As of July, Acme Solar had about 2.8 GW solar projects at different stages of development across India. Recently, it won another 600 MW of SECI’s 3 GW interstate transmission system (ISTS) tender, at a tariff of INR 2.44/unit (USD 0.036/unit).
Responding to developer requests, the state-run NTPC has deferred a 2 GW solar auction by a week, to Tuesday. Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd is another state-owned corporation that has extended its bid submission deadline – for 33 MWp of rooftop solar – from August 9 to August 17, after similar requests.
The tariff means PV projects will pause as developers adjust procurement strategies and new tenders risk delays or cancellation. The two-year limit on the duty will not be long enough to prompt more cell manufacturing capacity and as for imports, there are doubts over how the origin of cells will be adjudicated so that Chinese and Malaysian cells are subject to the charge, say analysts.
Encouraged by the state’s investor-friendly solar policy, distributed power producer Amplus Energy Solutions will install 400 MW of solar capacity for R20 billion over three years. In the first phase, Amplus will develop a 50 MW ground-mounted project in Mirzapur district.
Owing to a rapid scaling up of solar capacity, Karnataka has overtaken Tamil Nadu to become India’s top state in terms of installed renewable energy capacity. The state installed 5 GW of new PV capacity in 2017-18 alone—according to a report by the US-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).
India’s energy storage industry feels the government’s move to reduce GST on lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries from 28% to 18% will benefit electric vehicles and the renewables sector. The government has also cut GST on the raw materials for battery manufacturing, to jump-start domestic industry.
Greenko Energies will set up India’s largest Integrated Renewable Energy Project (IREP) in Andhra Pradesh at an investment of INR 150 billion (US$2.2 billion). Recently approved by the Andhra Pradesh government, the project will comprise 1,000 MW of solar energy, 550 MW of wind energy and 1,200 MW of standalone pumped storage capacities. It is expected to provide employment to 15,000 people during construction and 3,000 people after construction.
While Africa has emerged as a dynamic, fast-moving hub, Asia leads in capacity deployment with its total capacity more than tripling to nearly 4.3 GW in 2017 from 1.3 GW in 2008, finds IRENA. Particularly, in India, a strong policy has pushed deployment of off-grid solar for agriculture and public end-uses.
The two-year period of the recommended safeguard duty is very short, discouraging any investment in setting up new solar manufacturing capacity, say analysts and companies pv magazine spoke to. At the same time, for solar project developers, the duty will impact tariffs to the tune of 12-15%, posing an immediate threat to viability of projects under execution, they add.
Dr Rashi Gupta, Director at Vision Mechatronics discusses the EV landscape in India, particularly focusing on the potential for battery manufacturing. While there are currently many challenges, like a lack of raw materials and infrastructure, the opportunities are immense.
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