India’s CSP industry seeks protection against China imports

In an attempt to protect the domestic concentrated solar power industry from cheap imports, the Indian government is actively thinking of imposing an anti-dumping duty on solar panels. Reports claim that, the Indian regulators have planned to impose 70% import duty on Chinese solar panels to protect the regional manufacturers from cheap Chinese rivals.

According to sources, this move taken by the Indian regulators, is among the latest in a series of international trade disputes related to the manufacturing & import of solar panels. For the record, the EU and China in the year 2013, almost commenced a trade war post which the EU imposed anti-dumping tariffs on importing Chinese solar panels.

A year later, the US followed EU’s trail and imposed duties of over 165% on imports from Taiwan and China, after acknowledging the fact that the solar panels were being sold for a rather cheap price in US concentrated solar power market. This decision of US had major repercussions on the Chinese manufacturers, who then ramped up their exports to the flourishing concentrated solar power industry of India.

As per the reports put forth by the India Solar Manufacturers Association, the cheap solar panel imports from China have brought solar power tariffs in India to a record low, in turn impacting the biggest panel makers such as the Adani Group.

Amidst the backdrop of this scenario, industry experts speculate that the move taken in favor to promote domestic solar panels manufacturing, would in turn pose a barrier to the fast-expanding regional concentrated solar power market size.  It has been reported that the plan to impose 70% duty on Chinese panels has attracted criticism from smaller manufacturers as the proposal also includes higher tariff for raw materials imported from China. In addition to this, analysts also anticipate a 40% push in power prices.

In this vein, it remains to be seen if the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led initiative “Make in India” takes greater priority than importing cheap solar power.