Daily News Wrap-Up: Solar Exports Surge by 6,293% & Imports Fall by 34% in Q1

Government cuts electric two-wheeler subsidy to ₹10,000

May 23, 2023


India exported solar cells and modules worth $479 million (~₹39.5 billion) in the first quarter (Q1) of the calendar year 2023, a staggering increase of 6,293% year-over-year (YoY), according to Department of Commerce data. On a quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) basis, exports rose 29% from $371 million (~₹30.6 billion). India imported solar cells and modules worth $812 million (~₹67.06 billion) during the quarter, a decline of 34% YoY.

At a time when the sales of electric vehicles, especially two-wheelers (e-2W), were seeing an upsurge, the government has slashed the subsidy for e-2Ws from ₹15,000 (~$181)/kWh to ₹10,000 (~$121). In a gazette notification, the Ministry of Heavy Industries also announced that the cap on incentives for e-2Ws has been reduced to 15% of the total cost of the vehicles from 40% under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid & Electric Vehicles in India Phase-II (FAME-II) program. The amendments will come into effect from June 1, 2023, and will be applicable to all e-2Ws registered on or after that date.

Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam has invited bids for 800 MW of grid-connected solar projects (Phase XX) at the Khavda Solar Park in Gujarat with a greenshoe option of an additional capacity of 800 MW. The last day to submit the bids is June 15, 2023. Bids will be opened on June 19. Bidders must submit a bid processing fee of ₹300,000 (~$3,621) plus 18% GST and ₹400,000 (~$4,828)/MW as an earnest money deposit.

Independent and reliable testing labs for solar modules ensure that even small manufacturers without an established brand name can distinguish themselves based on their quality. It also comforts project developers who have been buying the product for the last 30 years and more, Sishir Garemella, Head of International BD at PVEL, said in an interview on the sidelines of the Mercom India Renewables Summit 2023.

Integrating renewable energy into the power mix is a no-brainer for data centers as it allows global companies to meet sustainability targets and offers 30-35% cost arbitrage over power procured from distribution companies, Akhil Agarwal, Senior Director, Power Management, ST Telemedia Global Data Centres told Mercom in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the Mercom India Renewables Summit 2023.

The Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission has adopted the tariff of ₹2.51 (~$0.030)/kWh for Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam (GUVNL) to procure 500 MW of solar power with a greenshoe option of an additional 360 MW. The Commission directed GUVNL to sign power purchase agreements with the successful bidders for the allocated capacities. It directed GUVNL to publish the names of the successful bidders and the tariff quoted on its website for 30 days for the benefit of the stakeholders.

The Kerala government’s Agency for New and Renewable Energy Research and Technology (ANERT) has invited bids to commission 1 MW of rooftop solar projects at BrahMos Aerospace in Thiruvananthapuram. The developer must also oversee the project’s operation and maintenance for ten years. Only bidders registered with ANERT as solar engineering, procurement, and construction vendors will be eligible to participate in the tender.

Suntuity Renewables, a U.S.-based residential solar company, has reached a $190 million business combination deal with Beard Energy Transition Acquisition Corp., a special acquisition company (SPAC). Suntuity will likely finalize the agreement in the last quarter of 2023, resulting in its listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

Electric Utility Enel North America, through its affiliate 3Sun USA, will construct a 3 GW large-scale solar module manufacturing facility in Oklahoma. Estimated to cost over $1 billion, the planned factory is claimed to be among the first in the U.S. to produce solar cells incorporating bifacial heterojunction technology (HJT). Expected to begin construction in the fall of 2023, the project will create around 1,000 new direct permanent jobs by 2025. There is also a potential for a second phase to scale the factory to reach 6 GW of annual production, creating an additional 900 new direct jobs, the company said.

Saudi Arabia’s NEOM Green Hydrogen Company (NGHC) has announced the financial close of its green hydrogen production facility with an estimated value of $8.4 billion. NGHC is a joint venture of ACWA Power, NEOM, and a U.S.-based international seller of gases and chemicals Air Products. The mega plant will integrate up to 4GW of solar and wind energy to produce up to 600 tons of carbon-free hydrogen per day by the end of 2026 in the form of green ammonia as a cost-effective solution for the transportation and industrial sectors globally.