Coronavirus: Solar industry under no compulsion to import modules from China, says R K Singh
The ministry had recently decided to give extra time for the commissioning of power projects that face delays due to the virus outbreak in China
New Delhi: India’s solar power industry is under no compulsion to import solar cells or modules from China following the coronavirus outbreak, renewable energy minister R K Singh has said.
“The solar industry is under no compulsion to import solar cells, modules and other equipment from China. They are free to meet their requirements either from domestic market or alternative sources,” Singh said in a written reply in Parliament.
He was replying to a question on whether the dangerous virus has affected India’s ability to increase clean energy capacity.
India’s solar sector is a highly import-dependent industry. Solar modules account for about 60 per cent of a solar project’s cost and Chinese firms supply 80 per cent of cells and modules used here.
Speaking of alternative sources, he said the government was actively promoting domestic manufacturing of solar equipment in India through several schemes such as M-SIPS, PM-KUSUM, CPSU Scheme, grid-connected rooftop solar programme, and also tenders for setting up solar photovoltaic manufacturing facilities.
“The government has already clarified that disruption of supply chains due to spread of coronavirus in China or any other country should be considered as a case of natural calamity and force majeure clause may be invoked, wherever considered appropriate, following the due procedure,” Singh added.
The ministry had recently decided to give extra time for the commissioning of power projects that face delays due to the virus outbreak in China.
A force majeure clause holds that if there are extraordinary events which are beyond human control or natural calamities this clause can free both the parties from contractual liability from fulfilling their obligations under the contract.
“A total of 8,004.64 megawatt (MW) of renewable energy capacity has been installed during the period from April 2019 to January, 2020 as compared to 5,978.47 MW installed during the same period during 2018-19,” the minister said replying to a separate question.
The government has set a target of installing 175 gigawatt (GW) of renewable energy capacity by 2022. As on 31 January 2020, total renewable energy capacity of 86.32 GW has been installed in the country. Aditionally, 35.09 GW capacity is under various stages of implementation and 34.47 GW under various stages of bidding.