MNRE has issued a clarification in respect of domestically manufactured solar PV cells.
In a major decision that is likely to give a further boost to domestic manufacturing of solar cells in India, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued a clarification in respect of domestically manufactured solar PV cells.
It may be noted that a number of flagship programmes of MNRE such as KUSUM have provisions for mandatory use of domestically manufactured solar PV cells. However, it was seen that some manufacturers have been importing semi-processed solar PV cells (generally called blue wafer) and making final solar PV cells with little value addition in India.
The Ministry has clarified that if diffused silicon wafer is imported and the same is used as raw material for the manufacture of solar PV cells in India, such solar PV cells shall not qualify as domestically manufactured solar PV cells, for the purpose of MNRE’s Schemes/ Programmes. A solar PV cell shall be considered to be domestically manufactured only if the same has been manufactured in India, using an un-diffused silicon wafer.
“It is expected that this decision will help in establishing a strong solar manufacturing base in India,” the ministry issued in a statement.
Additionally, the ministry has cleared that the solar PV cell manufacturing facility required to be set-up under SECI’s Manufacturing-Linked-solar tender which is seeking developers for setting up 7 GW solar projects along with 2 GW of module manufacturing facility should manufacture solar PV cells from undiffused wafers, as explained above.
Recently, MNRE had also issued a draft of the guidelines for the tariff-based competitive bidding process for the procurement of power from grid-connected wind-solar hybrid projects, in order to provide a framework for the transparent bidding process, as required under Section 63 of the Electricity Act 2003. The draft has been opened to comments and suggestions from stakeholders with a deadline of October 31, 2019, after which the guidelines will be officially introduced.
As per the draft, one of the objectives of the guidelines is to enable Discoms to procure electricity from wind-solar hybrid power project at competitive rates in a cost-effective manner.