Daily News Wrap-Up: Solar Sector Pins Hopes on Budget 2023

MNRE Grants Timeline Extension for Solar Projects Bid Before BCD Announcement

January 30, 2023


The solar sector has a long wish list for the Union Budget 2023, which will be presented in a few days. Stakeholders look forward to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announcing tax and duty waivers for solar equipment, extending the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) program to the MSME sector, solar manufacturing to be considered under priority sector lending, and lifting duties on the import of machinery. After one of the best years for the solar sector in terms of installations, stakeholders exude optimism about 2023, despite higher prices and supply challenges.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has extended the timeline for the completion of solar and wind-solar hybrid projects for which bids were finalized before March 9, 2021. The extension is provided until March 2024. The Basic Customs Duty on the import of solar modules and cells came into effect on April 1, 2022. The ministry noted that many projects whose bids were finalized before the announcement but were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant supply chain disruptions now come under the purview of the BCD.

NTPC Renewable Energy has invited bids for the balance of system (BoS) package with land for interstate transmission system (ISTS)-connected solar projects up to 1,000 MW anywhere in India except Rajasthan with a greenshoe option for an additional 500 MW. The successful bidder will also have to take care of the comprehensive operation and maintenance of the systems for three years. The last day to submit the bids is March 21, 2023. Bids will be opened on the same day. The cost of the bidding documents is ₹22,500 (~$275).

Tesla recorded a revenue of $24.32 billion from all its businesses in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2022, a year-over-year (YoY) of 37% compared to $17.72 billion in the previous quarter. On a quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) basis, the revenue rose by 13% compared to $21.45 billion. Tesla’s total gross profit for the quarter was $5.78 billion, up 19% YoY compared to $4.85 billion. Total gross profit increased by 7% QoQ compared to $5.38 billion. The adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) amounted to $5.4 billion in Q4, a YoY jump of 32% from $4.09 billion. EBITDA went up by 8% QoQ compared to $4.97 billion.

The U.S.-based energy company NextEra Energy reported a net income of $1.52 billion for the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2022, up by 26.41% year-over-year (YoY), driven primarily due to successful executions of growth initiatives by all businesses of the company. NextEra Energy’s net income for the full year 2022 increased by 16% to $4.15 billion. NextEra Energy is a holding company for a regulated retail utility (the combined Florida Power & Light (FPL) and Gulf Power that together have about six million customer accounts) and an unregulated generation subsidiary, NextEra Energy Resources, which generates clean energy from solar, wind, and nuclear power.

Investments in the low-carbon energy transition have accounted for a record-breaking $1.1 trillion in 2022 and have reached parity with capital deployed for fossil fuel supply, a BloombergNEF report has said. The investment was primarily driven by the energy crisis and policy action, leading to faster deployments of clean energy technologies. BNEF’s Energy Transition Investment Trends annually tracks how much funding businesses, financial institutions, governments, and end-users are committing to the low-carbon energy transition.

US Lawmakers Seek Repeal of Duty Waiver on Solar Panels from Southeast Asia. Seven months after President Joe Biden announced a two-year duty exemption on solar modules and cells imported from four Southeast Asian countries, a bipartisan group of Congressmen is seeking to repeal the waiver. A resolution of disapproval, which expects support from both Democrats and Republicans, has been introduced in the House of Representatives that demand a rollback of the suspension of solar import tariffs.