More power to the exchanges 

Indian Energy Exchange opened a new window for trading of renewable power this week. Solar and non-solar renewable power can be traded separately under four different contract types: intra-day, for delivery within 3.5 hours; day-ahead, for delivery next day; daily, for delivery between two to ten…


RE power trading a sensible move

The Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) has repeatedly proposed to the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) to allow spot trading of renewable energy through a separate window on its platform. While CERC had disapproved the proposal for Green Day Ahead Market  in 2017 citing lack of readiness of the renewable energy market, it has now directed


Power sector reform still a distant dream 

The Ministry of Power has proposed a number of progressive ideas for the electricity sector in the form of draft amendments to the National Electricity Act and National Tariff Policy. Proposed amendments include obligating DISCOMs to supply 24X7 power, a new penalty mechanism for non-compliance with renewable purchase obligations (RPOs), penalties for PPA violations, tariff


ISTS tenders face long delays 

Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), India’s chief power sector regulator, recently issued a draft procedure for applying for connectivity to the inter-state transmission system (ISTS). The draft procedure comes in the wake of last year’s CERC order on transmission connectivity ‘squatting’ and seeks to provide much needed clarity for ISTS connectivity for RE projects. It is applicable to


Gujarat tender cancellation is ill advised 

Gujarat government has cancelled the 500-MW state tender, for which an auction was held just four weeks ago. Capacity was won in this tender by Kalthia Engineering (50 MW), Gujarat State Electricity Corporation (150 MW), Acme (100 MW) and Azure Power (200 MW). Reason for cancellation has been cited as winning tariffs, between INR 2.98


MNRE allows pass-through of duty risk 

Last week, MNRE issued a clarification to its guidelines for competitive bidding of solar PV projects. The clarification allows inclusion of changes in duties and other cesses in Change in Law provisions in power purchase agreements. It effectively means that risk of any new duties or changes in duties including safeguard and/or anti-dumping duties arising


Gujarat auction gets a tepid result 

Gujarat conducted e-auction for a 500 MW utility scale PV solar tender last week. Capacity has been won by four developers at tariffs between INR 2.98 – 3.06/ kWh – Kalthia Engineering (50 MW, INR 2.98), Gujarat State Electricity Corporation (GSEC) (150 MW, INR 3.00), Acme (100 MW, INR 3.06) and Azure (200 MW, INR


It’s raining RE tenders in India 

Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL), Gujarat government holding company for power distribution and transmission businesses in the state, announced a new 500 MW solar tender last week. The tender has an innovative provision in the form of a 500 MW green-shoe option. If GUVNL deems the lowest auction tariff attractive, it can exercise an


2018, the morning after the night before  

In our last few bulletins, we have written extensively upon the recent challenges faced by the RE sector. Here, we take a look at what to expect in 2018. The year has obviously started on a shaky note with the 70% provisional duty recommendation on cell/module imports. The trade investigations are likely to drag on for a few months


Safeguard duty recommendation has solar sector on tenterhooks 

Last week, we wrote a special bulletin about safeguard duty and its implications for various ongoing and under tender projects. The Director General of Safeguards’ recommendation for provisional duty of 70% has put the industry on tenterhooks. Investors, developers, contractors and manufacturers anxiously await final decision as they worry about navigating through an extended period of uncertainty…


MNRE in a hyperactive mode; Indian manufacturers want safeguard duty 

Last few weeks have seen feverish activity in the RE sector with several bold announcements from the new MNRE leadership, keen to address the multiple complex issues facing the industry. After announcing a new RE rollout plan entailing tenders of 91 GW of new solar and wind projects by March 2020, MNRE has issued a new concept note on


2017, a year of some ‘highs’ but many ‘lows’ 

As the year 2017 comes to an end, we take stock of the progress made by the Indian renewable energy sector. It was an eventful year, during which annual capacity addition is estimated to touch record levels of 10.9 GW (+66% over 2016) including utility scale solar (9 GW, +110%), rooftop solar (887 MW, +60%)


India may offer direct financial incentives to boost solar manufacturing

In our last weekly update, we discussed the state of domestic manufacturing and Indian government’s efforts to improve prospects of the sector after the domestic content requirement mechanism was challenged successfully by the USA at the World Trade Organization (WTO) (refer). Recent reports suggest that the government is planning to offer incentives directly to domestic


RPO mechanism takes another beating

As part of the memorandum of understanding signed under the UDAY scheme, the Ministry of Power has allowed a roll forward of the Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) for Uttar Pradesh by seven years (refer). Meanwhile, state power distribution companies in Odisha have got a stay on enforcement of RPO from the state High Court. These


Jharkhand to allocate 1,200 MW of solar capacity

Last week, Jharkhand, one of India’s largest coal producing states and governed by BJP, announced a new tender for 1,200 MW of solar capacity allocation under its state policy (refer). This is the first such tender for the state. Projects under this tender are expected to be allocated under two categories: 200 MW for projects


Telangana yet another example of policy uncertainty in India

Telangana successfully completed auction for 2,000 MW of grid connected, ground mounted solar projects in India in August 2015 and PPAs were expected to be signed by October 2015 (refer). However, there has been a considerable delay in signing these PPAs. The process appears to be stuck at senior levels in the state government purportedly


What to expect from India’s new rooftop solar policy?

Earlier this month, India’s minister for new and renewable energy, Piyush Goyal, announced that the country’s rooftop solar policy is now ready to be placed before the union cabinet (refer). This policy is expected to lay out yearly targets to reach 40 GW of rooftop solar capacity and provide comprehensive details of operational and fiscal


Parliament’s Monsoon Session and what it meant for the Solar Sector

The Indian Parliament recently concluded a literally washed out monsoon session. The key Amendments for Electricity Act 2003, which the Parliamentary Standing Committee had already recommended was ready but not tabled (refer here to read why this matters for the solar sector). Another important proposal to amend the National Tariff Policy 2005 has been severely


Trina Solar, JA Solar and Canadian Solar to explore India manufacturing

During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China last week, 3 MoUs were signed, potentially worth USD 260 million (refer) for solar cell and module manufacturing units. Trina Solar and JA Solar have signed MoUs with Welspun Energy and Essel Solar respectively to set up manufacturing facilities in Andhra Pradesh. Canadian Solar also signed an


USTDA to invest USD 2 billion in India for renewable energy projects

In a US-India joint statement released yesterday (26th January 2015), the US reiterated its intent to support India’s proposed targets on clean energy and climate change. The statement includes seven measures: expanding Partnership to Advance Clean Energy Research (PACE-R), expanding Partnership to Advance Clean Energy Deployment (PACE-D), accelerating clean energy finance, launching air quality…


Is India’s 100 GW solar road map feasible?

Ever since the new government was sworn in, India has been making all the right noises about its ambitions for solar power. Both Prime Minister Modi, and the Minister for New and Renewable Energy, Mr. Goyal, seem determined to achieve an ambitious target of 100 GW by 2020. After the headline items have been absorbed


BRIDGE TO INDIA solar awards – best of 2014

The Indian solar market went through its share of ups and downs in 2014. Last week, we tried to summarize key events of the year and their impact on the market (refer). In this newsletter, we applaud key stakeholders and initiatives that, in our opinion, were standout contributors to the growth of the Indian solar market


Things have come a long way for solar in India in 2014

As 2014 draws to a close, it is useful to look back and summarize how the Indian solar market as shaped up over the past one year. The mood of the Indian solar market in 2014 can broadly be divided into two distinct halves; pre 22nd August and post 22nd August. No, 22nd August was


The Budget 2015-16: Our solar wish-list for India’s 100 GW target

Last week, we discussed the proposed changes in the Electricity Act 2003 and, in particular, the proposed 10.5% solar RPO target (refer link 1 and link 2). To give the market further impetus, in the past few days, the government has announced fund allocation for solar parks infrastructure, viability gap funding for public sector led projects and new


Is raising the solar RPO target to 10.5% a good idea?

India’s new government has been very bullish on growing solar. Plans are underway to revise the National Solar Mission (NSM) target to 100 GW by 2022. There is a lively debate in the industry about the achievability of the targets and about the best ways to reach them. Now, it transpired that the Ministry of


Weekly update: Can India achieve 100 GW solar in 8 years?

Last week, speaking at a UNEP and FICCI conference on ‘Designing a sustainable financial system for India’, the Minister for Coal, Power and Renewable Energy, Shri. Piyush Goyal reiterated the government’s plan to achieve 100 GW of solar by 2022. This is a very ambitious goal – to say the least. Is it feasible? The


Small project sizes in Uttarakhand have increased average tariffs

Uttarakhand has opened the financial bid for a 30 MW tender which was floated in August’14. Despite the projects lacking scale advantage, Redwood projects has quoted a highly aggressive bid of INR 6.85/kWh for a 1 MW project. This bid is the lowest and is INR 0.71/kWh below the next bid. Overall, the median winning


Climate Change: how close are we to the point of no return?

Since the 1950’s, the world has witnessed (and recorded) global warming at an unprecedented speed. This radical change in the climatic system has been attributed to massive emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, due to industrialization and related, modern lifestyles. While there have been debates in the past over the reality and validity of


Weekly Update: India mulls doing away with reverse bidding

Mr. Tarun Kapoor, Joint Secretary for the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) announced at a conference last week that India might look at following Germany’s lead by going ahead with fixed Feed-in Tariffs (FiT) as opposed to the current system of reverse auctions. The government is considering this in order to rapidly expand India’s


Why the Indian solar market is exciting and dynamic

Is the Indian solar market finally going to live up to its huge promise? I have hopes that it will. The new government has made all the right “noises”. It wants to embed solar firmly within a larger energy strategy for the country. The new Power Minister, Piyush Goyal, wants to take his cue from


Weekly Update: Is Indian solar manufacturing looking up?

The Indian stock market as a whole has been on a bull run ever since the new government has come into power. However, one group that has done exceptionally well is the solar cell manufacturers, whose valuations had been very low before. The stock price of the three independently listed cell manufacturers has risen sharply:


Weekly Update: The new government is making all the right noises about renewable energy

India’s solar sector has been grossly underperforming vis-à-vis other countries as well as the potential for the energy source in the country. The wish list for the sector broadly comprises the following – strengthening of RPO mechanism, regulations to facilitate distributed generation, promotion of domestic manufacturing, rural electrification and availability of cheaper finance. It is


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