In the 11 months from April to February in financial year (FY) 2016-17, export and import activity totaling $2.61 billion (~Rs.175.7 billion) was registered in the Indian solar sector, according to Department of Commerce. This was $554 million (~Rs.39.9 billion) more compared to import and export activity worth $2.06 billion (~Rs.135.8 billion) in the same period in FY 2015-16.

During the 11-month period, India exported solar modules and cells worth $66 million (~Rs.4.4 billion) and imported solar modules and cells worth $2.5 billion (~Rs.171.3 billion). Compared to the same period in 2015, solar imports have grown by 34 percent, whereas exports have declined by 58 percent, down from the $159 million (~Rs.10.5 billion) in the same period in 2015.

Imports rose by 10 percent and exports dropped by 73 percent in the month of February 2017 compared to February 2016.

China is the largest exporter of solar modules and cells to India, accounting for $2.2 billion (~Rs.141.6 billion) worth of India’s total solar import and an 86.6 percent market share. Malaysia is the second largest exporter in India, accounting for $205.78 million (~Rs.13.2 billion) of India’s imports and an 8.1 percent market share.

India’s solar exports are witnessing a gradual decline. The United Kingdom was the largest importer of Indian solar modules and cells, with $18.8 million (~Rs.1.2 billion) accounting for 28.5 percent of India’s total solar exports. Italy accounts for 7.8 percent of exports, followed closely by Belgium at 7.7 percent. The U.S. and China account for 7.04 percent and 6.8 percent respectively.

Raj Prabhu Raj is a recognized thought leader in clean energy markets where his work has influenced policies worldwide. He has a deep understanding of regulatory policy and clean energy markets and his market and opinion pieces are regularly published on both MercomIndia.com and other leading publications globally. Raj is also a regular speaker and presenter on clean energy policy and finance topics at conferences worldwide. Raj attended the KLE College of Science in Bangalore, India for physics and chemistry, and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Hotel and Institutional Management from Johnson and Wales University, Rhode Island. More articles from Raj Prabhu.