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

Reliance, Tata, and ReNew among winners for Solar Module Manufacturing PLI


Here is a recap of important headlines from March 2023:

The Solar Energy Corporation of India has declared the winners who would be eligible to receive a total of ₹139.4 billion (~$1.69 billion) under Tranche II of the performance-linked incentive (PLI) program to manufacture 39.6 GW of solar modules. Some eligible companies include Shirdi Sai, First Solar, Reliance, ReNew, and Tata Power.

Tata Power Renewable Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Power, has approved the allotment of 200 million compulsorily convertible preference shares to GreenForest New Energies. The shares have a face value of ₹100 (~$1.2) each at par, amounting to a total of ₹20 billion (~$242.4 million).

India added 1.6 GW of rooftop solar capacity in the calendar year 2022, nearly a 4% decline year-over-year, compared to 1.7 GW in 2021, according to Mercom India Research’s newly released 2022 Q4 & Annual Mercom India Rooftop Solar Market Report. The industrial sector accounted for approximately 42% of all installations during the year. Residential, commercial, and government sectors made up 32%, 25%, and 1% of installations, respectively.

United States-based equity investment firm GQG Partners has closed a major deal involving a series of secondary block trade transactions amounting to ₹154.46 billion (~$1.87 billion) in the Adani portfolio companies. The investment in Adani Green Energy stood at ₹28.06 billion (~$340.81 million) for 55.6 million shares at ₹504.6 (~$6.13) per share.

Renewable energy company Greenko Group announced the signing of definitive agreements for a primary equity raising of US$ 700 million from affiliates of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, ORIX Corporation, and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. Greenko said it would use the funds raised to accelerate its decarbonization efforts through the supply of carbon-free energy.

Foreign Direct investment (FDI) in India’s renewable energy sector stood at $251 million (~₹20.5 billion) in the third quarter (Q3) of the financial year (FY) 2023, a 46% decline compared to $461.5 million (~₹37.7 billion) in Q2 FY 2023. The decrease in investments can be attributed to the geopolitical situation resulting from the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and high inflation leading to more restrictive monetary policies in the FDI-source countries.

The government has held in abeyance the implementation of the Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM) order for the financial year 2023-24. Solar projects commissioned by March 31, 2024, will now be exempted from procuring modules listed under ALMM, a Ministry of New and Renewable Energy notification has said.

 Power Grid Corporation of India (POWERGRID) has approved raising unsecured, non-convertible, non-cumulative, redeemable, and taxable bonds for ₹9 billion (~$109.73 million) through private placement. The funds will be raised through the securitization of cash flows of its special purpose vehicle — POWERGRID Mithilanchal Transmission – until the financial year 2033.

Government-owned lender Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency has been granted an ‘Infrastructure Finance Company’ (IFC) status by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), enabling better exposure to renewable energy sector financing. The IFC status is expected to help the non-banking financial company achieve competitive fundraising rates by providing access to a broader investor base.

India added 2.5 GW of solar open access in CY22, a YoY increase of 92% from the 1.3 GW installed in CY 2021, according to the newly released 2022 Q4 & Annual Mercom India Solar Open Access Market Report. The year marked the highest-ever annual installations of solar open access, driven by developers’ need to avoid a 40% Basic Customs Duty on solar modules. The higher tax rates became effective from April 1 last year.

Aerem, an Indian solar financing startup, has secured $5 million (~₹413 million) in a pre-Series A funding round to help finance its upcoming product offerings. The investment was led by Avaana Capital, a climate-technology investor, and also included participation from Blume Ventures. The funding round involved $1.5 million (~₹123.92 million) in debt financing from financial institutions.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has announced an investment of ₹6 billion (~$72.9 million) in a subsidiary of Mahindra & Mahindra to expand the reach of affordable electric three-wheelers and small commercial vehicles. IFC’s initial investment in an electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer in India, and the first for electric three-wheelers worldwide, will be via mandatory convertible instruments at a valuation of up to ₹60.2 billion (~$732 million).

India-based solar and agricultural waste-to-energy company SAEL Industries has signed loan agreements with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for up to ₹7.5 billion (~$91.16 million) to promote biomass energy generation using agricultural residue. The funding will support the construction of five 14.9 MW biomass power projects in the Bikaner, Churu, Hanumangarh, Jhunjhunu, and Sikar districts of Rajasthan.

Government-owned SJVN has secured a green financing loan of ₹9.15 billion (~$111.2 million) from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation to construct two solar power projects in India. The first project is the 90 MW Omkareshwar Floating Solar Power Project in Madhya Pradesh, and the second project is the 100 MW Raghanesda Solar Power Project in Gujarat. The combined estimated cost of these projects is ₹12.9 billion (~$156.5 million).