Prime Minister Narendra Modi today highlighted the importance of self-sufficiency on solar power amid trade tensions with China - a major exporting nation - as he launched a massive 750 megawatt (MW) solar power plant in Madhya Pradesh.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation whose vast urban train network depends on reliable electricity is a customer of the solar project in north-east Madhya Pradesh's Rewa, built with an investment of Rs 4,500 crore.
"We must work towards reducing our dependency on solar panels and related equipment. We need to speed up our production capacity of solar modules… and solar batteries should be made in India. We need to speed up all work in these areas," PM Modi said at the virtual launch of the project.
PM Modi's comments today was seen as an affirmation of India's resolve to reduce solar equipment imports from China amid the tension along the Line of Actual Control and the resulting counter-attacks in trade.
Power Minister RK Singh on July 4 had said Chinese firms have been dumping cheap solar equipment into India and sought a significant hike in tariffs on solar modules and cells. The same day, the centre announced India would no longer import power equipment from China and Pakistan.
Madhya Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel logged in from Lucknow and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan from Bhopal at the launch of the project that has three solar power generating units of 250 MW each on 500 hectare, taking the total output to 750 MW on 1,500 hectare.