India holds promise for Korean solar power companies as the Southeast Asian country is seeking to cooperate with foreign companies, excluding those from China, in promoting the photovoltaic power generation industry.
According to the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) and industry sources on May 22, the Indian government is considering taking safeguard measures on Chinese solar modules.
Foreign media reports, including Bloomberg, said China exports 70 percent of its locally produced solar power modules to India at low prices. An official from Hanwha Q CELLS said, “The Indian solar module market is dominated by Chinese companies that sell low-priced products. At this time, India is a market where we cannot make profits.”
However, KOTRA says South Korean firms have an opportunity in India because it has a high growth potential and its government is making a move to hold China in check.
The Indian government is planning to increase its solar power capacity to 100 gigawatts by 2020. To achieve the goal, it needs to install 20 gigawatts worth of solar power generation facilities every year. However, India currently produces only 3 gigawatts of solar modules and imports the rest of them from China.
The Indian government announced its plan at the end of last year to establish a solar power industrial complex and offer incentives to companies producing products in India in order to promote its solar power manufacturing industry.
In addition, it is considering introducing safeguard measures to impose high tariffs on Chinese solar modules and zero tariff rates on other imported solar modules and batteries.
Hanwha Q CELLS set up a joint venture in India with India’s new renewable energy firm ReNew Power in 2015 and is building a solar power plant with a production capacity of 148.9 megawatts in two regions.
However, the company is not aggressively selling solar power modules in the nation. An official from the industry said, “We know that the Indian solar power market will rapidly grow. But the market is not so attractive because it is still unstable. We will be able to secure an advantageous position by joining hands with local companies that are seeking a technical partnership with foreign firms.”