India tells manufacturers to run at full capacity and expand

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The government has promised to support all domestic solar manufacturing and plants should run at full capacity and expand.

According to the Press Information Bureau for the Government of India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), minister for power, coal, new and renewable energy, Shri Piyush Goyal told developers, manufacturers and stakeholders that the government will provide full support for domestic solar manufacturing.

“Renewable power is the future of the country and will be supported fully,” the statement said.

The move to support domestic manufacturing follows the recent dismissal of anti-dumping duties (ADD) on foreign imports, after industry experts argued they would decrease overall deployment and hurt the solar industry in India, as a whole.

This is despite the ministry of commerce ruling that dumping had occurred, recommending US$0.11 to US$0.81 in duties, and domestic manufacturers, such as Tata Power, arguing India’s solar manufacturing will be “dead in six months” without ADD.  

In response, the government is now “open to provide all support which is required to develop a robust ecosystem which is efficient and sustainable” the MNRE statement said. 

The minister assured that whatever domestic cell and module capacities are available, an adequate market would be “made available so that they can not only run their factories to full capacity but they can also expand manufacturing capacity” so that Indian manufacturing can become competitive to export goods, “for which the government would provide the necessary support”.

Goyal also confirmed the government is to continue its domestic content requirements for the national solar mission and other policies and support for the domestic manufacturing sector.

The support is said to be aimed at boosting decentralised solar in hard to reach rural areas, as well as larger solar projects for feeding into the national grid.

Goyal also revealed the government is working on land access to set up utility-scale, and mega-scale solar power projects in the country.

He also urged solar stakeholders to make the solar mission a success and to keep investing in the sector to support prime minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious electricity for all vision.

The statement said that in regards to Modi’s national electrification programme and supporting domestic manufacturing, the government is “very much concerned about the large number of households who do not have access to modern sources of energy and, therefore, adequate attention would be paid to providing power to the left out households by deploying renewables in a big way”.

Goyal also revealed that India’s largest power company, NTPC is to provide 1GW of tenders for solar projects using domestic cells and modules.

The address from minister Goyal was delivered at an interactive session in New Delhi attended by hundreds of solar stakeholders secretary of the ministry of power, Shri Sinha, the MNRE secretary Shri Tripathi  and NTPC chairmen, Arup Roy Choudhury as well as many other ministers of power, defense and from MNRE itself.

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