Grand plans: The 'One Sun, One World, One Grid' project for a global energy grid has reportedly hit operational roadblocks despite finding mention in PM Modi's I-Day speech | Photo: The Bihar Now

‘One Sun, One World, One Grid’ put on hold, revived in PM’s I-Day speech

Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned the ambitious ‘One Sun, One World, One Grid’ (OSOWOG) in his Independence Day address on August 15. But the project of a mega trans-national electricity grid supplying non-stop solar power across the globe has been put on hold

The initiative was announced in 2018 by the PM, but only this June the ministry of new and renewable energy came out with a Request for Proposal (RFP) to hire consultants for converting the idea into policy.  In July, the MNRE put the RFP on hold “until further notice.” While no specific reason was offered, the calls to ministry went unanswered, DTE reported. According to BS, COVID-19 was one of the reasons for delaying the process

The World Bank was providing technical assistance for the project. Issues of intricate geopolitics, unfavourable economics, globalisation and undue centralisation have been highlighted as drawbacks. 

Centre waives ISTS charges until June 2023 for solar and wind projects

The Centre has extended the waiver of inter-state transmission system (ISTS) charges and losses on supply of solar and wind power until June 30, 2023. Industry bodies had demanded a one-year extension to account for the disruptions on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. Solar associations claimed that due to the pandemic, planning in terms of capacity addition, development pipeline, and execution on ground was affected and expected to get further delayed. 

The government said no ISTS charges would be levied for 25 years from the date of commissioning of the power plants for the supply and sale to entities having renewable purchase obligations (RPOs). 

International Solar Alliance: First ‘virtual’ summit on Sep 8, big names may log in

The International Solar Alliance, a joint initiative of India and France launched in 2015, will host its first online world solar technology summit on September 8, next month. Global industry elites and Nobel laureates are expected to login. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the virtual summit. Big names who may attend include SoftBank chief executive Masayoshi Son, Tesla chief Elon Musk and Bertrand Piccard, who flew around the world in a solar powered plane.

Power minister said India will share its experience in commissioning round-the-clock (RTC) projects along with hybrid projects that will supply energy during peak hours after sundown. India also plans to place the issue of setting up of the World Solar Bank in its agenda for the annual assembly scheduled in October, as a special finance vehicle with authorised capital of $15 billion to fund projects for small island countries. 

Project’s worth $1.4 billion have already been tied up and are at different stages of construction. France has put in EUR1.5 billion. India announced about US$2 million of ISA funding for 47 innovative projects not exceeding US$50,000, one project in each of 47 small island countries.

During first 6 months of 2020, wind, solar supplied 10% of global power: Study

Solar and wind energy projects produced a record 10% of global electricity in the first half of 2020, as coal power witnessed a fall. But much more needs to change to meet Paris targets, according to a  study by climate think-tank Ember. According to the study, power demand dropped 3% during the six months of lockdowns, but coal plants still produced 33% of global electricity during this period. 

Energy from wind and solar plants rose by 14% during the first half of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, while output from coal plants fell by 8.3%, stated the report.

Researchers said to keep a chance of limiting climate change to 1.5 degrees Celsius, coal generation needs to fall by 13% per year till 2030. Europe and the UK contributed most from wind and solar, at 21% and 33% respectively during the period. China and the US contributed 10% and 12%, respectively. Coal power generation fell by over 30% in the US and Europe, but only 2% in China, during the first half of 2020.

Offshore wind to surge to over 234GW by 2030, India to miss offshore wind power target

India will miss its offshore wind energy 2019 target even as global offshore wind capacity will surge to over 234GW by 2030 from 29.1GW at the end of 2019 led by major growth in the Asia-Pacific region and growth in Europe, according to a new report from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

With nearly 7,600 km of coastline, India has a target of 5GW of offshore wind power by 2022 and 30GW by 2030. India has earmarked nearly 70GW of potential area for offshore wind energy development.

Meanwhile, the tender for the first 1GW project in the Gulf of Khambhat in Gujarat has been delayed. The government is now eyeing a stronger wind resource area off Tamil Nadu.

The research states that 2019 was the best year on record for offshore wind, with 6.1GW of new capacity added globally, bringing total global cumulative installations to 29.1GW. China bagged the top spot for the second year in a row for new installations, installing a record 2.4GW, followed by the UK at 1.8GW and Germany at 1.1GW. While Europe continues to be the leading region for offshore wind, countries in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as the US market, will be regions of significant growth in the next decade.

Companies may not be allowed ‘grandfather clause’, will have to pay solar import duty

The government may not allow already commissioned renewable power projects to use “grandfather clause” to import solar equipment from China, even though it had earlier assured them they could. As a result this, the projects planned with precise budgets, might “fall into danger”.

Sources say that the Ministry of Finance refused to allow exemptions, adding that the government may offer a formula similar to coal cess to allow companies to recover the losses incurred over safeguard and basic Customs duties. The consumers will bear the brunt, experts said.  

The government plans to waive 5% interest to cell manufacturers, along with an additional 3% waiver in the form of the cross-subsidy surcharge if the manufacturing plant also makes ingots and wafers.

UK’s Actis acquires Acme solar projects for estimated ₹2,300 cr

UK based investor Actis acquired two solar projects in India totalling 400MW from Acme Solar Holdings Ltd.Located in Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, Actis is estimated to have paid ₹2,300 crore for the projects, ET reported. Since the lockdowns, it’s one of the largest deals in Indian renewable sector. Actis outbid Canadian fund Brookfield to strike a deal with one of the largest solar power producers in India, ET reported.

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