India x Cleantech — March 2020

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Originally published on Future Trends.

Welcome to another issue of our new India x Cleantech series! On a monthly basis, we are pulling news from across clean technology sectors in India into a single, concise summary article about the country.

India x CleanTech

Climate Policy & Carbon Tax

India Earmarks US$3 Billion for Renewable Energy in 2021-22

The Indian government has sharply increased its budgetary allocation for renewable energy for 2021-22. Various renewable energy programs have been allocated Rs 22,000 crore (US$3 billion). A budget of Rs 5,753 crore (US$ 780 million) was allocated to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. India aims to have an installed renewable energy capacity of 175 gigawatts by end of 2022 and requires billions of dollars of investment.

India Allocates US$600 Million for Clean Air Policy

India’s finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the allocation of Rs 4,400 crore (US$600 million) for clean air policy as part of country’s union budget for 2021-22. The funds will be used for implementation of measures to reduce air pollution in cities with over 1 million in population. The program shall be administered through the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. The minister further announced plans to shut down thermal power plants that operate above emission thresholds.

Cleantech Investments

Total Invests US$510 Million in Adani Green Energy

French energy major Total entered a binding agreement to invest US$510 million in a new joint venture company with Adani Green Energy, one of India’s largest renewable energy companies. Adani Green Energy will transfer 2.1 gigawatts of operational solar power assets to the new joint venture company and hold a 50% stake in it. The balance 50% stake shall be held by Total.

CLP India to Buy Three Solar Projects from Mahindra Renewables

Mahindra Renewables has entered an agreement with CLP India, another power generation company, to sell 100% stake in three solar power projects. The size of the transaction is estimated at Rs 3.4 billion (US$46 million). Mahindra Renewables reportedly has a portfolio of 1.25 gigawatts, including 552 megawatts of operational and 700 megawatts of under-construction capacity.

Tata Power Eyes Investments from Brookfield, Mubadala, Allianz for Renewable Energy Yieldco

One of India’s leading private sector power generation companies, Tata Power, is looking to attract investments from marquee investors for its renewable energy yieldco. According to unnamed sources, Tata Power is eyeing Brookfield, Mubadala, and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority for investments. Other possible investors in the fray include Allianz and Canadian pension fund CPPIB. Tata Power currently has a renewable energy portfolio of around 3 gigawatts and could be looking at investments of up to US$600 million.

Electric Transport

Indian Government Issues Tender To Buy 1,000 Electric Cars

Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) is looking to acquire 1,000 electric cars with range of at least 180 kilometers per charge. The company, which issued its first such tender in 2017, is currently on track to receive a total of 2,000 electric cars from Indian manufacturers. Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra have so far delivered 1,500 compact electric sedans with the balance of 500 cars expected to be delivered soon. The 1,000 electric cars to be procured under the latest tender shall be deployed by fleet operators and cab aggregators.

280,000 Electric Vehicles Sold in India Through November 2019

The Indian government reported that just 280,000 electric vehicles had been sold through the end of November 2019. A majority of these EVs are three-wheeled rickshaws that use lead acid batteries. To encourage a shift towards lithium-ion batteries, the government has stopped subsidizing EVs using lead acid batteries. The Indian government offers direct subsidies and tax exemptions on EV car loans.

India’s First Inter-city Electric Bus Service Launched

India’s minister for transportation, Nitin Gadkari, inaugurated the country’s first inter-city electric bus service between the cities of Mumbai and Pune. Electric buses plying this route have 300 kilometers (186 miles) of range per full charge. The bus service will likely be an excellent demonstration of the long-distance application of electric buses. Various states and cities in India could order up to 10,000 electric buses this year, Gadkari said.

Uber India Fleet to Have 1,500 EVs by Year’s end

Uber India plans to increase the number of electric vehicles in its fleet from current 350 to 1,500 by the end of this year. Uber India South Asia president said that Uber will partner with automobile manufacturers to increase the share of electric vehicles in its fleet. Uber India has already entered into partnerships with Yulu, an electric bike company that offers last-mile connectivity to commuters. Uber has also partnered with one of India’s leading electric car manufacturers, Mahindra Electric, to launch electric cars on a pilot basis on select cities.

Renewable Energy & Batteries

Renewable Energy Share in India’s Electricity Generation Jumps to 9.6%

India reported a healthy increase in the share of renewable energy technologies within its electricity generation in 2019. 9.6% of total electricity generated in India in 2019 came from renewable energy technologies, led by wind and solar energy, in that order. This is up from an 8.9% renewable energy share recorded in 2018. Wind energy contributed 4.5% (up from 4.4%) of electricity generated while solar power contributed 3.3% (up from 2.7%) to total electricity generated. Due to lower growth in demand and must-run status available to renewable energy power plants share of thermal power plants in electricity generation fell from 78.7% in 2018 to 75.7% in 2019.

India Plans Incentives to Woo Renewable Energy Companies Back to Auctions

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is reportedly planning to provide a crucial relief to solar and wind energy developers. According to media reports, the Ministry is planning to remove maximum threshold tariff requirements for future solar and wind energy tenders. This would be a sharp reversal in policy from the Ministry which, just one year back, had rejected repeated pleas of developers to remove ceiling tariffs.

Coronavirus Outbreak Could Hit India’s Solar Growth

Among the fastest growing solar power markets in the world is India, and developers there are staring at delays of several of months for delivery of plant equipment. Multiple developers have told news agencies that they have been warned of delays and that this would push back the commissioning of projects. According to multiple international news sources, most Chinese solar equipment manufacturers have yet to reopen facilities at the extended break over Lunar New Year. Like several other major solar power markets, India has a large dependence on Chinese products.

India to Treat Coronavirus-related Delays in Solar Projects as ‘Force Majeure’

In a possible big relief for solar power companies in India, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has signaled that delays related to coronavirus shall be treated as force majeure events. This will allow developers to ask for an extension of commissioning deadlines. Rating agency CRISIL expects projects worth US$2.4 billion to miss commissioning deadlines this year.

Renewable Energy Share in India’s Electricity Mix Could Reach 21% by 2022

Quoting a study by the Central Electricity Authority, the Minister for New and Renewable Energy reported that the share of renewable energy technologies could increase to 21% in country’s electricity generation by 2022. The share of renewable energy in power generated in 2019 was 9.6%.

India Plans 50 Gigawatts of Renewable Energy Parks in Two States

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has announced plans to set up 50 gigawatts of renewable energy parks in Gujarat and Rajasthan. These ‘ultra mega renewable energy parks’ will host solar as well as wind energy projects. MNRE has identified locations for these renewable energy parks and advised the Ministry of Power to strengthen the transmission infrastructure for the proposed parks.

GE Lands 300 Megawatt Wind Turbine Order in India

A joint venture company of EDF-SITAC placed an order of wind turbines equivalent to 300 megawatts of capacity with GE Renewable Energy. The wind turbines will be installed in India under the federal government’s policy. EDF-SITAC secured this project in the fifth edition of federal-level wind energy auctions held in September 2018 by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).

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An avid follower of latest developments in the Indian renewable energy sector.

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