ALMM is again in abeyance until further orders

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The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has released an order dated February 15, 2024, stating that Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM) will be held in abeyance till further orders. The MNRE, in an order dated February 9, 2024, decided to reimpose the regulatory measure of ALMM for solar PV modules from April 1, 2024. Within a week, the government has taken a complete U-turn and this is likely to again impact domestic solar original equipment manufacturers.

The ALMM order, which aims to promote domestic manufacturing, was kept in abeyance during FY 2023-24. As per the first order (dated February 9, 2024) by the ministry, the scope of the reintroduced ALMM was to be limited. It would have been applicable only to solar power projects sponsored or subsidised by the central or state governments. In addition, the ALMM was also applicable to roof top solar projects and components of PM KUSUM scheme which receive capital subsidies from the government. However, private solar power projects set up under open access route or as captive power projects were exempted from ALMM norms. Moreover, under construction projects where solar modules were procured or placed orders for before March 31, 2024 through irrevocable letters of credit were also be exempt.

The approved list mechanism is a qualifying requirement for solar module suppliers. Only models and manufacturers included in the list are eligible to supply to ALMM covered government and subsidised projects. The list is updated from time to time by MNRE based on testing and certification norms. ALMM’s one year suspension was meant to provide flexibility to developers and address supply chain issues.  With the reintroduction, the government aimed to ensure quality standards and self-reliance in solar equipment. However, this latest surprising order from the government creates significant uncertainity for the solar industry as they do not have long-term visibility regarding supply chains.

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