Top News

Early coal plant retirement first hurdle in reducing discom debt

The Indian power distribution sector needs bold policy choices such as the closure of old, inefficient coal-based power plants to improve its financial viability. Early retirement of expensive coal power contracts will result in significant savings for the states as they can contract cleaner, cheaper renewable power.  
Markets & Policy

KFW offers Rs 600-crore loan for 125 MW Bengal solar park

The cash injection—for a 15-year term at 0.15% interest—will cover 80% of the overall solar project cost of Rs 750 crore. 
Installations

BHEL seeks containerized PCUs for 20 MW NTPC solar plant in Gujarat

The scope of work for the successful bidder includes supply, installation, and commissioning of the supplied units at the project site. Bidding closes on August 17.
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Installations

Karnataka opens tender for rooftop solar in Belagavi

Developers have until August 29 to submit bids for the installation of grid-connected rooftop solar plants on selected government buildings of Belagavi Smart City.
Technology

IoT startup Probus raises seed funding for smart grid platform 

The startup—which has developed an Internet of Things (IoT) based service for power grid monitoring and automation—will use the amount to strengthen the software platform and expand the scale to different geographies.
Markets & Policy

Ayana Renewable acquires 40 MW PV projects from First Solar

This marks the first such acquisition for the Bengaluru-based developer as it looks to acquire high-quality operating renewable assets to ensure a balanced risk portfolio.
Installations

SunSource Energy commissions a 6 MW rooftop solar plant in Rajasthan 

The project—based on Resco model—is developed for the Bhilwara industrial site of a textile company. It is spread across five rooftops covering 21,00,000 square feet and uses 20,000 solar modules of different types.
Covid-19

Value of PV imports tanked 83% in second quarter

Mercom India Research has said the quarterly value of solar cell and module imports was down 83% in the second quarter of the year, compared to the same period of 2019, to sit 54% lower than the value recorded in the January-to-March window.
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Markets & Policy

Featured

REIL opens tender for 6500 quantities of 325Wp solar modules 

Bids are invited from Indian manufacturers to supply 72-cell, 325Wp polycrystalline solar modules made using domestically manufactured cells. August 20 is the last date to lodge the interest.

Europe will be our next stop – S&W solar interview

Having bagged large orders in the U.S. and Australia, Indian multinational engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services provider Sterling and Wilson Solar is bidding for tenders in regions which have eased up business lines, Europe among them. Kannan Krishnan, S&W’s chief operations officer for solar in India and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation area, speaks to pv magazine about the impact of Covid-19 on the solar EPC business and the company’s expansion plans.

Safeguard duty on solar cell imports extended by a year

The import duty will be levied on Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai solar cells – whether assembled into modules or not – at 14.9% from today and falling to 14.5% in six months’ time. Malaysian products are exempted as their imports have fallen dramatically since the duty was imposed, in July 2018.

PFC to fund IIT- Kanpur R&D in smart grid technology

State-owned Power Finance Corporation will provide Rs 2.38-crore financial assistance to the Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur to develop infrastructure for R & D in smart grid technology.

Guidelines for using coal-fired power generation to balance intermittent renewables

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has specified how procurement of back-up grid capacity will work for electricity distribution companies. The rules consider energy storage solely as part of the 51% clean energy requirement, and instead contemplate coal – with a variable price tariff element – as necessary for evening out supply.

MNRE puts call for ‘global supergrid’ proposals on hold

India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy had invited consulting proposals for its ambitious globally interconnected power grid plan called ‘one sun, one world, one grid’ (OSOWOG). The program—taken up with assistance from the World Bank— aims at seamless sharing of renewable energy resources among countries for mutual benefits and global sustainability.

Installations

Featured

Strategies to prevent overvoltage-induced inverter disconnections

Australian scientists have identified seven methods to prevent PV losses when overvoltage-induced inverter disconnections occur. The methods include battery storage, reactive power inverters, export limits, distribution static synchronous compensators, the replacement of old conductors in power grids, load reconfiguration, and dynamic voltage restoration.

India will reach 125 GW renewable capacity by December 2022

A new report by ICRA says large-scale solar in the country will likely achieve the 60 GW target set by the Indian government. Rooftop solar and wind, however, will see a shortfall.  

Essar Power to set up 100 MW solar plant in Madhya Pradesh

The Bhander town in Datia district will now host a 100 MW solar plant in place of a gas-based plant approved earlier. The plant—set up over 105 hectares area—will be established by Essar Power at an investment of around Rs 700 crore.

REIL seeks to empanel EPC contractors for residential rooftop solar in Bihar

The projects are to be carried out on a turnkey basis, with solar modules and inverters supplied by Rajasthan Electronics & Instruments Limited (REIL). Bidding closes on August 4.

Another bidding extension for 14 MW solar with 42 MWh battery storage in Ladakh

The Solar Energy Corporation of India has extended the bidding for its solar-plus-storage project in Ladakh by one month. The revised deadline is now September 30.

BHEL seeks string monitoring boxes for 20MW NTPC solar project

An aggregate 104 quantities of 16-string monitoring boxes are required for the 20 MW NTPC solar project at Gandhar in the state of Gujarat. Bidding closes on August 4.

Technology

Featured

IIT researchers consider fate of end-of-life solar modules

Scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi have taken a close look at the potential impact of growing volumes of PV waste and conducted surveys which suggest a lot more work is needed from manufacturers and policymakers to develop management systems for end-of-life PV products.

Microsoft trials hydrogen-powered data centers

The software giant has begun testing hydrogen fuel cells as a back-up power source at one of its U.S. data centers. A 250 kW pilot system successfully powered part of the facility for 48 hours and the company is now eyeing 3 MW systems to replace back-up diesel generators.

New all-iron redox flow battery for renewables storage

Scientists in the U.S. claim to have demonstrated an inexpensive, long-life, safe and eco-friendly redox flow battery. The device is said to offer coulombic efficiency of 97.9%, thanks to functional electrolyte additives, pH and elevated temperature.

India to have 60% electricity generation from renewables by 2030

To support renewable energy integration, the government aims to make the thermal capacity flexible, almost 55% in the first stage and gradually extend it to the entire capacity.

New equipment for solar cell metallization

The system can metallize the front and back sides of silicon solar cells with unprecedented precision and speed, Fraunhofer ISE said. The technology is also suitable for components such as printed circuit boards or chip cards.

Norwegian tech for Korea’s giant floating solar complex

Floating PV specialist Ocean Sun and South Korean energy company EN Technologies have signed an agreement to develop the pilot projects of the 2.1 GW floating solar site planned near the Saemangeum tidal flat, on the coast of the Yellow Sea.

Manufacturing

Azure Power secures Letter of Award for 2 GW Greenshoe option

With this, the NYSE-listed developer has been awarded 4 GW in total as part of an auction won in December, which is one of the largest solar projects ever awarded globally.

Vikram Solar plans 3 GW solar factory in Tamil Nadu

The engineering, procurement and construction services contractor – which has a 1.2 GW module production facility near Kolkata – will establish a wafer, cell and module manufacturing site in Tamil Nadu under a five-year timescale.

Safeguarding duty extension fails to win over manufacturers

The investigating arm of India’s commerce ministry has proposed continuing to apply the duty levied on solar cell imports from the east at a rate of 14.9% from July 30 and falling to 14.5% six months later.

ReNew Power plans foray into solar cell and module manufacturing

The Haryana-based developer will invest Rs 1500-2000 crore in setting up the solar cell and module manufacturing facility, which will initially have a production capacity of 2 GW per annum.

Impact of strained India-China relationship on the solar sector

India’s entire solar industry is dependent on Chinese imports to function. Hence, there is a comprehensive need to relook at the current policies and focus on building wafers and ingots capacity that will be used to manufacture the cells and eventually, modules.

Legal loophole protecting imported panels from subsequent duties discriminates against Indian products, say manufacturers

Indian solar manufacturers have cried foul over a system which exempts imported panels from yet-to-be-announced tax regimes but offers no such protection to domestic products.

Energy Storage

Featured

The long read: Solar vs. salty drinking water

A solar array – complete with battery storage and remote monitoring and control capabilities – has been transforming brackish groundwater into fresh drinking water in the village of Beyo Gulan in the Somaliland desert since 2018. The installation was developed by Germany’s Phaesun. Its unique combination of low-maintenance electrodialysis desalination with PV saw it pick up an Outstanding Projects award from The smarter E. Phaesun’s Géraldine Quelle and Florian Martini say they are honored by the plaudits, and are readying the system for series production.

Commercial and industrial rooftop solar set to surge

Rooftop solar is the obvious choice to save on electricity costs for businesses as they look to preserve capital and find ways to cut expenses post Covid-19. 

The long read: PV + e-mobility = economic development

Mobility in rural Kenya is currently flooded with unsustainable CO2-emitting motorcycles that pose a threat to the environment and public health. But the electric tricycle is an environmentally friendly alternative, and Solar E-cycles – a homegrown Kenyan startup – believes a leasing model could unlock a ton of three-wheeled potential.

Hitachi ABB Power Grids launches charging solution for large EV fleets

The containerised solution integrates grid connection and multiple charging systems, allowing public transport and commercial fleet operators to charge more electric vehicles with less infrastructure in depots.

ARCI develops low-cost supercapacitor utilizing industrial waste cotton and seawater

The seawater-based supercapacitor exhibited maximum capacitances at a current density of 1 ampere per gram. Besides, it can last 10,000 charge-discharge cycles with 99% of capacitance retention and 99% of Coulombic efficiency. 

Redox flow battery powered by perovskite solar cells

An international team has developed an integrated solar flow battery which has been suggested as ideal for off-grid locations. The device, which combines energy conversion and storage in one unit, can be used for lighting and recharging cell phones.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

One Nation, One Sun, One DSM

The government needs to rationalize and ensure uniformity of Deviation Settlement Mechanism (DSM) regulations across the country for the seamless integration of renewable energy. 

Hybrid and RTC projects to boost India’s RE and energy storage market

The global hybrid energy market, including energy storage, is projected to touch $40 billion by 2025. It is an opportunity that India has capitalized upon, earlier than others.

Energy and Economy: Rewriting the Indian story for the World

India is running the world’s largest renewable energy expansion program with a mind-boggling target of 450 GW by 2030. Can the country with a growing energy demand do more than this? Can it do what developed countries should have done years ago?

Bringing back India’s solar sector to the front foot in 2021

The ‘175 GW by 2022’ renewable energy target seems unachievable, necessitating the benchmark be moved to ‘450 GW by 2030’ instead. But even that will require the sector to move back to the front foot from 2021.

The EV story in post-Covid India

The near-term outlook for electric vehicles (EVs) remains bleak owing to supply and demand headwinds coupled with the expectation of sluggish investment to scale up the support ecosystem.

Decelerating PV module prices may start increasing in fourth quarter

Market dynamics may again alter the global supply-demand picture for solar modules, leading to an increase in prices or price stabilization.

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Press Releases

IEX electricity market trades 5334 MU in July

At Rs 2. 47 per unit, average market clearing price sees 27% YoY decline over Rs 3.

All-India energy demand shows signs of recovery

The energy demand is showing signs of recovery as the decline in power demand narrowed in June 2020 due to the gradual lifting of lockdown for certain economic activities and an increase in domestic consumption with the extended summer season.

NTPC achieves highest daily gross generation of 977.07 MU

The state-owned power generator achieved highest daily gross generation of 977. 07 million units (MU) on July 28, 2020.

Fujikura releases thin dye-sensitized solar cell panels

The Tokyo-headquartered company is also offering supporting services on electric circuit designing for employing these solar panels as a power source in the Internet of Things (IoT) devices.