Restrictions to be Imposed on Solar Modules Imports to Promote Domestic Production

India now has a 64.5GW total capacity for producing solar modules, and 5.8GW for manufacturing solar cells.

In an effort to support domestic production, the government has reimposed import limits on solar modules, ensuring that developers procure their products from an authorized list. Presently, domestic capacity meets demand, and by 2026, it is expected to rise. Advanced project exemptions were not specified. By 2026, India wants to reach 150GW of modules and 75GW of cell capacity.

What Led to the Reinstatement of Restrictions?

  • Previously, imports were allowed until March 31, 2024, due to inadequate domestic manufacturing capabilities.
  • A government official cited the readiness of domestic capacities to meet demand as a driving factor for reinstating the restrictions.
  • The 2021 mandate requiring solar project developers to purchase modules from an approved list of manufacturers was part of the government’s strategy to stimulate domestic manufacturing.

What is the Current Status of Domestic Manufacturing Capacities?

India’s total solar module manufacturing capacity reached 64.5GW by December 2023. The solar cell manufacturing capacity stood at 5.8GW during the same period. Forecasts suggest a significant increase in domestic module manufacturing capacity to over 150GW and cell manufacturing capacity to 75GW by 2026.

Are There Any Exemptions to the Restrictions?

Previous exemptions for projects such as open access and captive consumption were not detailed in the latest order. Projects in advanced stages of construction and those with credit lines initiated or module orders placed before the previous deadline were exempted, but this was not reiterated in the recent announcement.

What is the Government’s Vision for Domestic Capacity Growth?

The government aims to achieve a module manufacturing capacity of 150GW and a cell manufacturing capacity of 75GW by 2026. This vision underscores a concerted effort to promote domestic capabilities to meet the growing demand for solar energy.

How Will the Reinstated Restrictions Impact the Industry?

  • The reintroduction of restrictions on solar module imports signals a renewed commitment to supporting domestic manufacturing.
  • Developers will be required to purchase modules from an approved list, aligning with the government’s objective of promoting local production.
  • The move is expected to facilitate the growth of domestic manufacturing capacities and reduce reliance on imports.

What Implications Does This Have for the Solar Energy Sector?

  • The reimposition of restrictions underscores the government’s prioritization of indigenous manufacturing in the solar energy sector.
  • It signifies a shift towards self-sufficiency and reducing dependence on imported modules.
  • By encouraging domestic production, the government aims to create a more sustainable and resilient solar energy ecosystem.

How Will Stakeholders Respond to the Policy Changes?

  • Solar project developers may need to adjust their procurement strategies to comply with the new restrictions.
  • Domestic manufacturers are likely to benefit from increased demand resulting from the preference for locally-produced modules and a major contribution to Atmanirbhar Bharat.
  • Industry associations and advocacy groups may offer insights and feedback on the policy changes to ensure they align with broader sectoral goals.

What Challenges Might Arise from the Policy Shift?

  • Implementing the restrictions effectively while ensuring uninterrupted supply for ongoing projects could pose logistical challenges.
  • Balancing the need for domestic production with maintaining competitive pricing may require careful policy structuring.
  • Monitoring compliance and preventing drawbacks of the restrictions could help us cope with enforcement challenges.

What Opportunities Does This Present for the Solar Industry?

The emphasis on domestic manufacturing creates opportunities for technology innovation and research and development within the country. It fosters the growth of a robust ecosystem of suppliers and subsidiary industries supporting the solar energy sector. By nurturing local talent and expertise, India can position itself as a global leader in solar energy technology and manufacturing.


The government’s decision to reinstate restrictions on solar module imports underscores its commitment to fostering domestic manufacturing and increasing the solar energy sector.

By prioritizing local production, India aims to achieve self-sufficiency, reduce reliance on imports, and create a sustainable and resilient ecosystem for solar energy.

While challenges such as logistical complexities and pricing concerns may arise, the policy shift presents significant opportunities for innovation, growth, and global leadership in solar technology. With careful implementation and stakeholder collaboration, India can realize its vision of becoming a key player in the renewable energy landscape while driving economic development and environmental sustainability.