Economy

Import of solar panels triples in 2015-16

M Ramesh Chennai | Updated on January 27, 2018 Published on June 29, 2016

The value of imported solar cells and modules tripled to $2.34 billion in 2015-16, with China accounting for 83 per cent ( $1.9 billion) of it.

In 2014-15, India’s solar imports amounted to $821 million; China’s share was 73 per cent. China has gained share in a growing market.

The only other country whose exports to India touched a three digit number was Malaysia. India imported solar cells and modules worth $189 million from the country in 2015-16, up from $83 million in the previous year.

The US-headquartered thin film cells/modules manufacturer, First Solar, which is one of the largest suppliers to Indian solar sector, has a plant in Malaysia. (Solar cells are processed into modules.)

Last year saw record solar installations of 3,018 MW in India, which took the country’s cumulative solar capacity to 6,762 MW by the yearend (over 7,500 MW as of now.) In the current year, India is expected to add at least 5,000 MW.

In contrast to the growth in imports, India’s exports of solar cells and modules rose modestly to $171 million compared with $168 million in the previous year.

The US, which bought $60 million worth of Indian solar products, accounted for a meagre $7.83 million. The UK was the largest buyer of Indian products in 2015-16, with purchases worth $108 million, compared with $ 46 million previously.

Published on June 29, 2016
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