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Govt cut application fee by 80pc for solar equipment makers, doubles enlisting period under approved list

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NEW DELHI, May 15 (PTI): Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) has taken major reforms in the ‘Approved List of Models and Manufactures for Solar Photovoltaic Modules’ (ALMM) including a sharp 80 per cent reduction in application fee as well as doubling enlisting validity.

The MNRE has come up with a number of reforms in its ALMM mechanism for Solar Photovoltaic Modules, a ministry statement said.

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The reforms are primarily aimed at reducing the cost to solar PV manufacturers, time between application to enlistment as well as compliance burden and increasing ease of doing business in the whole ALMM process.

The major reforms include the reduction in application fee by 80 per cent; a substantial reduction in inspection fee, with a reduction in certain cases being as high as 70 per cent and an exemption from factory inspection in case of enlistment of additional models in ALMM which are similar to those already enlisted by the applicant, but having lower wattage.

The reforms also included allowing the manufacturers to withdraw applications prior to factory inspection, with a refund of 90 per cent of the application fee and an increase in ALMM enlistment validity from two years to year years.

The ministry also provided for a grant of provisional enlistment in ALMM within seven days of receipt of BIS registration and a time limit of two months for factory enlistment and final enlistment, failing which deemed enlistment.

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All future ALMM applications to be accompanied by a scanned copy of applications and processing of ALMM applications will start without waiting for the submission of hard copies, which can be submitted subsequently, the ministry provided.

The reforms provide for end-use category-wise minimum module efficiency thresholds for enlistment in ALMM.

For instance the Utility/ Grid Scale Power Plants will have at least 20 per cent module efficiency.

Similarly, the rooftop and solar pumping will have at least 19.50 per cent module efficiency and the benchmark for solar lighting will be 19 per cent.

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New and Renewable Energy Secretary B S Bhalla said that the changes in the ALMM for photovoltaic modules would enhance the ease of doing business and help in ramping up the domestic production of solar photovoltaic modules for catering to the current and future demand.

‘‘The PLI Scheme has resulted in not only boosting the domestic manufacturing capacity of solar modules but also vertical integration of the value chain in India. We have already declared the bid trajectory of inviting bids of 50 GW renewables each year for the next 5 years. This includes 40 GW of Solar energy capacity.

‘‘The bid trajectory is aimed at providing a fillip to the RE manufacturing industry in the country by indicating the demand that would be created. The easing of the ALMM charges and regulations is a step in the direction of enhancing the Ease of Doing Business, lessening the compliance burden and reducing the charges incurred in various processes of listing under ALMM,’’ Bhalla said.

Since solar PV power installations are set up for a period of 25 years and solar PV cells and modules used in plants require long term warranty, it is desirable to ensure that such products are indeed made in units in which production has been claimed.

It is possible that some units may claim production of solar cells & modules produced or made elsewhere.

The reliability of producer is essential to protect the consumer interests and ensure larger energy security of the Country.

Accordingly, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) issued “Approved Models and Manufacturers of Solar Photovoltaic Modules (Requirement for Compulsory Registration) Order, 2019” on January 2, 2019.

The ALMM Order states that ALMM shall consist of LIST-I, specifying models and manufacturers of Solar PV Modules and LIST-II, specifying models and manufacturers of Solar PV Cells.

The first ALMM List for solar PV modules was issued on March 10, 2021. ALMM List for solar PV cells has not yet been issued.

Only the models and manufacturers included in ALMM List-I (of solar PV modules) are eligible for use in Government Projects/ Government assisted Projects/ Projects under Government Schemes & Programmes/ Open Access / Net-Metering Projects, installed in the country, including Projects set up for sale of electricity to Government under the Guidelines issued by Central Government under section 63 of Electricity Act, 2003 and amendment thereof.

The word ‘Government’ includes Central Government, State Governments, Central Public Sector Enterprises, State Public Sector Enterprises and, Central and State Organizations / Autonomous bodies.

However, from March 10, 2023, the ALMM order has been kept in abeyance for one financial year, i.e. FY 2023-24. Thus, projects commissioned by March 31, 2024 will be exempted from the requirement of procuring solar PV modules from ALMM.

As on date, the ALMM List consists of 91 no of module manufacturing facilities (all domestic) with their aggregate solar PV module manufacturing capacity of 22,389 MW per year.

Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) has taken major reforms in the ‘Approved List of Models and Manufactures for Solar Photovoltaic Modules’ (ALMM) including a sharp 80 per cent reduction in application fee as well as doubling enlisting validity.

The MNRE has come up with a number of reforms in its ALMM mechanism for Solar Photovoltaic Modules, a ministry statement said.

The reforms are primarily aimed at reducing the cost to solar PV manufacturers, time between application to enlistment as well as compliance burden and increasing ease of doing business in the whole ALMM process.

The major reforms include the reduction in application fee by 80 per cent; a substantial reduction in inspection fee, with a reduction in certain cases being as high as 70 per cent and an exemption from factory inspection in case of enlistment of additional models in ALMM which are similar to those already enlisted by the applicant, but having lower wattage.

The reforms also included allowing the manufacturers to withdraw applications prior to factory inspection, with a refund of 90 per cent of the application fee and an increase in ALMM enlistment validity from two years to year years.

The ministry also provided for a grant of provisional enlistment in ALMM within seven days of receipt of BIS registration and a time limit of two months for factory enlistment and final enlistment, failing which deemed enlistment.

All future ALMM applications to be accompanied by a scanned copy of applications and processing of ALMM applications will start without waiting for the submission of hard copies, which can be submitted subsequently, the ministry provided.

The reforms provide for end-use category-wise minimum module efficiency thresholds for enlistment in ALMM.

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For instance the Utility/ Grid Scale Power Plants will have at least 20 per cent module efficiency.

Similarly, the rooftop and solar pumping will have at least 19.50 per cent module efficiency and the benchmark for solar lighting will be 19 per cent.

New and Renewable Energy Secretary B S Bhalla said that the changes in the ALMM for photovoltaic modules would enhance the ease of doing business and help in ramping up the domestic production of solar photovoltaic modules for catering to the current and future demand.

‘‘The PLI Scheme has resulted in not only boosting the domestic manufacturing capacity of solar modules but also vertical integration of the value chain in India. We have already declared the bid trajectory of inviting bids of 50 GW renewables each year for the next 5 years. This includes 40 GW of Solar energy capacity.

‘‘The bid trajectory is aimed at providing a fillip to the RE manufacturing industry in the country by indicating the demand that would be created. The easing of the ALMM charges and regulations is a step in the direction of enhancing the Ease of Doing Business, lessening the compliance burden and reducing the charges incurred in various processes of listing under ALMM,’’ Bhalla said.

Since solar PV power installations are set up for a period of 25 years and solar PV cells and modules used in plants require long term warranty, it is desirable to ensure that such products are indeed made in units in which production has been claimed.

It is possible that some units may claim production of solar cells & modules produced or made elsewhere.

The reliability of producer is essential to protect the consumer interests and ensure larger energy security of the Country.

Accordingly, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) issued “Approved Models and Manufacturers of Solar Photovoltaic Modules (Requirement for Compulsory Registration) Order, 2019” on January 2, 2019.

The ALMM Order states that ALMM shall consist of LIST-I, specifying models and manufacturers of Solar PV Modules and LIST-II, specifying models and manufacturers of Solar PV Cells.

The first ALMM List for solar PV modules was issued on March 10, 2021. ALMM List for solar PV cells has not yet been issued.

Only the models and manufacturers included in ALMM List-I (of solar PV modules) are eligible for use in Government Projects/ Government assisted Projects/ Projects under Government Schemes & Programmes/ Open Access / Net-Metering Projects, installed in the country, including Projects set up for sale of electricity to Government under the Guidelines issued by Central Government under section 63 of Electricity Act, 2003 and amendment thereof.

The word ‘Government’ includes Central Government, State Governments, Central Public Sector Enterprises, State Public Sector Enterprises and, Central and State Organizations / Autonomous bodies.

However, from March 10, 2023, the ALMM order has been kept in abeyance for one financial year, i.e. FY 2023-24. Thus, projects commissioned by March 31, 2024 will be exempted from the requirement of procuring solar PV modules from ALMM.

As on date, the ALMM List consists of 91 no of module manufacturing facilities (all domestic) with their aggregate solar PV module manufacturing capacity of 22,389 MW per year.

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