Will new solar power rules boost production?


  • The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has brought into effect the Approved Models and Manufacturers of Solar Photovoltaic Modules (Requirements for Compulsory Registration) Order, 2019.


  • The order was first issued by the MNRE in 2019 and requires makers of solar modules to voluntarily submit to an inspection of their manufacturing facilities by the National Institute of Solar Energy.
  • Being on the list as an ‘approved’ manufacturing facility certifies a company as a legitimate manufacturer of solar panels and not a mere importer or assembler
What are solar modules?

– Solar Modules are multiple solar panels joined together and Solar panels are an assembly of solar cells.

– The solar cells absorb sunlight as a source of energy to generate electricity. An array of modules are used to supply power to buildings.

– They are manufactured from semiconductor materials like crystalline silicon.


 Significance of being on the list

  • The major advantage of being on the list is eligibility to compete for tenders issued by the government for its flagship solar energy programs.
  • The manufacturers, certified as part of the Approved Models and Manufacturers (AMM) list, would be eligible for various government schemes like
  • PM Surya Ghar Muft Bijli Yojana, subsidizing rooftop solar installations for nearly one crore households in the country involving an estimated subsidy of 75,000 crore.
  • PM KUSUM (Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyaan), which aims to provide solar pump sets and rural electrification.
  • Production Linked Incentive Scheme, targeted at incentivizing domestic manufacture of solar panels and their components.


Solar module production in India

  • The installed capacity of solar PV module manufacturing capacity in the country is around 50 GW.
  • The installed capacity of solar cell manufacturing in the country is around 6 GW.
  • Import: Around 11,171 Million USD of solar cells and modules have been imported into the country in the last five years, which is around 0.4% of total India’s merchandise imports during the same period.
  • Export: Solar panels worth 1.03 billion USD were exported from India in 2022-23.

 Why is India reliant on imports?

  • India has limited capacity to make the raw material of a cell — ingots, wafers — and is dependent on imported cells.
  • Lack of Skilled labor which is essential for manufacturing high-quality solar components.
  • The lack of an integrated set-up and economies of scale (despite 100 percent FDI in the renewable energy sector) translates into higher costs of domestic production.

 Targets set by India

  • India has ambitious plans of sourcing about 500 GW, nearly half its requirement of electricity, from nonfossil fuel sources by 2030.
  • This would mean at least 280 GW of solar power by that year or at least 40 GW of solar capacity being annually added until 2030.
  • The difficulty is that meeting the targets requires many more solar panels and component cells than India’s domestic industry can supply
Approved list of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM)

– The ALMM Order states that ALMM shall consist of;

a)    LIST-I, specifying models and manufacturers of Solar PV Modules, and

b)    LIST-II, specifying models and manufacturers of Solar PV Cells.

– Only the models and manufacturers included in ALMM List-I (of solar PV modules) are eligible for use in Government Projects/ Government assisted Projects/ Open Access / Net-Metering Projects, installed in the country.

– The word “Government” includes Central Government, State Governments, Central Public Sector Enterprises, State Public Sector Enterprises, and Central and State Organizations / Autonomous bodies.

Way Ahead

  • The country has achieved self-sufficiency in the production of solar modules/panels but the country has yet to achieve substantial capacity in the production of solar cells.
  • The creation of such a list will help to restrict imports from China, which controls nearly 80% of the global supply.