india-must-end-dependence-on-solar-imports-from-china

Context: Recently the Prime Minister inaugurated the 750 megawatt (MW) solar project at Rewa, Madhya Pradesh and made the nation cautious towards decreasing the Chinese dependence on the solar sector.

More on news:

  • Spread over 1,590 acres, the Rewa solar park settled the debate on competitive tariffs from green energy sources in India by landing a then record low-winning bid of Rs. 2.97 per unit in the country through intelligent risk distribution.
  • It is Asia’s largest single-site solar power plant with a total solar installed capacity of 750 megawatts.
  • The mega solar plant has been designed in a joint venture of Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (MPUVN) and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI). 
  • It will cater to the needs of different types of power off-takers, including Power Management Company, Madhya Pradesh, as well as Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.

Background

  • India is highly dependent on import of Solar photovoltaic cells, panels and modules from China owing to their cheap price.
  • In 2018-19 the country imported $2.16 billion worth of solar equipment from China.
  • The call for cutting the imports has been strengthened since the killing of 20 jawans at LAC by chinese forces. 

Benefits of Cutting Chinese Imports:

  • It will improve India’s current account deficit and trade balance with respect to China.
  • It will augment the domestic production in the country which will help in livelihood creation and employment generation.
  • It will also bring the country closer to achieve clean energy targets i.e 175 GW by 2022 and 500 GW by 2030.
  • It will make India self reliant in the power sector, thereby protecting the power infrastructure from malicious chinese technology which might hack the critical power grids.
  • Apart from Domestic manufacturing, the move will also help the country move towards other countries like Spain, Italy, France who can deliver the technology at affordable prices.

Way Ahead:

  • The government is planning to instruct all departments and ministries to buy only locally manufactured solar modules and equipment by releasing a list of approved manufacturers.
  • Further Tariff and Non tariff barriers must be increased on Chinese products so as to discourage the imports.
  • The local manufactures must be given access to finance and technology so that they can initiate and sustain their production.
  • The proposed One Sun One World One Grid’ (OSOWOG) initiative should be materialised which aims at building a global ecosystem of interconnected renewable energy resources that can be seamlessly shared.
    • Through this initiative, the country plans to build global consensus about sharing solar resources among more than 140 countries of West Asia and SouthEast Asia.
    • The idea is to utilise solar power when the sun is not shining in other parts of the world by building a common transmission system with India at its fulcrum.

India is among the top five countries in terms of solar power generation and it is imperative to ensure that solar power is “sure, pure and secure".

Source:

https://www.livemint.com/news/india/india-must-end-dependence-on-imports-of-all-equipment-pm-modi-11594398200935.html