Ministry of New and Renewable Energy or MNRE is a ministry of Government of India. The ministry is currently headed by Piyush Goyal, a Cabinet Minister. The ministry was established as the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources in 1992. It adopted its current name in October 2006.The Ministry is mainly responsible for research and development, intellectual property protection, and international cooperation, promotion, and coordination in renewable energy sources such as wind power, small hydro, biogas, and solar power. The broad aim of the Ministry is to develop and deploy new and renewable energy for supplementing the energy requirements of India.The ministry is headquartered in Lodhi Road, New Delhi. According to the Ministry's 2012-2013 annual report, India has made significant advances in several renewable energy sectors which include, Solar energy, Wind power, and Hydroelectricity. Wikipedia.
News Article | April 27, 2017
India will see 6 GW of wind power capacity auctioned in the current year, Rajeev Kapoor, Secretart, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, said today. Speaking at Windergy 2017 conference here, Kapoor said that 2 MW will be tendered out by the govt company, SECI, in a month. Part of the other 4 GW would be bid out by the state governments, he said. The plan for 6 GW comes on the heels of the country’s first ever wind capacity auction in February, in which five developers won 1,050 MW quoting Kapoor said a meeting of energy ministers of states is to take place next week, in which the important question of States meeting their ‘renewable purchase obligations’ would be discussed.
News Article | April 18, 2016
Originally published on WRI. By Ranping Song and Cynthia Elliott Last December, 196 countries adopted the historic Paris Agreement on climate change, creating the first universal pact to put the world on a path towards a zero-carbon, resilient future. Since then, some concrete steps have been made while examples of substantial progress that took place in 2015 is just now coming to light. Countries, regions, cities and businesses are taking action to move the world in the right direction toward a low-carbon, climate resilient future. With global leaders gathering in New York on April 22 to sign the Paris Agreement, now is a good time to reflect on the changing landscape of the global response to climate change. Global investment in renewable energy hit a record high of $286 billion last year, more than double the amount committed to fossil fuel power plants. Significantly, more than half the investment in renewables took place in developing countries, which are projected to account for the majority of energy consumption growth for decades to come. Analysis from the International Energy Agency indicates that, for a second year in a row, global energy-related carbon emissions stalled while the economy continued to expand, confirming the decoupling of global emissions from economic growth. In the last 15 years, 21 countries have reduced annual GHG emissions while growing their economies. Progress is also evident at the country level. In China, coal consumption fell in 2015 for the second year in a row, while clean energy investment soared to a record high of $111 billion, marking an annual increase of 17 percent. In March, the country revealed its 13th Five-Year Plan, the economic and social development blueprint for the next five years, which lays out targets and measures to achieve its Paris Agreement pledge. The plan includes a target for China to reduce its carbon intensity 48 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, exceeding its original target of a 40-45 percent reduction by that year. The blueprint is being turned into action, as China issued new directives to curb coal power plants construction and boost renewable energy generation. China’s vision of a more sustainable economy based on services, innovation, and more advanced, efficient manufacturing is starting to come true: the service sector now accounts for more than half of GDP and continues to grow at a faster pace than manufacturing. India, which shares the ambition for sustainable development, was among the top 10 countries in renewable energy investing for 2015, with investment of $10.2 billion, 22 percent more than the year before. This year, India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy approved six new solar park projects. There are 33 solar parks across 21 Indian states under development. Together, they will create an aggregate capacity of 19.9 gigawatts (GW), edging the country towards its goal of 100 GW solar photovoltaic power generation by 2022. The United States is making important progress as well. Solar and wind accounted for two-thirds of all new electric power plants built in the United States in 2015, and no new coal power plants are expected to be built this year. In February, 17 governors from both Republican and Democratic parties pledged to accelerate state effort to boost renewables, build better electricity grids and cut emissions from transport – suggesting a shift in U.S. public opinion. A recent poll indicated that a record number of Americans see global warming as a threat. Efforts to support adaptation are also moving ahead as the U.S. Department of the Interior recently announced nearly $5 million to help the U.S. Virgin Islands build resilience to climate change. U.S. leadership also paid dividends internationally. In a joint statement, the United States and Canada committed to significantly cut methane emissions from existing oil and gas systems by 40-45 percent below 2012 levels by 2025. Three weeks later, President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping of China jointly committed to formally join the Paris Agreement as soon as possible this year. Together, the two countries represent 38 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions according to the UNFCCC, more than half of the 55 percent of global emissions required to bring the Paris Agreement into force. The fact that these top emitting countries are on board sends a strong signal to others to formally join the group. (The agreement also requires that at least 55 countries join.) Many more countries are taking action as well. Morocco recently switched on the first phase of its concentrated solar power plant, which will be the world’s largest solar plant. Thanks to Mexico’s first Clean Energy Auction, solar power there is projected to grow 521 percent this year. The Pacific island nation of Tonga’s new national climate change policy aims for 100 percent renewable energy and 30 percent of land utilized for agroforestry or forestry by 2035. Both Argentina and Indonesia intend to enhance their national climate plans, while Papua New Guinea becomes the first country to officially submit its Nationally Determined Contribution. Fiji, Marshalls Island, Palau, Tuvalu and Switzerland have all completed their domestic approval processes to formally join the Paris Agreement on April 22. Support for developing countries will be crucial to realize the full cumulative potential of all national climate plans. To that end, the World Bank has recently adopted a climate action plan that will help countries in need meet their pledges to the Paris Agreement. Momentum is growing among cities, regions, businesses, civil society groups and cooperative initiatives. Since the December Paris meeting, more than 500 new commitments have been recorded in a database that tracks climate commitments by non-state actors. This includes growing participation by cities in the Compact of Mayors and the Covenant of Mayors and by businesses in Caring for Climate, the UN’s initiative for business leadership on climate change. Cities, states and regions have taken significant action this year. San Diego, California, plans to make the transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035, while the U.S. state of Oregon passed legislation to end coal use and increase renewable energy to 50 percent by 2040. In Australia, the city of Adelaide committed to become the world’s first carbon neutral city. Mato Grosso do Sul, the sixth largest state in Brazil, also announced its pursuit of becoming a carbon neutral state. Businesses, banks and investors are increasing their climate action role. Microsoft partnered with the state of Virginia and Dominion Virginia Power to invest in a 20 megawatt (MW) solar energy project. Crédit Agricole, one of the largest banking groups in Europe, recently said it aims to achieve 100 percent renewable energy in global operations by the end of 2016. India’s TATA Motors and technology giant Hewlett-Packard are among the new recruits of the RE100 initiative since Paris, pledging to achieve 100 percent renewable energy. A consortium of financial institutions led by Bank of America has pledged $8 billion to scale up climate change investment. More than 130 governments are expected to sign the new Paris Agreement on climate change on Earth Day. Many are also expected to formally join the Agreement in the coming months, offering countries an opportunity to reinforce their commitments to action. This is of critical importance to give the planet a fighting chance of limiting global warming and avoiding the most damaging effects of a changing climate. Drive an electric car? Complete one of our short surveys for our next electric car report. Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.
News Article | March 9, 2016
Committed to shielding its solar power equipment manufacturers against the flood of cheap imported solar power modules, the Indian Government is planning to appeal a recent verdict by the World Trade Organization. Last month, the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled that a part of India’s National Solar Mission did not conform to international trade laws. The US had challenged India’s program to offer higher capital support to solar power project developers that use modules manufactured or assembled in India. The Indian Government also sets aside a minimum percentage of capacity that must be built using domestically assembled modules. Speaking to Indian media outlets, officials of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy said that they were ready for such a verdict and are already looking at strategies to challenge the WTO decision. The latest verdict by the WTO was in response to an appeal filed by India against an initial decision announced last year. An Indian delegation had approached the US representatives to resolve the matter before the WTO delivered its February verdict. The Indian Government is believed to have proposed that domestically assembled modules shall be used in power projects set up only by government-owned companies, while any mandatory use of Indian modules shall not be applicable on any project that sells electricity to commercial entities. Such a compromise would allow entities like the Indian Railways and the defence forces to rely on Indian modules. The Indian Railways has set a target to add 1 GW solar power capacity while the defence forces have so far committed to build 300 MW capacity. In all likelihood the Indian Government will press ahead with this compromise. Soon after coming to power the government had rejected calls by the Indian manufacturers to levy anti-dumping duties on imported modules. Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.” Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10. Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.
News Article | April 12, 2016
Consultancy firm Bridge to India has raised concerns over the future of India’s solar market, and whether the funds necessary to build the massive GW-targets will be accessible. In a recent piece published on its website, Bridge to India posited that the question of whether the India solar market is “running on fumes.” Specifically, the Indian renewable energy consulting and knowledge services provider believes that “many developers seem to be bidding for project first and planning to raise capital later.” “The question is: will they be able to raise capital at the current tariff levels and in time to meet the stringent deadlines?” India has repeatedly been seen committing to huge GW targets, and awarding massive solar projects to developers that are making India, on the face of it, one of the most attractive places to invest in renewable energy development. Just this week, India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has reaffirmed its commitment to year targets intended to meet the country’s overall goal of delivering 100 GW of grid-connected solar PV by 2022. However, Bridge to India raises three big concerns that it believes spells trouble for the country’s industry as a whole: Not only are companies such as SkyPower and SunEdison seemingly having trouble raising the capital they need, Bridge to India sees banks as being “extremely reluctant to commit debit for the recent aggressive” tariff bids. With prices possibly firming up in the next few months, and the possible impact the implementation of a GST will have on these projects, Bridge to India sees “genuine concerns about many developers’ ability to raise financing and build projects on time.” “Overall, BRIDGE TO INDIA is of the opinion that while annual capacity addition in the Indian solar sector will continue to go up over the next few years, actual capacity added will be much smaller than MNRE estimates of 12 GW and 15 GW for FY17 and FY18 respectively. We also expect tariffs to stabilize or even rise marginally from current levels to attract sufficient interest from the financing community.” Drive an electric car? Complete one of our short surveys for our next electric car report. Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.
News Article | October 4, 2016
India ratified the Paris climate agreement this week, officially underscoring its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Yet just two years after embarking on an ambitious campaign to scale up renewable energy, India is facing a curious problem: too much solar and wind power in some parts of the country. In July, for the first time, the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu was unable to use all the solar power it generated. Later in the month, Jayaram Jayalalitha, the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to speed up the construction of an inter-state green energy corridor that would allow renewable power to be transmitted and used in other states instead of being wasted. And in August, Tarun Kapoor, India’s joint secretary of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, wrote a letter asking electricity regulators to fully utilize solar power following complaints that grid operators were letting renewable energy go to waste. As developing countries lead the world in renewable energy investment, India’s experience highlights a larger question: Will the grid be a major roadblock for renewable energy development across the developing world? From India to China to Chile, a significant portion of future renewable energy could go to waste without careful planning. Solar and wind only accounted for 3.5 percent of the power generated in India in 2015. But if the government achieves its ambitious targets for renewable energy deployment, the amount of solar and wind power on the grid could quadruple by 2022. Yet there are already signs that the grid’s ability to absorb these new power sources could be a major bottleneck for renewable energy growth in India, jeopardizing the country’s energy and climate goals. Although there is not clear national data, regulatory filings from Tamil Nadu, where the problem is thought to be the most extreme, put the curtailment rate for wind power between 33 percent and 50 percent -- an astonishingly high figure. The problem is, in part, a technical one. Solar and wind power are not as easy to control as traditional fossil fuel plants, so power grids need to become flexible enough to handle last-minute changes in power generation. Distance is also an issue. In India, six states in the western and southern regions account for 80 percent of all of the country’s currently installed solar capacity, but only 38 percent of power demand. For grid operators used to being able to turn fossil fuel plants on and off at will, these changes can take some getting used to. If new measures are not put into place to accommodate variable renewable energy sources, a situation can arise where the physical grid -- or the grid operator -- is unable to use solar and wind power when it becomes available. Other countries have already dealt with this problem with varying degrees of success. Germany and the U.S. have relatively high levels of solar and wind penetration and low curtailment rates, while China has had major issues with curtailment as the share of wind and solar in the energy mix increases. Indeed, China currently has more wind and solar power capacity than any other country in the world after scaling up very quickly. In the five years between 2010 and 2015, the share of solar and wind power generated in China quadrupled. Yet in 2015, the U.S. still produced more electricity from wind than China, despite having only 58 percent of China’s installed wind capacity. A large reason for this discrepancy is that much of China’s solar and wind power is wasted: 21 percent of wind power was curtailed in the first half of 2016 (with Gansu province reaching a 47 percent curtailment rate), and solar curtailment reached 11 percent in the first three quarters of 2015. Although China has been able to build out renewable energy capacity quickly over the past decade, it has taken much longer to develop the transmission infrastructure and make the institutional changes required to utilize all of this new power. How can India learn from China’s mistakes and rapidly scale up renewables without waste? Luckily, the challenge has not caught Indian policymakers by surprise. There are already a number of initiatives underway to help integrate renewables into the grid. Perhaps most important is that, unlike China, India already has a wholesale power market, which can provide much-needed flexibility for utilities to buy and sell power at short notice. There is also the aforementioned green energy corridor, a series of transmission lines that will connect states with excess renewable energy to areas where there is demand. And similar to China, solar and wind already have “must run” status, meaning that any power they generate should always be accepted by the grid. Yet even these steps may not be enough. A recent survey found that 31 percent of senior corporate leaders in Indian solar companies think that grid integration will be the biggest challenge for expanding solar in India going forward. The first priority for India when addressing this issue is to finish the green energy corridor and other new transmission lines so that renewable power can be transmitted where it is needed. There are significant power surpluses in some states and power deficits in others. For instance, Uttar Pradesh has a peak power deficit of 9.7 percent (meaning 9.7 percent of demand at peak times cannot be met with the power available in the state), whereas the bordering state of Madhya Pradesh has a peak power surplus of 8.3 percent. Yet the power connection between the two states was at full capacity 73 percent of the time in May 2016, meaning some surplus power in Madhya Pradesh may not have made it to Uttar Pradesh. Nationally, 10 percent of the power supply available on the short-term markets last year could not be used because of transmission constraints. New investment in inter-state power lines will help balance out such disparities. It is particularly important for India to attract private investment in these projects. The green energy corridor will cost an astounding USD $3.4 billion, and is funded in part by government funds and partially by a $1 billion loan from the Asian Development Bank and €1 billion loan from GiZ. But the public sector can only fund so many multibillion-dollar projects, and many state utilities are already in poor financial conditions. Private capital is projected to be required for 47 percent of infrastructure investment in India between 2012 and 2017. India’s planning commission has created a framework for public-private partnerships for transmission investment, but land acquisition and permitting are still major roadblocks for private developers hoping to complete a project on schedule. Reducing the time and cost of land acquisition will be essential to making infrastructure projects attractive to developers and unlocking the private capital needed to finance transmission lines. Second, focusing on deploying distributed energy technologies like rooftop solar can help increase the amount of renewable energy in use where new transmission lines are infeasible or too expensive. India hopes to get 40 percent of its solar capacity from rooftop solar by 2022, but the market has been slow to take off despite a 30 percent capital subsidy from the government. The barriers to rooftop solar deployment are often more institutional than technical. In China, slow subsidy disbursement and a lack of financing have caused rooftop solar deployment to fall short of government targets. In India, a recent survey found that 93 percent of senior corporate leaders in the Indian solar sector did not think the country would even reach half of its rooftop solar target by 2022, citing ineffective net metering policy, unavailable and expensive financing, and consumer awareness as top issues. There are a number of potential solutions: Training for distribution utilities unaccustomed to having customers generate their own electricity; streamlining the application and approval process; creating certifications to ensure installer quality; and even allowing rooftop solar systems to serve as backup power when the grid goes down. Quickly implementing such solutions can allow renewables to grow without worsening curtailment. Energy storage can also play an important role in reducing curtailment. The cost of storage is still a major barrier to mass adoption, but prices are dropping quickly. Moreover, Germany and Texas have achieved low curtailment rates with minimal energy storage and high renewable energy penetrations through improved grid planning and changes to the power market structure. Still, India is planning on installing 10 gigawatts of pumped hydro energy storage across the country to accommodate increased renewable energy penetration (China is taking similar measures to reduce curtailment). As the price of energy storage drops, it will become an increasingly compelling complement to variable renewable energy. Finally, India can look to other countries to find grid planning and operational solutions to help manage curtailment as renewable power scales up. One such change, highlighted in a recent Paulson Institute report on curtailment, is to create financial incentives against curtailing renewables. Currently, Indian solar and wind generators are not compensated for curtailment, and compensation should not be necessary because renewables have “must run” status. However, financial incentives can help reinforce such regulations when mandates alone are insufficient. China has had a similar experience with “must run” mandates: multiple policies have stated that solar and wind should always receive priority on the grid, but curtailment continues to be an issue because there are few penalties for ignoring this regulation. A recent regulation released by China’s National Development and Reform Commission requires that coal plant owners pay wind or solar plant owners whose energy is curtailed, creating a stronger incentive for grid operators to fully utilize renewables. An even simpler solution would be to compensate solar and wind projects for any curtailed energy at a fixed rate. This not only penalizes grid operators that choose to curtail renewables, but also provides more certainty for power producers when trying to forecast revenue. Even smaller changes to how the grid is operated can make a difference. In Texas, grid operator ERCOT shifted from 15-minute dispatch intervals on the intra-day market to 5-minute intervals, allowing for more granular planning around variable wind and solar power plants. (India currently uses 15-minute dispatch intervals.) ERCOT also shifted from targeting 0 percent curtailment to a maximum acceptable curtailment rate of 3 percent of annual renewable energy production -- a more cost-effective solution than trying to utilize every unit of electricity generated at peak times. Such institutional changes can provide flexibility to the grid without the high risk and cost of major new transmission and storage projects. India has already set a moonshot goal for renewable energy deployment that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. Indeed, in the five years between Copenhagen and Paris, India went from being a hindrance to an enthusiastic participant to in the United Nation’s global climate negotiations. Yet a successful energy transition will require a broader change in the infrastructure and institutions that support renewables -- not just targets themselves. Jamie Manley is a program associate at the Paulson Institute.
News Article | April 14, 2016
Officials at the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy are ‘very confident’ of achieving the ambitious target to add 12 GW solar power capacity in the current financial year – April 2016 to March 2017. India plans to have 100 GW of operational solar power capacity by March 2022 and has, thus, announced ambitious annual capacity addition targets. The current installed solar power capacity in India stands at just over 5 GW. India added 3 GW solar power capacity in the previous financial year, against a target of 2 GW. Thus, the ministry officials are quite optimistic of achieving even higher targets. India’s solar power pipeline remains extremely strong, with several gigawatts of capacity under various stages of development. Scores of large-scale power projects were auctioned last year under the central government as well as state-level policies. A number of states have lined up large solar power auctions over the next few months. Additionally, the central government will soon initiate the process of auctioning ultra mega solar power projects that represent a cumulative capacity of around 20 GW. Some of the states likely to see sharp increases in installed capacity this year include Telangana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh. A bulk of the capacity is expected to be added through central government policies and programs being executed by public sector companies like NTPC Limited. Drive an electric car? Complete one of our short surveys for our next electric car report. Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.
News Article | February 27, 2017
Vaisala Appoints New Managing Director for 3TIER India Rajnikanth Umakanthan to head Vaisala's Indian subsidiary, delivering end-to-end resource risk management services for renewable energy developers, operators and investors 3TIER India, a subsidiary of global environmental and industrial measurement leader, Vaisala, has appointed a new Managing Director. Rajnikanth Umakanthan (Rajni) joins the business to lead the Bangalore-based team in the delivery of Vaisala's platform of services for the wind and solar sectors, encompassing project development, operations and portfolio management. Joining from Underwriters Laboratories (UL), where he served as Head of Business Development for Greater Asia and the Middle East, Rajni has over a decade of experience in the renewable energy market. He has played a key role in the development of renewable energy regulations and in the adoption of safety and performance standards for solar PV equipment, wind turbines and utility-scale energy storage systems. His work has been instrumental in establishing infrastructure for long-term reliability and durability testing of solar PV modules in India and in helping project developers procure bankable modules for their projects. With this background in renewable energy technology and risk management, Rajni has a strong understanding of what is required to deliver investment-grade projects in the Indian market. At Vaisala, Rajni will drive efforts to ensure project developers and operators are well placed to manage the impact of resource variability throughout the lifetime of their assets, from early-stage site assessment through project operations. "Over the past nine years, 3TIER India has established itself as the leading provider of weather data, energy due diligence services and measurement equipment to the Indian solar and wind industries," said Rajni Umakanthan, Managing Director, 3TIER India. "As the domestic renewable energy market has grown, so too has demand from project stakeholders for the high-quality equipment and independent analysis we provide. I am excited to increase our market reach and expand the range of services we offer in India, based on positive interest and feedback I've received from conversations with our customers." Vaisala's 3TIER India subsidiary has been active in the Indian market since 2008 and has worked on over 50GW of Indian wind and solar capacity to date. In 2014, Vaisala was also selected by the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to create a Solar Atlas of India, which has become an invaluable reference point for investors and project developers. For further information, please contact: Rajni Umakanthan - Managing Director, 3TIER India Tel +91 9900 573 791 rajnikanth.umakanthan[at]vaisala.com Francesca Davidson - Energy Communications Expert, Vaisala Tel +1 206 708 8544 francesca.davidson[at]vaisala.com Vaisala Energy Weather provides the fuel for renewable energy projects and is one of the largest variables impacting production. Vaisala uses more than 80 years of weather expertise to help the global renewable energy industry develop and operate wind and solar projects better, faster and more efficiently. Our measurement, assessment, forecasting and asset management products and services leverage proven science and advanced technology to mitigate the impact of weather risks on energy generation and support profitable decision-making across the entire project lifecyle, from greenfield prospecting and due diligence through operational forecasting and plant optimization. www.vaisala.com/energy twitter.com/VaisalaEnergy linkedin.com/company/vaisala-energy About Vaisala Vaisala is a global leader in environmental and industrial measurement. Building on 80 years of experience, Vaisala contributes to a better quality of life by providing a comprehensive range of innovative observation and measurement products and services for chosen weather-related and industrial markets. Headquartered in Finland, Vaisala employs approximately 1600 professionals worldwide and is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki stock exchange. www.vaisala.com www.twitter.com/VaisalaGroup
News Article | December 19, 2016
India has pledged 175 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity by 2022, up from around 43 GW today, and for non-fossil fuels to be 40% of total generating capacity by 2030, which equates to 300 GW of capacity. Are these targets realistic? This is obviously a very steep target and I would say that it is more of an aspiration right now. But the Indian government is very serious and they have announced an array of operational and financial measures to support the growth of renewables in India. It is also worth noting that India has all the fundamental drivers for renewables in place — growing energy demand, huge resource potential, competitive costs and an urgent need to reduce carbon emissions. The theme of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in 2017 is ‘Practical steps towards a sustainable future’. What are the practical steps that India should be taking towards delivering on its ambitious renewable energy goals, particularly with respect to the key challenges of accessing affordable finance, technology and outdated distribution infrastructure? India has already been taking many practical measures to drive the growth of the renewable sector. The UDAY package has improved the finances of some of the weakest utilities in the country and improved their offtake risk. The solar parks policy where the government is developing 20,000 megawatts (MW) of solar park infrastructure (land, transmission, transport connectivity etc) and providing it to developers on a ‘plug and play’ model has also been very helpful in dealing with the operational concerns of developers. There are many ongoing initiatives on the transmission side including the green corridor programme and national smart grid and storage missions. We have also seen pilot storage projects being tendered by various state governments. In my view, upgrading the transmission and distribution infrastructure and making it sufficiently robust to deal with the fluctuations in renewable energy output is the biggest practical challenge for the sector. This requires proactive government support and planning, billions of dollars in investment and high-tech intervention. Financing 100 GW of solar and 60 GW of wind requires, according to industry estimates, a massive capital injection of nearly US$300 billion. How much money is the Indian government prepared to spend? What will be the contribution of Indian financial institutions? Where are the main foreign investments coming from, and how much foreign investment has been pledged so far? The Indian government does not have the capacity or willingness to spend this amount of money. The good news is that the private sector is increasingly willing to do so provided there are appropriate systems and policy mechanisms in place. On the power generation side, we see huge investment interest in the sector from around the globe. Some of the leading international utilities, private equity funds and corporate houses are active players in the sector. I believe that out of the total solar installed plus the pipeline capacity of 25 GW, approximately 20% is sponsored by international investors. On the debt side, more than 80% of capital is coming from Indian lenders comprising banks, financial institutions and private finance companies. The government’s role is restricted to being a catalyst by providing seed capital, capital subsidies and tax incentives to selected target segments. The Government of India has very recently announced a US$2 billion equity fund specifically for the sector. The government is also playing a more active but indirect role in the financing of the transmission system where most of the national state level transmission companies are owned by different arms of the government. How can overseas investors and stakeholders, including those from the Middle East & North Africa, support India’s renewable energy transformation? What is the role of the private sector? Middle East investors have been looking at this market with increasing interest. Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) has a substantial minority stake in ReNew, one of the largest renewable IPPs in India. FRV has also been bidding successfully in the Indian market. These investors can bring much needed capital to the sector but also contribute by transfer of international technology and project development expertise. We also see a great commonality of interest between MENA and India from a renewable energy consumption, technology development and investment perspective. How can the private sector and government collaborate more effectively in realizing India’s energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy? We believe that the current government, particularly the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), is already working very closely and proactively with the private sector. One area with substantial scope for improvement is for the different state governments to learn from each other and share best practices. That will go a long way in streamlining administrative processes and helping the private sector. There also needs to be more dialogue on addressing key long-term issues such as building skills for the sector. India recently announced US$750 million in funding for a 30% capital subsidy for rooftop solar installations, mainly to improve energy access for India’s poorest communities. How will the subsidy scheme work, and is it the right strategy? This subsidy is actually targeted towards residential and institutional consumers. Some major changes have been announced in the subsidy scheme whereby instead of the central government providing subsidies directly to private installers through an open window process, funds will be channeled to state level nodal agencies and utilities, who will then be disbursing subsidies to lowest cost bidders decided through a tender process. The government is trying to improve the process but we believe that this process will again be highly inefficient and controversial. Running a well-structured tender process with adequate safeguards is a very time consuming and costly exercise wiping away much of the subsidy benefit. We believe that these funds could be put to much better use in other ways, for example, skill building initiatives, setting up standards, training utilities and regulators on various aspects of distributed generation, net metering and grid management. Why is ‘Bridge to India’ attending ADSW 2017? What will be your message to visitors and delegates? We are keen to attend the event to meet international stakeholders, understand their perspective and share our views on the Indian renewable market. We want to give a balanced and independent perspective and hopefully address some of the investment related concerns of MENA investors in this market. About Vinay Rustagi, Managing Director of Bridge To India: Vinay has more than 15 years of experience in financing of energy and infrastructure projects across India and Europe. He has worked in a mix of financing and advisory roles at Standard Chartered Bank, National Australia Bank, SMBC (Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation) and ICICI Securities. Over the last few years, his work has been concentrated primarily on large scale renewable projects including both solar and wind. This has given him a deep understanding of the solar energy sector including project development and related technical, operational and regulatory issues. He is passionate about developing a successful rooftop solar energy business because of its unique ability to meet India’s growing energy needs without having an adverse impact on the environment. Buy a cool T-shirt or mug in the CleanTechnica store! Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech daily newsletter or weekly newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.
News Article | September 13, 2016
While welcoming the newly notified policy on repowering of the wind power projects by the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), the Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers’ Association (IWTMA), strongly feels that the concessional interest rate offered by the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) over and above the interest rate rebates available to the new wind projects financed by IREDA will help boost investment in the wind energy sector. Welcoming the move, Mr. DV Giri, Secretary General, IWTMA said, “Accelerated Depreciation (AD) and Generation Based Incentive (GBI) are also made available to the repowering projects as per the conditions applicable to the new wind power projects. With the new policy, wind turbine generators of capacity 1 MW and below would be eligible for repowering under the policy. Based on the experimental measure, the MNRE will extend the repowering policy to other projects also. Under the new policy, a wind farm/turbine undergoing repowering would be exempted from not honouring the PPA for the non-availability of generation from wind farm/turbine during the period of execution of repowering. Similarly, in case of repowering by captive user, they will be allowed to purchase power from grid during the period of execution of repowering, on payment of charges as determined by the regulator, the policy further stated. In case of power being procured by the State Discoms through PPA, the power generated corresponding to average of last three years generation prior to repowering would continue to be procured on the terms of PPA in-force and remaining additional generation would either be purchased by Discoms at Feed in Tariff (FIT) applicable in the State at the time of commissioning of the repowering project and/or allowed for third party sale, the policy further stated. Most of the wind-turbines installed up to the year 2000 are of capacity below 500 kW and are at sites having high wind energy potential. It is estimated that over 3000 MW capacity installation are from wind turbines of around 500 kW or below. In order to optimally utilise the wind energy resources repowering is required and hence the objective of the Repowering Policy is to promote optimum utilisation of wind energy resources by creating facilitative framework for repowering, according to the MNRE. For further press queries information please contact:
News Article | November 17, 2016
India is expected to compete a landmark renewable energy auction by late next month in its endeavor to increase competition and reduce generation costs in the wind energy sector. Officials of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy have stated that the first-ever wind energy auction in India will be completed by next month. The Solar Energy Corporation of India, responsible for conducting the auction, has already issued the tender documents. The last date for submission of bids is 15 December 2016. As per the final guidelines, the auction of 1 GW of onshore wind energy projects will be conducted through reverse e-bidding. A total capacity of 1 GW will be allocated in the auction, however, this capacity may increase if there is such a demand from buyers. The minimum capacity bid for a single location will be 50 MW, while a company (along with its parent, affiliates and subsidiaries) can bid for a cumulative of 250 MW. Project developers will be required to sign a power purchase agreement with SECI which will, in turn, sign a power sale agreement with the buyers (most likely the utilities in various states). A trading company will also be responsible of the final delivery of power to the buyers. All awarded projects are to be commissioned with 18 months of allocation. Project developers, however, will be allowed to claim part commissioning the project by completing 50 MW or 50% of the allocated capacity, whichever is greater. Project developers will face financial penalties for delayed commissioning or shortfall in minimum generation. The main goal of this proposed auction is to allow states that lack wind energy resources to purchase electricity from wind energy projects and meet their non-solar renewable purchase obligations. While no base price for the auction has been set, the feed-in tariffs for wind energy projects in various states could serve as the benchmark for reserve auction. Buy a cool T-shirt or mug in the CleanTechnica store! Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech daily newsletter or weekly newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.