Government clarifies stand to promote Made in India solar PV cells

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 21 Oct 2019


Representative image courtesy Waaree Energies

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has clarified today that if diffused silicon wafer (generally called ‘Blue 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 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. According to the new notification, a solar PV cell shall be considered to be domestically manufactured only if the same has been manufactured in India, using undiffused silicon wafer (generally called ‘Black Wafer’).

The order issued by MNRE states that –

1. This is in reference to the schemes/programmes being implemented by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, wherein it is mandatory to use domestically manufactured solar PV cells and domestically manufactured solar PV modules, and also in reference to the manufacturing-Linked-PPA initiative by Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).

2. A solar PV cell shall be considered to be domestically manufactured only if the same has been manufactured in India, using undiffused silicon wafer (generally called ‘Black Wafer’), classifiable under Customs Tariff Head 3818 and all steps/processes required for manufacturing solar PV cell from the undiffused silicon wafer have been carried out in India.

3.  If diffused silicon wafer (generally called ‘Blue 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 mandating use of domestically manufactured solar PV cells.

4. The solar PV cell manufacturing facility required to be set-up under SECI's manufacturing-Linked-PPA initiative should manufacture solar PV cells from undiffused wafers, as explained above.

It is expected that this decision will help in establishing a strong solar manufacturing base in India.

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