22 Oct 2019
In a major decision, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) today clarified that semi-processed solar PV cells, commonly called Blue Wafer cells, will not qualify under the domestically manufactured category for use in projects implemented under government schemes.
Many flagship programmes of the government implemented by MNRE such as Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) scheme have provisions for mandatory use of domestically manufactured solar PV cells.
“However, it was seen that some manufacturers have been importing semi-processed solar PV cells (generally called blue wafer) and making final Solar PV cells with little value addition in India,” the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry has clarified that if diffused silicon wafer or Blue Wafer cells are imported and used as raw material for the manufacturing of solar PV cells in India, such solar PV cells will not qualify as domestically manufactured solar PV cells.
“A solar PV cell shall be considered to be domestically manufactured only if the same has been manufactured in India, using un-diffused silicon wafer generally called Black Wafer. It is expected that this decision will help in establishing a strong solar manufacturing base in India,” the statement read.
The ministry issued an order stating the decision would cover programmes being implemented by MNRE where it is mandatory to use domestically-manufactured solar PV cells and domestically-manufactured solar PV modules and also the Manufacturing-Linked-PPA initiative by Solar Energy Corporation of India Ltd (SECI).
As per the order, a domestically-manufactured solar cells should be classifiable under Customs Tariff Head 3818 and all the steps or processes required for its manufacturing from the un-diffused silicon wafer must have been carried out in India.