Compared to FY 2016-17, Indian solar imports witnessed a 20 percent spike from approximately $3.19 billion in FY 2016-17 to nearly $3.83 billion in FY 2017-18. Imports increased toward the end of the financial year as more project developers sought to meet commissioning deadlines. Over 3 GW of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity was installed in India during the last quarter of FY 2017-18.
In FY 2017-18, India exported solar modules and cells worth $141.41 million. This was an increase of nearly 105 percent year-over-year (YoY) compared to $69.11 million of exports made in the previous financial year.
China was again the largest exporter of solar modules and cells to India, accounting for approximately $3.14 billion of India’s total solar imports. With an 89.1 percent share during FY 2017-18, Chinese imports slightly increased YoY from 88.1 percent in FY 2016-17.
Malaysia was the second largest exporter, accounting for $179.55 million of India’s imports and a 4.7 percent share (a decrease of 1.9 percent YoY from a 6.6 percent share in FY 2016-17).
Taiwan was the third largest exporter, accounting for 3.2 percent —a spike from the 1.8 percent market share in FY 2016-17. Taiwan almost doubled its shipments to India, from $58.86 million in the previous fiscal year to $122.44 million in FY 2017-18.
Indian solar exports are gradually increasing. India was exempted from the levy of a 30 percent safeguard tariff on solar imports by the United States. India was one among the hundred countries that were exempt from paying the anti-dumping duty.
The U.S. was the destination for a majority of Indian solar exports. Though the export quantity was small, the increase year-over-year was substantial. In FY 2017-18, India exported modules and cells worth $39.81 million to the U.S. which is $34.90 million more than the cells and modules exported by India to the U.S. in the previous fiscal year, which were worth $4.91 million.
Turkey emerged as the second most-favored destination for Indian modules and cells. In FY 2017-18, Turkey accounted for a 20.7 percent of the export share with $29.26 million worth of solar modules.
India exported solar cells and modules worth $13.93 million to Denmark in FY 2017-18. Denmark accounted for nearly 10 percent of all modules and cells exported by India in FY 2017-18.
Meanwhile, various domestic and international players announced plans to expand (4 GW) their solar manufacturing capacity in India during FY 2017-18.
China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the Ministry of Finance, and the National Energy Administration (NEA) recently imposed an installation cap and reduced the feed-in tariff (FiT) for solar projects in the country. This move is likely to result in an oversupply situation and higher imports from China as the modules get cheaper. A lot will depend on whether India decides to impose a safeguard duty on imported solar panels from China or not.
Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.