The MNRE expands the scope of the ALMM to cover open access, PM KUSUM. Domestic manufacturers will benefit

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Strong points :

  • The order delivers on a promise made earlier by Energy Minister Singh for tougher non-tariff measures to protect domestic industry.
  • If domestic capacity growth does indeed hold steady in 2022, the order should tighten supply for projects in India.

In a desk memorandum dated January 13, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) delivered on a promise made by Minister of Energy and MNRE, RK Singh, to cover the whole of government. projects supported under the ALMM scheme. The Minister had claimed that they had been informed that even projects with benefits such as a free ISTS link or indirect subsidies such as low or no transport costs could be considered governmental. attended. They would then be asked to comply with the ALMM list when ordering the modules. The minister also saw it as a very effective non-tariff barrier. For domestic manufacturers, the new year could not have started better.

In yesterday’s order, the department made a specific change to a key provision of its original order, with provision 3 being amended as a sub-“”As a result, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has decided to list eligible models and manufacturers of BIS-compliant solar PV cells and modules and publish them in a list called “Approved List of Models and Manufacturers” ( ALMM). Only models and manufacturers included in this list will be eligible for use in government projects/government assisted projects/projects under government programs and programs/Open Access I NetMetering projects, installed in the country, including schemes set up for the sale of electricity to government in accordance with guidelines issued by central government under section 63 of the Electricity Act 2003 and its amendment.
The word “government” includes central government, state governments, central public sector enterprises, state public sector
Companies and Central and State Organizations / Autonomous Bodies.” He then adds a specific mention that “Projects under government schemes and programs” mentioned above, includes projects implemented under component “A” of the PM-KUSUM program”.

While the addition of PM KUSUM’s Component A projects, which include ground-mounted solar power plants selling electricity to the grid, was foreseeable, what will perhaps meet resistance is the decision to include also open access projects. Many open access project developers have regularly pointed out the lack of availability or quality modules in the Indian market. Since they can sell more expensive electricity to commercial customers and own the assets themselves, these developers have not wanted to compromise on quality, which they claim they are forced to do when they get started. source exclusively from domestic sources. They also pointed out that the “cream” of domestic production is exported, as margins are much better for manufacturers in export markets like the United States and Europe.

With an April 1, 2022 deadline for these new categories, most developers won’t have time to make other arrangements or complete order cycles before then. The ALMM list has so far remained an all-Indian list, with no foreign brands allowed entry, thanks to onerous inspection requirements that have been impossible to meet during a Covid-stricken travel period.

The implication for domestic manufacturers is clear. A much more robust domestic demand, especially given the numerous KUSUM tenders launched during the last quarter (over 2 GW). It remains to be seen how they react on the price front, even as global prices have finally started to cool off the highs seen through August-September 2021.

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