India said it will bid 60 gigawatt (GW) of solar energy and 20 GW capacity of wind energy by March 2020. The country has set up about 73.35 GW renewable energy capacity as of October, 2018.
$100 mn Green Climate Fund to boost rooftop solar in India
On the sidelines of the UN climate conference, India signed a $100 million agreement with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to boost rooftop solar capacity through private sector initiatives. Tata Cleantech Capital Ltd will receive GCF support through India’s National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard). Meanwhile, a Bridge to India analysis says India added a record 1.5GW of rooftop solar in the twelve months to September 2018, which is a substantial 75% year-on-year rise. At this rate, India is on track to reach 15GW by 2022 (as opposed to the original 40GW target), the report says. The top five states account for 54% of the market:
- Maharashtra – 473MW
- Tamil Nadu – 312MW
- Karnataka – 272MW
- Rajasthan – 270MW
- Uttar Pradesh – 223MW
India-led ISA, EU sign pact to promote solar energy
India-led International Solar Alliance (ISA) signed a joint declaration with the European Union (EU) to boost solar energy. As per the agreement the countries will jointly work to raise finance for the development of “affordable solar energy”. The ISA aims to mobilize $1 trillion by 2030 to generate 1,000 GW of solar energy.
India planning rooftop solar scheme SRISTI
Meanwhile, India plans to launch a new solar rooftop scheme SRISTI or Sustainable Rooftop Implementation for Solar Transfiguration of India to meet its rooftop solar target of 40,000 MW by 2022. Discoms will play a key role in implementing SRISTI.
Govt spends half of annual renewable budget in first half of current fiscal
India has spent nearly half of its Rs5,146-crore annual renewable budget in the first half of the fiscal year 2018. Of the total expense, Rs3,762 crore was allocated for grid-interactive renewable power projects (Rs2,045 crore for solar power, Rs. 750 crore for wind power). India is chasing a target of 175 gigawatt (GW) of installed renewable power by March 2022.
Indian govt refuses to change tariff ceiling for solar projects
The government said it will continue imposing a tariff ceiling on solar projects, rejecting the industry’s demand to allow them to bid at a price that companies find viable to enable higher participation.
Developers have been protesting against these ceilings, maintaining they are too low and are thereby restricting auction participation. When competition lowers tariffs anyway, then why the need to control, they ask.
FInally, India conducts its first major wind-solar hybrid auction
Softbank and Adani have won 840 MW of the 1,200 MW put on sale at India’s first wind-solar hybrid auction. Softbank won 450 MW at Rs2.67 per unit of electricity generated, while Adani won 390 MW at Rs2.69. Only two developers put in bids, leaving the remaining 360 MW with no takers. This was the government’s second attempt to attract bidders after the last auction in May had no takers at all.
Vinay Rustagi, of Bridge To India, said, “I think it was pretty clear that both bidders will get the capacities at the tariffs they have already bid, so it was not an authentic process in that sense.”
Maharashtra’s solar plans see a surge
Maharashtra announced a 1GW grid-connected solar tender with the upper price capped at Rs2.80/kWh. Maharashtra’s expansion of solar projects is impressive. Months ago, the state issued 1,400 MW solar tender in 30 circles of the state. 50 MW solar projects will be developed in 26 circles, while 25 MW solar projects will be developed in four circles. The state also announced two tenders (50 MW each) for 100 MW of grid-connected solar projects to be developed in the western region of the state, with the upper tariff ceiling for both the tenders at ₹3.05 (~$0.04318)/kWh.
Tamil Nadu, Odisha announce fresh solar, wind tenders
Tamil Nadu’s electricity board TANGEDCO announced a 500 MW tender for wind projects with the upper tariff ceiling fixed at ₹2.65/kWh. A single bidder must bid for a minimum capacity of 25 MW with at least 5 MW of the project at one site. Meanwhile, Odisha plans to invite bids for a 550 MW solar project, after the state had its first moderately successful auction in July.
Solar power tariffs drop further in UP auction
In its latest tender, Uttar Pradesh attracted bids for 550 MW of solar power at Rs3.04-3.08/kWh. While higher than other states, this tariff sets a new low for the state of UP “given lower radiation & higher discom risk.” Solar radiation in UP is low compared to Rajasthan, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.
After hitting a record low of Rs.2.44 per unit in May 2017, tariffs in India have been rising ever since the government imposed a safeguard duty of 25% on imported solar panels and modules in an effort to support local manufacturing.
China set to launch renewable power quota system
China plans to launch a new renewable power quota system before the end of 2018, “to cut renewable power wastage rates to 5% by 2020 from as high as 12% this year.”
The new quota system will set minimum renewable power consumption targets for each region. Companies covered by the scheme will receive renewable energy certificates when they buy renewable power and will be forced to buy additional certificates if they fail to reach their targets.