The state has decided to withdraw almost all incentives available to open access solar, including exemption from electricity duty and distribution losses for projects injecting power at 33 kV or below. The policy reversal—clearly to appease state discoms—is likely to impact capacity addition.
India needs a manufacturing policy that is scalable, secure, strategical and supportive and promotes both the growth and spread of solar while protecting the interests of domestic manufacturers.
Situated in south-east India, the state of Andhra Pradesh is a leading producer of renewable energy with 7.2 GW of installed capacity as of December 2018. The state’s share of renewable energy as part of total capacity has trebled in the last four years from 11% in 2014 to 30% in 2018.
India has set exceptionally ambitious renewable energy targets including 175 gigawatts (GW) of renewables by 2022, 275GW by 2027, and to achieve 40% of electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuels by 2030. India seeks to tender another 80GW of renewables in total over the coming two years.
In recent years, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has laid the foundation for a clean energy expansion through robust policies and initiatives. India’s solar energy capacity has jumped a thousand-fold from a mere 17 MW in 2010, to more than 23 GW in 2018. Similarly, the wind market has more than doubled in recent years, from around 13 GW of installed power in 2010, to 34 GW by June 2018. These developments help move India closer to its ambitious clean energy goal of 175 GW installed capacity by 2022. However, in spite of several public financial institutions, private banks, and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) providing capital, financing remains a key barrier in scaling India’s clean energy markets further.
As the deployment of renewable energy continues to expand around the world, driven by various inputs, such as capital allocation and investment, falling capital costs, competitive LCOE and various policy mechanisms, we are now moving towards a new era for renewable energy. ‘Renewables 2.0’ will have significant, wide-ranging consequences for all market players, as regulators reduce their support and power producers seek new revenue models. In this article, Duncan Ritchie, partner at Apricum – The Cleantech Advisory, will look at the key market developments for renewables, explode the myth of grid parity, highlight the need for flexibility and explain the importance of new financing solutions that are capable of meeting the new complexities brought about by ‘Renewables 2.0’.
India is currently the second largest market in the world for PV module demand. With China’s domestic demand frozen since the 31/5 notification, the country’s total module demand in 2018 will likely only achieve 32-34 GW. This will allow India, which may surpass 10 GW in annual demand, to reach 13% of global PV demand this year. As a result, the future of India’s trade war has become an influential factor in the global PV industry.
Finance in developing countries: Economics teaches that capital flows from where it is in surplus to where it is in demand. But that is not the case with renewable energy. The biggest pots of institutional capital in advanced economies are not shifting to developing ones. It is time to take a hard look and develop solutions that resolve this anomaly.
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