On 22 May 2014, India went ahead with a proposal to impose anti-dumping duties, tariffs that are imposed on foreign imports believed to be below market value, on the solar market, recommended by the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping, Ministry of Commerce.
The proposal states that anti-dumping duties will range from 11 cents (₹6) to 81 cents (₹47) per watt of module capacity on the solar cell based products, which is as a move by India to protect it's own domestic solar manufacturers.
If the proposed anti-dumping duties goes ahead (the deadline is still three months away), experts believe that they will be very detrimental to India's ongoing Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission 22 GW targets, as the subsequent increase in the prices of solar modules will damage the feasibility status of many ongoing as well as already auctioned, upcoming solar projects. The proposed duties will supposedly be levied on imports from China, Taiwan, Malaysia and USA.
The newly-formed Indian government, power ministry and its chief, Mr. Piyush Goyal have already demanded that the commerce ministry to drop the proposal, as they believe that the duties will escalate the cost of solar power production in India. A recently published white paper by Headway Solar, a solar energy-consulting firm based in Gurgaon, India states that the imposing of the duties would be beneficial to just a handful of domestic solar cell manufacturers and would instead harm the majority of domestic module manufacturers, who so far have been relying on Chinese and Taiwanese imports.
A statement by Mr. Raveesh Budania, partner at Headway Solar, strongly criticised the move and further stated that the Indian manufacturing companies are not capable of technologically complex upstream value addition such as poly-silicon processing and cell manufacturing, and have so far relied on imports. The organisation believes that the move will increase the cost of solar by almost 10 percent as compared to the current cost and also delay the achievability of grid parity, whereby the utility-scale solar power will cost the same as conventional power, by over a year.
The long-term impact of anti-dumping duties might hamper the current Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to reap more electricity from the sun if the finance department goes ahead with the anti-dumping duties, which were proposed by the nation’s previous administration.