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Date: 11-02-14

Opinion: US complains on China and want India not to restrict US on Solar PV

Every nation in the world wanted to protect its local economy, U.S. looks to be advanced in protecting local jobs and industry. While tightening the visa rules for foreign-workers from India and other such places (Read the story "India warns US of consequences on visa reform"), U.S. also wanted to protect the U.S. solar PV manufacturing jobs, by asking India not to give any preferential incentive to solar PV companies who have manufacturing plants in India (Read the story "US challenges India's solar export restrictions"). Can India be on the losing side on both fronts.

This looks like a case of double standards, where US restricts Chinese solar PV companies in the US local market, saying China is dumping low-cost solar PV cells in U.S. (Read the story "China says US should stop new dumping probe on solar products"). This tells even if India stop supporting local vendors. China's solar PV cells are going to be sold better than U.S. solar cells.

If you look at the India's requirements, though India is developing domestic solar cell manufacturing technologies, India still needs solar PV cell manufacturing technology from companies not only in U.S. but also from Europe, Japan, and even China. But Indian way of doing that is offering win-win policy where, offshore solar PV investors can establish local research and development as well as manufacturing in India and supply to the local demand as local vendors.

India should stick to the policy of giving preference to local vendors, who have both R&D as well as manufacturing centres in India, that is the solar PV cell, what they are selling in the local market is designed and produced in India. Any US investor who has invested in both R&D and production, can be treated on par with local India based vendors.

For this kind of policy, it's difficult to understand why U.S. is only complaining. Europe, Japan China all are strong in solar PV technologies, but they are not complaining about India's solar policy.

A blog called "Don't trade our lives away" (donttradeourlivesaway.wordpress.com) says "The US government’s demands to allow US business to compete for procurements under India’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) projects will jeoparadise the policy support to India’s nascent solar industry and stated objective to boost transformation of India’s rural economy. By conceding to international pressure India will lose a significant opportunity to create manufacturing employment and build domestic capacity in producing green energy."

Srinivas

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