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India clarifies solar technology policies

The Government is aware that US Companies are bidding for Solar Power Projects in India. The subject of domestic content was raised by US in the fifth trade policy review of India which took place at WTO Geneva in Sep, 2011.

US has viewed the condition of domestic content stipulated in the guidelines for selection of Solar Power Projects under Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) to be inconsistent with the WTO obligations. The US Government has expressed its views on the condition of domestic content requirement.

The reaction of the Government has been that domestic content requirement is applicable to Grid Solar Power Projects of Phase-I of JNNSM which is essentially procurement of solar power by Government through designated entity NVVN. Hence there is no violation of WTO obligations.

The Government has targeted to achieve generation of 20,000 MW of solar power by 2022. Government has also put in place policies for Phase-I (upto 2012-13) of the Mission to support sourcing from domestic firms.

Sourcing key supplies from domestic firms has been encouraged. For this, a condition of domestic content has been stipulated in the Guidelines for Selection of Grid Connected Solar Projects which states that in case of PV projects, based on crystalline silicon technology, being selected in Phase-I, Batch-I — use of solar modules, Batch-II — use of solar cells and modules of Indian origin is mandatory. Import of thin film modules and CPV modules is permitted. Also, 30% domestic content is mandatory for all new solar thermal power projects sanctioned under Phase-I of the Mission.

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