The US International Trade Commission’s (USITC) determination on Friday that cheap imports (primarily from China) of photovoltaic (PV) modules are hurting United States’ manufacturers is set to make life even harder for Indian solar firms, already struggling with high prices in an import-dependent market. According to analysts and industry players, the panel’s findings are set to kick-off a buying spree among US developers to buy as much stock as they can before the panel makes a recommendation to restrict such imports. The 4-0 vote by the International Trade Commission sets up a two-month review period in which the panel must recommend a remedy to US President Donald Trump.
The expected rush for panels will push prices of solar modules even higher, with some ongoing projects likely to risk escalation. “The situation is not very rosy. If prices go up by a little more, we will have to recalculate costs for a few ongoing projects and, consequently, solar tariffs might arrest their downward trend,” admitted a project head for an ongoing solar park project in South India. The US panel’s findings are only the final straw. Over the past few months, Indian developers have been battling a sharp rise in prices of solar modules. The rapidly rising demand in China has led Chinese manufacturers to divert supply, some reportedly going as far as to insist on renegotiation of supply contracts to Indian players in order to factor in rising prices.