The All India Solar Industries Association (AISIA) has urged the government to step in amid concerns that solar equipment manufacturing facilities are operating at 30% capacity due to massive imports from distributors from China.
In a letter to Energy Minister RK Singh, the Representative Association of Domestic Solar Manufacturers said: “Having hoped for recovery and weathering strong headwinds over the past decade, we are going through even more difficult times with our very survival at stake and without robust local “Make in India” solar production, the security of India’s energy sector is at risk.”
“In order for domestic manufacturing to gain a foothold and become mainstream, it is imperative that there are structural safeguards and tariff-based barriers in place alongside production incentives for 4-5 years before being phased out,” it said.
Stressing that domestic manufacturers were using their facilities at 30% capacity and suffering huge losses, she added, “We call for and pray for immediate and urgent action to thwart such nefarious moves by those interested in Chinese imports.” to dumping, leading to serious consequences, including most units turning to the NPA and some could even collapse into bankruptcy.”
It has urged that the timeline for the implementation of the Revised Order of Approved Models and Manufacturers (ALMM) dated April 1, 2022 be maintained unchanged.
The association said imports have consistently exceeded 800 MW per month since April 2021.
“The cumulative imports for 11 months to February 2022 are 16 GW, which is much higher than the deployment and total installation rate of 10 GW, which clearly indicates huge inventory levels and speculative activity,” she added.
“From September 2021 to February 2022, 11.93 GW module imports clearly show that developers and retailers want to sabotage domestic manufacturing. 3.21 GW import in February amplifies the plight of domestic manufacturers,” it said.
It pointed out that India’s solar panel manufacturing industry had suffered from an onslaught of Chinese imports, resulting in several units being closed and liquidated, with the survivors largely on the brink.
“Today, 200,000 jobs are at stake and 125 solar manufacturing units becoming NPAs deal a serious blow to the security of India’s energy sector,” the association said.