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.
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.
The move by United States of America to protect its domestic solar industry from imported modules has created unrest in the global solar market. Similar exercise to protect domestic solar producers is underway in India against dumped imports from China, Malaysia and Taiwan. The proposed US Safeguard measures are not likely to affect exports from India to the US, as US must exempt imports from India under the WTO Safeguard Agreement given that the share of India is nominal when compared to other countries
Excluding India from the safeguard investigation and duties that are initiated by the US can be validated as a fair appeal. A closer inspection is needed to highlight the facts and realize the background of such an appeal.
Exclusion from US Solar Safeguard Duty and Investigation: A Fair Appeal by India
Like the US, Indian domestic solar manufacturers are in favour of imposing protective measures against foreign solar modules. And in many occasion have initiated discussions with the Government and the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) to seek a favourable solution.