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BIS Implementation on Solar Postponed till 1st Jan 2019

Last week Sunkalp Energy had reported how some of the largest solar product manufactures were struggling with BIS implementation due to un-preparedness of the labs approved by the Bureau of Indian Standards to certify solar inverters and modules. As short term relief measure the, government released a notification on Saturday, extending the date for implementation of BIS standards until 1st Jan 2019. (more…)

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Labs unprepared for BIS Implementation, Solar Industry in Limbo

In September 2017, MNRE had notified that three components used in solar plants were to be covered under BIS guidelines. The products to be covered under BIS are crystalline PV modules, thin film PV modules, power inverters and storage batteries. MNRE had given the industry and labs one year to prepare and be certified with time interim until April 2018 for self certification by manufacturers. Seeing that the government approved labs were not yet fit to certify solar there were repeated extensions and finally in a notification dated 12th September 2018, a final deadline for enforcement of BIS guidelines was announced at 20th September 2018.

This means that any solar panel, solar inverter or battery, that is not BIS certified, post 20th September, cannot be installed and hence cannot be imported into India. (more…)

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Free Solar Electricity for India- Masayoshi Son’s Marketing Genius

“Free electricity!”, Softbank’s Masayoshi Son enticed the gathering yesterday at Re-Invest in Greater Noida. He said that he would offer free electricity from solar power plants after completion of a 25 year power purchase agreement (PPA) to member nations of the International Solar Alliance.

Son elaborated that solar plants have a potential life of up to 80 years and he would recoup his investment during the PPA duration, after which he would ‘give-back’ free clean electricity to the world. (more…)

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Solar Safeguard Duty- Shock and Awe Tactics, Who’s The Enemy?

Our current policy makers are earning quite the reputation with their shock and awe tactics. Of course the overnight demonetization in November 2016 will go down in history books as something that de-stabilized our economy and brought life to a general stand still.

Frustratingly, our policy makers are using the same abruptness across various sectors.

Speaking specifically of the solar industry and MNRE-  take for example, various roof-top subsidy policies that were running in states such as Delhi and Punjab. Delhi’s IPGCL had empanelled vendors until 30th June 2018 plus an additional 6 months for project execution. Punjab’s PEDA’s empanellment was to be until 24th September. However, a crisp mail was received by vendors in the third week of June that empanellment would be truncated on 30th June. No consideration for the lakhs that solar companies had invested in bank guarantees for these tenders and the advances that consumers had paid for subsidized installation.

No discussion, no debate- just a half page order from MNRE.

A more recent, anticipated, policy may just be the final nail in the coffin for many in the Indian Solar industry. In the name of protecting domestic solar panel manufacturers, there are murmurs that the DG (Safeguards) may abruptly implement a 30-40% safeguard import duty on solar cells and panels. This rumor was relayed to the writer on July 11th, and implementation is expected as soon as July 25th.

(more…)

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