Cheaper Chinese solar imports hit local companies
Indian solar module makers are struggling to stay in business as the price differential with imports has widened to 10-12%, prompting developers to opt for overseas supplies and stunting government’s ‘Make in India’ campaign.
Nearly all major domestic players such as IndosolarBSE -0.41 %, Tata PowerBSE 0.22 % Solar, Adani Group, Jupiter Solar and state-run BhelBSE 0.11 % are struggling to remain viable in the face of undercutting by cheaper supplies from modules manufactured by Chinese-owned companies located in the mainland and outside. The situation is similar to what happened a decade back when the government set out on an ambitious plan to expand thermal generation capacity. Developers opted for cheaper equipment from China to offer low tariffs, which nearly pushed domestic manufacturers to the brink till the government levelled the field with quality and other norms.
Ironically, the government is faced with the same question as it targets to set up 100 GW (giga watt) solar power capacity by 2022. India is expected to place orders for about 80,000 MW (mega watt) of solar power installations worth nearly Rs 2.44 lakh crore at current prices. India’s utility-scale solar power capacity stands at 16 GW, while 11.5 GW is in the pipeline and 5.6 GW is being readied for bidding.