Lion’s share: Gujarat received the biggest amount in financial aid from the Union ministry of new and renewable energy for solar projects among all Indian states. Photo: pixabay

Centre opts for feed-in tariffs over reverse auctions that earned DISCOMS low tariffs

The government is planning to introduce state specific feed-in tariffs from April 1, 2023, instead of reverse actions, which DISCOMS prefer, Mercom reported. RE tariffs fell drastically under reverse auctions with competitive biddings, compared to feed-in tariff projects. Private industry claim reverse auctions lead to “unhealthy competition”.

The low tariffs have been the result of aggressive bidding, particularly by public sector developers, who have access to low-cost funding. Solar projects fell to a record low tariff of Rs1.99 per kWh in 2020 in reverse action.

The Centre plans to conduct detailed research before proposing a state specific feed-in tariff mechanism, Mercom reported. If such a tariff is high and not accepted by the DISCOM the government will reconsider the option, said the energy news portal.

Gujarat got 47% of MNRE aid to install solar power in 2021

Gujarat got almost half of the total aid from the Centre to states in 2021 to install solar projects, the government told Parliament. Gujarat received Rs1,242.71 crore (47%) in financial aid of a total amount of Rs2,633 crore disbursed to all other states in 2021-22. Gujarat ‘s installed solar power capacity is at 7,806.8 MW.

The state plans to procure up to 1.5 GW of solar power from grid-connected PV projects. The bidders are expected to supply the power from their proposed or under-construction PV projects. Of 1.5 GW capacity, 750 MW will be awarded under the Greenshoe option, reported PVMagazine.

Report: India my miss 2030 RE target by 104 GW

India must add over 38 GW of renewable capacity annually between 2022 to 2030 to achieve its target, which it is likely to miss by 104GW considering the current market and growth trends, according to a new report by GlobalData.

The report stated that even after including large hydro under the definition of renewables, India is likely to achieve its 2022 target but may miss out on the solar-specific target and fall short of the 2030 target. The country aims to reach a renewable power capacity of 500 GW and meet 50% of its electricity needs through renewables by 2030. It also targets net-zero emissions by 2070.

Only decentralised RE can help India to achieve 2030 targets: Experts

India can achieve its 2030 target only by increasing decentralised renewable energy projects, experts warned. The Energy and Resources Institute’s (TERI) Surya Sethi pointed out that utility scare RE projects use grid as back-up (battery) and that cost is not included in the overcall cost per unit. Solar, wind or biofuel are, by nature, decentralised (energy needed to transport biofuels beyond 5 sqkm is more than what can be extracted from that biomass, Surya said). All new projects for RE are being built over agricultural land, no matter how much they are yielding, pointed out Ulka Kelkar. All big projects target massive installed capacities and disrupt agriculture and biodiversity, experts pointed out at the  Earth Journalism Network workshop. 

According to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), India gets investments of about $10-15 billion for RE annually, when it needs over $30-40 billion. At the Glasgow 2021 summit, India announced an RE target of 500 GW by 2030 and said it will meet 50% power requirement through RE.

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