Daily News Wrap-Up: States Levying Water and Air Cess on Power Generation Illegal

Norms Released for Auto Components Certification including EVs Under PLI Program

May 2, 2023


The Ministry of Power has asked all state governments and union territories to withdraw any tax or duty on electricity generation, especially from hydro projects, after some cases came to light. The ministry clarified that such taxes are unconstitutional and illegal, as per the provisions of the Constitution of India. The ministry noted some states have imposed a water cess for hydropower projects and an air cess for wind power projects.

The Ministry of Heavy Industries has released standard operating procedures under the Production Linked Incentive program for automotive companies and component manufacturers to get their products tested and certified. The program proposes financial incentives to boost domestic manufacturing of Advanced Automotive Technology (AAT) products and attract investments in the automotive manufacturing value chain. It has two parts— Champion Original Equipment Manufacturer, which will make electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles, and Component Champions, which will make high-value and high-tech components.

Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission has allowed Dollar Industries to set up a 2 MW solar project with a battery energy storage system (BESS) for captive use. Dollar Industries had filed a petition seeking permission to set up two solar projects of 2 MW capacity with BESS for captive use. The petitioner argued the BESS would allow the petitioner to use solar energy during day and night hours as per the solar tariff order of the Commission.

U.S.-based solar module manufacturer First Solar recorded a net income of $42.6 million in the first quarter of the financial year 2023, compared to a net loss of $43.3 million year-over-year (YoY). The quarterly performance was due to higher net sales at a lower proportional cost YoY, which led to a gross profit margin of 20.4% for the first quarter compared with 3.1% YoY.

U.S.-based residential solar firm Sunnova’s net loss widened to $110.3 million in the first quarter of the financial year 2023 compared to the loss of $22 million year-on-year (YoY), primarily due to higher expenses. The company said that increased general and administrative expenses, along with interest expenses of $86 million, were the main reasons for higher losses in the first quarter. The company’s total operating expenses grew by 111% YoY to $210.5 million during the quarter.

Enphase Energy, a microinverter-based solar and storage systems supplier, posted a 183% year-over-year (YoY) surge in profit at $147 million for the first quarter (Q1) of the financial year 2023, mainly driven by increased microinverter and battery shipments to new regions. The company’s revenue grew by 65% YoY for the January-March quarter to $726 million. It began shipments to new regions, including France and Switzerland. The microinverter shipments grew by 7% YoY to 4,830,589 or approximately 1,957.2 MW in Q1, while the company shipped 102.4 MWh of Enphase IQ batteries.

Spain-based independent power producer Iberdrola recorded a net profit of €1.5 billion (~$1.6 billion) for the first quarter of the financial year 2023, an increase of 40% on a year-on-year (YoY) basis. The company said that the profit growth is attributable to improved performance in the European Union due to the normalization of production and fewer energy purchases at a lower cost YoY, as well as the growth in renewables and grids. The company posted revenue of €15.46 billion (~$16.9 million), an increase of 27.2 % YoY.

Researchers from ETH Zurich have developed an environmentally friendly salt concentration for water-based zinc-ion batteries, which offers long-lasting performance and fast charging. To store sustainably produced energy from sources like wind or sunlight, the world requires powerful and cost-effective batteries that can be utilized even in the absence of natural sources. While lithium-ion batteries are commonly used to power smartphones and electric cars, they are costly due to the increasing global demand for lithium and are also prone to flammability issues.

At the ‘Role of Energy Storage in Making Renewables Mainstream’ session on April 27 at Mercom India Renewables Summit, the expert panelists discussed India’s long-duration energy storage market and the available choices for the most efficient and cost-effective commercial technologies. Industry experts shared their views on the crucial role of battery energy storage in streamlining the development and deployment of renewable energy in India at the exclusive two-day clean energy event held on April 26 and April 27 in New Delhi.

The ‘Corporates and Industries Leading Decarbonization and Renewables Adoption’ session on Day 1 of the Mercom India Renewables Summit dealt with ways to accelerate clean energy adoption and the business models for making green energy adoption financially attractive. At the exclusive event on April 26-27 in New Delhi, industry experts gathered to discuss critical issues, opportunities, and emerging trends related to the use of renewables by industries.

At a session titled ‘Green Hydrogen – The Critical Piece in the Decarbonization Puzzle on Day 1 of the Mercom India Renewables Summit, panelists discussed the challenges for India to emerge as a significant hub in producing this clean fuel. Mercom India brought together industry experts to discuss the criticality of green hydrogen in decarbonizing hard-to-abate sectors at the exclusive event being held on April 26-27 in New Delhi.