India suspends local content requirements for one year

India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has suspended the local content requirements for solar modules for fiscal year 2023/24, which in India is the period from April 1 to March 31, in a decree published March 10. The Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM), which applies to solar projects with public funding, i.e. almost all larger installations, is thus temporarily not valid.
The government’s move had been expected for some time, and earlier this year there were even reports of plans to suspend the ALMM for two years. There have been disputes about the regulations in India for years. They are intended to protect the domestic solar industry from competition from imports, especially from China, but at the same time make it difficult to procure the necessary materials for new systems due to the lack of domestic production capacity, and are therefore considered by critics to be a decisive obstacle to the targeted expansion goals. In addition, the memorandum does not mean an end to the high import duties. Since April 2022, a Basic Customs Duty (BCD) of 25 percent applies to solar cells and 40 percent to modules.

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