Daily News Wrap-Up: Cost of Solar Projects Falls for First Time in 11 Quarters

IEX traded 358 million units of renewable energy in May, up 28% from 280 MU in April

June 7, 2023


The average cost of large-scale solar projects during the first quarter of the calendar year 2023 decreased by 5% quarter-over-quarter for the first time in 11 quarters, owing to a drop in module prices. The findings were published in Mercom India Research’s recently released Q1 2023 India Solar Marker Quarterly Update. Project costs are likely to continue downward if module prices keep falling as manufacturers expand production capacity. Approximately 50-60% of the total project cost is attributed to solar modules, per the update.

The Indian Energy Exchange traded 358 million units (MU) of renewable energy during May 2023, a growth of 28% from 280 MU traded a month ago, while there was a year-over-year dip of 44%. The green energy traded includes Green-Day -Ahead Market (G-DAM) and Green Term-Ahead Market (G-TAM). The cumulative trading volume was 8,251 MU, representing a YoY increase of 8%.

The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has directed renewable energy developers who have applied for connectivity until April 30, 2023, to comply with CEA Connectivity Regulations by September 30 or face disconnection. Additionally, those who have applied for connectivity after April 30, 2023, must adhere to requirements specified in the ‘Technical Standards for Connectivity to the Grid Regulations 2007’, along with subsequent amendments, CEA said.

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission recently ruled that a solar developer was not obligated to supply the commissioned capacity of 62.5 MW after the extended scheduled commissioning date to the Tata Power Delhi Distribution (TPDDL) in terms of the power purchase agreement. SBSR Power Cleantech Eleven filed a petition seeking the extension of the scheduled commercial operation date of the project. Later, an interim application was filed by TPDDL  seeking the Commission to direct the solar power developer to supply 62.5 MW of the commissioned capacity after the extended commissioning date to TPDDL on a pro-rata basis. The Commission now ruled that the developer is free to decide on the sale of power to third parties or in the open market.

According to a report by the International Energy Agency, global renewable capacity additions are set to soar by an unprecedented 107 GW to over 440 GW in 2023. The agency said that the increase would be driven by expanding policy support, concerns over energy security, and improved competitiveness of clean energy compared to fossil fuel alternatives.

India’s strategic advantages, including abundant renewable energy resources, existing consumption markets, and favorable investment opportunities, position the country as a potential global green hydrogen hub. According to a report by the U.S. Agency for International Development, Indian producers can achieve some of the lowest levelized costs for green hydrogen and green ammonia globally, estimated at $3,800-4,800 per ton and $850-1,100 per ton. The agency said this could be achieved by leveraging resources and developing suitable sites as green hydrogen hubs.