Daily News Wrap-Up: India Added 2.5 GW of Solar Open Access in 2022

Rajasthan floats tender for 1.2 GW of solar projects with storage

March 16, 2023


India added 2.5 GW of solar open access in the calendar year (CY) 2022, a year-over-year (YoY) increase of 92% from the 1.3 GW installed in CY 2021, according to the newly released 2022 Q4 & Annual Mercom India Solar Open Access Market Report. The year marked the highest-ever annual installations of solar open access, driven by developers’ need to avoid a 40% Basic Customs Duty on solar modules. The higher tax rates became effective from April 1 last year.

Rajasthan Urja Vikas Nigam has invited bids to set up 1,200 MW of solar power projects anywhere in India with a committed supply for at least six hours during the peak demand periods from an energy storage system. The last date to submit the bids is April 17, 2023. Bids will be opened on April 20.

States have cumulatively installed only half of the allocated capacity of 3.38 GW for the residential rooftop solar sector as part of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s Phase II of the Grid-Connected Rooftop Solar Program, the Union Power Ministry R.K. Singh told the Rajya Sabha. At the end of February, the states’ total installations stood at 1.78 GW as against the target of 4 GW.

India has initiated multiple green hydrogen pilot projects in its bid to achieve 8 million tons of green hydrogen capacity by 2030, the Union Minister of New and Renewable Energy and Power R.K. Singh told the Rajya Sabha. The pilot projects include a 5 Nm3/h (normal cubic meter per hour) Green Hydrogen production project based on solar energy and electrolysis in Gurugram, Haryana, and a 6 kg per hour green hydrogen production project based on biomass gasification in IISc Bangalore.

Presenting the budget for the union territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed the installation of 4,000 new solar agricultural pumps in the financial year 2023-24 (FY24). Further, the budget would also provide resources for replacing 5,000 existing conventional agricultural pumps with solar pumps under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Uthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM). The budget size for the UT was ₹1.2 trillion (~$14 billion), and it was presented in Lok Sabha.

Minister of Power and New and Renewable Energy R.K.Singh  informed the Rajya Sabha that the management of waste generated from solar photovoltaic modules, panels, and cells has been added to the E-Waste Management Rules, 2022, announced last November. Every manufacturer and producer of solar photovoltaic modules and cells must store the waste generated up to the year 2034-35 according to Central Pollution Control Board guidelines.

China has once again raised a ‘Specific Trade Concern’ against India’s regulation that permits the deployment of only domestically manufactured solar modules for all projects across the country. The Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM) has barred Chinese companies from supplying modules for domestic solar projects. An aggrieved China considers ALMM as a trade barrier and is seeking to raise a trade dispute at the WTO. China’s action comes days after India suspended the ALMM mandate for solar developers by a year.

Mercom India is back with the second edition of its clean energy meet series, “C&I Clean Energy Meet 2023,” which provides a unique platform for the country’s commercial and industrial (C&I) consumers to interact with renewable energy experts and understand the benefits of including renewable sources in their energy mix. This year’s first event will be held in Bengaluru, Karnataka, on March 17. The state, which regularly features as one of the most progressive states in solar open access installations, provides an apt location for the event.

The Biden-Harris Administration opened applications for a new multi-billion-dollar program to fund electric vehicle (EV) charging and alternative-fuelling infrastructure in communities along designated highways, interstates, and major roadways across America. The first round of funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Charging and Fuelling Infrastructure program is expected to help ensure America’s zero-emission vehicle future. This round makes up to $700 million available to strategically deploy EV charging and other alternative vehicle-fueling infrastructure projects in publicly accessible locations.

The European Commission has proposed a major reform of the EU’s electricity market design to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy and phase out gas. The reform measures are aimed at incentivizing longer-term contracts with non-fossil power production and bringing more clean, flexible solutions into the system to compete with gas, such as demand response and storage. The commission would make changes to several pieces of EU legislation, including the Electricity Regulation, the Electricity Directive, and the REMIT Regulation.

Researchers at the Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences, China, and Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan, are “upcycling” crab shells into porous, carbon-filled materials with a wide variety of uses, including using the crab carbon to create anode materials for sodium-ion batteries. The researchers said they had already created a biodegradable zinc-ion battery by using crab shells. The sodium-ion batteries are considered an upcoming competitor to lithium-ion chemistries, which have become ubiquitous in recent years.

Wind projects could shore up revenue and jobs for the economies of Argentina, Colombia, Egypt, Indonesia, and Morocco, which have a combined potential of 3.5 GW, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) said in a recent report. These countries can generate additional revenues of  $12.5 billion and create 130,000 full-time equivalent work years over the next five years by tapping into the vast potential of wind energy.