Researchers of Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) have claimed that the United States is using the ‘fast start financing fund’ to its pervert advantage for ruining the Indian domestic solar photo-voltaic (PV) manufacturing industry.
I think this accusation is going a bit too far.
US for sure is no saint, and their efforts at providing cheap finance, be it through EXIM Bank or through OPIC has a stated purpose of helping the US industry grow. But well, if it is a zero-sum game, if someone wins, someone else loses.
I think the Indian solar panel woes go beyond troubles created by the US largesse. Sure, that hurts too, but so do cheap solar panels from China (which to some extent has been countered by the local content requirements, as China is predominantly still crystalline silicon for which LC requirements apply). The high interest rates in India and the government’s unwillingness to declare renewable energy as a priority sector applicable for real low rates of interest hurts too. And the unwillingness of a Tata or a Reliance to rake significant risks to go up the value chain and build scales are resulting in poor economies for the Indian solar panels too.
Why not take the problem posed by the cheap financing from US as an opportunity and realise that it is time for the entire solar PV industry to sit together, form a consortium think-tank and figure out a roadmap for the future? Sure, lobby against US climate finance stuff if you wish, but our problems are not going to be solved by eliminating those alone.
Update: OPIC and EXIM, as expected, have been quick in their rebuttal