Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica

Clean Power

US Wants India to Relax Trade Restrictions in its Solar Energy Sector

US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke has expressed ‘great concern’ regarding India’s solar energy policies which restrict the amount of imported solar panels and other equipment.

India launched the National Solar Mission which aims to install 20,000 MW of power generation capacity by 2022. This would be achieved in three phases. During the first phase (till 2013), 1000 MW would be installed. This will include 500 MW of solar PV projects and 500 MW of solar thermal project. In addition, 100 MW of distributed solar power generation capacity will also be installed.

The government has unveiled attractive tariffs for purchase of power from these power plants. These tariffs are about 7 to 8 times more than those offered to conventional power plants.

However, there are certain regulations which the project developers need to follow in order to qualify to earn these attractive tariffs. The project developers need to use only those solar panels, parabolic reflectors and other equipment which are manufactured/assembled in India. Projects using imported equipment would not be eligible for the premium tariffs.

The government has adopted this policy initiative to promote growth of domestic solar equipment manufacturing. India’s production of solar panel-grade silicon is minimal and almost all the manufacturers import the raw silicon (in case of crystalline panels) and specially-coated raw glass panels (in case of thin film panels).

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Locke said that the Indian government goal to promote domestic growth by restricting import is not the best practice for the sector and suggested the government should consider other ways of promoting the domestic manufacturing sector. He also said that the American companies offer some of the most advanced and efficient solar energy technologies and India must not adopt obsolete technologies.

Although India’s intention to promote a domestic manufacturing sector is a wise one, its approach is not the best one. Banning the import of solar power equipment during the first phase of the National Solar Mission could hamper efforts to achieve the 1000 MW target since the domestic manufacturers might not be able to fulfill the sudden demand.

The United States and India are collaborating in an ambitious space-based solar energy initiative. Called the Kalam-NSS Initiative, the program’s aimed at making space-based solar energy a commercially viable business venture by 2025. Hopefully the two governments can come up with a similar program for enhanced collaboration on technology transfer for the conventional solar power generation technologies.

Image: Amaresh S K (Flickr)/ CC

Follow Mridul Chadha on Twitter and Facebook

 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 

Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
 

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Advertisement
 
Written By

Mridul currently works as Head-News & Data at Climate Connect Limited, a market research and analytics firm in the renewable energy and carbon markets domain. He earned his Master’s in Technology degree from The Energy & Resources Institute in Renewable Energy Engineering and Management. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering. Mridul has a keen interest in renewable energy sector in India and emerging carbon markets like China and Australia.

Comments

You May Also Like

Clean Transport

In many ways, the Indian market is challenging for electrification. With a predominance of 2-wheelers and 3-wheelers, as well as a lack of charging...

Clean Power

Welcome to another issue of our India x Cleantech series! On a monthly basis, we are pulling news from across clean technology sectors in...

Clean Transport

Moove, the world’s first mobility fintech, launches in India as a part of its global expansion. According to its website, Moove is a Nigerian-born...

Cars

Log kya kahenge? (What will people say) This is the mindset that Jothi Viknesh, a 32-year-old from Tamil Nadu, sought to defeat when he...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.