solar equipment. The rest 500-550 MW will be provided for the production of imported solar equipments.
“The decision on segregation in competitive bidding was taken after considering the financial and diminutive capacity of the domestic manufactures, the larger share for imported manufacturing was an obvious decision for cost-efficient products,” said a senior official at Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI). SECI is the newly formed subsidiary of MNRE, which will steer the second phase of the National Solar Mission.
Domestic manufactures of is blaming the government for not providing their support to the industry, which is suffering recession situation where they are facing an annual loss of 10, 000 crore along with the shutting down of many companies, naming Moser Baer, Lanco and TATA Solar. The capacity of Indian solar manufactures is currently estimated as 1000 MW of cells and 2000 MW of modules.
Amount of exports of solar cells and modules increased from 920 MW in 2011 to 1,050 MW in 2012. The landed price of imported solar cells in India has come down substantially from $1.32 per watt-peak in 2010 to 36 cents per watt-peak in 2012.
“Our prices are not too high we are selling our product at global price, but the price quoted by imported manufactures is beyond are reach. The quality management can be managed but so low costing can not be afforded by as and this is leading loss in business, resulting to shut down of manufacturing,” said S Venkataramani, general secretary, Indian Solar Manufacturers’ Association.