Month in a Minute: Major News Highlights from India’s Solar Industry in May 2019

The month saw the culmination of the much awaited general elections and the beginning of PM Modi’s second term


There was a lag in the rapid pace of activities in the renewable energy sector during the month of May. The ongoing Lok Sabha elections had slowed down the tenders and auctions.  Despite the slowdown, there were various highlights and important developments recorded throughout the month. Here is a snapshot of some important news that made the headlines in May:

Trading activity in solar renewable energy certificates (RECs) spiked in May 2019, and a total of 187,179 solar RECs were traded, 104,201 more solar RECs than the 82,978 solar RECs traded in April 2019. There was a ₹50 (~$0.7156)/REC difference between the prices at which non-solar RECs traded at both the exchanges in May 2019.

Haryana Power Purchase Centre will procure 400 MW of solar PV power at a tariff of ₹2.44 (~$0.035)/kWh from Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI). The power will be supplied to Haryana within the next two years as the project commissioning will take another 21 months.

In the draft tariff guidelines issued by Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) for the state of Goa and union territories, it was mentioned that all renewable energy power projects would be treated as “must run” and the procurement of power from such projects will not be subjected to ‘merit order dispatch’ principles.

Payment delays have cropped up again in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana. Some instances in Madhya Pradesh and a DISCOM in Karnataka have also been reported to have delayed payment issues. Payment delays are a risk for developers and lending institutions. Even the National Thermal Power Corporation is experiencing payment delays.

Lengthy payment delays in Tamil Nadu have resulted in developers backing off from tenders and Tamil Nadu Generation, and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO) has been unable to generate interest in its tenders. Consequently, TANGEDCO has handed over the tendering responsibilities of solar and wind to SECI.

After going through the arguments made by the petitioners against the taxation structure, the Delhi court has now directed the GST Council to relook at the tax structure in consultation with the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). The bench has given the government a deadline of two months to revert. The next hearing has been scheduled on August 6, 2019.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide $750 million (~₹52.20 billion) loan to Indian Railways for the electrification of railway tracks in the form of long-term financing. This is the largest single non-sovereign loan ever committed by the ADB.

The MNRE has decided to connect off-grid solar power projects to the grid which were installed earlier and for which reliable grid supply is now available with the net-metering provision, stating it will lead to optimal utilization of assets.

In a comprehensive analysis, Mercom recently explored how the non-bank financial companies’ crisis is escalating financial challenges for utility-scale solar projects in India.

Amplus Energy Solutions secured an approval from the Haryana State government to develop 150 MW of solar projects in Haryana under open access route to industries in the state.

Mahanagar Gas Limited, one of India’s leading gas distribution companies, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Tata Power to offer integrated customer services, explore the e-mobility segment and other value-added services of mutual interest.

Cipla Limited, a Mumbai-based global pharmaceutical major, will acquire 26% stake on a fully diluted basis in AMP Solar Power Systems SPV at ₹129 Million (~$1.85 million).

Mercom talked to numerous stakeholders in the industry and came up with an exclusive report on how the renewable industry will perform with the NDA government coming back into power for a second term under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

is a Research Associate at Mercom India. Prior to Mercom, Pratheeksha was an Associate Analyst at GlobalData where she authored and published syndicated research reports in the power generation industry. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Electrical & Electronics from PESITM and Master’s degree in Electrical Power Systems from the Adichunchanagiri Institute of Technology at VTU University.