Green Climate Fund Approves $299 Million for Expansion of Renewable Projects in Africa

The month of March witnessed some important announcements from the Indian government in the renewable energy and e-mobility sectors. For instance, March witnessed the important announcement that the Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for the implementation of ‘Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India Phase II” (FAME India Phase II )program with a budget of ₹100 billion ($1.41 billion), which is expected to be deployed over a period of three years with effect from April 1, 2019. 

 Moreover, in the same month, the President of India accorded his approval to implement phase-II of the Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) program to set up 12,000 MW of grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) power projects for self-use or use by government entities. The program was proposed by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE). 

 Here is a quick recap of some more news highlights from March 2019:  

India emerged as the third largest solar market behind China and the United States with 8.3 GW of solar PV capacity installed in 2018. Japan and Germany were the fourth and fifth largest solar markets in the world. China added 44.3 GW of solar PV capacity, more than five times that of India during the year, according to data released by the country’s National Energy Administration.

In 2018, the world added the third highest annual total of wind power. According to the Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables ‘Global Wind Power Market Outlook Update: Q1 2019’ report, 50.2 GW of new wind power installations were added globally, which is a 4 percent increase year-over-year (YoY).

Energy demand across the world in 2018 grew by 2.3 percent the fastest in a decade on the back of a global economy that grew by 3.7 percent in 2018.  China, the United States, and India accounted for nearly 70 percent of the rise. Renewables accounted for nearly half of the electricity demand growth.

Renewable project developer Suzlon Energy has announced that it has completed the sale two of its subsidiaries to CLP Wind Farms (India) Ltd(CLP). In a recent filing, Suzlon stated that it is selling the remaining stake in its subsidiaries S.E Solar Limited and Gale Solar Farms Limited for a consideration of ₹765.5 million ($11.1 million) and ₹225.4 million ($3.3 million) respectively.

The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) released a report to address the issues of balancing required by conventional power generators to accommodate renewable sources of energy and predicts that share of renewable energy in India will be 36 percent by 2021-2022 and share of coal for electricity generation will shrink to 26 percent.

The CEA has published its National Electricity Plan, an important blueprint to develop the transmission systems in the country. Based on the 19th Electrical Power survey by the CEA, the total installed power capacity by the end of 2021-22 is projected to be around 480.4 GW to meet the annual peak load demand of 225.7 GW which includes about 175 GW of renewable generation capacity.

India has only four percent of the building that can be classified as ‘green,’ according to a smart cities indicator survey conducted by Ireland-based multinational, Johnson Controls. However, 38 percent of buildings in India want to get the ‘green building certification’ in the future as compared to the global percentage of 44. 

The CERC has issued new regulations for the cross-border trade of electricity. These regulations will apply to the participating entities in India and neighboring countries which are engaged in cross-border trade of electricity with India.  Recently, Mercom reported that cross-border power trading could be the new frontier for solar power’s growth.

The Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDB) and Urja Global have signed a memorandum of understanding for setting up manufacturing units of lithium-ion batteries and electric vehicles for the development of electric mobility ecosystem. Under the MoU, Urja Global has agreed to invest ₹2 billion (~$28.55 million).

Indian renewable energy independent power producer (IPP) ReNew Power Limited, has announced that it has successfully concluded a green bond issue of $375 million. Barclays (B&D), Goldman Sachs, HSBC, J.P. Morgan, and YES Bank were the book runners for the green bond issue.

Ramping up its efforts to curb the deteriorating air quality in the national capital, the Transport Department, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, has issued a tender for electric buses. The bid submission deadline is April 26, 2019.

With an eye on the distressed agricultural sector of the country, the central government has now approved the launch of the Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM) program for farmers. This program is aimed at helping the farmers install solar pumps and grid-connected solar power projects and add a solar capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the proposal put forward by the Ministry of Power to include large hydropower projects over 25 MW under the aegis of renewable energy. According to the CCEA, budgetary support for flood moderation and enabling infrastructures, such as roads and bridges will be extended. 

The Power Finance Corporation (PFC) has written to six states regarding the timely completion of implementing the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) /distribution management system (DMS) under the government’s Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Program (R-APDRP) to enhance reliability in the power distribution network.