India-initiated International Solar Alliance became official on December 6th, with 19 countries ratifying its framework agreement. The ISA aims to raise $1,000 billion for solar energy by 2030. Initiated in Paris 2015, it’s the first treaty-based international organisation to be based in India, which India can use to cement its renewable energy leadership among developing countries. India has also set aside $2 billion for solar projects in Africa. The ISA also plans to develop an insurance scheme – a $300 billion Common Risk Mitigating Mechanism – to protect investors.
Patanjali to make solar panels, won’t compete with China
In a few months, Yoga guru Ramdev’s firm Patanjali is expected to start producing solar equipment at their nearly Rs 100 crore solar equipment manufacturing factory in Greater Noida. Patanjali’s director Balkrishna said they decided to make solar panels because “most of the solar modules come from China, and there was no quality consistency even in India-made ones”. Patanjali will not be competing with Chinese module prices.
Solar power company moves High Court against import duty
Meanwhile, Acme Cleantech has taken Chennai port officials to Madras High Court over newly imposed import duty on solar modules. Solar panels were classified as duty-free semiconductors, but Chennai port changed the classification to electric motors and slapped a 7.5% duty. About 90% of the solar panels are imported, as they are cheaper than home-made modules. Acme is the only one that has gone to court so far. The MNRE has written to the finance minister to intervene in the matter.
India to attract ‘$3.1 trillion climate investment’ till 2030
The International Finance Corporation has said India’s renewable energy sector – that aims to install 175GW by 2022 – has opportunities worth $448 billion. India aims for a 40% of its installed power capacity to be powered by renewables by 2030. The IFC estimated that India will attract $3.1 trillion worth of investment through 2030 as it proceeds to meet its Paris targets.
Rooftop ‘fastest growing’ sub-sector
Rooftop solar continues to be the fastest growing sub-sector, and needs to grow faster still to reach the ambitious 40GW target, which presents a $23 billion investment opportunity.
Solar panels near tracks may ‘save millions’
A UK study has found that rail companies could cut their costs by millions of pounds a year by installing trackside solar panels to power electric trains – and therefore enabling them to cut fares for passengers. Installing solar farms and batteries alongside railway lines also could provide the extra energy needed to power more carriages on busy routes that otherwise would require prohibitively expensive upgrades to electricity networks.
Renewable energy market impacts G.E services, 12,000 jobs cut
Growing demand for renewable energy has taken toll on General Electric, with the company planning to cut 12,000 jobs in its power division. Oil and natural gas markets are dealing with a glut of supply and companies like General Electric have been forced to cut prices on their services.
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