January 2018 Policy Wrap-up: Key Announcements Made by Government for Solar Sector

Government agencies unveiled a slew of new policies for India’s solar sector in January. While some of the announcements were welcomed by the key industry players, there were a few that dampened the industry’s overall spirit.

Here is a quick wrap-up of central and state policies announced in January 2018:

National

The government announced the setting up of a $350 million (~₹22.4 billion) solar development fund to enable the financing of solar projects in the country.


The United States exempted India from the levy of a 30 percent anti-dumping duty on its solar imports that was previously announced by President Donald Trump. India is one among the hundred countries that are exempt from paying the anti-dumping duty.

The Directorate General of Safeguards Customs and Central Excise recommended a 70 percent safeguard duty on solar cells imported from China and Malaysia for 200 days.

The Madras High Court put a temporary stay on the 70 percent safeguard duty recommendation until February 2, 2018, after which it will review the order.

The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) announced that it will tender 20 GW of grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in coming years.

The government announced it will set up a $350 million (~₹22.4 billion) solar development fund to enable solar project financing.

State

The Uttar Pradesh state government announced plans to provide a subsidy of ₹15,000 (~$237)/kW for the development of rooftop solar projects in the state. For a single project of 3 kW, the subsidy would be capped at ₹30,000 (~$474).

The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) released a discussion paper that calls for increasing the wheeling and banking charges for solar, wind, and other renewable energy projects developed under a non-REC (Renewable Energy Certificate) route in Karnataka.

The Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) became the latest agency to announce draft regulations outlining deviation charges for solar and wind power generation in the state.

The Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) also released draft regulations for the forecasting, scheduling, and deviation settlement of solar and wind power generation.

MNRE

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) revealed its plans  to spend ₹660 million (~$10.3 million)  during the next two financial years to increase renewable energy awareness in India.

The MNRE also released ₹259.2 million (~$4.07 million) in funds for the solar cities program as of December 31, 2017.

The MNRE issued an advisory regarding the procurement of modules for the operation and maintenance of the desired Capacity Utilization Factor (CUF) of solar projects developed under the Domestic Content Requirement (DCR) category.