Solar imports dramatically increase in India


The good times are certainly with the solar industry in India, as installations soar and investment increases. It’s not just domestic solar companies that are reaping the benefits of this growth, as the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) revealed that imports of solar cells and modules rose from Rs 5,051 crore (US$752 million) in 2014-2015 to Rs 15,523 crore (US$2.3 billion) in 2015-2016.

This increase may come as no surprise to onlookers, as India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the commendable pledge of installing 100 GW of PV in the country by 2022. However, the country is still heavily reliant on solar manufacturers from outside the country to complete the installations in an economically viable manner.

“Manufacturers from the U.S., China and other countries are supplying solar cells and modules in India and in some cases, the price is much lower than what is being offered by domestic manufacturers,” said New and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal.

Solar technology has been being encouraged in all different facets of Indian life. Just this weekend the foundation stone of a 1 MW plant at the Amritsar Railway Station was laid by Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal. After laying the stone, Prabhu said that he expects solar panels to be installed in railway building across the country soon, in an attempt to reduce railway expenditure on electricity, and, of course, to become more environmentally friendly.