100 GW unlocked: India, in July, breached the milestone of adding 100 GW of renewable energy capacity after rooftop solar installations pick up speed | Photo: Mygov.in

India’s renewable energy capacity passes 100 GW milestone, excluding large hydro

India’s total renewable energy capacity reached 100 GW, excluding large hydro projects. Until July, 2021 the cumulative RE capacity including solar, wind, rooftop solar, small hydro, bagasse, biomass, and waste to power stood at 98882.73 MW. 

Rooftop solar sector witnessed a huge jump in the first quarter of 2021, when 1,924.44 MW capacity was installed, that is 96.2% of the annual target. Total grid connected rooftop installations stand at 5,099 MW, according to the Hindu. 

The country is chasing a target of 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022. According to the government press release 100 GW has been installed, 50 GW is under installation and 27 GW is under tendering. 

India’s target of 2 million solar power pumps by 2022 under threat, farmers fail to access bank loans : IEEFA report

A new report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) stated India will fall way short of meeting its targets to install two million off-grid solar irrigation pumps in the agricultural sector by 2022. The reason: Farmers cannot afford solar irrigation pumps, nor can they access the bank loans. The PM-KUSUM scheme, set up in July 2019 by the central government, hopes to deploy 30.8GW of solar irrigation pumps by March 2022. However, only 246,000 of the proposed 2 million pumps were installed in the 2019/2020 fiscal year.

Farmers are being denied bank loans to buy the solar pumps because banks do not consider farmers’ land to be strong collateral against a loan, IEEFA said. 

Too much variable solar, wind power? Andhra DISCOMs resist increase in RE to avoid grid fluctuations

Andhra Pradesh DISCOMs are resisting attempts to increase solar or wind power generation as they fear that it would lead to severe fluctuations in grid maintenance. The DISCOMs said system planning has become almost impossible and system operators are forced to handle several uncertainties after the large-scale variable renewable energy (VRE) integration. The uncertainties of VRE are affecting the reliability of the conventional generators as well, DISCOMs stated in a filing before the AP Electricity Regulatory Commission.

The power utilities are wary of increasing renewable energy targets as they fear it would lead to severe fluctuations in grid maintenance. The state has an installed capacity of 7,500 MW of renewable energy and the state government is planning to add about 10,000 MW solar power to completely meet agriculture sector power needs in the next three years.

Recently, the Centre asked the state government to ensure addition of another 9,000 MW from renewable energy plants in the next four years, which is likely to take the capacity of the non-conventional plants to about 25,000 MW. The DISCOMs said this level of generation may cause severe fluctuations at the grid level.

Manufacturers Vs Developers: Supreme Court dismisses govt’s special leave plea for solar anti-dumping probe

The top court of India dismissed the special leave plea for a solar anti-dumping probe. 

The Indian Solar Manufacturers Association (ISMA) moved a petition with the Director General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) seeking an anti-dumping investigation on the import of solar cells from China, Vietnam, and Thailand.

ISMA had alleged that the dumping of imported solar cells from these countries was causing material injury to the domestic industry and had requested the Centre to impose an anti-dumping duty. Following this petition, the Solar Power Developers Association moved a counter-petition with the Delhi high court to quash the anti-dumping investigation. The Developers Association reasoned that such an investigation would cause harm to the solar industry.

In response to the Solar Power Developers Association petition, the Delhi High Court granted an extension for the submission of counter-affidavits from the government on this investigation until July 19, 2021. Meanwhile, the government took an extension of four weeks to file the counter-affidavits in the anti-dumping investigation while simultaneously filing the special leave petitions, which irked the Apex Court.

Solar power producer fined for missing renewable purchase obligation targets

Captive power producer in Chhattisgarh Indsil Energy & Electrochemicals was fined Rs1,00,000 for non-compliance of renewable purchase obligation (RPO). The Chhattisgarh State Electricity Regulatory Commission said the company failed to fulfill its solar and non-solar RPO of 5.1 million units in FY 2016-17 and 2.25 million units in FY 2017-18. It failed to procure a total of 7.26 MU, including 1.44 MU solar and 5.82 MU non-solar as per the RPO targets. The Chhattisgarh regulator proceeded ex-parte against Indsil as it failed to appear before the commission.

Indsil was ordered to maintain a separate fund for the amount determined by the commission based on a shortfall in units of RPO and the forbearance price decided by the central Commission. The company will have to open a separate bank account to maintain the fund. The commission also directed Indsil to deposit ₹7.26 million (~$97,500) as per the existing price of renewable energy certificates of ₹1 (~$0.013)/unit by October 11, 2021 as the respondent failed to procure 7.26 MU of renewable energy.

Govt launches interest subvention scheme for waste to energy biomethanation projects

The Centre launched a loan interest subversion scheme in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation. The scheme also provides district level estimates of available urban and industrial organic wastes and their energy generation potential across India.

The scheme will enable SMEs to set up new waste to energy projects and may facilitate the growth of biomethanation in the waste-to-energy sector. The Global Environment Facility will also provide financial support for innovative waste to energy biomethanation projects. The geographic information based system provides district level estimates of available urban and industrial organic wastes and their energy generation potential in the country.

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