With an intent to gain leverage over US, India is looking to file complaint against the US over the latter’s use of domestic solar power equipment.
India recently lost an appeal at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against a decision that found the country’s regulations that mandate use of local content for some solar power projects. Under the National Solar Mission, India had mandated that around 5% of the planned 100 GW installed solar power capacity use locally-manufactured modules and equipment.
Earlier this year, Minister for New and Renewable Energy has announced intent to file as many as 16 cases against the US for mandating project developers to use domestically manufactured solar power equipment. According to recent media reports, the ministry will file cases with respect to the policies of Washington, California, Montana, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Michigan, Delaware and Minnesota.
While the Indian government significantly reduced the share of capacity that would use Indian modules, the US seems unsatisfied. During the first Domestic Content Requirement (DCR) auction under the National Solar Mission, as much as 50% of the offered capacity was reserved under said provisions. That percentage has dropped considerably in subsequent auctions.
When the current government took office it refused to levy anti-dumping duties on imported modules despite repeated pleas from the domestic manufacturers.
The Indian government reportedly also offered a compromise. According to media reports, the government stated that that DCR projects shall be restricted to only government-owned companies and entities, like NTPC Limited, Coal India Limited, Indian Railways, and the Indian Defence Forces.