China's cheap solar panels cause dark spots in Indian market

Discussion in 'Economy & Infrastructure' started by anupamsurey, Jun 4, 2015.

  1. anupamsurey

    anupamsurey Regular Member

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    this is months old report, but i don't think that most of us have gone through this...

    China's cheap solar panels cause dark spots in Indian market
    Anindya Upadhyay, ET Bureau Jan 3, 2015, 10.00AM IST

    NEW DELHI: In the narrow, crowded and serpentine lanes of Lajpat Rai Market in front of the Red Fort in Delhi, there are hundreds of vendors selling Chinese solar panels at less than half the price of Indian brands, much like vegetables, to buyers from power-starved villages in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Haryana.

    However, instead of helping realise the dream of transforming the lives of more than 300 million people who live without electricity in the country, these Chinese products are wrecking the market as they often stop working within months, industry insiders allege. They say only import regulations and quality standardisation can check this "e-waste dumping" by China.

    A shopkeeper at Lajpat Rai Market said most buyers go for cheap Chinese solar panels despite traders' warnings.

    "We tell them these have no service warranty, no performance guarantees but they think we're fooling them into buying costly products. Within months their solar systems stop working and they call up crying after having lost all investment," he said.

    Several experiences with substandard products in rural India have started making people suspicious of solar technology, forcing some Indian brands to launch awareness campaigns to counter this.

    Tata Power Solar, for example, started a 75-day campaign in 22 districts of Bihar in November to educate people to distinguish between fake and genuine products and about the value of warranties.

    "We decided to start the campaign when we offered to sell a contractor in Patna 40 solar lamps for his vending carts to replace expensive kerosene lamps. He refused to buy as he had invested a lot in Chinesemade lamps, all of which stopped working within 35 days," said Gagan Pal, vice-president, products and operations, at Tata Power Solar.

    According to him, substandard Chinese products dominate the Indian solar market with 60-70% share.

    Kunwer Sachdev, managing director at Su-Kam, another Indian solar products manufacturer, said a large quantity of panels imported from China are just electronic waste. "Often, we are given a panel of 50 watts instead of 100 watts and no one knows how long it'll last... two or three years? Its wattage is lower," he said.

    "When food products come, there's an audit out there. Why is it not the same for solar panel shipments? How can you allow China to sell us e-waste?" Sachdev said.

    Many Chinese products also use fake brand names to confuse consumers. This reporter saw 'So-Kam' solar panels being sold at Lajpat Rai market. Tata Power Solar officials said they have found 'Tata BP' or 'Tata' on panels of Chinese make. 45738205.cms.jpg

    Government officials said they were aware of imports of rejected poorquality panels and are looking for solutions to curb them. "We have recently written to the Controller of Imports and Exports to check Chinese solar water heaters coming to India. We have to do something for panels next," said Tarun Kapoor, joint secretary, solar, at the ministry of new and renewable energy.

    Industry players called for a quality regulator. Tarun Singh, an engineer who has returned from the US to launch renewable energy solutions firm Veddis Solars, said banks will stop lending for solar projects unless there are quality standards and a regulator to enforce them. "The time has come for standardisation and regulation of quality. Only this can open up markets by making finance available to this sector," he said. Singh, who said his firm has installed solar systems in almost all districts of Bihar, said poor quality Chinese products dominate Exhibition Road in Patna, just like Lajpat Rai Market in Delhi.
     
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  3. ezsasa

    ezsasa Senior Member Senior Member

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    I am hearing this sort of Chinese products failing from my friends and circles again and again. initially i thought it was hype, but after hearing it from multiple sources and industries i am beginning to believe this is true.

    Only edge the Chinese products (even large machinery)seem to have is in the matter of pricing but not over quality and durability. Most importantly due to unavailability of maintanace contracts.
     
  4. anupamsurey

    anupamsurey Regular Member

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    after all chinese have a reputation to maintain, if the start selling quality products then people will assume that its not chinese, but an imitation, what worries me more is that they have started using fake brand names.
     
  5. ezsasa

    ezsasa Senior Member Senior Member

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    i haven't heard about fake foods yet, or maybe they haven't reached departmental stores yet.
     
  6. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    There are Chinese products and there are Chinese products. If you want top class solar panels from China they can be imported around 55 to 60 cents per watt. If you are looking at cheap stuff and do not want quality then you can get it for as low as 35 cents also.

    For every cheap quality seller there is a buyer wanting to buy with price and not pay for quality.
     
  7. anupamsurey

    anupamsurey Regular Member

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    chinese milk episode, Usa and India not allowing sales of chinese milk? wait i will search for some links

    2008 Chinese milk scandal
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Chinese_milk_scandal
     
  8. anupamsurey

    anupamsurey Regular Member

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  9. anupamsurey

    anupamsurey Regular Member

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  10. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    I love this part very much.

    If what he said is true, then we can get a conclusion: this gentleman imported quite a lot under-quality Chinese products which he has no intention to sell to his customers. Wow!
     
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  11. anupamsurey

    anupamsurey Regular Member

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    he is a businessman who is selling all kind of products from cheap junk to quality products. i would like to quote @sob -For every cheap quality seller there is a buyer wanting to buy with price and not pay for quality.
     

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