Daily News Wrap-Up: India’s Solar Capacity Additions Drop by 44% in 2023

NHPC’s 1.5 GW renewables auction

February 23, 2024


Solar installations in India dropped 44.1% in the calendar year 2023, with a capacity of 7.5 GW added against 13.4 GW in 2022, according to Mercom India’s Q4 & Annual 2023 India Solar Market Update. Large-scale solar installations saw a year-over-year drop of 50.8%, accounting for 5.8 GW from 11.7 GW in 2022. Large-scale solar installations constituted 77.2% of the total annual capacity additions, while rooftop solar made up the remaining 22.8%.

BN Hybrid Power-1 (BrightNight), Hero Solar Energy (Hero Future Energies), Solarcraft Power India 20 (BluPine Energy), Juniper Green Energy, ReNew Solar Power (ReNew), and ACME Cleantech Solutions were declared winners in NHPC’s auction to supply 1.5 GW of firm and dispatchable renewable power (Peak Power Supply) from inter-state transmission system (ISTS)-connected projects coupled with energy storage systems anywhere in India.

MSEB Solar Agro Power has floated 14 tenders to procure a cumulative capacity of 3,048 MW solar power under Component C of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan program for feeder-level solarization. The last date for the submission of bids is February 27, 2024. Bids will be opened on the same day. The projects will be developed under Phase 2 of the Mukhyamantri Saur Krushi Vahini Yojana program.

The Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission has issued the Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (Terms and Conditions for Green Energy Open Access) Regulations, 2024, to include rules for banking and other open access charges applicable for green energy open access consumers. The regulations will apply to power generated through the open access model from green energy sources, including the energy from non-fossil fuel-based municipal solid waste-to-energy projects for the use of intra-state transmission and distribution systems.

Central Electricity Regulatory Commission has stayed the scheduling restrictions imposed by the Western Regional Load Dispatch Centre on Tata Power Renewable Energy’s and Electro Solaire’s solar power projects over the non-compliance of reactive power support. Last October, the Central Electricity Authority directed 20 renewable energy projects that had received provisional or conditional connectivity approvals to submit compliance reports, specifying the capacity of non-compliance that should be curtailed or suspended until they fully meet the regulatory requirements.

SolarEdge, an Israel-based solar inverter manufacturer, recorded a net loss of $162.4 million in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023, an 880% year-over-year) drop from the net profit of $20.8 million, primarily due to the higher interest rates and lower power prices, causing an inventory buildup and slowing down the shipments. The company’s revenues were down by 65% to $316 million in Q4 from $890.7 million during the same quarter last year.

Singapore-based renewable energy firm Vena Energy signed a five-year sustainability-linked revolving credit facility worth JP¥87 billion (~$600 million) to accelerate its operations in the Asia-Pacific region. The company has a renewable energy capacity of over 3 GW and over 4 GW of additional capacity under construction or contract. The facility is structured as a sustainability-linked loan with credit margins tied to Vena Energy’s performance on key ESG indicators.

United States-based residential solar, battery storage, and energy services company Sunrun swung to a loss in the fourth quarter of 2023, hurt by lower sales, higher interest expense, and a non-cash investment charge. The company reported a net loss of $350.1 million in Q4 2023 versus net income of $63 million in Q4 2022. Excluding the $58.6 million non-cash charge related to its investment in Lunar Energy, the Nasdaq-listed company recorded a loss of $291.5 million.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the outlook for 2024 suggests a dynamic and transformative period for the country’s energy landscape, with solar and battery storage taking center stage, complemented by contributions from wind, natural gas, and nuclear sources. Among the anticipated additions, solar power is expected to take the lead, contributing 58% of the new capacity, followed closely by battery storage at 23%. These projections are based on EIA’s latest “Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory.”

Emissions from green hydrogen produced from 100% grid power could be as high as 50 kilograms of CO2 equivalent per kilogram of hydrogen (kgCO2e/kgH2) – worse than brown hydrogen – if the electrolyzer is connected to a grid powered by fossil fuels. The findings were a part of Wood Mackenzie’s Horizons report. This situation might occur if around 30% of the 565 GW of announced or operational green hydrogen projects are connected to the grid. Currently, the global hydrogen market is dominated by carbon-intensive grey or brown hydrogen, totaling around 90 million tons per annum.