Month in a Minute: Top Headlines from Indian Renewable Sector in April 2023

Mercom announces winners of its flagship 2023 Renewable Industry Awards


Here is a recap of important headlines from April 2023:

Tata Power, Fourth Partner Energy, Amp Energy India, Gujarat Power Corporation, Oorja Development Solutions India, CleanMax Enviro, NTPC, RenewSys, Serentica Renewables, SJVN, and Hero Future Energies were recognized as winners in various categories at Mercom India Renewables Summit to honor companies for their contributions in advancing India’s environmental goals through innovative projects and business deals.

The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy issued an agency-wise bidding calendar for 50 GW of renewable energy projects for the current financial year. The calendar entails a schedule of 30 GW of renewable capacity for the first two quarters and 20 GW in the last two quarters. SECI and NTPC will issue tenders for 12.5 GW of Solar/Hybrid/Round-the-Clock (RTC) projects and 2.5 MW of wind projects each. NHPC and SJVN will issue tenders for 7.5 GW of Solar/Hybrid/RTC projects and 2.5 MW of wind projects each.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) designated SJVN as the implementing agency responsible for floating tenders for renewable energy projects. It will also act as the intermediary procurer of power. SJVN will work with other agencies, such as SECI, NTPC, and NHPC, to float tenders and open bids to avoid concurrent bids. SJVN will also ensure that tenders will be floated according to standard bidding guidelines issued by the government and MNRE’s instructions for renewable energy tenders.

Wind capacity installations in India rose 168% year-over-year to 737.9 MW in the first quarter of the calendar year 2023. Installations grew 222% quarter-over-quarter from 229.2 MW in Q4 2022. The surge in installations is primarily due to the introduction of the Renewable Purchase Obligation and Energy Storage Obligation trajectory until 2029-2030

Total corporate funding for solar companies, including from venture capital, public market, and debt financing, amounted to $8.4 billion in 42 deals in the first quarter of 2023, up 11% year-over-year compared to $7.5 billion raised in 49 deals, according to Mercom’s Q1 2023 Solar Funding and M&A Report. Funding increased 55% quarter-over-quarter compared to $5.4 billion raised in 44 deals.

Total corporate funding in energy storage, including from venture capital, public market, and debt financing, amounted to $2.2 billion in 27 deals in the first quarter of 2023, a drop of 83% year-over-year compared to $12.9 billion raised in 27 deals, according to Mercom’s Q1 2023 Energy Storage & Smart Grid Funding and M&A Report. On a quarter-over-quarter basis, funding significantly decreased by 49% compared to $4.3 billion raised in 31 deals.

Solar tenders floated by various agencies in India rose 43% quarter-over-quarter to 13.8 GW in the first quarter of 2023, according to Mercom India Research. The preceding quarter saw tenders worth 9.7 GW. Tender announcements were up 172% year-over-year compared to 5.1 GW. However, the quarter witnessed a 50% QoQ dip in solar auctions, with only 820 MW. The capacity auctioned dropped 69% over the same period last year.

SAEL, an India-based waste-to-energy producer, raised ₹13.25 Billion (~$161 million) via the sale of rupee bonds, which will mature in 2033. India Infradebt, Aseem Infrastructure Finance, TATA Cleantech Capital, and Kotak Infrastructure Debt Fund subscribed to the bonds. SAEL’s green energy initiatives will benefit from the proceeds of the long-term, secured, unlisted, rated, redeemable, non-convertible debt securities.

The Central government’s annual appraisal of power distribution companies’ (DISCOMs) financial and operational performance saw 21 entities improve their rating over the last year. Only one company — Indian Power Corporation – was downgraded. Some of the top DISOCMS were Adani Electricity Mumbai, Dakshin Gujarat Vij Company, Madhya Gujarat Vij Company, and DNH Power Distribution Corporation, among others.

Electric vehicle (EV) sales in India reached 349,676 units in the first quarter of 2022, a year-over-year increase of 81% compared to 192,565 units sold in the same period last year. Sales increased by 2% compared to 343,485 units sold in the previous quarter. EVs accounted for 6% of overall automobile sales. Out of the total EVs sold, nearly 62% (216,482) were electric two-wheelers. India has over 2 million registered EVs as of March 2023.

Government-owned infrastructure finance company REC issued green bonds worth $750 million under its $7 billion Global Medium Term Note Program. The bonds carry an interest of 5.625% and will mature on April 11, 2028. The principal and interest payments will be made in U.S. dollars. The green bonds will be listed on the Global Securities Market of India International Exchange (India INX) and NSE IFSC.

Power Finance Corporation approved a loan of ₹6.33 billion (~$77 million) to Gensol Engineering for the purchase of 5,000 passenger electric vehicles and 1,000 cargo EVs to expand its green mobility footprint. The four-wheeler passenger EVs will be leased to electric ride-hailing platform BluSmart Mobility to expand its fleet of cabs.

IndiGrid announced that the International Finance Corporation invested ₹11.4 billion (~$138.74 million) in its listed non-convertible debentures (NCD). These NCDs have a total duration of 18 years and were issued at a competitive fixed rate for the long term. IndiGrid intends to use this debt to fund its refinancing needs for the fiscal year 2024.

MinionLabs, an energy efficiency and IOT (internet of things) company, emerged as the winner of Mercom’s First Startup Pitch Competition for Cleantech Companies, held during the Mercom India Renewables Summit

Avaada Group raised $1.07 billion from Brookfield Renewable to support its green hydrogen and green ammonia projects in India. The funding is part of the company’s ongoing plan to raise $1.3 billion. The funding will be made from the Brookfield Global Transition Fund. To support its growth and release debt obligations, Avaada will receive an additional investment of $68 million from Global Power Synergy Public Company Limited.

ReNew Energy raised $400 million through its fully owned subsidiary Diamond II from senior secured green bonds. The green bonds issued by ReNew’s subsidiary attracted significant investor interest from the United States, Europe, and Asia. This marked the first high-yield issuance out of India in over a year. The funds raised from the issuance will be used to refinance existing dollar-denominated debt and finance ReNew’s growth initiatives.