By leaps and bounds: The said capacity will include 8,120 circuit kilometres of high voltage DC transmission lines, 25,960 circuit kilometres of 765 KV AC ones and much more.

Centre unveils Rs. 2.44 trillion transmission system upgrade for planned 500GW RE capacity by 2030

The Centre released a comprehensive plan to evacuate planned renewable capacity of 500 GWs by 2030 at an estimated cost of $29.64 billion, which is about Rs. 2,44,000 crore rupees. The power transmission system to evacuate the said capacity will include 8120 circuit kilometres of high voltage DC transmission lines, 25,960 circuit kilometres of 765 KV AC ones, 15,758 Km of 400kV lines, 1052 circuit kilometres of 220 KV cable, Mercom reported. 

Transmission system to evacuate 10 GW of offshore wind power in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu will also be built at the cost of 280 billion rupees. After the setting up of the transmission system the interregional capacity is expected to increase from the present 112GW to 150 GW by 2030.  

Centre also plans to install 51.5GW of battery energy storage systems by 2030. Fatehgarh, Bhadla, Bikaner, Chavda, Anantpur, Kurnool, offshore wind setups in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, and Ladakh have been identified as potential renewable energy generation centres for which transmission systems will be built, reported Mercom. 

Indian Railways (IR) plans to achieve net zero carbon emission by 2030

The government informed Parliament that Indian Railways has set 2030 as its target year for net zero carbon emission. To achieve that it will have 100% Electrification of the Broad Gauge (BG) Railway network. The railways have commissioned about 142 Mega Watt (MW) of solar plants (both on Rooftops and on its vacant land) and about 103 MW of Wind power plants have been commissioned so far. The railways plans afforestation of railway land to increase carbon sink. It is also issuing Green Certifications of various industrial units, railway stations and other railway establishments. Environment Management System (EMS): ISO 14001 certification of various railway stations has also been done, the government said. 

Further, IR has decided to progressively procure renewable energy to reduce energy consumption through conventional sources.

Global renewables capacity to double in next five years: IEA 

The international fossil fuel energy crisis has sped up the installation of renewable energy power globally with total capacity growth worldwide set to almost double in the next five years, according to a new report from the IEA. By 2025, renewable power will overtake coal as the largest source of electricity generation and helping “keep alive” the possibility of limiting global warming to 1.5°C, the IEA said in its Renewables 2022 edition.

The Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has forced the countries to increasingly turn to renewables such as solar and wind to reduce reliance on imported fossil fuels, whose prices have spiked dramatically. Global renewable power capacity is now expected to grow by 2400GW over the 2022-2027 period, an amount equal to the entire power capacity of China today, IEA report noted.

After falling steadily, battery prices rise for the first time since 2010: BNEF

After falling continuously since 2010, average prices of lithium-ion batteries have risen to $151/khw in the current year, which is a 7% rise compared to the previous year. The BNEF report says prices will start dropping again in 2024, to as low as $100/kwh by 2026. 

The price hike has been attributed to surging raw material costs and battery component costs, and rising inflation. Battery prices were the cheapest in China at $127/khw, while packs in the US cost 24% higher and in Europe 33% higher compared to China. 

China plans to launch silicon futures, will prices stabilise?

China will launch industrial silicon futures and options contracts on the country’s newest exchange, Reuters reported. The move is expected to reduce price volatility of silicon used in most of the world’s solar panels. The so called world’s first industrial silicon contract, will be listed on the Guangzhou Futures Exchange which was set up last year to focus on materials like lithium and rare earths used in renewables energy technology.

China is the global leader in silicon production, with annual capacity of about 5 million tonnes. Prices shot up to more than double in 2021 on supply disruptions due to China’s power shortages and as demand from solar power projects soared.

EU solar suppliers call for help as U.S. offers huge aid to its own industry 

Taking cue from the US, European solar manufacturers have called for greater government support in scaling up solar equipment production to rein in shooting prices. President Biden recently announced the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) which includes new tax incentives to boost domestic solar manufacturing. European companies are urging the European Union to act now as the bloc has hiked RE targets (EU aims to double solar capacity by 2025) and manufacturers are mostly dependent on Asian equipment. The EU is looking for a speedier exit from its dependence on Russian oil and gas following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

80% of the annual 200 GW global solar manufacturing capacity is located mostly in China, where large factories and low labour costs have driven prices below European and U.S. levels. Many solar projects were delayed due to logistics issues following the pandemic, highlighting Europe’s reliance on Asian supplies.

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