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

Peak power demand touches an all-time high of 201 GW


Here is a recap of some of the most important headlines from April 2022:

Various government agencies floated solar tenders totaling approximately 5 GW in the first quarter (Q1) of the calendar year (CY) 2022, a decrease of 18% compared to the previous quarter, according to Mercom India Research. Tender announcements were down by 52% year-over-year (YoY) compared to the same period last year. Auctions were held for almost 2.7 GW of solar projects in Q1 2022, a 37% drop compared to Q4 2021. The auction activity was down by 66% YoY compared to the same period last year.

The Asian Development Bank approved a non-sovereign loan of ₹4.063 billion (~$53.1 million) for Al Jomaih Energy and Water to develop an 80 MW solar project in Gujarat. Al Jomaih Energy and Water was declared one of the winners in the Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited’s (GUVNL) (Phase XI) auction for 500 MW solar projects. The auction also set a new record for the lowest tariff of ₹1.99 (~$0.027)/kWh for any solar project in the country. The 80 MW project by Al Jomaih is being developed in the villages of Jhakan and Kataria in Surendranagar district, Gujarat.

The all-India peak power demand touched an all-time high of 201.066 GW on April 26, 2022, surpassing the peak power demand of 200.539 GW met on July 7, 2021. According to a Ministry of Power release, the rising power demand reflects the pace of economic growth in the country. In March this year, the growth in energy demand was around 8.9%. The demand is expected to reach 215-220 GW in May-June. The ministry said that the government and other stakeholders are working together to ensure an unhindered power supply, and efforts at all fronts are being made for better utilization of resources.

The electric vehicle manufacturing wing of Anglian Omega Group, Omega Seiki Mobility, announced that it would set up the world’s largest electric three-wheeler manufacturing unit in Karnataka with an investment of $250 million. The company aims to manufacture one million electric three-wheelers every year at the facility. Omega Seiki will raise funds in equity and debt to build the mega factory, which is slated to begin production by the financial year 2024. The construction will be completed in three phases.

Borosil Renewables, an India-based solar glass manufacturer, announced the acquisition of 100% share capital of lnterfloat Corporation and Glasmanufaktur Brandenbur, entities engaged in the solar glass manufacturing business, sales, and distribution, in Europe for a cash consideration and shares equivalent of €52.5 million (~$56.6 million). The Borosil Renewables company board approved the execution of a share purchase agreement between the company and its subsidiaries, HSTG Glasholding and Blue Minds IF (Interfloat) Beteiligungs, and the execution of other necessary documents for the proposed transaction, whereby the company, along with the subsidiaries, would agree to acquire 100% of the share capital of the target companies.

Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India Nitin Gadkari has warned that any electric vehicle (EV) company found to be negligent in its manufacturing process will face heavy penalties, and a mass recall of the defective vehicles will be ordered. In a series of tweets, Gadkari said EV companies are encouraged to take pre-emptive action to recall all defective batches of vehicles immediately. The minister’s statement comes in response to a series of accidents and battery fires in EVs in the last few weeks. Gadkari said that an expert committee had been constituted to inquire into these incidents and recommend remedial steps. The ministry will issue necessary orders on the defaulting companies based on the reports. The minister also said that quality-centric guidelines for EVs will be issued soon.

India’s installed renewable energy capacity, including large hydro projects, stood at 155.26 GW, accounting for a 39% share of the overall power mix at the end of the first quarter (Q1) of 2022, according to data from the Central Electricity Authority, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, and Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker. The share of renewable energy increased marginally from the previous quarter when total renewable installations stood at 151.3 GW. Solar leads among renewables and accounted for 13.22% of India’s total installed power capacity and 34% of the total installed renewable capacity in Q1 2022. India had installed a record 10 GW of new solar capacity in 2021, a big jump of 210% year-over-year compared to 3.2 GW installed in 2020.

NITI Aayog has issued the draft battery swapping policy addressing the key technical, regulatory, institutional, and financing challenges to help India develop battery-swapping ecosystems to unlock the large-scale adoption of battery-swapping. The policy aims to promote the adoption of battery swapping technology implemented via the Battery as a Service (BaaS) business model, ensuring lower upfront costs, minimal downtime, and lower space requirements. Stakeholders must submit their comments by June 5, 2022.

Tata Power and BlackRock Real Assets-led consortium, including Mubadala Investment Company, have entered into a binding agreement to invest in Tata Power’s green subsidiary, Tata Power Renewable Energy Limited. BlackRock and Mubadala will invest ₹40 billion (~$525 million) in equity or compulsorily convertible instruments for a 10.53% stake in Tata Power Renewables. The final shareholding will range from 9.76% to 11.43% on final conversion.

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) disbursed payments to the tune of ₹5.49 billion (~$72.67 million) to solar and wind power generators for the power purchased in March 2022. The disbursed amount accounted for 90.53% of the total amount paid by the nodal agency in the month. In March, the nodal agency disbursed ₹6.07 billion (~$80.27 million), including solar and wind power purchases, reimbursements to developers, duties, and other remunerations.

Abu Dhabi-based public joint-stock company International Holding Company PJSC announced an investment of $2 billion in three of Adani Group’s companies. Adani Green Energy will receive $500 million out of this investment. Adani Transmission will receive $500 million, while Adani Enterprises will receive $1 billion through a preferential allotment route.

Global trading and investment company Mitsui & Co is acquiring a 49% stake in ReNew Power’s 400 MW round-the-clock (RTC) utility-scale renewable energy project. The financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed. To ensure 400 MW of round-the-clock renewable energy, the project would consist of three newly built wind farms of 900 MW combined capacity and a 400 MW solar project with 100 MWh battery storage. The projects are spread across Rajasthan, Karnataka, and Maharashtra, developed by ReNew Power’s subsidiary, ReNew Surya Roshni. The total cost of the project will be about $1.35 billion.

Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) recorded its highest-ever loan approvals of ₹239.21 billion (~$3.13 billion) and loan disbursements of ₹160.71 billion (~$2.10 billion) in the financial year (FY) 2021-2022. IREDA ended the year with its best performance to date. There was a YoY growth of 117% in loan approvals from ₹110.01 billion (~$1.44 billion) in FY 2021. Loan disbursements increased 82% YoY from ₹88.27 billion (~$1.16 billion) in FY 2021.