With ALMM in place, India would take seven years to achieve the target if the entire module supply came from domestic manufacturers. Photo: Ministry-of-Science-and-Technology_GOI_wikimedia-Commons

Govt lifts Approved List of Module Manufacturers (ALMM) mandate for two years

Solar developers will be exempted from procuring solar modules only from the Approved List of Module Manufacturers (ALMM), as India has put the ALMM policy on hold for two years. Power minister RK Singh said the existing domestic manufacturing capacity is not enough to meet India’s solar targets. Also, the country has been dragged to the WTO over the ALMM scheme. “India has 70 GW of solar capacity under implementation but the manufacturing capacity for 10 GW,” Singh said. India would take seven years to achieve the target if the entire module supply came from domestic manufacturers. “We can’t wait for seven years. Incidentally some countries have gone to WTO against ALMM, we shall fight it there,” Singh said.

The ALMM regime was implemented two years ago, along with 40% Basic Customs Duty on modules to protect and boost domestic module manufacturers. But the ALMM pushed up the prices of even domestic modules because of immense demand-supply gaps. 

The developers have warned that once they exhaust the stock they imported before implementation of ALMM, “the country will see a virtual pause in solar capacity addition”, Mercom reported. 

However, solar manufacturers in India said ALMM mandate is crucial to protecting investments into domestic PV manufacturing, reported PV Magazine. The Indian solar manufacturers lobby told the portal that improving domestic solar manufacturing is expected to bring $30 billion (Rs2.3 lakh crore) to domestic manufacturers in revenues by 2030 (by selling 150 GW at Rs15/Wp). The news portal wrote that ALMM list features 83 solar module manufacturers totaling 20.98 GW capacity.

“Green growth” budget: Rs35,000 cr for oil and gas ministry to meet net-zero 2070 goal

The Union Budget 2022-23 pledged ₹35,000 crore to the ministry of petroleum and natural gas to invest in green technology to meet net-zero target, clean up the country’s economy and create jobs. In her speech, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government is implementing “many programmes for green fuel, green energy, green farming, green mobility, green buildings, and green equipment, and policies for efficient use of energy across various economic sectors.” Such “green growth efforts” will help cut carbon intensity of the economy and provide green job opportunities, she said. 

The government allocated Rs8,300 crore to build inter-state transmission system for evacuation and grid integration of 13 GW renewable energy from Ladakh. The budget also included Viability Gap Funding for 4GWh of battery energy storage system (BESS), which could be close to Rs3,500 crore, Financial Express reported. The Centre also allocated Rs19,700 crore under the Green Hydrogen Mission and a Green Credit Programme. The budget reiterated the Green Hydrogen Mission goal of 5 million metric tonne by 2030, with an allocation of Rs19,744 crore.

Experts said for RE the budget was a mixed bag. “Is the government signaling developing more strategic gas reserves or gas infrastructure development or helping OMCs tie up with the loss on account of high oil and gas prices?” wrote IEEFA’s Vibhuti Garg.

CEA 2022 data: RE generation much lower than the average installed RE capacity?

According to the data from the Central Electricity Authority for 2022, while India appears on track for achieving installed capacity of electricity generation from non-fossil fuel-based sources, actual generation from such sources is more volatile and much lower, HT reported. According to the newspaper, renewable installed capacity averaged 41.5% from January to December last year, growing consistently every month. However, generation from renewable sources averaged 29.2% from January to November (latest available data), with great month-wise variability.

Solar power accounted for 15% of the total installed power capacity, and 37% of the total installed RE capacity, Mercom reported. Last year, India confirmed to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that by 2030 it will reduce the emissions intensity of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 45% from 2005 levels and source about 50% of its energy requirement from non-fossil fuel-based sources. 

European Investment Bank commits 1 billion euro funding for green hydrogen projects

The European Investment Bank (EIB) will join the India Hydrogen Alliance (IH2A) to boost large-scale green hydrogen hubs and projects across India with an estimated funding of one billion euros, subject to Indian government and EIB approvals, reported ET. The new EIB-IH2A memorandum of understanding will enable the European bank to invest more in green hydrogen. The bank said they are exploring a credit facility with the Indian government to provide investments to the green hydrogen sector that will help India to commercialise and reduce the cost of green hydrogen. Industry experts told the newspaper that the funding for large-scale green hydrogen projects is nascent and EIB’s participation will help solve a key eco-system problem.​​

Supply chain shortage: Wafer, cell prices up by up to 36%

According to new data from the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association (CNMIA), wafer prices rose by between 24% and 36% this week. Chinese manufacturers are now selling 182 mm/150μm, M10 monocrystalline wafers for CNY (Chinese Yuan) 6.0 ($0.88) to CNY 6.22 each, up 26.4% from the preceding week, PV magazine reported. 

The industry lobby attributed the price increases to higher polysilicon prices and unspecified shortages in the supply chain. Polysilicon prices have risen since the start of the year, after a relatively long period of decline toward the end of 2022, according to CNMIA. 

Andhra Pradesh gets central grant of ₹16,400 crore for five solar parks 

The central government told Parliament it has sanctioned five solar parks at an estimated cost of ₹16,400 crore for Andhra Pradesh with an approved capacity to generate 4,100 MW of power. 

The Centre has already released ₹590.8 crore for the projects. The government provides central financial assistance (CFA) of up to ₹25 lakh per solar park to prepare a detailed project report (DPR), the power minister informed Parliament. The solar park scheme has been extended up to March 2024 for completion, he said.

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