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Solar gear makers seek policy relief as Chinese imports hurt

According to reports, Faced with stiff competition from Chinese players, and under utilised capacities, domestic solar equipment makers are in talks with the government for “policy interventions” to cushion their business against shocks.
Low-cost equipment supplies from countries such as China and Taiwan are impacting domestic manufacturers, even as things are promising on generation side, according to solar panel makers.
Many solar project developers are also getting equipment from the US. In most of the cases, the companies also get cheaper loans from China and the US.

“There is tremendous strain on domestic solar manufacturers. We are in dialogue with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) for possible policy interventions…,” Indosolar CEO S Venkataramani told PTI.
Indosolar is a leading solar photovoltaic cells maker.
Without divulging specific details, Venkataramani pointed out that only about 20-30 per cent of domestic solar equipment makers” total capacity is utilised, especially against the backdrop of cheap import from China and Taiwan.
Venkataramani is also the General Secretary of Solar Manufacturers” Association, a grouping of about 22 domestic entities that account for around 80 per cent of total manufacturing capacity in the country.
Jupiter Solar Power CEO Dhruv Sharma said that”unethical pricing” of equipment by overseas entities is hurting domestic industry and funding is also taking longer time for projects.
“Such a trend does not augur well for the industry,” he noted.
However, a top official at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy said, “… there are no plans to pitch for any kind of levy on solar equipment imports.”
The country is expected to see a solar power capacity addition of about 500 MW in the current fiscal.
Going by estimates, about Rs 7,000 crore investments is expected in the solar manufacturing segment in the coming years.

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