To ensure only quality equipment is used at solar power projects and, possibly, provide some protection to domestic manufacturers from a flood of Chinese solar modules, Indian governments have released a list of module models it will allow being installed at new power plants.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy released a list of 23 companies and the modules manufactured by them. Project developers who are awarded projects under any government scheme must choose modules from this restricted list.
The first list released by the government only has Indian companies. The ministry did not clarify when a revised list would be released and if international manufacturers would be included in such a list.
MNRE already has a similar list of approved wind turbines which is frequently revised.
The release of this list is the latest effort in a series of policy initiatives taken by the Indian government to promote domestic solar module manufacturing.
India already levies a 14.50% safeguard duty on imported solar modules. It recently announced the imposition of a 40% import duty on solar modules and a 25% duty on solar cells starting April 2022.
Last year, the government announced a production-linked scheme for manufacturing high-efficiency solar modules. It also announced plans to set up three manufacturing zones for power and renewable energy equipment as part of its economic package targeting self-sufficiency in the critical sector.
India is nearly completely dependent on imported solar modules. It imported modules worth $2.16 billion in 2018–2019, a large majority of it from China.