Minister asks bankers not to discriminate against Indian solar manufacturers

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New Delhi | Published: September 20, 2018 12:47:52 AM

Responding to solar energy developers’ concerns over lenders mandating 'BNEF Tier 1'-rated products in their projects for loan approval, power minister RK Singh on Wednesday asked bankers “not to discriminate against Indian manufacturers”.

As on December, 2017, there were 92 domestic module manufacturers with a combined capacity of 9.7 GW. (Representational photo: Reuters)

Responding to solar energy developers’ concerns over lenders mandating ‘BNEF Tier 1’-rated products in their projects for loan approval, power minister RK Singh on Wednesday asked bankers “not to discriminate against Indian manufacturers”. Singh was speaking at a conference on financing renewable projects.

The ‘BNEF Tier 1’ rating is available to only 4 GW of domestic manufacturing capacities, cumulatively belonging to Adani Solar, Tata Power Solar, Vikram Solar and Waaree Energies. As on December, 2017, there were 92 domestic module manufacturers with a combined capacity of 9.7 GW. In such a circumstance, mandating BNEF Tier 1 means hampering the ‘Make in India’ initiative, stakeholders pointed out.

Domestic solar manufacturers are already under pressure from their foreign counterparts, with Indian developers meeting about 88% of module requirements through imports. The recently-imposed safeguard duty is seen to allay some of their worries by narrowing the price difference between domestic panels and cheaper imported products.

Funds for power plants to meet emission norms
Power minister RK Singh on Wednesday told bankers to grant funds to functioning thermal power plants for setting up flue gas de-sulphurisation (FGD) units. The minister was speaking at a conference on financing renewable projects. While addressing concerns of renewable power producers regarding financing impediments, Singh said electricity regulators have already been asked to pass through any rise in tariffs due to investments required to install FGDs.

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