Approved: RE product manufacturing models

Low-interest rate financing will be made available for green-energy projects for using indigenously manufactured equipment, R.K. Singh, Minister of Power, New and Renewable Energy, has assured investors and developers.

Low-interest financing will be structured from Power Finance Corporation (PFC), Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) and Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), he pointed out.

But the Minister expressed concern about the increasing imports of equipment when these were available locally.

Citing Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence data, the minister pointed out the high level of imports of equipment like transmission line towers, conductors, industrial electronics, capacitors, transformers, cables and insulators and fittings among others.

Domestic manufacturing capacity exists for such equipment, he underlined

The Minister further informed that a clear trajectory of Basic Customs Duty (BCD) would be declared so that there is no uncertainty about government policy at the August 2020 meeting on solar modules, solar cells and solar inverters.

Further, the approved list of models and manufacturers in respect of Renewable Energy will be made effective from 1 October 2020 as declared earlier.

This will ensure that all solar power projects which are bid out as per the standard bidding guidelines will be required to procure solar cells and solar modules and other equipment from manufacturers figuring in the approved list, he stressed.

He also mentioned the recent constitution of an FDI Cell and a Project Development Cell in the Ministries of Power & NRE.

The FDI Cell will vet proposals for investment from countries that share borders with India.

The Project Development Cell will hand-hold investible projects so that the process of investment is accelerated.

Singh revealed that the practice of issuing concessional custom certificates for certain import items in the Renewable Energy sector will be discontinued from a date that will be specified separately.

During the interaction via video-conference with the Minister, developers called for stronger domestic manufacturing of power sector equipment in the entire value chain, which, inter-alia, include the need for policy certainty, suitable regime for facilitating import of capital goods required for manufacturing of power equipment and the need for availability of finance and power to the manufacturers at competitive rates.

The developers also emphasized the need for clarity on the new and old investments, encouraging the R&D efforts and maintaining the sanctity of contracts.

Some of the developers also emphasized that the import of critical equipment required for maintenance and overhaul of the existing projects needs to be allowed until the domestic manufacturing capacity for the same is put in place.

The developers from Generation and Transmission side, including developers in the renewable energy sector and also Industry Associations like CII, FICCI, PHD Chamber, Solar and Wind manufacturers echoed with enthusiasm their pledge to contribute to the domestic manufacturing to reduce the dependency on imports.


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