About time: India's 30GW offshore wind target is a good start to tapping its vast offshore wind potential

RENEWABLES: India’s massive 100GW solar tender, Utility solar grew 72% in FY17-18; Offshore wind target of 30GW by 2030

Can coal compare? India’s staggering 100 GW solar tender plan

India is planning “world’s biggest” 100GW solar tender, linked with manufacturing, but no timetable yet. Power Minister recently said India will achieve 227GW by 2022, and exceed the 175GW renewable target. Experts say large scale renewable projects make economic sense (as they are much cheaper than coal), and would need investment of around $100 billion.

Solar companies fear being eclipsed by foreign biggies

Six power giants, including Adani, have complained against new bidding rules raising maximum bidding limit from 750MW to 1800 MW (SECI) and 2000 MW (NTPC) in the upcoming auctions. The six claimed the high limits would give advantage to foreign bidders with deeper pockets, over local ones. Experts say, the resultant “investment deflation” will benefit the government and the consumers. The six want the bidding deadlines to be postponed.

India’s utility solar capacity grows 72% in 2017-18: Report

India’s utility solar capacity grew by a whopping 72% in 2017-18 (9.1GW vs. 5.5GW in 2016-17). Total solar installation was at 10.4GW, including rooftop and off-grid. India’s cumulative solar capacity touched 24.4GW, “way short of 100GW target”. Coal added 4.6GW; and wind 1.7GW. Karnataka, with its solar exemptions, added the most (4.1GW): 46% of capacity installed in FY18. Adani, Renew, Acme were top developers. FY19 figures will be low, “because of a slowdown in tender activity” in late 2016, early 2017.

Safeguard duty confusion may hit 100GW target

Ahead of public hearing on proposed 70% safeguard duty on solar imports, developers said the duty may jeopardize India’s 100GW by 2022 target, impact 25 GW volume under progress and thousands will lose jobs. A public hearing on the duty by the recently created Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) has created confusion since the finance ministry panel last month dropped the duty plan.

Indian solar imports up by 20%, exports 105% in FY 2018

Solar imports rose nearly 20% in FY 2018 ($3.83 billion), compared to FY 2016-17 ($3.19 billion). To meet commissioning deadlines, developers installed over 3GW of solar PV capacity during Q4 of FY 2017-18. Indian solar exports ($141.41 million) rose 105%, compared to FY2016-17 ($69.11 million).

Gujarat announces Solar-Wind Hybrid Power Policy

To boost hybrid wind-solar power production, Gujarat announced solar plus wind hybrid power policy, allowing land optimization. Developers can set up solar project on land meant for wind project and vice versa; transmission lines meant for solar can also be used for wind farms.

Govt. will buy excess power from “hybrid projects”

SECI issued “rare” 2.5 GW interstate transmission system-connected wind and solar tender. The “novel” idea: in case of over generation, the implementing agency will buy the excess power at PPA tariff.

India offshore wind energy target: 30GW by 2030

In a big boost to wind sector, Centre announced offshore wind target of 5GW by 2022 and 30 GW by 2030. The recent Expressions of Interest (EoI) for the first 1 GW offshore wind project in India, “evoked keen response”, both global and Indian, government said.

Wind power tariffs ‘to remain low’

Meanwhile, in bad news for coal, rating agency CRISIL says India’s wind power tariffs are expected to remain below Rs3/kWh, 10% cheaper than the thermal power sector average, because of reduction in payment and offtake risks. A “generation clause” in recent power purchase agreements (PPAs) is providing relief to developers as it offers payment for generation rather than offtake.

India seeks $2.4 billion funding from AIIB

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) annual general meet opens in Mumbai. India has sought $2.40 billion from the Beijing-headquartered bank, that will also loan $200 million to India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF)

Campaigners say loan to NIIF, a financial intermediary, could be high risk, as it is waiting to invest in stalled projects. To date, the post-Paris bank has disbursed US$4.59 billion, of which US$990 million has been invested in five fossil-fuel projects. Experts say public banks backing unviable coal continue to jeopardize interest of shareholders.

Sterling and Wilson India’s Leading Solar EPC Player in 2017

Based on its commissioned projects in 2017 (1GW), Sterling and Wilson was the top solar engineering procurement construction (EPC) developer (12% market share) in India in 2017 – a record year for solar. The firm has over 2 GW of commissioned solar projects in India.

Batteries boom to get 50% of global electricity from renewables by 2050

Recent BNEF study says batteries and renewables boom, will surge solar and wind power to “50% of world generation by 2050.” Coal will shrink to just 11%. Cheaper batteries will allow storage/discharge to meet shifts in demand and supply. Lithium-ion battery prices, down 80% per MWH since 2010, will continue to fall with the rise of EVs through the 2020s.

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