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Two-Thirds of India Solar-Cell Production Idle: Ministry

According to reports, Indian capacity to make solar cells is three-quarters idle, according to the ministry of renewable energy, as the government studies tariffs on rival imports.

Fifteen producers led by Indosolar Ltd. (ISLR), Moser Baer India Ltd. (MBI) and Tata Power Solar Systems Ltd. have capacity to supply as many as 1,386 megawatts of cells, used in solar panels, the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy said today in a document on its website. Of that, only 297 megawatts are operating, it said.

The Ministry of Commerce & Industry has recommended anti-dumping duties from 11 cents to 81 cents a watt that would more than double the price of U.S., Chinese, Malaysian and Taiwanese panels. The renewables ministry has argued Indian makers won’t be able to ramp up their capacity fast enough to meet plans to quadruple photovoltaic potential in the next three years.

SunEdison Inc. (SUNE), backed by BlackRock Inc., abandoned a 20-megawatt solar project it won in a state auction on concerns local manufacturers wouldn’t be able to supply cells in time.

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