Indian Cell and Module Market – Current Demand & Supplies
The uncertainty over Safeguard Duty (SGD-2) on import of solar cells and modules has been over as the Govt of India has issued the notification for the same. The duty of 14.9% will be applicable for the first six months and then it will be reduced to 14.5% for next six months. As expected, the SGD-2 has been imposed on imports of solar cells and modules from China, Vietnam and Thailand. Malaysia has been kept outside the ambit of SGD-2. The implementation of BCD is still becoming a riddle for the solar industry. It is rumoured that notification for BCD is getting delayed due to disagreement among Govt, solar manufacturers and developers about the rate of BCD and the ‘grandfathered clause’. However, it is expected that Govt will convince both the sides for the BCD of 10% with some way out for protecting the interests of the large scale projects under implementation. Further, solar global supply chain will face another challenge of sharp increase in prices of polysilicon & wafers (due to GCL factory explosion, high demand, low supplies due to shutdowns taken), solar cells (on account of wafer and silver prices), modules (on account of PV glass, EVA, backsheet, ribbon and frames). This increase would significantly impact the all segments of solar sector in India.
The imported supplies of solar cells and modules will largely shift to Malaysia as Govt has kept it outside the ambit of SGD-2. However, it is expected that the Govt of India would decide expediently about the implementation of BCD that would cover Malaysia partly. The prices of imported solar cells have already been increased by almost 10% in last two weeks due to sharp increase in prices of wafers and silver paste. The price of Silver paste, a major ingredient of solar cells, has shot up almost 70% in last two months or so. Similarly, module prices are expected to rise sharply in this fortnightly as the input costs have started moving up sharply like PV Glass up by 8%, EVA, backsheet, ribbon and Al frames.
In the backdrop of incentivizing local manufacturing of solar products in India, the local players have also been expediting their plans for expansion or green field projects of solar cells and modules. Vikram Solar has planned to start production in its new 1 GW green field module facility in Chennai by Oct 2020. The 600 MW cell line of Premier Energies is expected to come into production in Nov 2020. Similarly, new projects are also lined up by SME players as well just waiting for BCD announcement by the Govt. The current capacity utilization by solar manufacturers in India has been probing to be the signs of significant recovery in market conditions in India. The news is rumoured that Adani has converted its mono PERC cell production line into multi cells due to high demand in DCR segment.
The demand for solar energy has started picking up despite the COVID conditions in many parts of the country. The industrial and commercial segments, which are largely unaffacted by COVID, are reviving their plans to shift to solar energy as many PSU/private banks have been offering loans around 8% for captive solar power plants for home consumption. Besides DCR demand, this market would be playing important role in the revival of the solar market in India.
Impact on Solar Cells and Solar Module Pricing
As the prices of solar cells and other module components have been rising sharply, the market would see significant rise in prices of solar modules in DCR and non-DCR segments. The dollar is expected to remain in the range of Rs. 75/. However, the current prices of local non DCR multi 330/335 watt modules by Tier-1 and Tier-2 local manufacturers have seen around Rs. 16.25 to Rs. 16.75 per watt whereas non DCR mono PERC 380 watt modules are available in the range of Rs. 18.25 to 18.75 per watt. These prices are expected to shoot up by at least Rs. 0.75 to Rs. 1 in next fortnightly.
See you next week for the next analysis of the prices. Stay at work safely. Best Wishes.