India To Offer Subsidies To Domestic, Foreign Solar Module Manufacturers

The Indian government is planning new measures to promote domestic manufacturing of solar power equipment following another setback from the World Trade Organisation earlier this month.

According to media reports, the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) has prepared a draft policy to offer subsidies to all companies that manufacture solar power modules and other equipment in the country.

As per the draft plan, the ministry is looking to offer direct subsidies to manufacturers, be it Indian or foreign willing to set up manufacturing units in the country. The subsidies could be in the form interest subvention or cheaper loans.

Apart from these new measures, the ministry is also working to file counter-complaints at WTO for what it believes violations of international trade agreements by some US states. Earlier this year, Minister for New and Renewable Energy had 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.

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.

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