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Centre looks to boost solar capacity in a big way; here is what it has done

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From: Financial Express By: Reuters Published at: October 13, 2017
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The government intends to bring policies conducive to domestic solar equipment makers, power minister RK Singh said in an event here on Thursday.

Chairing a curtain-raiser ceremony for the second edition of the Global Renewable Energy (RE) Investors Meet and Expo (RE-INVEST 2017) to be held from December 7-9, Singh invited foreign renewable companies to open manufacturing units in the country under the Modi government’s ‘ Make in India ’ programme.

Secretary in the ministry of new and renewable energy, Anand Kumar, told reporters on the sidelines of the event that the government in planning to enhance the solar capacity addition scheme by CPSU to 12,000 MW from 1,000 MW, which would be under domestic content requirement (DCR).

In a bid to promote local manufacturing, the government had earlier mandated that a certain portion of capacity addition would be reserved for domestically sourced modules under DCR. However, the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled in 2016 that by imposing the domestic content requirement India had violated its national treatment obligation.

Nevertheless, if the government becomes the owner of a project, instead of developers, it is free to choose equipment from domestic manufacturers.

Including 12,000 MW solar capacity under DCR should come as a positive news for domestic solar module makers such as Tata Power Solar, Mundra Solar (Adani), Vikram Solar and Jupiter Solar. Chinese solar modules are 8-10% cheaper than Indian counterparts. About 88% of all module requirement in India is met through imports (84% from China) with even some government projects preferring to use them.
“Recent tenders by public-sector companies have non-standard clauses which favour Chinese modules over Indian have led to decrease in investor confidence,” Karunesh Chaturvedi, corporate affairs head, Vikram Solar, had recently told FE.

The commerce ministry, in July, initiated an anti-dumping investigation against import of solar cells — the basic ingredient used in the manufacturing of solar modules — from China, Taiwan and Malaysia.
Out of the `4 lakh crore investment pledged in the first edition of RE-INVEST in 2015, `1.8 lakh crore has been fulfilled. To meet the target of having 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022, the country needs additional investment of
$100 billion.
The power and renewable energy minister said the country’s energy consumption is expected to double in the next six-seven years, and since the government has decided to use 40% of energy requirement through renewable sources by 2030, investing in India will make business sense.

Singh added that he expects solar cell and module prices to go down further with increasing uptake of renewable power consumption.

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