The WTO Rules in Favor of the U.S. in a Solar Power Dispute With India
Last month the United States scored a victory as the World Trade Organization sided with the U.S. regarding a complaint filed against India’s restrictive rules for upcoming solar panel system installations. India had required that solar companies that sell their power directly to the Indian government use only parts and components manufactured within the country.
The U.S. complained that this was unfair to American solar manufacturers under WTO rules. In a strange twist, however, the final outcome of the ruling may not be in favor of the U.S. after all. This is due to the fact that many state and local governments in the United States have similar rules in place for solar companies that they subsidize or buy power from.
Logically, India could demand that these markets be opened up to their ostensibly lower priced components and parts in the future. Additionally, some environmental groups are decrying the ruling as they are afraid it could have a chilling effect on ongoing efforts to convert a significant portion of India’s energy consumption to renewables.