Daily News Wrap-Up: Green Energy Trading Plunges in 2023

Grid modernization key to renewables integration: Sterlite Power Interview

November 28, 2023


Renewable energy trading at the Indian Energy Exchange in 2023 so far has seen a considerable drop compared to 2022, with the traded energy reaching its lowest in October 2023 at 188 million units. Seasonality, floods, and inconsistent renewable energy generation are a few of the many reasons behind the drop in renewable energy trade. The increasing power demand and the drop in renewable generation have forced entities to trade mostly on the conventional electricity market, in turn reducing the buy bids in the green market segments.

Integrating solar and wind power requires a resilient grid to ensure a consistent and reliable energy supply. As India targets 500 GW of renewables by 2030, a stable grid is needed to minimize disruptions and meet the increasing demand. In an exclusive interview with Mercom, Sterlite Power’s CEO of Infrastructure Business, Arun Sharma, shared his insights on his company’s role in power transmission infrastructure building in India, renewable energy integration, and grid stability.

In a move to enhance the adoption of Compressed Biogas (CBG) and foster sustainable energy practices, the National Biofuels Coordination Committee, chaired by Union Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, announced a phased mandatory blending of CBG in Compressed Natural Gas for the transport sector and Piped Natural Gas for domestic use. The CBG Blending Obligation marks a crucial step toward achieving broader national objectives, including promoting circular economy principles and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Eastern Railways has invited bids to install grid-connected rooftop solar power projects of 2 MW capacity under the public-private partnership mode to supply power to the Sealdah division in Kolkata. The last date for the submission of bids is December 26, 2023. Bids will be opened the same day. The project will include 40 rooftop solar systems with 50 kW capacity spanning six locations within the Sealdah Division. The solar power generated by the project will be exclusively utilized by Eastern Railways.

Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission has approved a ceiling tariff of ₹3.55 (~$0.043)/ kWh for solar power projects to be set up under Component C of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan program for feeder-level polarization. The Commission directed distribution companies (DISCOMs) to apply the specified ceiling tariff in their upcoming bids. However, before each future bidding, DISCOMs should consistently assess market conditions.

Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency has invited bids to install 6.462 MW of rooftop solar power projects on government buildings in Odisha under the Renewable Energy Service Company Model with a net metering or virtual net metering facility. The last day to submit the bids is December 22, 2023. Bids will be opened on December 28. The systems should be installed within six months of signing the tripartite agreement. The installers must oversee the projects’ operation and maintenance for 25 years.

The International Energy Agency’s recent World Energy Employment report found that investments in clean energy technologies drove demand for new workers in every region of the world. However, a shortage of skilled labor has emerged as a key barrier to ramping up activity. The report found that global energy employment rose to 67 million people in 2022, a 3.2 million increase from pre-pandemic levels.

Singapore-based renewable energy company Sembcorp Industries has signed agreements to acquire 428 MW of wind energy assets in China and India through its subsidiaries, Sembcorp Energy (Shanghai) Holding and Green Infra Wind Energy Limited. Sembcorp Energy (Shanghai) Holding is set to acquire 100% of the share capital in Qinzhou Yuanneng Wind Power. The move involves an equity consideration of approximately $130 million. Qinzhou Yuanneng owns and operates 200 MW of wind assets in Guangxi, China.

The government of Germany has pledged to invest €4 billion ($4.3 billion) in Africa’s green energy projects until 2030, encouraging African nations to generate green energy to be supplied within their countries and to the EU. The announcement was made by the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, alongside African leaders and other heads of international organizations, including Akinwumi Adesina, the President of the African Development Bank Group, as a part of the G20 Compact with Africa, an initiative to improve the conditions for sustainable private sector and infrastructure investment in Africa.