India's Solar progress - STOPPED !

India's Solar progress - STOPPED !

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Rathin Vyas (ENERCO) started this petition to Nirmala Sitharaman (Defense Minister of India) and

India's is at the cusp of Solar growth with a total installation of about ~50 GW (50,000 MW) and is among the top 5 Solar power producers globally. Majority of the projects use imported items primarily the Photo Voltaic Modules (Panels) which is the end product used in projects. Total domestic modules production capacity is about 15 GW., part of which is exported. The raw material for the modules i.e. the PV cell capacity is 3 GW.

At current rate the yearly requirement for PV modules is ~40 GW+ if India has to meet the target of ~400 GW from Solar by 2030. In all likelihood we are already missing the target of 100 GW of Solar by 2022.

The Govt recently announced Basic Customs Duty (BCD) on import of modules (40%) and cells (25%)., which will make both imported and Indian modules very expensive (as cells are being imported on a large scale). While this is a good step towards Make In India, the timing is not right. Solar project costs could go up by  15% to 20%. Also the project quality could go down based on our study and evaluation of several Solar projects across India. Ideally, India needs to ramp up it's domestic production of PV modules and cells and then announce BCD.

The recent announcement of Approved List of Module Manufacturers (ALMM) for all types of Solar project (pvt. included) would apply the brakes on Solar momentum. India has lowest W per capita and ranks behind the likes of Indonesia, Egypt etc. With economic growth, the power demand of the Country will surge and such policies could harm the overall power sector. I have been writing about this but need more support to urge the Govt. to take some action.

I wish to petition to MNRE and the Finance Ministry to defer the announcements of 25% BCD on Solar cells and withdraw the ALMM announcement for pvt. projects for at least a year or till such time that domestic manufacturing can meet the demands of the Industry.

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