India to announce policy for competitive domestic solar equipment manufacturing
India is working on a plan for making domestic manufacturing of solar power generation equipment competitive vis-à-vis other countries such as China.
As part of this strategy, the National Democratic Alliance government plans to come out with a policy to promote manufacturing of the entire range of solar power generation equipment in the country.
India’s plan was articulated by Piyush Goyal, Union minister for power, coal, mines and new and renewable energy, at a media briefing regarding the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs’ (CCEA) decisions.
Currently, most of the solar power developers in India have been sourcing solar modules and equipment from countries such as China as they are cheaper.
The development assumes significance given India, world’s third-largest energy consumer after the US and China, plans to achieve 100 GW of solar power generation capacity by 2022 as part of its global climate change commitments. The CCEA on Wednesday cleared the proposal to double India’s solar park capacity to 40,000 mega watt.
Also, this comes in the backdrop of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Appellate Body, the highest court for resolving trade disputes, striking down India’s local content requirements for solar cells and modules last year. The US had challenged India’s solar panel procurement policies at the WTO claiming that it discriminated against foreign manufacturers.
In response to a specific query about foreign companies providing equipment to solar parks in the context of the WTO ruling, Goyal said, “I am in continuous dialogue with the manufacturers of solar equipment in India and I am happy to share with you that there is now quite a significant interest to set up solar manufacturing in India”.