World Trade Organization Panel Rules Against India’s Solar Program

By Jeff Najjar

A World Trade Organization (WTO) panel has ruled that India’s federal solar program violates global trade rules by imposing local-purchase requirements for solar cells and modules. Additionally, the panel ruled against India’s incentive policies for domestic solar companies to manufacture solar cells and modules in the country. The Indian government plans to appeal and the WTO dispute settlement body will review the report of the panel at its next meeting. After the appeal, the WTO is expected to deliver a final report in November. India will then have two months to make its case to the appellate body of the organization. This is the second case that India has lost to the U.S. at the WTO this year. Removing the local content requirement would increase competition and open up opportunity for foreign companies to increase their presence in the Indian solar market.