Solar minima: Solar tariffs witnessed 15% deflation in 6 months in India with tariff falling to new all-time low of ₹2 per unit | Photo: Rechargenews

‘Game over’ for coal? India records new low in solar tariff of ₹2 per unit

India recorded a new low in solar tariff at ₹2 per unit that is 15% deflation in six months. The previous low of ₹2.36 per unit was recorded in July. Indian and foreign companies bid aggressively for the 1,070 MW solar auction by the Solar Energy Corporation of India  (SECI). Tim Buckley of IEEFA pointed out that solar energy is now lower than the marginal fuel cost of coal power, and tweeted it was “game over” for coal. Singapore-based Sembcorp Energy and Saudi Arabia-based Aljomaih Energy and Water Company won 400MW and 200MW respectively at a tariff of ₹2 per unit. The remaining 470MW was bagged by NTPC at a tariff of ₹2.01 per unit.

Experts pointed out that the tender received such an aggressive bid because Rajasthan distribution companies have agreed to purchase the power, assuring companies of no usual off-take uncertainty.

Adani faces financial risk, no takers yet for its record 8GW $6 billion solar power project

Adani Green Energy is facing a financial risk, Reuters reported, as the company’s record $6 billion solar power project announced in June has no guaranteed customer.  This was revealed through the deal between Adani and SECI, India’s main solar-adoption agency according to which the agency has no “legal or financial obligation” to support Adani project if it fails to find buyers. SECI sells the power to the grid or to power distribution companies, known as ‘discoms’.  

Adani Green bagged a manufacturing-linked solar contract from SECI to set up 8GW of solar power in June. When SECI awarded the project, it had said a PPA would be assured, but according to Reuters, a year later, it withdrew the clause guaranteeing purchase in the deal. SECI removed the clause from some other renewable energy tenders, too, Reuters reported. 

RE power in India will be comparable to coal by 2025: Moody’s 

Solar and wind energy is expected to be cost-competitive relative to coal power in India in 2025-2030 period, according to credit rating agency Moody’s. The shift would occur if the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCoE) from solar and wind projects declines annually by a high single digit to mid-teen percentage between the first half of 2020 and 2025-30, Moody’s analysis stated. 

Meanwhile, according to ANI, by December-end, India will invite bids for close to 22.5GW of new tenders for solar energy projects. Meanwhile, about 43GW of capacity is at different stages of commissioning by successful bidders, ANI reported. 

Govt reduces performance security deposits for solar tender to 3%

To increase participation amid the ongoing pandemic, the Indian government has revised the performance security deposits for tenders to 3% of the contract value from the previous range of 5%-10%. This will help companies finish contracts and projects on time amid the COVID-19 induced economic slowdown.

This benefit would not apply to contracts under dispute whose proceedings are already underway in court. All tenders and contracts that have been issued or concluded until December 31, 2021, will also be eligible for the reduced performance security benefits.

Leaked draft reveals EU plans 25-fold increase in offshore wind energy, 62,000 new jobs

According to the draft plan of European Commission, the off-shore wind energy capacity of the EU in the North Sea, the Baltic, the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea will be increased 25-fold. The draft follows UK’s announcement this year of plans to generate enough electricity to power every home in the UK within a decade from the country’s offshore sites, The Guardian reported. 

The Euractiv website reported that the “very challenging” target for new windfarms would come with an expected price tag of €789 billion, creating 62,000 jobs in the offshore wind industry.

According to the EC plan, the 27 EU member states alone would achieve a capacity of 60GW by 2030 and 300GW by 2050, with Germany set to hugely increase its investment in the sector.

Climate change extremes and photovoltaic power output

A new study published in Nature revealed that an increasing frequency of very warm and cloudy days could affect the output of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels. The research showed that during summer, the very low PV power outputs are expected to double in the Arabian Peninsula by mid-century, but could be reduced by half in southern Europe over the same period, even under a “moderate-emission scenario”. Changes for winter — either enhancing or mitigating the impacts on PV output — are projected to be less striking, at least in low- and mid-latitude regions, the study said.

Global investors managing $7 trillion to double RE investments in next 5 years

A survey of global investors revealed they will double their spending on renewable energy from 4.2% of their overall portfolio to 8.3% in the next five years and 10.8% within the next decade to about $742.5 billion.

The global investors, managing nearly $7trillion (£5.2billion) of assets, are concerned over the fossil fuel industry’s climate plans, the report stated. 

The survey of more than 100 investors found that 83% did not believe the plans put forward by oil and gas companies would be enough to meet the Paris climate agreement goals. Experts said renewables have become an attractive asset class amid economic uncertainty arising from the COVID-19 crisis. Investors are also under pressure to invest responsibly, and are looking for long-term sources of yield.

Aus state passes landmark plan after 30 hrs of debate, to build 12GW of RE by 2030 
Australia’s state of New South Wales passed an ambitious energy plan to support the private sector to build AUS$32 billion (£17.6 billion) of renewable energy infrastructure by 2030 as the region “faces the end of coal-fired power generation”, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. The plan is expected to generate 6,300 construction jobs and 2,800 ongoing jobs, as well as deliver 12 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy and 2GW of storage, largely pumped hydropower. The final vote on the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Bill took nearly 31 hours to pass due to a “concerted effort” from the far-right, climate sceptic One Nation party to block it.

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