India Solar Market Quarterly Update: With Antidumping Case Behind it, Indian Solar Industry Looks to Refocus on Growth

Mercom Capital Group, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm, released its quarterly market update and revised its Indian solar installation forecast for 2014 to approximately 900 MW.

Major developments in the Indian solar market over the last three months have been dominated by general elections, the anti-dumping case and the recent release of draft guidelines for Phase II, Batch 2 of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM). Approximately 500 MW of solar have been installed so far this year. Mercom has revised its 2014 forecast slightly - to approximately 900 MW as delays caused by the elections and uncertainty that surrounded the anti-dumping case have slowed installation growth. It appears 2014 will be the third consecutive year solar installations will come in around the 1 GW mark.

The Indian government let the August 22, 2014 deadline lapse on the proposed imposition of anti-dumping duties on cells and modules manufactured in China, Taiwan, Malaysia and the Unites States, indicating that there will be no anti-dumping tariffs placed on components imported from these nations.

India’s solar industry is collectively breathing a sigh of relief that a potential disaster has been averted and projects that were stalled can now restart. However, the drama surrounding the anti-dumping case, which was entirely avoidable, brought project development in the country to a standstill with developers essentially stopping the procurement process due to uncertainty surrounding the case.

The optics were less than ideal - the Trade and Commerce Ministry, lobbied by manufacturers, pushed for duties while the Renewable Energy Ministry opposed them, giving the perception that the government and solar industry are “out of touch” with the daily suffering of the citizens and businesses dealing with regular power shortages.

“Although the antidumping case affected short-term outlook on installation growth, the end result was good and the new NDA administration was able to take decisive action, making a pragmatic, ‘big picture’ decision that will remove uncertainty and help put the solar industry back on track for sustainable, long-term growth,” commented Raj Prabhu, CEO and Co-Founder of Mercom Capital Group.

Mercom’s sources revealed that the government has assured domestic manufacturers a guaranteed market by providing ‘adequate offtake’ through government programs, which will employ domestic content requirements, to make up for the antidumping case.

A draft policy guideline for Phase II, Batch 2 projects was also recently announced. However, the new administration has assured the market that there will be a more robust ‘revised’ draft in the coming months from the solar-friendly NDA administration.

Indian manufacturers are exporting more. Almost $270 million (~Rs.1,620 crore) in solar exports were registered in FY 2013-14, a 152 percent year-over-year growth. Most of the Indian exports were to the European market taking advantage of the EU-China trade dispute which set a price band for sale of Chinese modules in Europe.

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About Mercom Capital Group

Mercom Capital Group, llc is a global communications and consulting firm focused exclusively on clean energy and financial communications. Mercom’s consulting division advises cleantech companies on new market entry, custom market intelligence and overall strategic decision making. Mercom’s consulting division also delivers highly respected industry market intelligence reports covering Solar Energy, Wind Energy and Smart Grid. Mercom’s reports provide timely industry happenings and ahead-of-the-curve analysis specifically for C-level decision making. Mercom’s communications division helps clean energy companies and financial institutions build  powerful relationships with media, analysts, government decision makers, local communities, and strategic partners. For more information about Mercom Capital Group, visit: http://www.mercomcapital.com. To get a copy of Mercom’s popular market intelligence reports, visit: http://mercomcapital.com/market_intelligence.php.

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