India approved ₹18,100 crore production-linked incentive for battery storage to reduce import dependency and boost electric mobility. India imports battery storage equipment worth ₹20,000 crore annually.
The incentive is offered to build a cumulative 50 GWh of advanced chemistry cell (ACC) and 5 GWh of ‘niche’ ACC production facilities in India. The government said an additional investment of ₹45,000 crore is expected from the National Programme on Advanced Chemical Cell Battery Storage.
The incentives will be given to bidders who commit to set up a manufacturing unit of a minimum 5 GWh to maximum 20 GWh and ensure a minimum of 60% domestic value addition at the project level within five years. The cash subsidy shall be offered on the output, PV magazine reported.
Pandemic & discom debt: India’s RE capacity addition fell by 50% in 2020, says IEA
COVID-19 restrictions caused the 50% decline in India’s renewable capacity additions in 2020, compared to 2019, according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Renewable Energy Market Update.
According to IEA, India’s Photovoltaic (PV) capacity addition is expected to be three times in 2021 compared with 2020, as delayed large-scale utility projects become operational. India awarded 27 GW of photovoltaics in central and state auctions in 2020. The IEA report said residential installations remained sluggish because of administrative and regulatory challenges in multiple states.
The IEA report said the financial health of discoms was the primary challenge to renewable energy deployment in India. India has proposed reforms worth $41 billion (around ₹3 lakh crore) to improve discom operations.
India launches anti-dumping probe against solar imports from China, Vietnam, Thailand
India accepted a plea by the Indian Solar Manufacturers’ Association (ISMA) to initiate an anti-dumping investigation against the import of solar cells from China, Thailand and Vietnam. Solar cells are the basic ingredient used in making solar modules and Chinese products are 15-20% cheaper.
The Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) found prima facie evidence of dumping against the accused countries that harmed the domestic industry. A similar anti-dumping investigation initiated in July 2017 was called off in March 2018 on ISMA’s request.
According to Financial Express, after the safeguard duty imposition on China and Malaysia, solar imports surged from Vietnam and Thailand. Between FY18 and FY20, imports of solar cells and modules from Vietnam and Thailand recorded a growth rate of 800% and 5,750%, to $136 million and $117 million, respectively. Import of Chinese products fell 60% to $1.3 billion in the same period.
India amends 12 GW CPSU programme, caps VGF at ₹55 lakh per MW
India amended the guidelines for implementation of Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) scheme phase-II for setting up 12,000 MW grid-connected solar projects with viability gap funding (VGF). According to the changed rules, the mutually agreed usage charge of the government produced power will not exceed ₹2.45 per unit, as compared to previous limit of ₹2.80 per unit.
The new guidelines fixed the maximum permissible VGF at ₹0.55 crore per MW, which was kept at ₹0.70 crore per MW earlier. The VGF is provided under the scheme with the objective of covering the cost difference between the domestically produced solar cells and modules and imported solar cells and modules. Now solar power projects will have to be commissioned within 30 months from the date of letter of award and not 24 months.
Biden approves America’s first major offshore wind farm
The Biden administration approved America’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm. The Vineyard Wind project will include around 84 turbines in the Atlantic Ocean about 12 nautical miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. The project is expected to generate about 800 MW of electricity, enough to power about 400,000 homes, NYT reported. The US is estimated to install some 2,000 turbines along the east coast.
The Trump administration had moved to cancel the project’s permitting process, which Biden revived as part of his target of building 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind in the United States by 2030. It’s a target the White House said would spark $12 billion in capital investments annually, supporting 77,000 direct and indirect jobs by the end of the decade.