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.
TOTAL Invests $490 Million In Indian Solar Joint Venture
TOTAL announced that it invested US$ 490 million in a joint venture with Adani Green Energy. The joint venture will host 2.1 gigawatts of operational solar power projects previously fully owned by Adani Green Energy and its subsidiaries. The two companies now hold 50% each in the new joint venture. Adani Green Energy is one of the leading private renewable energy companies in India. It also operates the largest single-developer solar power project in the country.
Wind Turbine Maker Senvion Sells India Business
Indian business dailies reported that Senvion India Private Limited will be sold off to a strategic investor. The investor, however, has not been named. It is also unknown if the investor is Indian or foreign. The announcement marks yet another milestone in Senvion’s journey that has seen the company change hands several times. Senvion filed for bankruptcy in Germany last year and entered an agreement with its lenders to sell off several assets. Before it initiated the asset sale, however, it separated out the Indian business, making it a standalone business. India’s low cost manufacturing and significant onshore as well as offshore untapped potential promoted this decision by Senvion management.
Financial Lifeline For Troubled Indian Wind Company Suzlon Energy Approved
Suzlon Energy announced that a group of banks had approved a debt restructuring plan ending months of speculation of future of the company. Multiple banks, led by India’s largest — State Bank of India — approved a plan to restructure Suzlon’s outstanding debt worth Rs 14,000 crore (US$1.8 billion). Details of the restructuring plan have not been announced yet. However, the banks had earlier approved a proposal to convert some debt into equity on the condition that the company’s promoters invest an additional Rs 400 crore worth of equity (US$52 million). Another lifeline to the company was thrown by its bondholders. Suzlon Energy had raised US$547 million through foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs). Unable to service its obligations to bondholders, Suzlon converted bonds worth US$375 million to equity in December 2018. However, the company defaulted on payments against the balance of US$172 million worth of bonds.
Electric Vehicles Sales In FY2019-20 Up 20%
The Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV) reported that sales of EVs in India increased from 130,000 in FY2018-19 to 156,000 in FY2019-20. These sales were driven by two-wheelers accounting for over 97%. However, number of cars sold in FY2019-20 were 200 lower than the 3,600 units sold in the preceding year. The sales figure does not include electric rickshaws of which around 90,000 were sold in FY2019-20.
Renewable Energy & Batteries
SoftBank-Backed SB Energy & EDEN Bag 900 Megawatts Of Solar
The government-owned power generation company NHPC floated a 2-gigawatt solar PV tender last year. The tender conditions were flexible and allowed developers to choose a project site of their liking. NHPC had initially set a maximum tariff bid of Rs 2.65 (US¢3.47) per kilowatt-hour, which was later increased to Rs 2.95 (US¢3.87) per kilowatt-hour. It was finally set at Rs 2.78 (US¢3.64) per kilowatt-hour. SB Energy, a Softbank-backed developer, emerged as the largest bidder and secured 600 megawatts of capacity. Axis Energy Ventures, backed by Brookfield Asset Management, grabbed 400 megawatts, while O2 Power, a newly formed company backed by Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, won 380 megawatts. EDEN Renewables and homegrown Avaada Energy bagged 300 megawatts and 320 megawatts, respectively.
India Moves Ahead With New Renewable Energy Transmission Projects
Government-owned REC Transmission Projects Company Limited (RECTPCL) approved setting up seven transmission projects to support renewable energy parks in various parts of the country. One of these projects will come up in the western state of Maharashtra to support 1 gigawatt of renewable energy capacity. Another project is to be commissioned in Madhya Pradesh for 2.5 gigawatts of capacity. Two projects, each of 2.5 gigawatts, will be commissioned in the southern state of Karnataka. Three projects will be located in northwestern state of Rajasthan to support the transmission of 8.1 gigawatts of capacity from renewable energy projects.
Adani Green Energy Achieves 2.5 Gigawatts Of Renewable Energy Capacity
Adani Green Energy announced that it added 587 megawatts of solar and wind energy capacity in 2019-20, taking the total installed capacity to 2,545 megawatts. The commissioned assets include 2,148 megawatts of solar power projects and 397 megawatts of solar power projects. The company also reported that generation from these commissioned projects increased by 14.5% to 4,310 gigawatt-hour during 2019-20. The company has under construction 475 megawatts of solar power and 1,280 megawatts of wind energy capacity. It is also working to commission 1,690 megawatts of solar-wind hybrid projects that it had recently secured in competitive auctions. Adani Green Energy’s total portfolio stands at just under 6 gigawatts spread across 11 states and 64 locations in India. The company has aggressive expansion plans over the next few years with a target to achieve 10 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2022 and 15 gigawatts by 2025.
COVID-19 Lockdown: India Moves To Ensure Renewable Projects Remain Unaffected
India imposed a 21-day lockdown on the 25th of March. The lockdown immediately resulted in a sharp decline in power demand as all commercial and industrial activity ceased. A number of thermal power plants had to be shut down so as to match demand with supply. With the decline in the share of predictable and controllable power generation in the grid, there are apprehensions about the impact of an increased share of unpredictable and intermittent renewable energy generation on the grid. Anticipating possible curtailment by various states, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) reiterated the must-run status accorded to renewable energy projects.
India Extends Relief To Renewable Energy Projects Affected By COVID-19 Lockdown
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has announced that commissioning deadlines of all renewable energy projects has been extended by 30 days beyond the period of lockdown related to COVID-19 outbreak. India announced a nation-wide lockdown between 24 March to 3 May 2020. Some states may extend the lockdown further. While the government has allowed construction of power projects during lockdown, with this order commissioning deadlines will be extended by 30 days in addition to the number of lockdown days. The ministry further clarified that developers will not be required to submit any documentation to seek this extension, as was the case as per the previous order.
Renewable Power Tender In India Oversubscribed
The Solar Energy Corporation of India floated a tender for 400 megawatts of steady renewable power. The tender was floated for the benefit of two small jurisdictions in the country with no power generation assets of their own. The tender required bidders to ensure round-the-clock supply of renewable power. Three companies have submitted bids for setting up this capacity. Greenko Energy Holdings and ReNew Power each bid for the entire 400 megawatts of capacity while Ayana Renewables placed a bid for 50 megawatts.
Major Indian Companies Bag Solar EPC Projects For 1.1 Gigawatts
Three Indian companies managed to bag EPC orders for solar power projects for 1.1 gigawatt of capacity during the lockdown resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Larsen & Toubro won multiple EPC orders for utility-scale solar power projects with total capacity of 500 megawatts. Vikram Solar and Tata Power Solar secured a project each of 300 megawatts of capacity. Both the projects were awarded by India’s largest power generation company, NTPC Limited.