India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry has found evidence of dumping of foreign modules imported from the US, China, Taiwan and Malaysia.
The trade dispute has been ongoing since November 2012 when the solar manufacturers association (SMA), representing three domestic solar manufactures, Indosolar, Jupiter Solar Power and Websol, submitted a petition to investigate the dumping of PV products.
The SMA claim was backed by analysts in July last year, and a preliminary hearing was held on the 18 July 2013, where enough prima-facie evidence was found to suggest the domestic solar manufacturing industry of India was being damaged.
Although evidence has been found of dumping, India’s domestic manufacturing industry has been repeatedly called into question regarding reliability, finance and capacity.
The Ministry is expected to recommend duties on imports very soon.
Shivansh Tyagi, a spokesperson for energy sector analysis at Indian Power Sector told PV Tech that if dumping is proven, and the national solar mission allows for foreign modules with additional state policies that would enable multiple open market opportunities. “India is playing fair and is working a towards free and open solar market", and other countries "should also respect that,” said Tyagi.
Also this month, the World Trade Organization (WTO) dropped an initial request by the US to set up a panel to review the controversial domestic content requirement in India’s national solar programme.
It is unclear how government may change policies to help bolster domestic manufacturing, or support struggling developers who may now have to face impossible cost rises with dumping duties added to imports, as election results for the new government are announced on Friday.
Exit polls suggest leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Narendra Modi has won.
In light of the elections, earlier this week, The Energy and Resources Institute in India (TERI) published energy policy recommendations for India’s newly elected government, calling for a reinvigorated drive to deploy solar.
The non-profit research organisation, whose CEO, Dr R.K Pachauri, is also chairman for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), called for “leap-frog” changes to policy.
The continued disputes are predicted to reduce and slow India’s admirable solar progress, including its leading national solar mission.