Month in a Minute Top Headlines from Indian Renewable Sector in September 2022

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Here is a recap of some of the most important headlines from September 2022:

India added 1.3 GW of new open access solar capacity in the first half (1H) of the calendar year 2022, registering a growth of 97% year-over-year. This is the second-highest installation figure for the six months of any year. The cumulative installed open access solar capacity at the end of June 2022 stood at 6.5 GW. The top five states accounted for 73% of the cumulative open access solar capacity installations. The numbers were revealed in Mercom India Research’s recent Mercom India Solar Open Access Market Report Q2 2022.

Foreign Direct investment (FDI) in India’s renewable energy sector stood at $949.45 million (₹75,555 million) in the first quarter (Q1) of the financial year 2022-23, an increase of 269% compared to $257.09 million (~₹20.49 billion) during the same period last year. The FDI flows marked a 129% quarter-over-quarter increase from $414.76 million (~₹33.06 billion) in Q4 2022. The cumulative FDI inflow in the renewable sector stood at $11.75 billion (~₹889.29 billion) from April 2010 to June 2022. Foreign investments of up to 100% in the renewable sector are permitted under the automatic route, with no prior approvals required.

Reliance Industries signed definitive agreements to acquire a 79.4% stake in SenseHawk, a solar digitization platform that helps customers develop, build and operate solar and other infrastructure sites. The estimated value of the transaction is $32 million, including funding for future growth, commercial rollout of products, and research and development. SenseHawk’s platform helps with process optimization, automation, and asset information management.

The Chhattisgarh State Electric Vehicle Policy, 2022 aims to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles (EV), especially in the two-wheeler, public/shared transport, and goods carrier segments. It has targeted 15% of all vehicle registrations to be battery electric vehicles (BEV) by 2027. The policy will be valid for five years from April 2022 and extendable to 10 years. The state will offer financial support up to 10% of the cost of the vehicle (excluding tax) or ₹150,000 (~$1,883), whichever is lower, for the purchase of EVs, either for individual use or commercial use, for five years until 2026-27.

The Rajasthan EV policy 2022 lays out category-wise targets adding 15% electric vehicle share in new vehicle registrations of two-wheelers, 30% in three-wheelers, 5% in four-wheelers, and phased transition to e-buses used in routes connecting priority cities. The policy will be valid for five years. The policy proposes training programs to create a skilled workforce to support the electric vehicle ecosystem. This will be done by adding enabling incentives in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kota, Udaipur, Bikaner, Ajmer, Bharatpur, and Alwar under the Rajasthan Investment Promotion Program-2019.

Yulu, a Bengaluru-based shared electric mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) and battery-as-a-service (BaaS) provider, secured equity funding of ₹6.5 billion ($82 million) in a Series-B funding round led by U.S.-based mobility technology company Magna International. Yulu’s strategic partner Bajaj Auto also participated in the funding round. Yulu would use the fund to strengthen product and technology innovation. It will also use the funds to increase the EV fleet to over 100,000 electric two-wheelers and more than 500 battery charging and swapping stations in a year.

Indian solar monitoring and analytics platform Prescinto Technologies raised $6.5 million in financing and forayed into the U.S. market. The company is partnering with a major international energy storage firm for real-time data monitoring. The fundraising will help Prescinto use analytics to assess its globally installed energy storage assets.

Global investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) and the Hero Group signed definitive agreements to invest $450 million in Hero Future Energies (HFE), the renewable energy arm of the Hero Group. The investment in HFE is made from KKR’s Asia Pacific Infrastructure Fund and builds on KKR’s experience in India and the renewables sector.

The draft Punjab Electric Vehicle Policy 2022 targets 25% of annual vehicle registrations to be EVs by 2027. Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala, Amritsar, and Bhatinda are the five cities causing the most vehicular emissions in the state. These cities will be the focus of the adoption of electric-two wheelers (E2W) through fiscal incentives. Punjab will offer a purchase incentive of ₹3,000 (~$37)/kWh of battery capacity per vehicle, with a maximum incentive of ₹10,000 (~$125) per vehicle to the first 100,000 registered owners of E2Ws. The same incentive will apply to e-rickshaws also.

Esmito, an IIT Madras incubated EV startup, raised ₹100 million (~$1.25 million) in a seed round led by Mumbai-based early-stage investor Unicorn India Ventures. The funds raised will be used to expand swapping solutions and strengthen the technology team with a focus on creating world-class products. It will enable Esmito to continue executing its growth strategy and strengthen its position as the largest swapping infra solutions provider.

Reliance New Energy (RNEL) acquired a 20% stake for $12 million in California-headquartered Caelux Corporation, a company developing perovskite-based solar technology to enhance module efficiency. The partnership is expected to help Reliance produce higher efficiency and low-cost solar modules at its Jamnagar, Gujarat-based gigafactory, where an integrated photovoltaic plant is being set up. The partnership will also allow Caelux to commercialize its perovskite-based solar technology, which enables solar modules to produce 20% more energy over a 25-year lifetime of the solar project.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change published Battery Waste Management Rules, 2022, ensuring environment-friendly management of waste batteries. As per the new rules, waste batteries, their parts, and consumables, which include pre-consumer fast-pack batteries, must not be hazardous. Under Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), a producer, trader, or supplier of batteries must get the waste batteries recycled and not dump them as waste.