Timely: India’s enormous fiscal stimulus to solar power has been long due, and hopefully proves effective | Image credit: OrnateSolar

India imposes anti-dumping duty on import of solar EVA sheets from 4 countries

India has imposed an anti-dumping duty from $537 to upto $1,559 per tonne on Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) sheets for solar PV modules imported from China, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and Malaysia. The duty will last for five years to protect the domestic manufacturing market. The duty will not restrict any imports from any country and won’t affect the availability of the products, reported Mercom.

The petition was filed by RenewSys, Vishakha Renewables Private Limited, and Allied Glasses Private Limited. In the petition, it was mentioned that there is no known difference between the EVA sheets imported from the countries mentioned above and that produced by the petitioners, and the consumers can use the two interchangeably.

Government blacklists Chinese solar gear company after failing to honour contract

India is set to blacklist leading Chinese solar manufacturer China Sunergy (CSUN), after the solar module supplier failed to meet its contractual obligations with local project developers, the government said. This is the first time the government is considering such a step against a foreign solar equipment supplier. The ministry is also planning to prepare a list of approved suppliers to shield Indian companies from the risk of dealing with unreliable suppliers, ET reported.

Solar project developers Acme Solar, RattanIndia and Refex Energy had complained to the ministry about CSUN failing to maintain supplies. Acme Solar’s plea at the International Arbitration Centre, Singapore, said the Chinese firm had agreed to supply it solar modules of an aggregate capacity of 30MW. Acme paid an advance of $2.95 million (30% of the purchase price) but CSUN failed to dispatch 9W of modules by the agreed deadline, and did not return the advance either, it alleged. The Singapore arbitration court upheld Acme’s appeal.

Climate change may hit India’s wind power

Electricity production of Indian windmills is falling by 13% over the years because of the impact of warming of the Indian Ocean and the resultant weakening of the Indian monsoon – that’s the finding of a recent study. The Hindu reported that researchers from Harvard University and the National Climate Center in Beijing, based their conclusions on the analyses of wind and atmospheric data from 1980 to 2016. This trend may continue, the researchers warned, as they showed a decline in electricity production in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Karnataka. Tamil Nadu wind farms, located on the east coast, did not show any significant decline. Meng Gao of Harvard University, and lead researcher on the study, told The Hindu: “The government could concentrate on setting up more projects in Tamil Nadu as the lifetime of wind turbines is 20 to 30 years. We need to look at long-term goals.”

Researchers in India questioned the findings. Dr. K. Balaraman, Director General, National Institute of Wind Energy, Chennai, told The Hindu: “The data used by the team does not correlate with the live data we have. We have started additional studies to validate these results and will publish the findings soon.”

India’s shift towards renewable energy could dent US coal exports: IEEFA

India’s rapid transition to renewable energy over coal coupled with Europe’s phasing out of coal will hit the US export of the fuel, said the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). The report said the US exported 115 million tonne (MT) of coal in 2018, 15% of the total domestic production of 753 MT. The US exports metallurgical coal used in the steel industry. IEEFA said, over the past decade, the US has exported an average of 58.3 MT, with the largest share going to European steelmakers, while other major importers were  Canada, Brazil, Japan and India.

According to IEEFA, the “mini-export boom” of the past couple of years has hit its peak as  European countries are phasing out thermal coal. Also, even as India plans to drastically reduce its reliance on coal-fired generation, US exporters face intense competition from Australia and other closer-to-market suppliers, the IEEFA report said.

India seeks bids for $5 billion in transmission lines to fuel renewables growth

Come June, India will seek bids for $5 billion of transmission-line tenders to integrate 175GW of renewable energy into the country’s grid by 2022. The target would require an investment in feeder lines and improvement of infrastructure. India has awarded tenders for 12GW of transmission lines since December, while bids for a further 16GW will be launched by the end of June. Another 38GW will be up for bidding before March 2020, ET reported quoting officials. Indian government said, since December, it has awarded tenders for 12 GW of transmission lines, while bids for 16 GW will be sought by June. Another 38 GW will be bid out before March 2020. Therefore, building transmission lines for 66GW worth of projects would need an estimated investment of Rs430 billion.

No ISTS transmission charges for solar and wind energy

India’s power regulator, in its latest modification to the law, has dropped charges and losses for the use of inter-State Transmission System (ISTS) network for generation of solar and wind power resources for a massive 25 years, both for private and public players.

Mercom reported the amended rules will apply to projects that meet certain conditions, which include the following:

Award of solar and wind projects should have been through the competitive bidding. Secondly, the commercial operation date (COD) for such projects should be between February 13, 2018, and March 31, 2022. And finally, a power-purchase agreement (PPA) should be signed with DISCOMs for the compliance of renewable purchase obligation (RPO).

Australia’s plunging wind, solar, storage costs stun fossil fuel industry

The Australian government this week dumped 90% of coal projects that  were submitted for underwriting programmes, and instead chose many renewable projects backed by battery storage and pumped hydro, and some gas and just one coal upgrade, reported Renew Economy. Experts say that given the elections are just weeks away, the choice may have been driven more by politics than economics.

Experts said developers were only asked to submit broad outlines, but once they send in detailed tender proposals later this year, “the economic case for favouring renewables and storage projects should be crystal clear, if the latest numbers from global analysts BloombergNEF are anything to go by” reported Renew Economy.

Britain’s CO2 emissions down 2.5% as renewables hit record

Thanks to a record renewable power generation, Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions have now fallen 43.5% since 1990, allowing the country to get closer to meeting a legally binding target to cut them by 2050 to 80% below 1990 levels. Government data showed that Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions fell 2.5% in 2018, dropping for a sixth straight year, but more slowly than before, Reuters reported. UK’s carbon dioxide emissions came down 2.4% in 2018. Since the rate of decline was less than 2017’s 3% and 6% in 2016, campaigners said Britain was not reducing emissions fast enough to meet Paris targets.

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