IEEFA: India urgently needs hefty grid investment to match renewable investments

IEEFA says India needs to urgently invest in grid transmission infrastructure to keep pace with growing low-cost renewable capacity so that people can benefit from cheap power supply. India’s economy is expected to grow at 7-8% annually and the corresponding increase in power consumption will require a modernised grid that is capable of absorbing the increasing inflow of variable-output renewable power.

BNEF: Renewables to grow in 2019 as costs fall even further

A new BNEF analysis has predicted that global renewable energy capacity will grow through 2019 over further reductions in the costs of solar and wind power, and of lithium-ion batteries. However, 2019’s total clean energy investment will be at around $300 billion, down from 2018’s $332.1 billion. Analysts say, as costs continue to decline, the low investment will bring more renewable energy capacity. BNEF says, between 125 and 141 GW of new solar will be added in 2019 worldwide, up from around 109 GW added in 2018. While 70 GW of wind capacity will be added in 2019, up from 53.5 GW last year.

BNEF: Solar investment fell 24% in 2018 due to  better technology, China’s policy tweaks

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) reports that more than 100GW of solar capacity was added worldwide in 2018, but the pace of addition had slowed from 2017. Investment in solar also fell 24% over 2017 levels. The fall is partly a result of China’s policy tweaks to cool its domestic solar market, that led to a glut in the supply of solar modules — which were sold off at cheaper rates outside its borders.

Improvements in solar module efficiency have also lowered their prices — by as much as 12%, according to BNEF — and brought down the per MW cost of solar installations.

India mulling anti-dumping duty on tempered solar glass imports from Malaysia

The Indian government may impose an anti-dumping duty of $114.58 per tonne on Malaysia-imported tempered solar glass to protect domestic manufacturers from cheap imports. The final decision to impose the duty will be taken by the finance ministry. Gujarat Borosil Ltd. had asked the DGTR to investigate allegations of dumping of tempered solar glass and panels by Chinese and Malaysian manufacturers, and if a duty should be imposed on them to protect domestic manufacturers.

BHEL, LIBCOIN to build India’s first Li-Ion gigafactory

In a joint venture, state-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) and the consortium of LIBCOIN, plan to build India’s first lithium-ion battery gigafactory. BHEL is set to launch a study of the facilities, R&D infrastructure and other techno-commercial issues for the same. The plant’s capacity will be scaled up to 30 GWh in due course. The project is another step towards India’s plans to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.

1GW Maharashtra Solar tender gets oversubscribed by 900MW

1GW solar tender floated in Maharashtra for grid-connected solar projects under Phase II attracted plenty of bidders. The tender has been oversubscribed by 900MW. The upper ceiling cost for the tender had been revised to 2.90/kWh. About 7 solar companies, including Adani, TATA, Renew Solar, ACME solar, bid for the tender aggregating to 1900MW.

CSE: Rooftop solar failing to take off in India
Solar rooftop has failed to flourish in India because the market is tilted towards large-scale renewable energy – that’s the verdict of the another recent study by think-tank Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). The report said India’s rooftop solar target is 40GW capacity by 2022, but till November 2018, only 1,334MW of grid -connected solar rooftop system had been installed. The study pointed out that the preference has been for commercial and industrial installations instead of housing. The report said residential consumers account for less than 20% of the total installed capacity.

New RBI norms may leave renewable energy projects in the lurch

Domestic solar industry lobby, the National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI), has said the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) revised policy of External Commercial Borrowings has made it impossible for them to repay rupee loans from the proceeds of foreign lenders. The NSEFI  has requested the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to intervene in the matter. The developers said there’s a lack of domestic financing for renewable energy projects and given the land and transmission issues, foreign lenders are also hesitant to give them money, in which case, “developers first take under-construction loans from domestic lenders at relatively higher interest rates and later refinance such high-cost rupee loans by low-cost foreign currency loans from foreign lenders through External Commercial Borrowings once the project is operational.” But the revised ECP policy doesn’t allow them to pay back using foreign finance proceeds.

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