Month in a Minute: Important News from Indian Solar Industry in September 2018

Supreme Court’s order paving the way for the imposition of 25% safeguard duty on solar imports remained the highlight of the month


The month of September witnessed some key announcements in the Indian solar industry. For instance, an order passed by the Supreme Court ended the ongoing confusion on the imposition of safeguard duty. India also achieved 25 GW of installed solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity, according to Mercom India Research.

Here are some of the other key highlights from the month:

India was the second largest solar market in the world surpassing the United States in terms of solar capacity addition in the first half (1H) of 2018. While China added 24.3 GW of solar PV capacity in 1H of 2018, India added 4.9 GW in 1H 2018 and the United States added 4.7 GW of solar PV capacity.

The total installed solar capacity in India crossed 25 GW, inching its way closer to the 2022 target of 100 GW. In the first half of 2018, about 5 GW of solar capacity was installed across the country including both large-scale and rooftop solar. According to  Mercom India Research, approximately 1 MW of solar PV capacity was installed every hour in India in the first half of 2018.

Solar renewable energy certificate (REC) trading witnessed an unprecedented spike in the month of September 2018. A total of 1,558,062 solar RECs were traded in September 2018. This is 1,071,933 more solar RECs than the 486,129 solar RECs traded in August 2018. All solar RECs were traded at a floor price of ₹1,000 (~$13.81)/REC.

The Taiwanese delegation at the World Tarde Organization (WTO) has requested consultation with New Delhi on the issue of  25 percent safeguard duty on solar imports from China and Taiwan. In its communication, Taiwan suggested holding the consultations as soon as possible. The communique also stated that the separate customs territory looks forward to India’s positive response to this request.

The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), ICICI bank, and PTC India have filed a petition with the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) for grant of license in order to set up a new power exchange.

In a significant order, the Supreme Court of India made it clear that safeguard duty will be levied effective July 30, 2018. Through this interim order, the apex court of the country nullified the Orissa High Court’s stay order on levy of safeguard duty on imported solar cells and modules.

The government has decided to exempt electric vehicles and automobiles run on alternative fuel from permit requirements in a bid to boost such vehicles in the country. About 87 percent of people believe reducing air pollution is the biggest motive for them to purchase an electric vehicle and not rising fuel prices, according to a new survey commissioned by Climate Trends.

A proposal has been made once again to amend the competitive bidding guidelines for the procurement of power from grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) projects. This time around, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) proposed reductions in the commissioning timelines of solar projects in an effort to facilitate the timely achievement of the country’s target of 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022.

The NITI Aayog released a report called Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs): Towards a Policy Framework. The report highlights that to optimally utilize EVs in the Indian context, the country must recognize its unique mobility pattern. The report advocates for the elimination of a direct subsidy in the EV policy, and recommends India to be creative in making electric vehicles and its infrastructure economically viable from the very beginning.

Image credit: Flickr

Nitin is a staff reporter at and writes on renewable energy and related sectors. Prior to Mercom, Nitin has worked for CNN IBN, India News, Agricultural Spectrum and Bureaucracy Today. He received his bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Communication from Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University and Master’s degree in International Relations from Jindal School of International Affairs. More articles from Nitin Kabeer