Month in a Minute: Top Headlines from Indian Renewable Sector in September 2021

India’s solar open access installations totaled 209 MW in the second quarter (Q2) of 2021


Here is a recap of some of the most important headlines from September 2021:

India’s solar open access installations totaled 209 MW in the second quarter (Q2) of 2021, a 664% year-over-year (YoY) increase compared to 27 MW in the same period last year, according to Mercom’s India Solar Open Access Market Report Q2 2021.

According to Mercom India Research’s latest report, India Rooftop Solar Market Report Q2 2021, India marked a 53% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) increase in rooftop solar installations in the second quarter (Q2) of 2021, the highest for any quarter, with 521 MW installations compared to 341 MW installed in Q1 2021.

The Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council’s recommendation to raise GST on solar components from 5% to 12% has project developers worried about its impact on project costs. The GST council has stated that for “specified renewable energy parts,” the GST would be 12% instead of the earlier 5% with effect from October 1, 2021.

The Union Government has notified the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) program for automobile and auto components after approving it recently. Incentives under the program are open to existing auto companies and new non-auto investors. It has two components — Champion OEM Incentive Program and Component Champion Incentive Program. The Champion OEM Incentive is a sales value linked program applicable to all segments of battery electric vehicles (BEV) and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. An incentive ranging from 13-18% is offered in this component. It is estimated that the PLI program will lead to investments of over ₹425 billion (~$5.72 billion) in five years and incremental production of over ₹2.3 trillion (~$ 31 billion).

The Union Minister of Power R K Singh has approved amendments to the renewable energy certificate (REC) mechanism. According to the amendments, the REC will remain valid until it is sold. As per the earlier guidelines, the validity of RECs was 1,095 days. Another important amendment states that there is no need for floor and forbearance prices to be specified, and REC holders will have the freedom to decide when they want to sell the RECs.

Solar photovoltaic (PV) cell and module manufacturer Premier Energies has raised ₹2 billion (~$27.11 million) from climate investment-focused private equity manager GEF Capital Partners. Premier Energies will infuse the funds to expand its solar PV cell and module manufacturing capacity. An investment of over ₹12 billion (~$162 million) over the next two years is planned for production using monocrystalline PERC technology.

The Adani Group plans to invest $20 billion in renewable energy generation and component manufacturing over the next ten years and produce the world’s cheapest green electron, its Chairman Gautam Adani has said. Adani Group’s plans include tripling its renewable power generation capacity over the next four years, green hydrogen production, powering all data centers with renewable energy, and turning its ports into net carbon zero by 2025.

Torrent Power Limited has entered into a share purchase agreement with CESC Limited, Haldia Energy Limited, and other nominal shareholders to acquire 100% of the share capital of Surya Vidyut Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CESC Limited. Surya Vidyut owns and operates 156 MW of wind power plants in Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh.

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) commissioned a 25 MW floating solar photovoltaic (PV) project at NTPC’s site in Simhadri, Andhra Pradesh. BHEL claims it has designed a complex module array to meet the unique requirement of anchoring the support structures without touching the reservoir floor or the bund structure.

Distribution companies (DISCOMs) owed ₹146.07 billion (~$1.97 billion) to renewable energy generators (excluding disputed amounts) in overdue payments across 259 invoices at the end of August 2021, according to data released by the Ministry of Power (MoP).

The latest BRICS Energy Technology Report 2021 states that India will account for one-fifth (20%) of the global renewable energy deployment target for 2030. Solar and wind power generation has been the cheapest source of bulk power generation in India since 2018 due to declining equipment costs and successful auctions

According to a recent report published by Climate Trends and Riding Sunbeams, one in four trains of the Indian Railways could be powered by solar power. Indian Railways is one of India’s largest power consumers and third-largest diesel users, consuming 17,862 TWh of power and 2,749 billion liters of diesel in 2018-19, accounting for 4% of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions. In 2018, the government approved plans to electrify 100% of railways by 2023. As of March 2021, around 71% of the country’s railways are electrified. Of this, over 6,000 kilometers of railway tracks were electrified in 2020-21.

The Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) has recommended anti-dumping duty on certain flat-rolled aluminum products imported from China to offset the injury caused due to dumping in the Indian market. Flat-rolled aluminum is used in manufacturing solar module mounting structures used in ground-mounted and rooftop solar projects. The investigation was conducted for the period from April 01, 2019, to March 31, 2020.

The Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) traded 413 million units (MU) of renewable energy in August 2021, a 43% month-over-month (MoM) decline compared to 726 MU in the previous month. In August 2021, the green market segment traded 147 MU of solar energy and 266 MU of non-solar energy. The market saw an average price of ₹3.56 (~$0.049)/kWh for solar power and ₹4.85 (~$0.066)/kWh for non-solar power, while the overall average price stood at ₹4.21 (~$0.058)/kWh.

Assam announced its electric vehicle (EV) policy. The Electric Vehicle Policy of Assam, 2021 aims for 25% EV penetration in all vehicle registrations by 2026. The policy comes into effect from September 4, 2021, for five years (2026) or until the announcement of a new or revised policy, whichever is earlier. The state will target and support the deployment of the first 200,000 EVs – 100,000 electric two-wheelers (E2Ws); 75,000 electric three-wheelers (E3Ws); and 25,000 electric four-wheelers (E4Ws)- either for individual or commercial use during the five years.

According to Mercom’s recently released Q2 2021 India Solar Market Update, the average cost of large-scale solar projects in the second quarter of 2021 (Q2 2021) was ₹38.6 million (~$529,036)/MW. The cost increased by 12% when compared to the same period last year when it was ₹34 million (~$455,532)/MW and a 5% rise from the previous quarter (Q4 2020) when the cost was about ₹35.3 million (~$488,255)/MW.

Bangalore-based electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure startup REVOS has received $4 million in Series A funding. With this, the company has raised $4.5 million in funding to date. The funding will be used for expanding the company’s peer-to-peer (P2P) electric vehicle charging network and smart EV platform for electric two-wheelers (E-2W) and three-wheelers (E-3W).

Automotive electrical components manufacturer Lucas TVS and U.S.-based 24M Technologies plan to set up a ₹25 billion (~$342.33 million) gigafactory near Chennai to manufacture innovative and disruptive lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery cells based on SemiSolid platform technology. The first plant will be set up in Thervoy Kandigai, Gummudipundi near Chennai, and Lucas TVS is expected to build other plants throughout India to support the growing energy storage, electric mobility, and lead-acid battery replacement markets.

Renewable energy company Adani Green Energy raised $750 million by issuing its maiden ListCo senior green bond. The bonds will have a tenor of three years at a coupon of 4.375%. Moodys assigned a Ba3 rating (stable) to the notes. The company will utilize the proceeds towards funding the equity portion of the capital expenditure for under-construction renewable energy projects.


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