Under the new scheme, vendors will register on the National Portal the PM – Surya Ghar, which will implement the central financial assistance (CFA) component of the scheme.

Draft guidelines for residential rooftop solar subsidies released, scheme to be implemented in 2027

India released draft guidelines for rooftop solar subsidies to be implemented in 2027. These guidelines are for the installation of rooftop solar (RTS) plants in 10 million households with subsidy support. The PM Surya Ghar: Muft Bijli Yojana scheme aims to provide free or low-cost electricity with up to 300 units of electricity per month by installing rooftop solar. 

Meanwhile, the Phase II Grid Connective Rooftop Solar Programme, with a budget of ₹118.14 billion ($1.4 billion) until 2025-26, will continue to run until the new scheme is implemented.

Under the new scheme, vendors will register on the National Portal the PM – Surya Ghar, which will implement the central financial assistance (CFA) component of the scheme. They will upload their details, including system offerings, price points, system design and specifications. The beneficiaries will get a unique application ID, PV Magazine reported, adding that beneficiaries will select the vendor using tools provided on the portal and the two will mutually decide the rates, system specifications, customisation of design as per location, and value-added services, subject to the minimum technical specifications mandated under the scheme.

Once the vendor installs the RTS system, the concerned distribution company (Discom) will conduct a physical inspection, sign the necessary agreements with the beneficiary (net meter agreement or otherwise), conduct a checklist-based inspection and approve the Discom report, said the outlet, adding that the money will be transferred to the concerned account of the beneficiary.

Government re-imposes restrictions on solar module imports 

The Centre once again decided to restrict the import of solar modules to support local manufacturing. Earlier, imports were permitted until March 31, 2024, as domestic manufacturers failed to meet industry demand. A government official stated, ‘Domestic capacities are now prepared to meet the demand and require support.’ The government’s 2021 mandate required solar project developers to purchase modules from an approved list to encourage domestic manufacturing.

4.1 GW of new solar module capacity added to approved list of manufacturers

The Centre expanded the Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM) by adding 4,104 MW of new solar module capacity. The cumulative module manufacturing capacity under ALMM now stands at 41,333 MW, Mercom reported adding that Premier Energies accounted for 1,320 MW of the newly added capacity, while Grew Energy contributed 1,150 MW. The other new additions include ReNew (856 MW), Swelect HHV Solar Photovoltaics (474 MW), Agrawal Renewable Energy (83 MW), Integrated Batteries India (58 MW), Solberry Energy (56 MW), AG Solar Urja Udyog (53 MW), Total Solar Technologies (52 MW), and Contendre Greenergy (2 MW), the outlet reported.

EU probes unfair trade practices charge against Chinese wind turbine imports

The  European Commission is launching a probe into Chinese suppliers of wind turbines under the new Foreign Subsidies Regulation. The bloc is already probing a case of two solar firms winning contracts in Romania. The European Union inquiry will initially investigate ‘unfair trade practices’ in Bulgaria, France, Greece, Romania, and Spain and determine if cheap turbines from China are distorting the integrity of the European market. 

Under the regulation, the Commission has the power to investigate the existence and the effects of foreign subsidies and impose redressive measures once a distortion of competition has been established. Based on the evidence gathered, the Commission may go into an in-depth investigation, which will have an 18-month deadline.  

California city transitions old gas plant to a giant grid battery

In California, developer Calpine’s Nova power bank—built on land that once housed a gas plant—is slated to store more electricity than all but one battery plant currently operating in the US, Canary media reported. The billion-dollar project, with 680 megawatts and 2,720 megawatt-hours, will help California shift its solar generation into the critical evening and nighttime hours. This aims to bolster the grid against heat waves that have pushed the state into wildfires in recent years.

Calpine previously dabbled in battery technology with two California projects, but Nova’s pricetag and power capacity catapult the Houston-based firm into the upper echelons of storage developers and owners. Federal analysts predict 2024 will be the biggest-ever year for grid battery installations across the US.

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