Unmatched! India will struggle to match low solar tariffs in Gulf, but Indian tariffs will continue to fall 5-10% annually in next 10 years | Photo: Arab News

UAE, Saudi Arabia solar tariffs less than half of India’s

According to IEEFA and JMK research, the solar tariffs in UAE and Saudi Arabia work out less than a rupee per unit, which is far cheaper than India’s lowest tariffs of Rs2.36 per unit. 

According to the researchers, the tax and financial policy of each country determines the tariffs. IEEFA says UAE and Saudi Arabia have long-term loans at low-interest rates, they don’t have corporate taxes, their duties on equipment are negligible, and land costs are low. The countries also have lower return on equity (ROE). India cannot compete with these factors, which is why the gulf tariffs are at a record low.

Experts also pointed out that the tariff gap will only widen if Indian government continues to impose permanent basic Customs duty on solar imports from China.

Oxford study: Most power companies investing less in RE, more in fossil fuels

In a worrying trend, an Oxford University research found that only one in 10 global electric utilities companies they studied are prioritising investments in renewable energy over investments in their fossil fuel plants. The study researching over 3,000 power plants found they continue to invest heavily in fossil fuels and some are aggressively promoting their polluting power plants. Only 10% of the companies in the sample were investing in renewable energy capacity at a rate faster than their expansions in coal or gas-fired capacity. 

Solar PV most popular power technology globally: BNEF

According to  BloombergNEF research, among all energy generation technologies, Solar PV ranked the most popular globally. Its built capacity reached 118 GW last year, exceeding all others in new-build terms and was the most sought-after in one-third of the nations in 2019. As a new technology added to the grid, Solar PV dominated in dozens of countries, including India, Italy, Australia, Namibia, Uruguay and the US in 2019.

SECI’s July payment to solar, wind energy firms at $70.2 million, $7.7 million in subsidies

Indian government agency Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) paid $70.2 million to solar and wind energy developers in  July 2020. This is 75% of its total payments of $92.9 million in July 2020. SECI also paid ~$1.5 million in reimbursements to solar companies, which included ₹83.5 million (~$1.1 million) in Goods and Services Tax (GST) reimbursements and ₹27.8 million (~$375,045) towards Safeguard Duty (SGD). 

SECI also released about ₹570 million (~$7.7 million) in subsidies. It paid ₹10.5 million (~$141,654) towards subsidies under the Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) Programme, ₹54.6 million (~$736,599) under the Rooftop Programme, and ₹504.9 million (~$6.8 million) in subsidies under the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) programme, Mercom reported based on SECI statement.

The arrest refund of GST and safeguard duty payments claims went to Wardha Solar (Maharashtra), Azure Power India, Clean Sustainable Energy Private Limited, Parampujya Solar Energy. 

India may be hit by rise in solar module prices in China

As a bulk importer of solar equipment from China, India may be hit by the rise of solar prices in China for the first time since 2017, reported ET. Among the reasons for the price hike is the explosion at the factory of GCL Poly in China that controls 30% of global solar module supplies. Secondly, floods in China’s southeast forced another big poly-silicon producer Tongwei to shut operations.  

According to Bridge to India data, the cost of a single multi-crystalline solar module rose up to over $17 from $16-16.5. The price of a mono-crystalline module has risen to $18-19 from about $17.5, which will translate to an estimated Rs0.07/kWH in impact, BTI said. India imports 85% of solar equipment from China.  Industry experts said this will cause a significant drop in the earning of solar developers. Because of the impact on the supply chain, Chinese module suppliers are not sticking to agreed rates in signed contracts unless higher prices are paid, the report said.

Tamil Nadu regulator asks discom to clear dues of 3 wind energy firms with 10% interest 

The Tamil Nadu State Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) ordered the state distribution company, Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Company (TANGENCE), to clear ₹24.1 million (~$321,701) in dues to wind generators KBD Sugars and Distilleries Limited, DA Srinivas, and DA SathyaPrabha along with interest at 10% towards delayed payments.

As per the power purchase agreement, the discom has to pay interest if the dues are not cleared in the stipulated period of one week. The petitioners also claimed ₹148,062 (~$1,978) in court fees. the regulator said the rate at which the interest is payable by the discom for the late payment remains to be settled.

State-owned power firm NTPC forms renewable subsidiary to meet 2032 targets

The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) received approval from NITI Aayog and the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) to set up a wholly owned company for its renewable energy business. The subsidiary, NTPC Renewable Energy Business, will be incorporated under the provisions of the Companies Act, 2013. 

The move to form a renewable subsidiary is significant because the state-owned power company, which is already generating 1.1 GW of renewable energy, plans to generate nearly 30% or 39 GW of its overall power capacity from renewable energy sources by 2032. The state firm last year also ventured into the electric mobility sector and invited vendors to enlist for the infrastructure development of electric vehicle charging stations.

India launches Green Term-Ahead Market to buy and sell RE, help firms meet RPOs

India launched the Green Renewable Energy Term Ahead Market (G-TAM) that will help states with surplus renewables to sell while the buyers will be able to procure energy as well as meet the renewable purchase obligations (RPOs). 

GTAM contracts will have different categories of contracts including Intraday, Day Ahead Contingency, Daily and Weekly Contracts. For the Intraday & Day Ahead Contingency Contract bids will take place on a 15-minute time-block wise MW basis. For Daily & Weekly Contracts bids will take place on an MWh basis. Both buyers and sellers can submit the bids.

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