Govt restores ALMM list for solar module manufacturers

  • The order to mandate the procurement of solar modules from the manufacturers featured in the list was kept in abeyance for FY24 amid low supplies of modules and its eventual impact on the solar capacity addition

Rituraj Baruah
First Published29 Mar 2024
For solar equipment manufacturers, being included in the list is essential for conducting business within the country.. Photographer: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Bloomberg
For solar equipment manufacturers, being included in the list is essential for conducting business within the country.. Photographer: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Bloomberg

New Delhi: The government on Friday brought back the Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM) for solar module manufacturers, effective 1 April. 

The order to mandate the procurement of solar modules from the manufacturers featured in the list was kept in abeyance for FY24 in view of low supplies of modules and its eventual impact on the solar capacity addition.

For cases where solar modules have reached the project site by 31 March, 2024, but the project has not been commissioned yet due to reasons beyond the control of the renewable power developers, the government, in its notification, said such instances would be examined separately.

For solar equipment manufacturers, being included in the list is essential for conducting business within the country. Equipment of firms on the ALMM list can be sourced for government-supported schemes and projects from where electricity discoms procure electricity. 

Manufacturers and solar modules are to be approved by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE).

The MNRE had issued an order in March 2021 enforcing the list, which initially featured around 23 manufacturers. It has been regularly updated to include more manufacturers.

Over the past few years, the government has taken a number of measures to cut imports of modules from China, which is the largest global supplier of equipment for solar power projects. The ALMM is one of the measures taken by the government. It is a sort of non-tariff barrier over and above the 40% basic customs duty on the import of modules.

However, given the shortage in the domestic supply chain, the ALMM order was kept in abeyance for a year.

On 9 February 2024, the government notified that the reimposition of ALMM mandate along with relaxation to the projects that were in advanced stage of construction and the order for the modules had been placed and line of credit had been opened before March 31. However, post concerns raised by the industry on lack of adequate supplies, the order was put on hold.

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