Crude Oil Price Increase Reiterates the Importance of Solar Growth

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Although, renewable energy growth (especially solar) has been incredible in India, the country is still the third-largest oil consumer in the world (4.14/million barrels per day, 4% share of the world total). It is understandable that Indian solar industry still hasn’t grown large enough to phase out conventional energy usage and satisfy country’s growing energy demand (Installed solar capacity ~16.6 GW out of total energy generation capacity 330 GW). Therefore, the country needs a balance between conventional and renewable energy to sustain present energy requirements at hand. And continuous fall in crude oil prices from FY 12-13 to FY 15-16 allowed the country to import crude oil at a profitable margin.

However, the current rise in crude oil prices (from $39.9 in April 2016 to $52.7 in December 2016) and predictions of continuity in price hike highlights addition of forex outflow and reiterates the importance of solar energy growth.

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Solar Anti-Dumping: The Question We Must Answer for Industry Favored Resolution

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Office of the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping (DGAD) presiding over the hearing of anti-dumping petition on 12th of December, can be considered another step in favor of domestic manufacturers towards demand creation within domestic industry. Domestic manufacturers have had a long history (nearly 5 years) of conflict against imported modules and cells.

While India kept practically doubling its solar capacity in recent years (from 5 GW in 2015- to ~16.6 GW in 2017), domestic solar manufacturers saw lack in demand creation. The industry being focused on importing solar modules, created an issue of capacity utilization of domestic manufacturers. In such a scenario, re-visiting the recent Anti-dumping issue in the solar industry can bring the results India desperately needs to become solar reliant.

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Proposed Blanket Safeguard Duty- Set to Affect Domestic Manufacturing

The news of The Director General (Safeguards) recommending to impose 70% safeguard duty on imported solar panels and cells has created a commotion within Indian solar industry. Domestic manufacturers have had a long history (nearly 5 years) of conflict against imported solar components, as foreign (Chinese) suppliers continued dumping solar components in India at a much lower rate than existing market price. Asking for protection of domestic industry growth was a valid appeal by the domestic manufacturers. However, recent announcement of safeguard duty imposition is not what the domestic industry hoped for.

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Solar Industry 2018: Opportunities Exist, More Efforts Needed

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Solar industry is growing globally and the year 2017 has been the year of expansion for solar. China led the growth spectrum by adding 52 GW of new solar installations in 2017, while US (12.5 GW), India (~6 GW), Japan (5.8 GW), Germany (2.2 GW) took positions respectively. Australia, South Korea, Chile, and Turkey also became GW markets in 2017 stepping into competition for solarisation.

With awareness growing and more developing countries investing in the renewable energy mix, 2018 is estimated to bring in huge opportunities, forwarding solar revolution to new heights.

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