India Plans Rs 11,000 Crore Aid To Boost Local Solar Cell Manufacturing

By Bhanvi Arora

New Delhi: India plans to boost solar module manufacturing by providing Rs 11,000 crore direct support along with concessions to cut reliance on imports from China.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy aims to provide a 30 percent subsidy for setting up new plants and expanding the existing ones, according to a concept note on its website. Heavy equipment required to set up projects shall also be exempt from customs duty, according to the scheme to be operated by Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government targets to boost installed solar power capacity more than five-fold to 100 gigawatt by 2022. But the nation meets 84 percent of its solar cell demand through imports from China, according to a report authored by renewable energy consultancy Bridge To India. Photovoltaic modules account for more than half the costs of a solar project.

The cheaper Chinese imports have brought down solar power tariffs to record low. Indian Solar Manufacturers Association, however, have petitioned the government to impose an anti-dumping duty on inbound shipments from China.

The renewable energy ministry’s concept note targets creation of solar cell manufacturing capacity of 10 gigawatt over five years. It includes…

  • Interest subvention of 3 per cent to manufacturers setting up new capacity for loans taken through state-run banks.
  • IREDA will call for expressions of interest from potential manufacturers on the interest subvention.
  • The bidders quoting the lowest subsidy rate would be selected, according to the proposal.

The ministry has sought feedback on the concept note by Dec. 31.

Source: Bloomberg

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