Adding up: India’s cumulative installed solar capacity stood at 49.3 GW, while 53 GW was in the pipeline. Photo: Mint

10 GW new solar capacity installed in 2021 in India

According to Mercom, India installed a record 10 GW of solar capacity in 2021, which was a 201% rise compared to 3.2 GW installed in 2020. India’s cumulative installed solar capacity stood at 49.3 GW, while 53 GW was in the pipeline, Mercom reported. According to the study, utility scale projects accounted for 83% of the installations, while the remaining 17% installations were covered by rooftop solar. Rajasthan added the highest utility scale solar capacity with 4.5 GW, followed by Gujarat with 1.2 GW and UP with 885 MW.

CERC new draft proposes changes to the renewable energy certificates scheme

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) released draft norms that allow renewable energy generators, DISCOMs, captive power projects and open access consumers to issue renewable energy certificates. CERC will accept comments on the draft till March 15. 

Eligible parties will have to get accretions from state and central agencies to acquire the certificates. They will be issued based on electricity generated and injected into the grid. The issued certificates will remain valid until they are redeemed. 

LG quits solar panel manufacturing business 

South Korean electronic manufacturing giant LG Electronics is quitting the global solar panel business over issues of increasing material costs, increasing logistics costs, and supply chain constraints. Competition with Chinese rivals’ lower prices has made it hard for LG to stay afloat. According to the report, the decision to shut down solar manufacturing will impact around 160 employees and 60 contract workers at LG’s corporate campus in Huntsville, Alabama. The company has been assembling solar panels there since 2018. Employees working at the PV unit, which is part of the company’s Business Solutions (BS) division, will be offered transition support and severance packages commensurate with their tenure with the company.

America’s biggest coal mining firm Peabody Energy Corp enters renewables business, launches R3 Renewables

America’s biggest coal producer, Peabody Energy Corp, is entering the renewable energy business as it launched R3 Renewables to construct utility scale solar projects on or near their former coal mines. The firm will develop 3.3 GW of solar—enough to power about 2 million homes—and 1.6 GW of battery storage capacity over the next five years. R3 Renewables will develop on large tracts of land in Indiana and Illinois. Peabody has been coal mining for nearly 140 years and has operations in New South Wales, Australia, and the US states of Wyoming, Alabama, Indiana and New Mexico. President Joe Biden has pledged to wean the country off fossil fuels, creating a clean power sector by 2035 and net-zero emissions economy by no later than 2050.

Germany to meet 100% energy needs from renewable sources by 2035?

While quoting a draft paper, Reuters reported that Germany plans to meet all its power needs with supplies from renewable sources by 2035. Europe’s richest economy has been under pressure from other Western nations to become less dependent on Russian gas.

According to the draft, the German government is ready to amend the country’s Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) and the share of wind or solar power should reach 80% by 2030.  By then, Germany’s onshore wind energy capacity should double to up to 110 GW, offshore wind energy should reach 30 GW—the capacity of 10 nuclear plants—and solar energy would more than triple to 200 GW, the paper estimated.

Telangana authority rules liquidated damages claimed over project delays will attract 18% GST 

The Telangana Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR) ruled that liquidated damages recovered by solar developers over delay in commissioning under an agreement constitutes “supply” under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) law and will be levied 18% tax. 

Solar developer Achampet Solar imposed liquidated damages on their client Belectric India to cover loss of revenue and costs borne due to delay in commissioning of the project. In another case, Karnataka regulators had ordered the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company not to impose liquidated damages on ReNew Wind Energy as the delay in projects was due to ‘force majeure’.

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