Indian manufacturers dismiss threat to NSM

The Indian Solar Manufacturers’ Association (ISMA) has rubbished claims the imposition of anti dumping (AD) duties on solar cells and modules from China, Taiwan, Malaysia and the U.S. will hamstring the ambitious capacity aims of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM).

The nation’s newly-appointed power minister, Piyush Goyal, this week appealed to his ministry of commerce colleagues to drop their recommendation to apply duties to foreign imports which officials found – after an 18-month investigation – had been dumped in the country.

Goyal says slapping duties on the imports that supply as much as 80% of Indian solar projects at present will severely endanger the aim of the JNNSM to install 20 GW of solar by 2022.

But ISMA, in a press release issued on Wednesday says a combination of Indian solar manufacturers and foreign exporters who do not resort to dumping are more than enough to meet expected demand in the country, and Rahul Gupta, MD of Indian cell manufacturer — and AD case complainant — Indosolar, told pv magazine: "We would be very happy to get the opportunity to use our cell manufacturing capacity to the full."

Gupta agreed with the claims of ISMA concerning solar capacity and emphasized the shortsightedness of relying on solar imports to prop up the nation’s solar capacity aims.

‘We need a manufacturing ecosystem here’

"Can you imagine India, with a population of 1.2 billion people and as much as 100-200 GW of future solar demand, buying everything in from abroad? We need to develop a manufacturing ecosystem here in India because, as we have seen recently with Russia and Ukraine, energy and water security issues will be increasingly important in the decades to come."

The Indosolar MD told pv magazine none of his company’s 450 MW cell production capacity is in use, because of the dumping practices of the exporters investigated by the Indian ministry of commerce.

ISMA says Indian manufacturers boast a cell manufacturing capacity of 1.21 GW, the vast majority of which is sitting idle and even a 35% rise in demand on the 904 MW of solar products consumed in India in 2013-14, to 1.22 GW, could be covered by a mixture of domestic manufacturing and imports from non-dumping nations such as South Korea (which ISMA says has 1.2 GW of solar manufacturing capacity), Singapore (1.5 GW) and Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates (180 MW).

The newly-elected government of Narendra Modi has until August 22 to decide whether to impose the AD duties called for by its ministry of commerce.