Bloomberg had reported yesterday that India may jump into an escalating U.S.-China trade fight over solar energy as local manufacturers lobby New Delhi for protection against imports from rivals including First Solar Inc. and Suntech Power Holdings Co. The report adds,India may initiate an anti-dumping probe in a month focused on imports of Chinese solar products, attaributing it to a statement by China’s Commerce Ministry.
The report further states that Indian manufacturers are also seeking a 15 percent tariff on imports of thin-film solar panels and quotes the country’s Renewable Energy Ministry Secretary Tarun Kapoor as saying in an interview. This was first reported a couple of days ago in the media.
There are two independent issues that have been highlighted in the story, both of which are important and could have a major impact on how the solar mission shapes up in India.
Reuters reported today that, state-run Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency denied there was any such plan to lodge an investigation against Chinese solar imports.
“China is getting unduly worried about this as it is a massive manufacturing centre which feels it may not be able to participate in the Indian market,” said Debashish Majumdar, chairman and managing director of Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency, the report adds.
Though IREDA is not the competent authority, the views of the chairman is likely to reflect the thinking of the parent ministry.
Also, on the second issue of 15% duty on import of thin-film panels, sources in the ministry and those aware of the developments have categorically confirmed to Panchabuta that the requests for the same has been declined and the ministry will not forward any recommendations in this regard to the commerce and finance ministries.