Solar and Renewable Energy Policy Roundup from February 2019

February, the shortest month of the year, witnessed some big announcements for the domestic renewable industry, like the imposition of anti-dumping duty on tempered solar glass and EVA sheets.

Here is a roundup of some key policy announcements made by the central government and state agencies in the renewable energy sector in February 2019:

Center

The government of India has imposed anti-dumping duty on the import of textured tempered coated and uncoated glass from Malaysia for five years.  Earlier, the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) had recommended imposing an anti-dumping duty of $114.58/metric ton for a period of five years after the final findings in the anti-dumping duty investigation of tempered solar glass.



The DGTR has recommended the imposition of anti-dumping duty on the imports of the Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) sheets for solar modules imported from China PR, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand for a period of five years.

The Ministry of Power has passed an order stating that the renewable purchase obligations of captive power projects should be fixed at the appropriate level in the year such projects are commissioned. The order makes it clear that there will be no increase in RPO of captive power projects if additional fossil fuel capacity is not added.

The CERC has provided relief to solar project developers with regards to the effect of Goods and Service Tax (GST) on solar projects which are still in the development phase.

MNRE

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued a circular for retrofitting transmission lines and wind turbines to avoid bird collision in Great Indian Bustard habitats of Rajasthan and Gujarat. Standing Committee of National Board of Wildlife has suggested the guidelines to install bird diverters on the conductors of the power transmission lines.

The MNRE has extended the deadline for the self-certification of solar photovoltaic modules (crystalline and thin film, including bifacial type) by three months. However, the relaxation is incumbent upon the fact that module manufacturers should have valid IEC test reports from international test labs corresponding to Indian standards. The new deadline is March 31, 2019.

The MNRE has issued a memorandum requesting for views of stakeholders on the BIS standards for solar PV water pumping systems. Earlier, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) had requested the MNRE to convene a meeting of the sub-committee constituted for formulating the standards for solar PV water pumping systems.

States

The Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) has proposed tariffs for EV charging stations in the state. Under the proposal, for multistoried building covered under LMV-1b, the charge will be ₹6.20 (~$0.087)/kWh, and for multistoried buildings covered under heavy vehicles (HV)-1b, the charge will be 5.90 (~$0.083)/kWh.

The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) has published a discussion paper on tariff determination and other norms for rooftop solar energy projects and intends to set up generic rooftop solar tariff under RESCO model to encourage third-party investment in rooftop solar projects on consumer rooftops.

The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd (MSEDCL) should reduce ₹0.18 (0.0025/kWh) from the discovered tariff if the bidders have not paid the safeguard duty, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has said in its latest order.

The Madhya Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (MPERC) has rejected the petition filed by M.P. Power Management Company Ltd to review an old tariff order for wind power generators and amend the respective power purchase agreement. The commission observed that the control period of that tariff order is already over and a new order for a new control period is now applicable.

Andhra Pradesh DISCOMs have jointly filed a petition with the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission seeking relief in the terms and conditions for tariff determination for wind power projects in the state between FY 2015-16 and FY 2019-20.

The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) has issued a consultative paper proposing the tariff for the procurement of power from municipal solid waste projects in the state. The TNERC has fixed levelized tariff for these projects at ₹6.28 (~$0.088)/kWh without accelerated depreciation and ₹5.90 (~$0.082)/kWh with accelerated depreciation.

Provisional interconnection approval by a state load dispatch center is not sufficient for banking of energy by any developer, and it will not be responsible for pumping power without any contractual agreement, the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) has ruled.

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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