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India Looks To File Solar Content Cases Against US At WTO

Originally published on Planetsave.

With an intent to gain leverage over the US, India is looking to file complaints against the nation over the latter’s use of domestic solar power equipment.

India recently lost an appeal at the World Trade Organization (WTO) against a decision that found the country’s regulations that mandate use of local content for some solar power projects. Under the National Solar Mission, India had mandated that around 5% of the planned 100 GW installed solar power capacity use locally-manufactured modules and equipment.

Earlier this year, the Minister for New and Renewable Energy has announced intent to file as many as 16 cases against the US for mandating that project developers use domestically manufactured solar power equipment. According to recent media reports, the ministry will file cases with respect to the policies of Washington, California, Montana, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Michigan, Delaware and Minnesota.

While the Indian government significantly reduced the share of capacity that would use Indian modules, the US seems unsatisfied. During the first Domestic Content Requirement (DCR) auction under the National Solar Mission, as much as 50% of the offered capacity was reserved under said provisions. That percentage has dropped considerably in subsequent auctions.

When the current government took office it refused to levy anti-dumping duties on imported modules despite repeated pleas from the domestic manufacturers.

The Indian government reportedly also offered a compromise. According to media reports, the government stated that that DCR projects will be restricted to only government-owned companies and entities, like NTPC Limited, Coal India Limited, Indian Railways, and the Indian Defence Forces.

Reprinted with permission.

 
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Written By

Smiti works as a senior solar engineer at a reputed engineering and management consultancy. She has conducted due diligence of several solar PV projects in India and Southeast Asia. She has keen interest in renewable energy, green buildings, environmental sustainability, and biofuels. She currently resides in New Delhi, India.

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