India Solar 2014

Mercom Capital Group, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm, today announced that it is cautiously reiterating its Indian solar installation forecast at approximately 1,000 MW in 2014.

There has not been a lot of movement in the solar sector the past three months as the Indian solar industry was eagerly waiting for election results. The mood is positive with anticipation that good things will happen with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in power, according to most in the industry. Solar installations so far this year total 444 MW. However, the Ministry of Trade and Commerce has resuscitated the seemingly dead anti-dumping case. As stakeholders await the final anti-dumping verdict, Mercom noted that if duties are imposed, it will be revising down its previous installation forecast of 1 GW in 2014.

Mercom has covered the anti-dumping topic extensively (, ) over the past few years and its stance on this issue has been consistent – it is bad policy.

According to the information Mercom received from its sources, the Department of Commerce has revived its anti-dumping case and concluded its preliminary findings that domestic manufacturers have been injured by the dumping of solar cells and modules by manufacturers from China, the United States, Malaysia, and Taiwan.

The Department of Commerce has continued to pursue the anti-dumping case even while the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) rightly continues to insist that imposing anti-dumping duties is a very bad idea for a young and fragile sector.

“For a sector that hasn’t grown a lot since 2012, imposition of an anti-dumping duty will be detrimental, increase uncertainty, and raise solar power prices. Moreover, anti-dumping duties will hurt local manufacturing as higher component costs will make project economics unworkable, freezing project development activity,” commented Raj Prabhu, CEO and Co-Founder of Mercom Capital Group.

Several manufacturers who were primary supporters of anti-dumping investigations told Mercom they are now opposed to duties. They see the harm that will be done – choking project development by increasing costs while the industry is still trying to find its legs. They now seem to understand that they would all benefit from a larger market.

The local solar industry hopes that the new Modi administration will put an end to the unpredictability and bring some badly needed order to the energy sector.

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Image Credit: By Chinneeb, CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL, via Wikimedia Commons