few hiccups notwithstanding, India's RE sector seems poised for massive growth in the next 4 years

India’s 3-year solar, wind energy roadmap to surpass 2022 RE target

India is confident it will exceed its renewable energy target of 175 GW by 2022 as it plans to award 100GW of solar and wind contracts by 2020 and surpass 200 GW by 2022. The government also aims to promote domestic solar manufacturing and help increase wind turbine export.

Consider the roadmap: 16GW of solar tenders by March 31 (2018), 30GW each in 2019, 2020 and nearly 10GW of floating solar capacity to be built on reservoirs. Solar equipment manufacturers to establish local units to supply domestic market. 4GW wind energy targets this year, 10GW each in 2019 and 2020, 5GW in off-shore projects and EXIM bank to help manufacturers boost wind turbine export. The government also plans to encourage farmers to generate 20GW of solar power.

20GW to spur domestic solar manufacturing
The power minister said the government plans to establish domestic manufacturing facilities for up to 20GW which will be set up through global bids. The government has not considered incentivising domestic manufacturers as the tender itself will create demand for solar equipment in the country. The ministry expects to resolve the issue of GST rates on solar panels in the next 7-10 days.

‘Duty on solar power panels illegal’
The power minister has complained to the finance minister that customs officials are wrongfully demanding 7.5% duty on imported solar equipment, which has led to ports getting jammed with shipments.

Tracking solar equipment IDs
India plans to penalize solar power firms that are using foreign equipment in projects awarded on the basis that they would only use locally made solar panels and cells. It will be mandatory for developers to disclose the radio-frequency identification (RFID) information of the panels and share the RFID list of rejected panels.

‘Diplomatic win’, China joins ISA
India scored a diplomatic ‘victory’ at Bonn when China announced its decision to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA) – which is initiated by India. Analysts say its China’s way to corner the solar energy market and a wake-up call for India which now needs to step up with affordable solutions.

‘Fair’, ‘unfair’ ratings
Indian industry has welcomed India’s sovereign rating upgrade by Moody’s, and is now expecting easier financing for India’s growing renewable energy projects. However, Standard & Poor’s kept its sovereign rating for India unchanged at ‘BBB-minus with stable outlook’, saying that vulnerabilities stemming from low per capita income and high government debt balanced strong GDP growth. The rating has been termed as “unfair” by the government.

Nagpur Metro to get solar power at less than Rs 4.50 a unit
Nagpur Metro has decided to go for captive solar power generation and will get it at Rs 4.50/kWh, while it will use more expensive (@Rs. 7.5/kWh) conventional power in the evening.

After Kerala, Goa to sail solar boats to work
Goa will introduce solar powered boats to revive river commutes. Residents can now get a calm, smoke-free cruise. India’s first solar ferry for public transport has been launched in Kerala by NavAlt, a Kochi-based company, earlier this year. The firm’s officials may visit Goa to study local conditions.

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