International Solar Alliance: Multilateral Banks, GCF onboard
France will invest additional 700 million euros in the International Solar Alliance (ISA), President Macron said at the founding conference in Delhi. France has already invested 300 m euros in the alliance. ISA aims to mobilize $1 trillion for solar generation, storage and technology globally by 2030. It has 60 signatories, with 30 of those countries having ratified the agreement. US and China are ‘keen to join the ISA’ too.
Big banks such as Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and New Development Bank) and the GCF (UN’s Green Climate Fund) World Bank, European Investment Bank, and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development are current ISA partners.
121 solar projects, the ‘inevitable renewables’
Next month (April 19-21) ISA will hold Re-Invest summit and sign 121 solar projects. Experts say. The ISA will speed up the ‘inevitable transformation’ of the power industry to renewables, globally.
Rooftop solar key to India 2022 targets
As India seeks to achieve 100GW solar installations by 2022, 40GW of that will be rooftop installations of small businesses (a third of India’s $2 trillion economy). Small firms are dumping ‘expensive and erratic’ grid and dirty diesel generators for cheaper solar rooftops: the fastest growing renewable segment in India, according to BNEF. The World Bank is also stepping in with a $625 million loan to support India’s solar rooftops of small businesses.
India’s clean energy: 22% rise, & ‘22% fall?’
India’s clean power (wind, solar, biomass, small hydro and bagasse) grew 22% in 2017, Central Electricity Authority report said. Renewables’ share was at 8% in 2017, compared to 6.8% in 2016.
However, 2018, solar installations are heading for a ‘22% fall’ from 19.6GW in 2017 to around 7.5 GW in 2018 as ‘investor sentiment’ is faced with policy uncertainty over multiple tariffs (safeguard, anti-dumping, and port) Mercom report said. Developers are backing out, forcing auctions to be postponed. Solar capacity rose to 19.6GW in 2017 (10.6 GW of large-scale units under construction, 4.3 GW of big projects pending auction). Top bureaucracy is confident of meeting the 175GW target before 2022 as it banks on International Solar Alliance (ISA) to help mobilise solar funds.
World’s largest solar park in Karnataka, farmers paid rent
State of Karnataka launched ‘world’s largest’ 2,000 MW solar park. The Rs 16,500 crore park at Pavagada (13,000 acres) has been built in record two years, with zero land acquisition. The 2,300 farmers are paid Rs 21,000 per acre as monthly rent. Meanwhile Andhra Pradeshmobilized funds for renewable energy worth Rs 68,000 crore at a recent CII summit.
New coal plants drop, 45% power capacity additions solar
In India, new coal plants declined from 62% in 2016, to 19% in 2017, and solar power saw 45% of total power capacity additions. India’s 2027 renewable target is 275 GW. BP report said, India’s energy consumption, growing at over 4.2% annually, is slated to overtake China energy market by 2020s.
China’s $1.5 billion ‘hands-off’ loan to India
China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is loaning $1.5 billion to India for infrastructure-projects in 2018, as China plans to invest over $100 billion for its mega Belt and Road linking Asia, Europe and Africa. AIIB has committed $200 million to India allowing the government to decide how to use the money. China follows a hands-off overseas development financing policy, unlike western banks who come attached with social and environmental accountability. India needs $125 billion in investments to meet its 175 GW renewable target by 2022.
China’s new solar norms, post US tariffs
Import duties (in the US and India) have only strengthened China’s resolve to dominate solar market. China issued fresh norms to make high-efficiency solar cells and expand solar sector with over $1.5 million funds to firms annually. China produced 87GW of silicon wafers and 68 GW of solar cells last year. It has 130.3 GW of installed solar capacity.
Microsoft’s first Asia deal in solar
After wind energy deals in Ireland and the Netherlands, Microsoft struck its first Asia deal to buy all of 60MW solar power from the Sunseap Group for 20 years to run its Singapore datacenters. Microsoft plans to power 50% of its world datacenters load with renewables this year.
Wind, solar could meet 80% of US demand: study
Wind and solar power could meet 80% of US demand if transmission and storage facilities are in place, researchers said. Currently, the US draws 8% power from renewables (wind 7%, solar 1%). Researchers compared 36 years of US weather data with US electricity demand to get around 80% figure.
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