Bridge India

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.

The government has a difficult decision to make but the longer this investigation drags out, the more harmful it will be for the whole sector. We believe that the final duty decision will take about 8-10 months and activity is bound to slow down across the sector until then.

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 rooftop solar envisaging capital subsidies for residential customers and financial support to DISCOMs – aggregating to INR 235 billion (USD 3.7 billion) – for encouraging growth of this market.

Three major auctions were completed last week – two for solar projects by SECI (Bhadla solar park 500 MW and 250 MW respectively) and one for wind projects by Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam (GUVNL, fully owned by Gujarat government) (500 MW). The solar projects were won by Hero Future (300 MW), Softbank (200 MW), Azure (200 MW) and ReNew (50...

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%) and wind (4 GW, +11%). Utility scale solar capacity addition actually exceeded our original estimate by 17% because of timeline extensions given in some states (Telangana, Karnataka) and large capacity addition in Karnataka under open access and farmers’ schemes (total 450 MW).

ISA makes slow progress

International Solar Alliance (ISA), launched by India and France at COP 21 summit in November 2015, finally became a recognized organization under United Nations charter on December 6, 2017. It has initiated three programs so far – scaling solar applications such as solar water pumps and lighting systems for agricultural use, ensuring sufficient flow of affordable finance and promoting installation...

The UP state government has approved a new solar policy with a target of developing 10,700 MW of total solar capacity in the state by the year 2022. 60% of this target (6,400 MW) is proposed to be developed through utility scale projects and balance 40% is planned for rooftop solar systems.  The total target has been determined so as to achieve renewable purchase obligation of 8%. The policy has some attractive provisions on paper in line with many other states. But it lacks specifics and is very generic in nature leading us to question if it will make any material difference on-the-ground.

Rooftop solar losing steam

BRIDGE TO INDIA has released the latest edition of its India Solar Rooftop Map report. As per the report, India added new rooftop solar capacity of 840 MW in the 12 months ending September 2017. Total installed capacity as of September 2017 stood at 1,861 MW. The sector has grown at a CAGR of 83% from 2013 to 2017 but growth in 2017 is expected to slow down to 60%.