Power struggles: The AP High Court has provided discoms in the state some relief with a stay on the Centre’s ultimatum to block discoms over payment securities | Photo: PVmagazine India

Andhra Pradesh HC stays Centre’s move to block discoms over refusing to give letters of credit to firms

In a breather to discoms, the Andhra Pradesh High Court has put a 3-week stay on Centre’s move to block state discoms over not providing letters of credits to power companies as part of payment security mechanism. Andhra Pradesh discoms said they received a letter from Centre-appointed body Power System Operation Corporation of India, saying state utilities will be banned from procuring power from exchanges, including short-term open access procurements, if they failed to issue letter of credits to power developers. Discoms argued that Centre has no business meddling since they are third party in Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). While Andhra Pradesh is trying to renegotiate PPAs eyeing lower tariffs, the state has argued that giving LCs amounts to altering PPAs. This has been seen as a challenge to Centre’s move to make LCs mandatory. Payments delays have become one of the major points of contention for solar companies.

Payment issues ‘may hurt investor sentiment,’ but big firms stay afloat with equity gains

Ratings agency CRISIL has said payment delays by discoms to renewable energy companies may hurt the credit outlook of renewables sector. The report however revealed that large firms operating in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have been able to manage the payment crisis because of their diverse operations and financial flexibility. The big players were able to refinanced debt for impacted projects and attracted share value gains of over Rs 5,500 crore during the first half of current fiscal which is more than the quantum raised in the last two financial years, ET reported. 

MP to get 1000 MW floating solar park, India’s biggest

India’s biggest floating solar park of 1000 MW is set to come up on the surface of Indira Sagar dam, in Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh. The Word Bank is preparing feasibility report for setting up Rs 5,000 crore solar park on Asia’s biggest dam. The MP government will procure 200MW from the park, and the government is in talks with other procurers, ET reported. Earlier the government set up a massive 750MW solar park in MP’s Rewa district. Renewable power supplies 20% of MP’s power demand. India already has one floating power project, a 100MW  floating solar park run by NTPC in Andhra Pradesh. There is another 150MW plant in the pipeline at Rihand Dam, Uttar Pradesh.

IEA: Renewables to see “Spectacular” growth in next 5 years, but not enough to meet Paris targets

Latest global solar forecast by IEA predicts “spectacular” growth for PV market in the next five years. Rooftop solar on homes and commercial buildings will drive this growth. The International Energy Agency estimates world’s total renewable-based power capacity to grow by 50% by 2024. The world is estimated to add 12,000 GW which will be enabled by falling prices and policy efforts. According to IEA, solar PVs will contribute 60% of this growth in renewables which will command 30% of world’s total power capacity by 2024 (up from 26% now). World’s second largest source of energy today, renewable expansion remains way below what is required to meet global energy needs. Even such estimated rise have to speed up significantly to meet Paris climate targets, said the Paris-based organisation that advises avises rich countries on energy policy. 

IEA says wind may become $1 trillion business, IRENA expects it to be world’s largest power source by 2050 

Latest studies by IEA and IRENA have estimated wind energy sector to experience robust growth. Basing estimates on plummeting costs and improving technology, IEA expects offshore wind to become a cornerstone of the world’s power supply. Offshore wind turbines today generate only .03% of global power capacity. IEA expects policy to drive up wind energy capacity 15-fold over the next 20 years, turning wind sector into $1 trillion business. IEA says in China offshore wind will become competitive with coal capacity by 2030 and in Europe it will soon beat gas-fired energy capacity on prices.  

According to IRENA, wind energy may become the largest source of energy by 2050. This is possible if world installations of wind energy increase over 10 times to about 60,000GW by 2050 from 2018 level of 500 GW, at the annual investment of over $300 billion by 2050 from 2018’s less than $100 billion. IRENA sees India to be the second largest wind energy deployer with 443GW of wind energy capacity by 2050, while China to lead the world with 2525GW of onshore and wind energy capacity. Experts called these numbers inflated.

South Africa looks to get cheaper electricity by renegotiating older renewable projects

In a bid to boost its economy, South Africa began discussion with power producers to try and get cheaper electricity from older renewable energy projects by renegotiating agreements. But the plan might not work as the power producers are wary the country can save big on the 64 wind and solar projects because, they say, money allotted for the projects has already been spent.

They argued that putting any more pressure on these projects would result in a loss of investor confidence while the country suffers through nationwide power cuts. Climate activists, on the other hand, are wary of any such moves that could delay South Africa’s transition from coal power, which still accounts for more than 80% of the country’s output.

Columbia awards renewable contracts worth $2.2 billion

In what could become turn into a renewables ‘revolution’, Columbia awarded contracts worth $2.2 billion for wind and solar projects. While the country, with its high radiation sunlight, three high-altitude Andean mountain ranges and long stretches of coastline, has long been considered a dream destination for renewable energy, the lack of supporting infrastructure has hindered progress in this sector.

The government hopes this move will diversify the electricity grid in the country which already gets 70% of the energy from hydropower, making it vulnerable to droughts.

Study: Installing renewables in US Midwest to bring best climate impact 

According to the latest US study, installing solar and wind energy installations in the Midwest will reduce climate warming emissions far more than if the renewable sources are installed in other parts of the country. Cutting emissions through renewables also depends upon if they are replacing coal plants or cleaner fossil fuel like natural gas, says the study by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Carnegie Mellon University. The study calculates that one megawatt hour (Mwh) of wind-powered electricity installed in the Upper Midwest earns about $113 worth of benefits compared with $28 per Mwh in California, which already has vast sources of renewables and gas.

About The Author