The draft order, Quality Control Solar Photovoltaics, Systems, Devices and Components Goods Order 2017, which has been forwarded to the World Trade Organization (WTO), will apply to all future purchases of solar modules by power companies in India.
With the new order, the Indian government intends to step up the quality of solar products traded in auctions and possibly take a firmer hold on its burgeoning solar sector.
“In a couple of years, we will put the quality order on solar wafers. I want the entire value chain to come under quality orders,” said India's power minister Piyush Goyal to The Economic Times a week earlier.
Given the rapid pace at which the Indian solar sector has been growing since 2014, aiming for its 2022 target of 100 GW, the country’s solar imports significantly increased, as the domestic manufacturing sector itself was not able to meet the demand.
In September 2016, India lost an appeal at the WTO against the U.S. complaint, as its domestic content requirements for solar power sector were found discriminatory against imports.
As stated by Minister Goyal, the government will give 6-9 months to solar cell manufacturers before coming up with a similar quality order.