The International Energy Agency has praised India for providing electricity to half a billion people since 2000. India is likely to achieve universal energy access by 2020, the IEA report said, adding that by 2030, three out of five Indian connections will be powered by renewable energy.
Power pacts: Centre’s plan to rein in states
Meanwhile, faced with a ‘slump’ in the sector, Power minister R K Singh plans to amend the law and make the RPOs (renewable purchase obligations) binding – an idea he plans to propose to state energy ministers on November 10th and 11th. He expects power demand to grow, and all villages to be electrified by this December, 3 months ahead of the March 2018 target.
Boost lagging solar sentiment, change narrative
Experts suggest that the government is trying to boost the investor sentiment by changing the power sector narrative from the previous ‘surplus electricity’ to ‘growth in consumption’ to meet its power-for-all 2019 deadline. Experts say with states refusing to relent on cheaper tariffs, privatization of DISCOMS is the only option left for the Centre.
Solar power costs to drop by 60%
Utility scale solar power costs are expected to plummet by another 60% over the next decade, according to IRENA as solar modules get cheaper and more efficient. It also expects 80 – 90 GW of solar capacity addition globally for 5-6 years, with China alone expected to install 50 GW annually.
India’s capacity addition is also expected to grow, even though rise in domestic demand in China has increased prices of modules imported into India, resulting in slowdown to single digits (in GW) here.
Anti-Dumping Duty bad idea for India’s solar sector?
While the government must boost India’s module manufacturing capacity, experts say it needs to simultaneously retain the price competitiveness of solar power. They are therefore wary of anti-dumping duties imposed on imported modules, which if instated, would raise solar power prices.