India may appeal against WTO ruling on US solar power dispute

27 August 2015 (Last Updated August 27th, 2015 18:30)

India plans to appeal against the World Trade Organization's (WTO) ruling over its solar power programme under a dispute raised by the US, which asks the Asian country to offer equal opportunities to both domestic and foreign manufacturers of solar panels.

India plans to appeal against the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) ruling over its solar power programme under a dispute raised by the US, which asks the Asian country to offer equal opportunities to both domestic and foreign manufacturers of solar panels.

The US criticised the domestic content requirements in the Indian solar power policy, which is expected to relieve the country of its power shortages.

An official from the India Ministry of Commerce and Industry was quoted by Livemint as saying: "We will appeal against the judgement at WTO’s highest court, the appellate body, which could give us two years’ reprieve.

"The US considers it unfair that India requires solar power producers to use locally manufactured cells."

"There can also be a bilateral arrangement with the US since it is an important trading partner."

The US considers it unfair that India requires solar power producers to use locally manufactured cells and grants subsidies to developers following the directions.

Additionally, forced localisation initiatives in the country have also limited US exports to Indian markets.

Peak power demand in the country is expected to grow by 100% in the next five years from the present level of around 140GW.

To keep up with growing demands, the country aims to set-up 100GW of new solar power projects, with at least 8GW coming from locally manufactured cells.

Another Indian Government official was quoted by the news publication as saying: "Of the total 100,000MW planned, 40,000MW is rooftop with the balance being land-based projects.

"Local content requirement is only for those projects wherein the government provides a subsidy. This is 5,000MW each for rooftop and land-based projects."