Thursday, September 29, 2022

Govt says blue wafer cell won’t qualify as ‘domestically-manufactured’

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New Delhi: In a major decision, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) clarified on Monday that semi-processed solar PV cell, also known as Blue Wafer cell, will not qualify under the domestically manufactured category for use in projects implemented under government schemes.

A number of flagship programmes of MNRE such as KUSUM, 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, or blue wafer, and making final Solar PV cells with little value addition in India.

‘Blue wafer cells not indigenous solar PV cells’

“The Ministry has clarified that if ‘Blue Wafer’ is imported and the same is used as raw material for the manufacture of solar PV cells in India, such solar PV cells shall not qualify as domestically manufactured solar PV cells, for the purpose of MNRE’s Schemes / Programmes. A solar PV cell shall be considered to be domestically manufactured only if the same has been manufactured in India, using undiffused silicon wafer (generally called ‘Black Wafer’),” an official statement said.

It is expected that this decision will help in establishing a strong solar manufacturing base in India.

The official order

Here’s the order issued by the ministry said:

“This is in reference to the schemes/ programmes being implemented by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, wherein it is mandatory to use domestically manufactured solar PV cells and domestically manufactured solar PV modules, and also in reference to the Manufacturing-Linked-PPA initiative by Solar Energy Corporation of India Ltd (SECI).”

“A solar PV cell shall be considered to be domestically manufactured only if the same has been manufactured in India, using undiffused silicon wafer (generally called ‘Black Wafer’), classifiable under Customs Tariff Head 3818 and all steps / processes required for manufacturing solar PV cell from the undiffused silicon wafer have been carried out in India.”

“The solar PV cell manufacturing facility required to be set-up under SECI’s Manufacturing-Linked-PPA initiative should manufacture solar PV cells from undiffused wafers, as explained above.”

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