Eyeing a piece: Under pressure to increase clean energy investments, French oil major Total is eyeing India's 1.3 billion users through stake in Adani Green | Photo: Reuters

RE push: French energy giant Total buys $2.5 billion stake in Adani Green, eyeing Indian users

In a drive to cut dependence on oil, French energy company Total is paying $2.5 billion for a share in Indian renewable energy firm Adani Green Energy Limited (AGEL) and a portfolio of solar power assets. Total will get a 20% stake in AGEL and a seat on its board, as well as a 50% share in the Indian firm’s portfolio of solar power assets, the French firm said.

Global companies under pressure to invest in environmental assets are eyeing India’s 1.3 billion energy users, reported Bloomberg, citing an instance of French oil major Total SA’s $2.5 billion investment in Adani Green Energy last week.

The report said India’s goal of doubling renewable power by 2022 is getting a boost from international investors who see the massive market’s potential outweighing significant risks, including a mounting debt at generation companies and attempts by some provinces to renege on power purchase contracts. India is expecting to nearly double renewable energy capacity by 2022 and raise it five-fold to 450 gigawatts over the next decade. India is offering investment opportunities of $20 billion a year through 2030.

Power min mulls extension of ISTS charges waiver for solar, wind projects beyond deadline 

The ministry of power said it is considering extending the inter-state transmission system (ISTS) charges waiver beyond June 30, 2023. The ministry said it won’t deprive renewable power projects of a waiver on inter-state transmission system (ISTS) charges and losses if they are commissioned after June 20, 2023, due to delays caused by the transmission provider or the government agency or due to force majeure. Last August, the deadline for waivers was 2023.

The government wants to waive off the charges and losses to encourage wind and solar energy capacity addition in the country. This move will reduce the cost of generation to achieve the country’s target of achieving 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by December 31, 2022.

Punjab to amend net metering rules to restrict rooftop solar installations

The Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) may soon amend the net metering rules, 2015, over the issue of losses faced by the state discom Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) from rooftop solar power consumers.  PSPCL said the cost of producing solar power had come down significantly, and solar power was available at about ₹2.60 (~$0.035)/kWh plus the trading margin. Thus, procuring cheap solar power from the market and distributing it to the consumers would be more beneficial than rooftop solar projects under the present net metering regulations.

Meanwhile, to popularise solar power, the West Bengal government allowed net metering for individual household rooftop solar panels starting from 1 KW, ET reported. Earlier, institutional, commercial, industrial and cooperative housing were only allowed the benefit of net metering and that too for 5 KW capacity onwards.

Global green bond issuance touched record high in 2020

According to the latest research, global green bond issuance reached a record high of $269.5 billion by the end of last year and could reach $400-$450 billion this year. Green bonds are fixed-income securities that raise capital for projects with environmental benefits, such as renewable energy or low-carbon transport. The issuance of green bonds slowed in the second quarter of 2020 because of the effects of the COVID-19 crisis before rebounding in the third quarter, according to a report by the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI).

Supporting factors for green bond issuance this year include the return of the US to the Paris Agreement to fight climate change and investors’ and policymakers’ growing focus on decarbonising industrial sectors, Reuters reported.

China doubles new renewable capacity in 2020, builds new thermal plants

According to state data, China more than doubled its new wind and solar power plants in 2020 from a year earlier. The world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter added 71.67 gigawatts (GW) of wind power capacity last year, the most ever and nearly triple 2019’s levels. Beijing will end subsidies for new onshore wind power projects starting 2021. New solar power capacity also rebounded in 2020 to 48.2 GW after falling for two straight years, the data showed, beating an earlier industry estimate of 40 GW.

The state figures also revealed that China continued to build new thermal power capacity in 2020, according to the data, with 56.37 GW – the highest level since 2015.

IEA and India ink strategic partnership agreement

India and the International Energy Agency (IEA) signed a strategic partnership agreement to strengthen cooperation in global energy security and stability. The power ministry’s statement said this partnership will lead to an extensive exchange of knowledge and would be a stepping stone towards India becoming a full member of the IEA.

IEA and India will jointly decide the contents of partnership, including a phased increase in benefits and responsibilities for India as an IEA strategic partner, and building on existing areas of work within the association and the Clean Energy Transitions Programme, such as energy security, clean and sustainable energy, expansion of gas-based economy in India, etc.

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