Green light: Tamil Nadu offers all that is required for this project - solar radiation, access to port, availability of land and skilled resources. | Photo: AcmeGroup

ACME to set up 1.5 GW green hydrogen project in Tamil Nadu

Indian renewable energy developer Acme will set up a ₹52,474 crore ($6.61 billion) green hydrogen and ammonia project in Tamil Nadu with 1.5 GW of electrolysis capacity and 1.1 million tonnes of ammonia synthesis, which will be run on a 5 GW solar plant. The project will produce green ammonia through the ammonia synthesis loop process with electrolysis-based hydrogen. 

The project will be the largest such plant in India, which will help de-carbonise sectors such as fertilisers, power, refining, and steel, among others. The project requires four ingredients—solar radiation, access to port, availability of land and skilled resources. Tamil Nadu offers all of these, reported PV Magazine.

Jharkhand 2022 solar energy policy to install 4 GW capacity by 2027

The state of Jharkhand announced the Solar Energy Policy 2022 to install 4 GW of solar power generation capacity by 2027. This includes about 3 GW of utility scale solar, 720 MW under distributed generation, and 280 MW under off-grid mode. Solar parks, canal-top solar, floating solar, will be part of the schemes that will provide a single-window system, payment security mechanisms, and land arrangements through land banks to encourage private investors. 

Jharkhand also proposes the setting up of a dedicated solar power cell, statutory approval within a maximum of 60 days, setting up 1,000 solar villages, schemes to encourage economically backward villagers, and cross-subsidy to promote the adoption of solar energy.

India added 15.4 GW RE in 2021, third-highest after China (136 GW) & US (43 GW)

According to a global status report, India added around 15.4 gigawatts (GW) of renewable power capacity in 2021, the third-highest after China (136 GW) and the United States (43 GW). The REN21’s renewables 2022 global status report said aftershocks of the Covid-19 pandemic and a rise in commodity prices led to a disruption in renewable energy supply chains and delayed renewable energy projects. The subsequent 4% increase in global energy demand was mostly met by fossil fuels resulting in record carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, according to the report.

India is now the third-largest market in the world for new solar photovoltaics (PV) capacity and ranked fourth in the world for total solar energy installations (60.4 GW) by overtaking Germany at 59.2 GW and following China (305.9 GW), US (121.4 GW) and Japan (78 GW).

Tata Power, JSW announce big renewable energy plans

Speaking at the company’s annual meeting, Tata Power chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran stated that after adding 707 MW of RE capacity in FY22, the company is set to double down on its renewable investments over the next five years with a planned capital expenditure of Rs.75,000 crore (~$9.45 billion). “This has increased our clean and green portfolio to 34% of total capacity and the company aims to raise it to 60% in the next five years,” Chandrasekaran said. He added that the company will seek to more than double its energy generation capacity from the current 13.5 GW to 30 GW by 2030, 80% of which will come from renewables. The company also announced the setting up of a 4 GW solar cell and module manufacturing capacity in Tamil Nadu with an investment of ₹3,000 crore. Meanwhile, JSW Steel has earmarked Rs.10,000 crore ($1.26 billion) to reduce and replace coal used in production with high-efficiency technologies and renewables and bring down the company’s carbon footprint. “We have earmarked ₹10,000 crore for investments to reduce our carbon emissions through various initiatives, such as increasing the use of renewable energy to replace thermal power, reduce our fuel rate through improved raw material quality via beneficiation, and deployment of Best Available Technologies (BAT),” stated JSW Group chairman Sajjan Jindal.

Clean energy boom leaves fossil spending behind, solar now cheapest power in history: IEA

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global investment in renewable energy will outpace fossil fuel spending in 2022  as uncertainties over future energy demand scenarios keep oil, gas and coal capital expenditures below the levels seen prior to the pandemic in 2019. Clean energy investment is likely to exceed $1.4 trillion in 2022, according to the IEA’s world energy investment report for 2022. Clean energy market witnessed annual growth of 12% since 2020.

The IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2020 four “pathways” to 2040 predict a major rise in renewables. The IEA’s main scenario has 43% more solar output by 2040 than it expected in 2018, showing that solar power is 20-50% cheaper than thought.

The IEA says it is too soon to declare a peak in global oil use, without climate action. It says demand for gas could rise 30% by 2040, unless stopped with policy action. For the first time, the IEA includes detailed modeling of a 1.5°C pathway that reaches global net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050. It says individual behaviour change, such as working from home “three days a week”, would play an “essential” role in reaching this new “net-zero emissions by 2050 case”, reported Carbon Brief.

156 GW: China’s clean energy growth outlook for 2022 keeps getting bigger

As reported by Bloomberg, China will install a record 156GW (gigawatts) of wind turbines and solar panels in 2022, according to Quoting Yi Yuechun, vice dean of the China Renewable Energy Engineering Institute (CREEI), a think-tank that supports the National Energy Administration (NEA), the country’s top energy planner. The CREEI forecast includes 100GW of solar, 50 of onshore wind and 6 of offshore wind. The CREEI noted that it is the “most bullish yet among government thinktanks and industry associations”. The outlet adds that the figure of 156GW would be a “25% jump” from the previous record set in 2021, according to BloombergNEF data. 

China’s leaders mull banning solar panels from farmland

China may ban developers from building panels on farmland as the government prioritises the importance of food security against its clean energy goals. Three ministries, including the NEA have sought comments on a draft proposal that would make forests and cultivated farmland off-limits for solar development, according to a report by industry media outlet Polaris Solar Network, citing a copy of the document.

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