Government re-imposes restrictions on solar module imports to boost local manufacturing

NEW DELHI: The government has decided to once again restrict the import of solar modules in order to boost local manufacturing. Earlier, imports were permitted until March 31, 2024, due to a lack of sufficient domestic manufacturers to fulfil industry demand.
A government official stated, ‘Domestic capacities are now prepared to meet the demand and require support.’
The government’s 2021 mandate required solar project developers to purchase modules from an approved list to encourage domestic manufacturing.It is anticipated that domestic manufacturing capacities will experience significant growth by 2026.
Despite an earlier announcement in February regarding the restart of restrictions from April 1, certain projects like open access and captive consumption ones were exempt.
Additionally, projects in advanced stages of construction or those that had initiated credit lines or placed module orders before March’s end were also exempted.
However, the latest order on re-imposing restrictions did not mention these exemptions.
According to a report by Mercom India, as of December 2023, India’s cumulative solar module manufacturing capacity reached 64.5GW, with a solar cell manufacturing capacity of 5.8GW.
The report forecasts that India’s domestic module manufacturing capacity will surpass 150GW, while cell manufacturing capacity is expected to reach 75GW by 2026.

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