News Highlights from March 2018_ Key Developments in India’s Renewable Sector

There was a range of activity from stakeholders in India’s solar sector during the month of March. Here is a quick recap of the important data points and headlines:

The Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreed to set up a panel to look into the ongoing trade conflict between the United States and India.

The National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development (NABARD) was poised to receive a $100 million loan from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for the development of rooftop solar in India.

There is an immediate need to establish Green Energy Corridors as India scales up installed renewable energy capacity. More than 64 GW of renewable energy capacity have been connected to the grid so far.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) charted a course of action for wind turbine generators (WTGs) to follow in order to receive a low voltage ride through (LVRT) certification.

In 2017, the Indian solar sector logged over $10 billion (~₹650 billion) in financing activity, Mercom reported.

Microsoft announced the completion of its first renewable energy deal in India.

The average spot power price recorded in February 2018 shot up by approximately 27 percent when compared to the price recorded during the same month of 2017.

Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) revealed plans to tender 3 GW of renewable energy capacity.

Power Minister R.K. Singh directed the Rural Energy Corporation (REC) and the Power Finance Corporation (PFC) to not grant loans to distribution companies (DISCOMs) that are taking heavy losses (above 15 percent) unless they devise a plan to reduce them.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) inked an agreement worth €150 million (~$184.81 million) to further the growth of renewable energy generation.

A total of 264 Jawahar Navoday Vidyalayas are poised to benefit from the deployment of rooftop solar systems.

Mercom reported that top four states made up almost 75 percent of total utility-scale solar installations in India in 2017.

The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA)’s gross non-performing assets (NPAs) rose to 6.01 percent of its total assets in the financial year (FY) 2016-17.

Mahindra Renewables achieved financial closure on a 250 MW grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) project being developed in the Rewa Solar Park in Madhya Pradesh.

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) sought to enter into a consortium agreement with Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) manufacturers and suppliers.

A recently announced National Lab Policy is set to add a new wrinkle that could slow down project commissioning, various solar project developers and manufacturers told Mercom.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) further postponed the second edition of the Global Renewable Energy Investors Meet & Expo, RE-INVEST 2018.

In calendar year (CY) 2017, the Indian solar sector imported solar modules and cells totaling nearly $4.12 billion (~₹269 billion), a 43 percent increase from the $2.88 billion (~₹194 billion) recorded during the preceding year.

The lowest-ever L1 tariff of ₹2.91 (~$0.044)/kWh was quoted in an auction to develop 550 MW of grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) projects conducted by Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited (KREDL).

The National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) commissioned a 50 MW grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) project in the Theni and Dindigul districts of Tamil Nadu.

Solar tariffs hovered round the ₹3 (0.0462)/kWh mark in a 500 MW grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) auction held by Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL).