Daily News Wrap-Up: Union Budget 2023 Focuses on Green Energy Transition

Green Energy Open Access Rules amended to align with regulations

February 2, 2023


The Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman laid out an expansive budgetary outlay for expediting green transition as she identified ‘Green Growth’ as one of the seven pillars for Budget 2023. The budget proposed capital investments of ₹350 billion (~$4.28 billion) for green energy transition, net-zero objectives, and energy security. Additionally, it extended the Basic Customs Duty exemptions on several items, including lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, to help scale up the adoption of green mobility.

The Ministry of Power has issued the Electricity (Promoting Renewable Energy Through Green Energy Open Access) Amendment Rules, 2023, under which it has added provisions for the banking settlement cycle, introduced new charges, and exempted offshore wind projects from paying the additional surcharge. Additionally, it also allowed consumers to purchase green energy based on their consumption. Most of the changes are intended to align the existing rules with newly approved regulations and provide flexibility to the consumer to promote renewable energy open access.

Government-owned power sector lender REC India posted the highest-ever quarterly net profit at ₹28.78 billion (~$351.37 million) in the third quarter (Q3) of the financial year (FY) 2022-2023, up 3.8% year-over-year. The company said that the improving asset quality and resolution of stressed assets primarily drove the growth in the net profit. REC said that none of its accounts has turned into non-performing assets during the April-December 2023 period.

Danapur railway division of the East Central Railway has invited bids for state-wise empanelment of agencies to implement 3.252 MW of grid-connected rooftop solar projects in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The projects include 446 kW of rooftop solar systems ranging from 10 kW to 100 kW, 2.755 MW of rooftop solar systems between 100 kW and 500 kW in Bihar, and 51 kW of rooftop solar systems with a capacity of greater than 10 kW and up to 100 kW in Uttar Pradesh.

The Agency for New & Renewable Energy Research and Technology has issued a request for selection (RfS) for an agency to implement a 1 MW grid-connected solar photovoltaic power project at a government medical college campus in Thiruvananthapuram. The scope of the work includes design, supply, engineering, erection testing, and commissioning of the project, along with ten years of operation & maintenance. The last date for submission of bids is February 15, 2023. Bids will be opened the next day.

The Solar Energy Corporation of India has released ₹7.91 billion (~$96.6 million) in payments to solar and wind power generators for the power purchased in November 2022. The disbursal accounted for nearly 94.6% of the total amount paid by the nodal agency during the month. The amount is marginally lower than the payments made in October. The agency had released ₹8.04 billion (~$98.34 million) against power purchases. The agency disbursed a total of ₹8.35 billion (~$102.13 million), including payments towards solar and wind power purchases, reimbursements to developers, and duties in November.

Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission has ruled that a wind power generator was not entitled to an adjustment of banked units from the generating project as the banked units injected into the grid and the open access availed during the same financial year were from different generating stations. However, the Commission directed the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company to refund wheeling and transmission charges recovered from the petitioner in energy bills with interest within one month from the date of the order.

Total investment in electric vehicle chargers is set to cross $100 billion in 2023, and the next $100 billion of spending is expected to be achieved within the next three years, a new BloombergNEF study found. Annual spending on electric vehicle charging infrastructure almost doubled to $62 billion during the previous year. There are currently more than 12 million active EV plug points globally, with the number of home chargers exceeding public chargers.