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Photo voltaic makers in India seek anti-dumping measures

According to reports, cornered by cheaper imports of finished products in the solar power sector, including solar panels, domestic manufacturers see their only hope in anti-dumping laws in India and elsewhere.

While India commenced its anti-dumping probe against import of solar panels in November last year, the European Union (EU) has recently decided to impose anti-dumping tariffs against Chinese imports.

“With these anti-dumping moves, the Chinese manufacturers are looking at entering collaborations with the local manufacturers as the Indian export channel do not attract anti-dumping laws for these products in the US or in the Europe,” Rao SYS Chodagam, founder and managing director of Hyderabad-based Titan Energy Systems Limited, said on the sidelines of a workshop here on Monday.

In fact, a large Chinese player has already approached three Indian companies, including Titan Energy Systems for setting up a 500 Mw capacity, he said, refusing to reveal the name of the company.

Despite the recent boom in the solar power sector in the country, the capacity utilisation at the facilities of domestic manufacturers is still hovering at 10 per cent, according to him. In a latest example of complete domination by the imported equipment, a 900-Mw solar power project executed recently in Gujarat has a share of only 15 per cent domestic equipment while China and the US accounted for 45 per cent and 40 per cent respectively of the equipment supplies, he said.

Domestic players have not been able to compete with the imports also because there is no duty on finished products but at the same time there are duties ranging between 23 per cent and 25 per cent on raw material imported by the local manufacturers in solar photo voltaic power modules and panels, according to the industry representatives.

In Andhra Pradesh, the government had recently unveiled a programme to encourage the establishment of 1,000 Mw installed capacity in solar power by the private sector besides announcing a policy to encourage roof-top solar units.

The New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh (Nedcap) has requested the state government to extend the current subsidies to 3 KwH from the present 1 KwH for grid-connected roof-top solar units. The move may further encourage people to go for rooftop solar units as they can sell unused power to the power utilities. ” We expect a decision in this regard soon,” Kamalakar, managing director of Nedcap, told reporters.

The five-day workshop is being organised by the Gujarat Energy Research and Management Institute (Germi). It covers areas, including design, technology and applications of the solar power sector.

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