A UK-German research team analyzed solar auctions in India between 2014 and 2017 and has determined that local content requirements have driven up PV costs by an average of 6% per kilowatt-hour.
The move has been welcomed as a step in the right direction by lobby group SolarPower Europe nevertheless, particularly as it envisages bringing together EU low-carbon businesses. The outline ambition will now be considered by the European Parliament.
Trade tariffs are spreading across the global PV industry. The United States has been especially active with its sandwich of old antidumping and countervailing duties coupled with new Section 201, 232 and 301 duties. Some of these are part of the Sino-U.S. trade dispute; others impact not only Chinese producers, but manufacturers around the world. So, what will be the impact of this new era of PV protectionism on the solar sector?
Panasonic offloaded some of its PV interests to Chinese HJT cell maker GS-Solar and Kyocera is advertising further savings from its solar operations but neither business unit acted as a significant drag on wider group figures.
The nation appears ready to join the ranks of global solar protectionists but any fears about its energy transition may be dampened by the introduction of one of the world’s first true carbon levies – provided emitters are not afforded too many loopholes.
While the world’s biggest solar manufacturers are confident there are plenty of alternative markets for a rising volume of panel exports, the message spelled out by first-quarter shipment figures is that protectionism works.
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