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

The share of solar power in India’s installed power capacity mix reached 10.3%


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

Total Eren and EDF Renewables announced that EDEN Renewables India has successfully secured financial closure for its 450 MW SECI III solar PV project with a group of three major international banks. These projects are located in the northern Indian states of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

The 2021-22 Budget tabled in the Parliament by the Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, has received a mixed response from stakeholders in the energy sector.

Distribution companies (DISCOMs) owed nearly ₹121.12 billion (~$1.65 billion) to renewable energy generators (excluding disputed amounts) in overdue payments across 380 pending invoices, according to data released by the Ministry of Power (MoP).

The share of solar power in India’s installed power capacity mix reached 10.3%, exceeding that of wind-based power sources for the first time, according to Mercom’s data. The share of installed wind capacity is 10.25%.

Adani Green Energy Limited (AGEL) reported a 61% rise in total income in Q3 2021 compared to the same quarter the previous year. During the quarter, AGEL earned ₹8.43 billion (~$1.16 billion), compared to ₹5.23 billion (~$71.7 billion) in the same period a year earlier.

In Q4 2020, India generated about 14.2 billion units (BU) of solar power compared to 12.9 BU in the previous quarter. The data showed that solar generation was returning to pre-COVID levels. Solar power generation in Q4 2020 was also over 21% higher compared to the same quarter last year.

The Solar Power Developers Association (SPDA) has written to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), against the delays in signing the power purchase agreements (PPA) by the Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam (GUVNL) for 700 MW of projects at the 1,000 MW Dholera Solar Park.

Tata Power has said its total revenue in the third quarter (Q3) of the financial year 2021 (FY 2021) stood at ₹77.4 billion (~$1.06 billion), up 8% from ₹71.7 billion (~$986 million) in the same quarter of the previous year on the back of its acquisition of the Western and Southern Electricity Supply Companies of Orissa.

NTPC Limited has installed 1,083 MW of solar, wind, and small hydropower projects and plans to add 16.5 GW of renewables between 2022-27, Union Power Minister R.K. Singh said in response to questions raised in the Rajya Sabha.

India is expected to see the largest increase in energy demand globally over the next two decades and will overtake European Union as the third-largest energy consumer by 2030, the International Energy Agency said in a new report.

Wind installations in India were up nearly 70% in the fourth quarter of 2020 (Q4 2020), with about 500 MW of capacity added compared to 295 MW installed in the previous quarter.

The Union Budget 2021 has allocated exclusive funds to expand renewables, especially solar and green hydrogen. The Budget has elaborated on the production-linked incentive program to help the solar manufacturing sector grow over 10% on a sustainable basis.

Azure Power posted a 15.6% rise in its revenue in the third quarter (Q3) of the financial year 2021 (FY 2021) on the back of an increase in its operational capacity.

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) proposes to grant registration to Pranurja Solutions to establish and operate a power exchange. It will be the third power exchange in India after India Energy Exchange (IEX) and Power Exchange India (PXIL).

Indian electric two-wheeler manufacturer, Ather Energy, has commenced operations from its facility in Hosur, Tamil Nadu.

Amara Raja Batteries has announced that it would set up a 50 MW solar power project worth ₹2.2 billion (~$30.30 million) in Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh.

Sterling and Wilson Solar’s (SWSL) revenue from operations stood at ₹13.11 billion (~$180.8 million) in the third quarter (Q3) of the financial year 2021 (FY 2021), up 22% from ₹10.76 billion (~$148.4 million) in Q3 FY 2020.

GreenCell Mobility, an electric mobility-as-a-service (eMaaS) platform, has announced that it is investing ₹4 billion (~$55.09 million) in a consortium run by PMI Electro Mobility Solutions to deploy 350 electric buses across Uttar Pradesh.

Sterling and Wilson International Solar FZCO (SWFZCO) announced that it has fully acquired the equity share capital of GCO Solar, an Australia-based electrical and solar contractor

Ashok Leyland, the multinational automobile company owned by the Hinduja Group has announced that it has invested ₹186.6 million (~$2.56 million) for a 26% stake in Prathama Solarconnect Energy Private Limited (PSEPL).

The Minister of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME), Nitin Gadkari, has brought the attention of the Minister of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), R K Singh, to a representation made by solar developers in Maharashtra against enforcing gross metering for rooftop solar systems over 10 kW.

Barrel Energy, a U.S.-based lithium-ion battery manufacturer, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Hyderabad-based Roshan Energy Technologies to develop and manufacture lithium-ion batteries in India and North America.

Mumbai-based power producer JSW Energy announced plans to double its power generation portfolio with renewable and hydropower-based generation sources contributing to 70% of its total capacity in the medium term.

India installed 3,239 MW of solar capacity in the calendar year (CY) 2020, a 56% decline, compared to 7,346 MW in 2019, according to the latest 2020 Q4 & Annual India Solar Market Update released by Mercom India Research.

Aurobindo Pharma, a Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical company, will procure solar power from two 15 MW group captive projects of NVNR Power and Infra in Hyderabad, Telangana.

Distribution companies (DISCOMs) in Delhi have installed 3,140 rooftop solar installations with a connected load of 106 MW in the national capital. These systems are saving ₹680 million ($9.35 million) annually.

ReNew Power, an India-based independent power producer, has signed an agreement for a business combination with RMG Acquisition Corporation II, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), resulting in ReNew Power becoming a public company.

Essar Power, a subsidiary of Indian multinational conglomerate and construction company Essar Group, announced that its board of directors had approved plans to enter the Indian renewable energy market by setting up a 90 MW open access solar power project worth ₹3 billion (~$41.4 million) in Madhya Pradesh.

Flipkart, a Bengaluru-based e-commerce company, has said that it would deploy over 25,000 electric vehicles (EVs) across its supply chain by 2030 as a part of its commitment to achieving a 100% transition to electric mobility by 2030.

The Government of India and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) have signed a loan agreement for $304 million (~₹21.9 billion) to develop the ‘Assam Intra-State Transmission System Enhancement’ project.

The average cost of large-scale solar projects stood at about ₹35.3 million (~$488,255)/MW as of the fourth quarter of 2020 (Q4 2020), according to Mercom’s recently released 2020 Q4 & Annual India Solar Market Update.

Rahul is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before entering the world of renewables, Rahul was head of the Gujarat bureau for The Quint. He has also worked for DNA Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad Mirror. Hailing from a banking and finance background, Rahul has also worked for JP Morgan Chase and State Bank of India. More articles from Rahul Nair.