Union power minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said that India’s renewable energy sector will be able to attract investments worth $100 billion ( Rs 6 lakh crore) over the next 3-4 years and assured government support to domestic solar equipment makers.
Goyal, who was speaking at The Economist India Summit, said the government was committed to safeguard the interest of domestic manufacturers of solar panels and would come up with a five-year plan for this.
He said the government will help domestic manufacturers to fulfil their current manufacturing potential and meet expansion plans.
Regarding the anti-dumping duty issue Goyal said, “I am happy that the issue of anti-dumping has been resolved. The commerce ministry was informed by domestic manufacturers that they have withdrawn their plea for an anti-dumping duty on solar panels.”
Goyal said the it was a legacy issue that could have increased costs and been detrimental to the government’s solar mission. “All the stake holders, after withdrawing the demand for anti-dumping duty on solar panels, held a meeting and have discussed the way to take forward solar mission,” said Goyal. “The duty would have killed the solar mission.” The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, introduced in 2011, aims to have solar capacity of 20,000 MW by 2022.
The imposition of an anti-dumping duty on solar panels was recommended by the UPA government in May 2014. It imposed a duty in the range of $0.11-0.81 per watt on solar cells imported from the US, China, Malaysia and Chinese Taipei. The US dragged India to the WTO on domestic sourcing norms for the national solar mission.
Goyal also said the NDA government was committed to support research and development initiatives in the renewable energy sector. “A Rs 200-crore pilot project to examine the potential of solar and thermal power with IIT Jodhpur has been approved,” the minister said.