The Indian Ministry of Trade and Commerce has concluded its
solar anti-dumping investigations and has recommended imposition of anti-dumping
duties on solar cell imports from China, the United States, Malaysia, and Taiwan. This by no
means is a "done deal" as this recommendation now moves to the Ministry of
Finance, which has to make the final decision. It will be imperative that the Ministry of Finance decides on this sooner than later as project development in India will likely remain frozen until there is absolute clarity around the issue.
The recommended tariffs range from
$0.11 to $0.81 per watt. It has been noted that the Ministry of Finance almost
always accepts such recommendations, but this is an extraordinary situation that
overlaps two administrations each with
different views about support for solar. This is a big test for the new Modi administration,
which has said the right things about its support for solar during election
campaigning, but now will be under enormous pressure to make the right call. As
we mentioned in last week’s
update, for a sector that hasn’t grown a lot since 2012, imposition of an
anti-dumping duty will be disastrous, and will increase uncertainty, and raise
solar power prices.