The ‘import restrictions’ on solar PV cells

Syllabus: GS-III, Subject: Environment, Ecology and Disaster Management, Topic: Renewable energy, Issue: Restriction on import of Solar PV cell

Context: Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) ordered to re-implement its 2021 notification of an ‘Approved List of Models and Manufacturers of Solar Photovoltaic [PV] Modules’ (ALMM list)

India’s dependence on import of solar cell:

  • India imported $11.17 billion worth of solar cells and modules in past five years.
  • China supplied 53% of India’s solar cell imports and 63% of solar PV modules.
  • India’s solar sector manufacturing capacity is primarily concentrated in the final manufacturing stage.
  • China’s competitiveness in solar PV manufacturing is attributed to lower power costs and government prioritization of the sector.

Policy steps to reduce dependence on solar import:

  • ALMM order in January 2019 to regulate solar module manufacturers.
  • ₹19,500 crore PLI scheme in the Union Budget of 2022-23.
  • Government imposed a 40% customs duty on PV modules and 25% on PV cells
+1 advantage for mains (Data points)·                 The government aims to achieve 500 GW of installed capacity from non-fossil fuels by 2030.

·                 Solar power contributed about one-third of all energy generated from renewables between April 2023 and February 2024.

·                 India’s solar power potential is estimated at 748.99 GW, indicating significant untapped opportunities.

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