The Ministry of new and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has decided that strict action will be taken against those solar project developers that are using imported solar cells and modules to develop projects under the Domestic Content Requirement (DCR) category.
Speaking to Mercom, MNRE’s senior executive official said, “This order will apply only on those projects where DCR policy is applicable.”
In India, DCR category projects was introduced to provide a guaranteed market for local solar component manufacturers.
The ministry has come up with a plan of action to curb such discrepancies. Punishment will range from the filing of criminal cases under the Indian Penal Code, blacklisting of developer for ten years, forfeiting of relevant bank guarantees, and disciplinary cases against the concerned government official.
It is a known fact that manufacturers have been importing solar components and mislabeling them to be used for DCR projects for a long time. MNRE had isuued an order in 2018 to curb this practice but not much has happened since then.
The only time imported modules could be used in DCR projects was to replace defective cells or modules in the open category. This ruling was applicable to all the PPAs that were executed then as well as the PPAs that were in the process of finalization.
According to Pavankumar Siddhi, the managing director of Sungrace Energy Solutions, the current situation of the Indian solar industry is such that some of the solar cell manufacturers of the country are overbooked and are not able to supply the solar cells.
“If any solar module manufacturer has a Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certificate using any one of the indigenous solar cells, they should be allowed to manufacture modules with any other indigenously manufactured solar cells of the same technology,” said Siddhi.
Anjana is a news editor at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, she held roles of senior editor, district correspondent, and sub-editor for The Times of India, Biospectrum and The Sunday Guardian. Before that, she worked at the Deccan Herald and the Asianlite as chief sub-editor and news editor. She has also contributed to The Quint, Hindustan Times, The New Indian Express, Reader’s Digest (UK edition), IndiaSe (Singapore-based magazine) and Asiaville. Anjana holds a Master’s degree in Geography from North Bengal University, and a diploma in mass communication and journalism from Guru Ghasidas University, Bhopal.