Month in a Minute: Top Headlines from Indian Renewable Sector in December 2022

India installed 596 MW of open access solar in Q3 CY 2022


India installed around 596 MW of open access solar capacity in the third quarter (Q3) of the calendar year (CY) 2022, an increase of 91% year-over-year. The figure was revealed in Mercom India’s newly released Mercom India Solar Open Access Market Report Q3 2022. Karnataka was the top state in the quarter followed closely by Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh. The top five states accounted for over 83% of the total installations during the quarter.

The state-owned power distribution companies (DISCOM) cleared outstanding dues worth ₹246.8 billion (~$3.04 billion) in four installments due to the threat of heavy penalties for delayed payments. The outstanding dues owed to suppliers, including generating companies, transmission companies, and traders, stood at ₹1.13 trillion (~$13.9 billion) in November 2022, a drop of 17% compared to June.

Odisha released its renewable energy policy that aims to increase the adoption of solar energy in the state. The policy includes a range of exemptions to attract the industry and businesses and aims to promote solar parks with a minimum capacity of 25 MW to reduce the cost of generation and associated infrastructure. The policy will remain in effect until March 2030 or until a new policy is announced.

The Supreme Court ordered Rajasthan and Gujarat to assess the length of overhead transmission lines in the region and to estimate the number of bird diverters that have been installed in the habitat of the endangered Great Indian Bustard.  The Supreme court also asked the Attorney General to seek instructions from the Central government on whether it is possible to conserve the GIB region by establishing a ‘Project Great Indian Bustard’ along the lines of ‘Project Tiger’.

The aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses of DISCOMs declined significantly to ~17% in the financial year (FY) 2021-22 from 22.32% in FY 2020-21. In the last two years, the AT&C losses of DISCOMs were hovering at 21-22%. A smaller AT&C losses figure suggests that a DISCOM is efficient in supplying electricity with minimal leakages.

The Indian Energy Exchange traded 354 million units (MU) of renewable energy in November 2022, a 12.2% decrease compared to the 403 MU traded the month before. The exchange traded 7,764 MU of energy during the month, including renewable energy certificates worth 372 MU. The total volume on the exchange in November was lower by 2.6% on a month-over-month basis.

Union Power Minister R.K. Singh unveiled a comprehensive plan to evacuate the planned renewable power capacity of 500 GW by 2030 at an estimated cost of ₹2.44 trillion (~$29.64 billion). The power transmission infrastructure required to evacuate 500 GW of non-fossil fuel includes 8,120 circuit kilometers of high voltage DC transmission corridors, 25,960 circuit kilometers of 765 kV AC lines, 15,758 circuit kilometers of 400 kV lines, and 1,052 circuit kilometers of 220 kV cable.

Adani Enterprises began construction on a polysilicon and monosilane manufacturing facility in Mundra, Gujarat. The facility will produce polysilicon, a primary component in solar panels, which is currently imported into India as production is concentrated outside the country. Adani Solar is planning to build a 10 GW solar manufacturing ecosystem in Mundra, which will include polysilicon production as well as solar cells and modules.

Tata Power secured a ₹4.5 billion ($54.3 million) trade finance facility from Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) for two solar projects in India. The funds will be used for a 100 MW solar project in Parthur, Maharashtra, and a 120 MW solar project in Mesanka, Gujarat, both of which will be executed by TP Kirnali, a subsidiary of Tata Power Renewable Energy. This marks MUFG’s first sustainable trade finance facility in India and will also contribute towards Tata Power’s efforts to achieve India’s net-zero goals.

Delhi released a draft solar policy that targets 6,000 MW of installed solar capacity in the next three years and envisages a three-fold jump in solar energy share in annual electricity demand to 25% by 2025 from 9% currently. The draft policy provides for monthly generation-based incentives for residential, group housing societies and resident welfare associations, and commercial and industrial consumers for five years from the date of commissioning of the solar project.

Eicher Motors (EML), the parent company of Royal Enfield said it would acquire a 10.35% stake in Stark Future, a European electric motorcycle manufacturer, through an initial equity investment of €50 million ($53.2 million). The investment will be used to support the electrification of motorcycles for both Royal Enfield and Stark Future and will help Enfield enter the electric mobility market. EML expects the transaction to be completed by early this year.

The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) sanctioned a ₹44.45 billion (~$537.14 million) loan to SJVN Green Energy to develop a 1 GW solar project in Bikaner, Rajasthan. SJVN had bagged the project tendered by IREDA under the CPSU Phase-II (Tranche-III) program under viability gap funding to develop a grid-connected solar project. The project is to be commissioned within 36 months from the letter of award and will connect to the 400/200 kV Bikaner-II substation.

The Maharashtra government approved Mahindra and Mahindra’s plan to invest ₹100 billion (~$1.2 billion) for an EV manufacturing facility in Pune. The company said that the investment will be made through its subsidiary over a period of 7-8 years. The investment will also be directed toward the production of Mahindra’s upcoming Born Electric Vehicles. These electric-only vehicles will be based on the INGLO EV platform and rolled out under the brand name BE. It will include the e-SUVs under the brand name XUV.