Govt Amends ALMM Norms On Module Threshold Efficiency

Govt Amends ALMM Norms On Module Threshold Efficiency ALMM Reimposition To Temporarily Slow Down Solar Market, Say Experts

In its latest notification, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has amended its ALMM norms for solar module manufacturers. The new revised norms apply to all the solar module manufacturers enlisted under the Approved List of Models and Manufacturers of Solar Photovoltaic Modules (ALMM). 

According to the latest list from the MNRE, 82 solar module manufacturers in India are enlisted under the ALMM scheme. Earlier, the ministry had made a special provision under the scheme to prescribe a minimum threshold module efficiency in its order dated May 10, 2023. Per its norms, the module manufacturers who wanted their models to be enlisted under the ALMM had to meet the minimum efficiency levels in different solar market segments.

The pre-existing norms had prescribed a minimum module efficiency of 20 percent for utility sector/grid-scale solar power plants. The minimum efficiency prescribed for rooftop/solar pumps was 19.50%. On the other hand, for solar lighting, the minimum efficiency prescribed under ALMM stood at 19 percent. 

In the latest amended ALMM norms, the MNRE said that the models under ALMM must comply with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) standards and the minimum efficiency levels. 

While the MNRE order showed that the parameters for minimum efficiency levels remained the same for the crystalline silicon technology-based solar modules, there are some relaxation proposals for the Cadmium-Telluride thin film technology-based solar modules.

As per the MNRE notification, solar modules made with this technology need to ensure a minimum efficiency of 19% for utility-scale/grid-scale solar power plants (against 20% minimum efficiency in the case of crystalline-silicon modules), 18.50% for the rooftop and solar pump sectors, and 18% in case these modules are used in solar lighting projects.

What is ALMM

ALMM was initially started by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) as a special “non-tariff barrier” in the country. The enlisted module makers were entitled to special privileges in government solar projects, discouraging using imported solar modules. However, it was put on hold soon due to a lack of domestic manufacturing capacity and the scale of projects needed in India to boost capacities.

Now, the ALMM list denotes the list of domestic solar module manufacturers with details like their capacities, models, efficiencies, and others. The MNRE regularly updates the list to include new modes of solar modules introduced by solar module makers in India. 

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