THE BRIDGE TO INDIA BLOG

Global Energy Trends and Implications for India (Part 3 of 5): Carbon intensity of electricity is stagnating, but efficiency and renewables can change that

The global energy system is in a period of rapid transformation: electricity plays an ever more important role, as do renewables, distributed generation and electric vehicles. Energy efficiency is improving. Emissions are a large and growing concern. New technologies and business models are disrupting and challenging a traditionally risk-averse and slow-moving industry. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has just published its new “Energy Technology Perspectives” outlining the global trends until 2050 (refer). Here are some of the key findings and the implications they might have for India.

  • The world is currently failing to improve the carbon intensity of its energy supply
  • However, as global energy consumption will grow, it can be decoupled from emissions through efficiency measures and renewables
  • India’s choice of future energy system will be a key determinant of whether or not the world is able to achieve that
 

Will land be the main hurdle for India’s solar dreams?

The Indian government has upgraded the target of solar capacity from 20 GW to 100 GW by 2022. Of this, 60 GW are to be from ground-based projects. A key bottleneck for achieving this target is suitable land. Many developers believe that the single biggest factor for delay in project execution is the time-consuming process of land identification and acquisition. Even the government’s own plans for creating solar parks, have been put on hold because of challenges in making available the required land. A new, badly needed land acquisition bill is stuck in Rajya Sabha. Is it really that difficult to find a solution for the land acquisition bill?

  • While states have committed to participate in the 25 solar park plan (for 20 GW), implementation is a challenge due to land acquisition issues
  • Maharashtra’s renewable energy policy is delayed also due to hurdles in land acquisition
  • Land acquisition problems could be addressed by fixing a realistic compensation agreeable to both farmers and developers 
 

Net-metering is essential for India, but here is why it’s failing – [Part 1 of 2]

Net-metering can potentially drive widespread implementation of distributed generation by incentivising end-users to adopt localized power generation through technologies such as solar. In theory, net-metering is the proverbial silver bullet designed to help India achieve greater energy security through generation at point of consumption (distributed generation). In addition to helping consumers reduce their energy bills, it is also supposed to help stabilise the national, regional and state grids, provide financial relief to the distribution companies (DISCOMs) through consumer default risk mitigation and reduction of AT&C losses, and help cut down the per-capita energy footprint. Unfortunately solar adoption through net-metering has not picked up, even in 12 states and union-territories where it has been implemented. Both DISCOMs and end-consumers are reluctant to adopt net-metering. This article is post 1 of 2 on this matter and discusses the consumer side of the issue.

  • Net-metering is crucial for India if it wants to achieve energy security by 2022
  • Improvement in inverter technology and innovation in financial incentives is required for large scale adoption of net-metering
  • While technological improvements will enable market growth, financial innovations will drive the growth
 

India’s First Rate Performance at the Hannover Fair

This week, Germany was steeped in Indian colors. At the Hannover Fair, India made excellent use of the opportunity of being the official partner country and present itself favorably to a global business community.

  • India’s presentation at the fair was cool and exciting
  • Modi finds the right language and understands investor concerns
  • The international business community is ready to move, but expects more policy measures
 

Global Energy Trends and Implications for India [Part 2 of 5] : Uncertain Power and Carbon Markets Change Investment Choices

The global energy system is in a period of rapid transformation: electricity plays an ever more important role, as do renewables, distributed generation and electric vehicles. Energy efficiency is improving. Emissions are a large and growing concern. New technologies and business models are disrupting and challenging a traditionally risk-averse and slow-moving industry. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has just published its new “Energy Technology Perspectives” outlining the global trends until 2050 (refer). Here are some of the key findings and the implications they might have for India.

  • Construction of very large plants, especially nuclear power plants, has come to a halt due to uncertainty about the future power market design
  • If carbon were priced at a reasonable rate, both carbon capture and storage (for gas) and renewables would get a major boost
  • In India, the market will be driven more by default than design
 

Of bonds, green and not so green

A green bond is a green bond is a green bond – is that true?  Unfortunately, “green bond” is not a standard, well defined term.  Green bonds come in all shades of green, from the lightest tea green to the darkest ocean green, if you like.  A good way to evaluate the “greenness” of a bond is to see, if it makes a material difference to investment decision of the investors – in terms of an outright yes/ no, the maturity, the return expectation or the risk appetite. The bigger such influence, the “greener” the bond.

  • The green bonds currently available in India are marketing gimmicks
  • A real green bond needs to impact investment choices and improve financing conditions for developers
  • This would be a good option for the government to accelerate the market  
 
April 14, 2015
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MNRE seeking a rooftop solar target of 10 GW by 2018

BRIDGE TO INDIA understands that based on the rooftop solar target of 40 GW of by 2022, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is in advanced stages of working on a central government supported sub-target of 10 GW for rooftop and other small grid-connected solar projects by 2018. This is expected to further be divided into yearly targets of 2 GW, 4 GW and 4 GW for the three years.

  • The subsidy mechanism is expected to be replaced by an interest rate subvention scheme
  • BRIDGE TO INDIA hopes that quality of new projects is not adversely impacted by aggressive plans
  • Though some detail has started emerging on how the overall 100 GW target may be achieved, but market is still waiting for a coherent roadmap for the sector
 
April 13, 2015
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Global Energy Trends and Implications for India [Part 1 of 5]: Need to Consume Less Oil

The global energy system is in a period of rapid transformation: electricity plays an ever more important role, as do renewables, distributed generation and electric vehicles. Energy efficiency is improving. Emissions are a large and growing concern. New technologies and business models are disrupting and challenging a traditionally risk-averse and slow-moving industry. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has just published its new “Energy Technology Perspectives” outlining the global trends until 2050 (refer). Here are some of the key findings and the implications they might have for India.

  • A substantial reduction of oil consumption is needed to achieve climate goals
  • Oil consumption can be reduced through higher efficiency and fuel switching to gas or electricity
  • In India, a desire to reduce air pollution in cities can be a significant additional driver