December 2017 Wrap-up_ New Developments in India’s Solar and Renewable Energy Sector

A rundown of notable news covering everything from auctions and deals to tax developments from the month of December

December proved to be a crucial month for India’s renewable energy sector after numerous developments and announcements emerged from key industry players and various government agencies.

Here’s a quick wrap of all the major developments in India’s clean energy sphere that made headlines in the final month of 2017:

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) released a final list of the winning bidders in its 500 MW rooftop solar auction.

The Power Finance Corporation (PFC), an undertaking of the government of India, issued $400 million (~₹25.72 billion) of green bonds on the London Stock Exchange’s new International Securities Market.

If things work out as planned, proposed amendments to the Electricity Act may soon enable Indian consumers to change power suppliers as easily as they switch between telecom service providers.

Solar energy consultancy SgurrEnergy India is on track to surpass 15 GW of solar project consulting in 2018.

Several key players in India’s solar industry met to discuss the impact of the investigation into imported solar goods and the possible effects of a proposed anti-dumping duty.

The Office of the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping (DGAD) held an oral hearing regarding the anti-dumping petition filed by the Indian Manufacturers Association against cells and modules from China, Malaysia, and Taiwan. A final verdict is still awaited.

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) became a treaty-based international intergovernmental organization on December 6, 2017.

HDFC Ergo General Insurance Company, a joint venture between HDFC Ltd and ERGO International, launched the first solar energy shortfall insurance policy in India that gives solar project developers the ability to insure certain causes of solar power generation loss.

SMA Solar announced that it has sold over 3 GW of solar inverters in India cumulatively, including more than 1 GW in 2017 into all market segments.

Automobile manufacturer Tata Motors rolled out its first batch of electric vehicles (EVs) for the public sector joint venture Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL).

Import and export activity in the Indian solar sector dropped by ₹30 billion ($464.15 million) quarter-over-quarter to $776.08 million (~₹49.9 billion) in the third-quarter of calendar year 2017.

Solar tender and auction activity in India declined steeply in November 2017. Solar capacity tendered across the country during the month fell by 25 percent to 300 MW compared to the October 2017 total and the amount of solar auctioned dropped by 98 percent to just 5 MW.

Indian renewable energy project developer ReNew Power acquired a 100 percent stake in KCT Renewable Energy Private Limited (KCTREPL) from the Karm Chand Thapar (KCT) Group for over ₹10 billion (~$155 million).

Longi Green, a Chinese solar equipment and component manufacturer, announced plans to set up cell and module manufacturing units of 500 MW each in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

The Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) approved Power Purchase Agreements for 41 wind projects aggregating 841.32 MW.

The Indian Railways Finance Corporation raised $500 million (~₹32.07 billion) through the issuance of its first green bond on the London Stock Exchange’s new International Securities Market.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) gave its in-principle approval to Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) for the development of a 500 MW solar park in Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu.

The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) won approval to procure wind, solar, and bagasse‑based cogeneration power at a rate discovered through a tariff‑based competitive bidding process.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) approved ACME Solar Holdings’ Initial Public Offering (IPO) worth ₹22,000 million (~$336.86 million).

YES Bank, one of the largest private sector banks in India, collaborated with the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union’s non-profit long-term lending institution, to formulate a renewable energy financing program for India.

To ensure grid stability in the face of massive increases in intermittent renewable generation, India needs to produce flexible, stand-by generation and battery storage capacity, according to a report released by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).

Waaree Energies, an Indian solar module manufacturer and engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services provider, raised ₹1 billion (~$15.6 million) from Centrum Financial Services Ltd., the non-banking finance arm of the Centrum Group and a private equity firm.

The Indian Solar Manufacturers Association (ISMA) filed a petition with the Directorate General of Safeguards that seeks to impose a Safeguard Duty on imported solar cells from China, Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan.

JA Solar Holdings Company Ltd., a vertically-integrated module manufacturer, announced that its module shipments to India reached 1 GW in 2017.

The government of India brought light to more than 15,000 villages in 2017. Still, around 2,217 villages are yet to see the lights turn on in their homes and the central government plans to electrify those remaining villages by May 2018.

Proceeding with its plan to launch an Initial Public Offering (IPO), the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) filed a draft red herring prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

In the ongoing saga of the World Trade Organization (WTO) solar Domestic Content Requirement (DCR) case between the US and India, the US communicated to the WTO that India failed to comply with earlier rulings and recommendations made by the WTO Dispute Settlement Body.

Various development banks made substantial concessional loans to assist the Indian government in its plans to expand solar rooftop installations in 2017.

In December, Distribution Companies (DISCOMs) propelled India’s REC trade to a new high during a mad dash to purchase non-solar Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to fulfill their Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPOs) before the end of the year .

John ‘Skip’ Dise, director of product at Clean Power Research and Ann Gaglioti, chief executive officer of GroundWork Renewables, sat down with the Mercom India news team to discuss their thoughts on the industry and talked about why their US-based companies are preparing to enter the Indian solar sector.

Priya SanjayPriya currently serves as the Publisher for MercomIndia.com. With more than a decade of experience working in corporate communications, research, and policy, Priya has deep roots in the Indian energy markets and is regularly in touch with policy makers and industry leaders. Priya received her bachelor’s degree from Vidya Vardhaka College of Arts in Bangalore, India for Political Science and Economics and completed her MBA from Bangalore University. More articles from Priya Sanjay.