July 2018 witnessed some important policy and other announcements in the renewable energy sector, especially solar. After a long period of uncertainty, we also saw a milestone development for the country’s solar industry – the imposition of the safeguard duty.
Below is a list of major announcements during the month:
The government levied a safeguard duty of 25 percent on solar imports from China and Malaysia. The Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue) levied the duty based on the final recommendations proposed by the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR). The safeguard duty of 25 percent on solar modules and cells will be in force from July 30, 2018.
The government announced a cutdown in the applicable rate of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries from 28 percent to 18 percent.
The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) issued regulations for Draft Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (Deviation Settlement Mechanism and related matters) for the year 2018.
The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has issued final regulations for the forecasting, scheduling, and deviation settlement for solar and wind power generation in the state. According to the new regulations, MERC would impose deviation charges on project developers and procurers for under and over injection of power to the grid. The regulations would apply to all the wind and solar energy generators having a minimum capacity of 5 MW connected to the intra-state transmission system.
The Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) has curtailed the enforcement period of a wind tariff order of 2015. Moreover, APERC has now withdrawn the generation-based incentive (GBI), which was offered to wind energy generators at ₹0.50 (~$0.0072)/kWh of electricity fed into the grid for a minimum of 4 years and a maximum of 10 years, with a cap of ₹10 million (~$145,603)/MW.
The Delhi government plans to launch a Solar Rooftop Demand Aggregation Program for domestic customers in the nation’s capital. The program will benefit consumers including residential, schools, hospitals, and municipal segments with an expected aggregated demand of 40 MW under the RESCO mode.
The Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) in New Delhi has dismissed an instant appeal filed by SunE Solar B.V (a part of Sun Edison group) and upheld an earlier order by the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC), which allowed BSES and BPRL (Bharat Petroresources Limited) to carry out a reverse auction process for the procurement of renewable power.
The Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency (UPNEDA) issued draft guidelines to set up private solar park in the state. Under the draft guidelines, a private player can develop solar park either by taking MNRE grant, or on its own.
The Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) issued an order amending the terms and conditions for determination of tariff a from renewable energy sources, renewable purchase obligations. and renewable energy certificates.
The state government of Punjab approved a pilot solar PV project to be developed on agricultural land. The pilot project for solar energy generation will be developed on agricultural land on a rental basis, besides allowing farmers to undertake high-value cultivation of fruits and vegetables.
The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) clarified that the nodal agency will grant medium-term open access (MTOA) or short-term open access (STOA) in the existing distribution system only if the resultant power flow can be accommodated.
The Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) approved a petition for the procurement of power from green energy sources other than solar with the purpose of fulfilling the stipulated renewable purchase obligation (RPO).
The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) approved the tariff of ₹2.52 (0.036)/kWh proposed by Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) for the short-term procurement of 250 MW of wind power under non-solar renewable purchase obligations (RPO).
The MNRE issued a notification stating that the date of self-certification by solar module manufacturers of six products included in the Schedule order No. 2183 (E) has been extended from June 30, 2018 to September 4, 2018.
The MNRE also issued a series of guidelines for conducting tests on solar photovoltaic modules (crystalline and thin film, including bifacial type). The MNRE stated that the date of self-certification by solar module manufacturers of six products included in the Schedule order No. 2183 (E) has been extended from June 30, 2018 to September 4, 2018.
The MNRE has extended the implementation timeline of 40 GW of solar parks in India. An MNRE order stated, “The timeline for development of solar parks and ultra-mega solar projects totaling 40 GW has been extended from 2019-20 to 2021-22 without any additional financial implication.”
Nitin is a staff reporter at Mercomindia.com and writes on renewable energy and related sectors. Prior to Mercom, Nitin has worked for CNN IBN, India News, Agricultural Spectrum and Bureaucracy Today. He received his bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Communication from Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University and Master’s degree in International Relations from Jindal School of International Affairs. More articles from Nitin Kabeer