Duty bound: India will replace its current safeguard duties regime on solar panel and module imports with a 40% customs duty starting next year | Photo: Live Mint

Solar target 280 GW by 2030: India to levy 40% Customs duty on solar modules by next year

By April 2022, India will levy 40% Customs duty on solar panels and 25% on solar modules, according to a memo issued by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Reuters reported. The country currently does not charge Customs duty on solar imports, but has a safeguard duty to boost domestic industry, which expires in July.

According to the memo, India wants to increase its solar capacity to 280 GW by 2030-31 from about 39 GW currently, making it over a third of its overall power requirement. India is chasing a renewable capacity target of 175 GW by 2022 and 450 GW by 2030, from about 93 GW currently, as part of its commitment under the Paris Climate Accords.

Targets missed, but RE companies’ ratings saved by diverse projects : Moody’s

Thanks to large and diverse portfolios, Indian renewable energy companies have been able to survive their failure to meet generation targets in the fiscal years of 2019 and 2020, a report by credit rating agency Moody’s said. 

According to Moody’s analysts, about 15%-20% of Indian wind and solar projects did not meet capacity utilisation targets in fiscal years 2019 and 2020 because of wind generation curtailments and lower irradiance for solar projects, which were responsible for 56% and 68% of the underperformance respectively. 

Around 176 projects totaling 11,462 MW, across five rated companies – Greenko Energy Holdings, ReNew Power, Adani Renewable Energy (Rj) Limited, Azure Power and Azure Power Solar Energy Private Limited – were analysed. 

House panel: Govt consistently missing RE targets, cutting budget; need single-window clearance for rooftop solar

A parliamentary panel slammed the Centre for “consistently failing” to meet its RE targets. In its report on the demand for grants by MNRE for the financial year (FY) 2021-22, the panel pointed out that in 2020-21, 5.47 GW renewable capacity was installed as of January 2021 against the 12.38 GW target. About 4.16 GW of solar capacity was installed against its 9 GW target and nearly 940 MW of wind capacity against the 3 GW target.

The panel said the budget was cut by about 26% for the year 2019-20 and 38% for 2020-21. The ministry had utilised 91.53% and 69.78% of the budget allocations during 2019-20 and 2020-21, respectively.

About failure to implement the solar rooftop programme, the panel suggested that a single-window clearance system be created for the transparent and quick disbursement of subsidies. The country’s cumulative installed rooftop solar capacity stood at  3.73 GW as of December 31, 2020, against the target of 40 GW by 2022.

Wind turbine commissioning jumps by record 59% worldwide: BNEF study 

Despite the disruptions caused by the pandemic last year, the commissioning of new wind turbines globally surged by a record 59% to more than 96 GW of capacity, according to a BloombergNEF study.

Companies commissioned 96.3 GW of wind turbines in 2020, compared with 60.7 GW the previous year, the majority of which were onshore installations. Offshore wind turbine projects fell by 19% to 6.1 GW. The report said in every region, wind power jumped in 2020 compared to 2019, but the most gains were made by China. The country commissioned 57.8 GW of new wind capacity in 2020. The government’s feed-in tariff for wind power is set to end this year, which could trigger a drop in the commissioning rate.

US’ biggest off-shore wind farm gets Biden boost

Seen as a breakthrough for the US offshore wind industry, the Biden administration in the US moved closer to approve a $2.8 billion project to build the nation’s first large-scale offshore wind farm, the Washington Post reported. The Vineyard Wind project would consist of 84 turbines generating 800 MW of energy – enough to power 400,000 homes – and would begin feeding the New England grid in 2023. 

The project was conceived two decades ago but had been opposed by waterfront property owners near the upscale island, including then Senator Edward M Kennedy, who died in 2009, and the billionaire industrialist William I Koch. The project will consist of up to 84 turbines that will generate about 800 MW — enough to power about 400,000 homes, according to the companies.

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