Chinese solar panel manufacturers are dominating players in the Indian solar power market, recently released data by the Indian government show.
According to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, India imported 161.5 million solar panels in financial year 2014–15. Of these, 113.5 million panels, or 70%, were imported from China.
This marked a significant increase from the 65% share of Chinese modules in financial year 2013–14. Of the total 154.1 million panels imported that year, 100.4 million came from China.
The share of Chinese modules in India was possibly the highest in most major solar power markets. India is among the few large solar markets that does not impose import duties on Chinese modules.
China is expected to be among the leading suppliers of modules to India in the coming years as well. The Indian government has set a target to have an installed solar power capacity of 100 GW by 2022, and most of this capacity will be in the form of solar PV projects.
Last year, India announced that it would not impose import duties on imported solar panels despite repeated pleas by the Indian module manufacturers that had seen significant erosion of market share.
India has now significantly diluted the mandatory requirement for use of Indian-made solar panels. Only government-owned companies will be required to use Indian-made panels as per a minimum supply requirement. While the first phase of the National Solar Mission required use of a higher percentage of Indian-made solar PV modules, solar power policies enacted by most states did not have such restrictions.
The Gujarat Solar Power Policy of 2009 had no such requirements and it helped in adding around 800 MW of solar power capacity. Recent auctions under the policies of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, and Odisha had little to no restrictions on the use of imported modules.