India x Cleantech — April 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

Cleantech Investments

Actis Buys 600 Megawatts, Expands India Solar Portfolio To 2.3 Gigawatts

Acme Cleantech Solutions, one of the largest solar power companies in India, has sold 600 megawatts of solar power capacity to Actis. Brookfield, another major investor in Indian renewable energy market, had also expressed interest in Acme but was outbid by Actis. Actis already owns another renewable energy platform in India — Sprng Energy. The company has 1.7 gigawatts of solar and wind energy capacity.

Rooftop Solar Startup ZunRoof Raises US$3 Million In Series A Funding

Home-grown Indian rooftop solar startup ZunRoof has secured another round of funding. Godrej, a large Indian conglomerate, invested US$3 million in Series A round. This is the second investment made by Godrej in the company – it had invested US$1.2 million in pre-series A funding round. ZunRoof aims to set up solar projects atop one million roofs over the next five years.

Electric Transport

State Of Karnataka Earmarks US$13.5 Million For EV, Storage Hub

The government of southern state of Karnataka has allocated US$13.5 million to set up an electric vehicle and energy storage manufacturing hub. Karnataka is among the few Indian states to have a dedicated EV policy and has taken several measures to increase the share of electric mobility in public transportation. Around 890 electric buses are expected to be added to the state’s fleet. Additionally, the state’s largest electricity retailer is expected to set up 678 EV charging stations.

Fourth Partner, Lithium Urban To Set Up EV Charging Hubs Across India

Distributed solar power company Fourth Partner Energy and EV fleet operator Lithium Urban Technologies have entered a partnership to set up solar-powered EV charging infrastructure across major cities in India. A joint venture between the two companies has already set up its first charging hub in north India which can charge 25-30 cars at the same time.

Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Power Enter EV Partnership

Jaguar Land Rover India and Tata Power have entered a partnership to offer end-to-end EV support to car retailers and customers. Tata Power, India’s largest integrated power company, will offer AC and DC chargers, starting from 7 kW to 50 kW. Jaguar Land Rover is expected to launch its first electric car, Jaguar I-PACE, later this year. Jaguar Land Rover is a subsidiary of Tata Motors. Both Tata Motors and Tata Power are part of the Tata Group conglomerate.

Hyundai To Launch Electric SUV In India In 2022

Hyundai Motors India has confirmed that it will launch a mass-market electric SUV by 2022. The company currently offers the electric Kona in India which costs around US$32,700. The company plans to have a higher share of domestic components for this car to keep its price low. Hyundai is also planning to set up a battery manufacturing plant in India.

Renewable Energy and Batteries

India Plans 26 Gigawatts Of Solar Capacity In Agricultural Sector By 2022

Minister RK Singh informed the Indian parliament that conventional land-based projects will be set up on land owned by farmers. 10 gigawatts of capacity will be installed at barren or fallow land available with farmers. These projects will have 2 megawatts of capacity each. Farmers will be able to sell power from these projects to retailers and earn additional income. Financial support in the form of a capital subsidy will be offered to farmers. The government will also support the installation of off-grid solar pumps. Solar pumps are conventional irrigation pumps integrated with solar panels. Apart from the installation of new off-grid solar pumps, the addition of solar panels to grid-connected irrigation pumps will also be undertaken.

India Announces 4 Gigawatts Of Solar, Wind Tenders With No Tariff Cap

SECI has offered 2 gigawatts each of wind and solar power capacity for auction. Developers participating in this tender will be free to set up projects at the location of their choosing. SECI will aggregate demand from various states looking to buy solar power and will act as an intermediary between solar power generators and these states. The most significant change in this new tender is the removal of tariff caps.

Soft Bank, Total-EDF Subsidiaries Score 900 Megawatts Of Solar In India

The eighth edition of the national-level solar power auction organized by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) offered 1.2 gigawatts of solar power capacity. The auction received tremendous response, with bidders offering to install 3.5 gigawatts of capacity. The largest winner in the auction was SB Energy, a subsidiary of Softbank. The company secured 600 megawatts of capacity at 2.50/kWh (US¢3.39/kWh). This is SB Energy’s largest-ever win in an Indian solar power auction. AMP Energy, a new entrant to large-scale solar power auctions, managed to grab 100 megawatts, while the experienced EDEN Renewables secured 300 megawatts. Both the companies matched the lowest bid of 2.50/kWh (US¢3.39/kWh).

Indian Solar Imports From China Down 40% In Three Years

Minister of new and renewable energy RK Singh recently informed the Indian Parliament that imports from China have declined from US$2.8 billion in financial year 2017 to US$1.7 billion in financial year 2019. Imports from China are believed to have had an all-time high of US$3.4 billion in the financial year 2018. India imposed safeguard duties on solar cells being imported from China and Malaysia in 2018.

India Gives Up On Tidal Power

India’s new and renewable energy minister RK Singh informed the Parliament earlier this month that proposed tidal power plants in states of Gujarat and West Bengal have been cancelled. Governments of the respective states expressed financial challenges in the implementation of these projects. The minister informed that cost of development of tidal power plants is 10 to 20 times that of solar and wind energy projects, making them financial unviable.

2.2 Gigawatt Solar Park In India’s Rajasthan State Now Fully Operational

One of India’s leading private renewable energy companies, Hero Future Energies, recently commissioned a 300 megawatt solar power project at Bhadla solar power park in Rajasthan. With this project, the solar park is now complete with installed capacity of 2,245 megawatts. Bhadla solar park is significant in many aspects. The solar park saw multiple record-low tariffs during some highly competitive auctions. Projects at the solar park were developed by multiple companies through public-private partnership.

Indian Coal Mining Company Issues Solar Power Tenders

Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL), a public sector coal mining company in India, recently offered 34 megawatts of ground-mounted solar power capacity to developers. SCCL is based in the southern Indian state of Telangana where the solar power projects are scheduled to come up. Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) floated the tender on SCCL’s behalf. This tender seems to be in addition to two issued by SECI on SCCL’s behalf earlier this month. SECI offered a total of 47 megawatts of solar power capacity. These include 32 megawatts of rooftop solar projects and 15 megawatts of floating solar projects.

Fortum Commissions 250 Megawatt Solar Project In India

Fortum won this project in a competitive auction in June 2018. The company bid a tariff of Rs 2.85/kWh (US¢3.70/kWh). The project is located in the Pavagada solar power park in the south Indian state of Karnataka. Fortum already operates a 100 megawatt project within this solar park. The 250 megawatt project was Fortum’s last major win in the Indian market. Several developers in the Indian market have faced challenges in the past, and as a result some well known names have vanished from competitive auctions, Fortum one among them.

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

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