ALMM list: Updated on 5th April 2022 MNRE

The decision by the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) to extend the approved list of models and manufacturers (ALMM) by six months, until October, may provide a temporary boost to solar projects already under construction. Chinese module producers can now supply non-government solar projects in India for the next six months.

The updated list for ALMM released on 5th April 2022 by MNRE is attached below.

Solar panels on roof

However, researchers suggested that the implementation of import tariffs or the basic customs duty (BCD) of 40% on modules and 25% on cells from 1st April 2022 could be a deterrent to buyers of Chinese panels.

The MNRE extended the deadline for implementing ALMM from April 1 to October 2022 on March 28. All open access, net metering, and government solar development projects were required to employ modules only approved under ALMM.

Until now, the ministry has sanctioned 10.9 GW capacity from solely domestic manufacturers, excluding Chinese and other international companies from Indian projects. It is viewed primarily as a non-tariff barrier aimed at promoting indigenous production.

Manjesh Nayak, director at Oorjan Cleantech, said the deadline extension provides a short reprieve for ongoing projects and addresses companies' grid connectivity worries. To ensure the policy's effectiveness, it is critical to enrol brands on ALMM in a transparent and time-bound manner. Additionally, it should be compatible with technology advancements.

It is worth noting that India's 3 GW cell manufacturing capacity is less than 1% of China's.

"Our primary objective should be capacity development. A more methodical approach to reducing our reliance on imports would be to incentivize the supply side through mechanisms such as PLI, rather than disincentivize or restrict the demand side," Nayak added.

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MNRE's decision on January 14, 2022, to put open access and net metering projects on the approved list of ALMM for solar modules excluded Chinese manufacturers from Indian non-residential rooftop projects. The MNRE updated the ALMM standards on January 14 to require that only BIS-approved ALMM modules be used in open access and net metering projects. Previously, the ALMM entry was required for supplies to the government and projects financed by the government. Amendments take effect on April 1, 2022. Previously, Chinese solar panel makers supplied 85 percent of India's module needs.

ALMM was viewed as a safeguard against developers hoarding panels prior to the April 1 application of import tariffs. "It is possible that Chinese players will be added to the ALMM list separately from other foreign players in the coming months, which will help alleviate some of the animosity surrounding ALMM," said Puneet Goyal, co-founder of SunAlpha Energy.

"We anticipate a 20% increase in panel costs over March's Rs 22/wattpeak because to the imposition of basic customs duty in April," Goyal added.

On April 5, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) announced the latest update to the ALMM list (Approved List of Module Manufacturers).

The updated list includes ten new manufacturers, as well as an increase in Tata Power's capacity by 100 MW and Premier Energies' capacity by 711 MW. Indeed, when Hyderabad-based Novus Green Energy Systems Limited's 215 MW approval is included, the remaining nine manufacturers are all minor manufacturers with capacities ranging from 20 MW to 100 MW.

The updated list for ALMM released on 5th April 2022 by MNRE is attached below.

The ALMM update comes as the MNRE continues to strike a balance between the interests of local manufacturers, large developers, and commercial segment demand. Thus, even though the BCD regime took effect in April, offering 40% protection against module imports, the deadline for compliance with the MNRE's rule requiring all 'assisted' projects to employ ALMM approved sourcing has been extended until October 2022.

Monthly updates continue to exclude any international manufacturing presence, but with the covid travel restrictions fully lifted, the coming months could provide a very intriguing look at how the ministry treats overseas enterprises seeking empanelment as well. It is commonly thought that several prominent names will consider a move, effectively forcing India to clarify its policies. In that sense, the October deadline appears to have been set with an eye toward preventing foreign producers from obtaining certification up to that point.

By that time, the picture will be clearer about the actual impact on project costs, which will rely on local manufacturer take-up and selling prices. As readers are likely aware, local manufacturers have battled to control costs, and some of the biggest manufacturers, such as Vikram Solar, have failed to earn a profit due to the extraordinary volatility in input costs and now the roiling crude oil prices. Smaller businesses have also expressed concern about large developers hoarding goods in order to take advantage of the zero-duty period between July 2021 and March 2022.

The updated list for ALMM released on 5th April 2022 by MNRE is attached below.

Updated ALMM list on 5th April 2022
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Update: Lastest ALMM list has been released by MNRE. Rajasthan Electronics and Instruments Limited (REIL), Neety Euro Asia Solar Energy, Shivam Photovoltaics Pvt Ltd, Sahaj Solar Pvt Ltd, Raajratna Ventures Ltd, Mundra Solar Energy Ltd, Renewsys India Pvt. Ltd, and Waaree Energies Ltd are among the new entrants.


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