June 7 (Renewables Now) - The Indian Solar Manufacturers Association (ISMA) has filed a petition on Monday calling for an investigation into solar imports from China, Malaysia and Taiwan, which it says are hurting the local industry.
This is a new attempt to introduce anti-dumping duties on photovoltaic (PV) cell and module imports to India. The petition has been filed with the Directorate of Anti-Dumping & Allied Duties.
According to ISMA, the government should launch a probe covering the 12 months up to March 2017, a period in which the price difference between locally-made and imported PV products is significant.
In May 2014, after a probe into imports from the US, China, Taiwan and Malaysia, India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry proposed anti-dumping tariffs of between USD 0.11 and USD 0.81 (EUR 0.10-0.72) per watt for solar cells coming from the four countries. In September of that same year commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the plans to impose such duties have been cancelled.
Mercom Capital Group does not expect the new attempt to succeed. “Considering that cheaper Chinese modules are fueling Indian solar installations and have brought down tariffs to record low levels and the fact that the previous anti-dumping case was closed without a tariff imposition, it is difficult to see this petition going far,” the market research and consultancy firm said.
In May, a solar auction for 500 MW of solar capacity in Bhadla, Rajasthan got a bid of just INR 2.44 (USD 0.038/EUR 0.033) per kWh. This is the lowest price of solar power achieved so far in India. Solar developers believe that tariffs could drop to INR 1.5 per kWh and still be viable, according to a source in the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), cited by the Press Trust of India (PTI).
Department of Commerce data shows that China accounted for 86.6% of solar module and cell imports to India in the 11 months between April 2016 and February 2017.
The US International Trade Commission (ITC) last month initiated an investigation into global imports of PV cells, whether or not assembled into other products, to the US and is due to present a report to the President by November 13.