Priorities skewed in solar power

Before examining the reasons surrounding India’s solar manufacturing anti-dumping investigation, one overarching point must be made clear: India needs power. It is estimated that there are roughly 400 million Indians without access to power — roughly a third of the country, according to the World Bank.

Historically, India has always struggled to meet its power generation goals through conventional forms of energy due to coal shortages, equipment shortages, unviable power projects due to aggressive project bidding and red tape. In fact, since 2000, power generation has never been able to keep up with GDP growth (except for last year due to an unexpected fall in GDP) and has been a contributor, along with infrastructure bottlenecks, to prolonged high inflation.

India’s push for solar, wind and other renewable energy sources makes a lot of sense in an “all of the above” strategy, something that is needed to tackle such a massive power problem.

Solar, a unique solution

It is interesting to note that India is taking a different path than its successful wind sector, which is consistently in the Top 5 globally when it comes to installations. The wind sector’s success can be attributed to policies such as generation-based incentives, while avoiding domestic manufacturing clauses and trade disputes.

 

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