India x Cleantech — August 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

Module Manufacturer Plans US$700 Million Investment In New Fab Line

Indian solar energy solutions provider Vikram Solar has announced its intent to set up a 3-gigawatt solar manufacturing facility in the state of Tamil Nadu. The facility will produce wafers, cells, and modules and is expected to be operational in five years. The company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government of Tamil Nadu for this purpose. The development of the manufacturing facility would entail an investment of about $727.4 million by the company. It expects to create 7,542 jobs across the country. 

India Set To Propose World Solar Bank & Mobilize $50 Billion In Solar Funding

According to media reports, India’s Ministry for New and Renewable Energy is likely to propose to the government to set up a World Solar Bank. The bank is likely to help member countries of the International Solar Alliance to access affordable funding for solar power projects. The MNRE may propose that the World Solar Bank disburse $50 billion over the first ten years. The bank will require $10 billion in equity capital and $2 billion in paid-up capital. Upon receiving the first $6 billion of this funding, the bank will be able to start its operations.

Indian Finance Company Gets US$50 Million For Renewable Energy Loans

L&T Infrastructure Finance Company received US$50 million from Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to offer loans for renewable energy projects. This is the first tranche of a US$100 million loan that AIIB will offer the company.

Electric Transport

Electric Vehicle Startup Secures US$11 Million Funding

Electric scooter manufacturer Ather Energy raised US$11 million from one of India’s leading bike manufacturers. This is the second investment made by Hero Motocorp in the startup, which sells multiple electric scooter models and has set up several charging stations.

Renewable Energy & Batteries

New Record Solar Tariff Bid In 2 Gigawatt Tender

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) bid out 2 gigawatts of solar power capacity in June in an auction dominated by foreign project developers. Spanish, Italian, French, German, and British companies bagged sizeable shares in the tender while quoting aggressively low tariffs. The lowest tariff bid was submitted by Solarpack, a Spanish developer. The company submitted a bid to develop 300 megawatts of capacity at Rs 2.36 (US¢3.16) per kilowatt hour. The previous low in India’s solar power sector was Rs 2.44 (US¢3.27) per kilowatt hour. The tariff was quoted by Acme Cleantech in three different tenders.

India Plans To Introduce New Import Duties On Chinese Solar Equipment

The Indian government is reportedly considering the imposition of a basic customs duty on Chinese solar cells and modules. India already levies a safeguard duty on Chinese solar cells and modules. The Ministry of Finance earlier paved the way for the imposition of the customs duty. However, the latest speculation comes amidst growing tensions between the two countries.

More Companies Planning Stake & Asset Sale In India Solar Businesses

The private equity firms KKR and Actis are in talks to acquire solar assets of 435 megawatts of capacity from Azure Power Global Limited. The deal is expected to be finalized at a cost of around $200-250 million. SoftBank Group is looking to sell its majority stake of 80% in the Indian green energy firm SBG Cleantech. SBG Cleantech is a joint venture between SoftBank, Bharti Enterprises, and Foxconn Technologies. The company has a portfolio of around 7.7 GW of solar projects in India. The company is reportedly holding separate talks with interested buyers Mubadala Investment, Brookfield Asset Management, and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) for the sale of its assets.

Indian Railways Commissions First Solar Project To Power Traction System

India’s minister for railways recently announced that Indian Railways has commissioned a 1.7-megawatt solar power project. Power generated from this project will be supplied to trains’ traction systems. This project is the first of its kind in the world, Indian Railways has claimed. The project is located in Madhya Pradesh and was commissioned by a public sector company, BHEL. According to Indian Railways, the project is expected to generate 2.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity every year, resulting in annual savings of around $180,000.

Indian Prime Minister Inaugurates 750 Megawatt Solar Park

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has formally inaugurated the country’s ultra mega Rewa solar park, a 750 megawatt capacity plant situated in the state of Madhya Pradesh, on the 10th of July 2020. The solar power park supplies electricity to the Delhi-based subway system. The central government provided financial assistance of US$18.4 million to RUMSL for the development of this solar park. The solar park is expected to curtail carbon dioxide emissions by 1.5 million tonnes annually and result in major financial savings for consumers.

ReNew Power Plans 20 Gigawatt Renewable Capacity In Five Years

India’s largest renewable power generation company has announced aggressive plans to expand its portfolio and enter into new related segments like solar cell manufacturing. ReNew Power aims to double its power generation capacity to 20 gigawatts in five years. The capacity expansion would require an approximate investment of Rs 40,000-50,000 crore (US$5.3-6.6 billion). This investment may vary depending on the location of the projects and cost of the land involved. The company currently holds the largest portfolio of nearly 10 GW in projects, out of which 5.44 gigawatts are operational projects. It was the first Indian company to build a portfolio of 5 gigawatts of operational renewable energy capacity.

Three Indian States Announce Plans For 1.2 Gigawatts Of Solar Power Parks

State governments and government-owned companies announced ambitious plans to set up large-scale ground-mounted and floating solar power projects. The government of Punjab is expected to develop 3 solar parks of 200 megawatts capacity each in the Mohali and Rupnagar districts of the state. Maharashtra state energy Minister Nitin Raut has announced that the state-owned Maharashtra State Power Generation Company (Mahagenco) has decided to build 3 solar parks of 602 megawatts in the state. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the state-owned hydro giant NHPC with Green Energy Development Corporation of Odisha Limited (GEDCOL) to form a joint venture (JV) for developing floating solar energy projects in the state of Odisha. The projects will have an aggregate capacity of 500 megawatts. 

Shell In Talks For Distributed Solar JV In India

According to media reports, the government-owned Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) is planning for a joint venture with oil giant Royal Dutch Shell to invest in decentralized solar power plants. Through this joint venture, EESL plans to invest over Rs 40,000 crore (US$5.3 billion) for setting up 5 gigawatts of decentralized solar power across the country. The plants will also have storage facilities and will be set up in rural areas of the country. 

Renewable Energy-Rich States In India Draw Up Power Export Policies

The southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have expressed an intent to export solar and wind power to other states. Both are among the leading renewable energy generating states in the country. The Andhra Pradesh government has issued a policy to incentivize the development of solar and wind energy projects and export the resulting power to other states. As a policy, the government will lease out land to private project developers to set up large-scale power projects. Tamil Nadu also announced plans to export surplus wind power to other states. The state will use a new high-capacity transmission line to export power to western states.

Indian State Of Rajasthan Announces 1 Gigawatt Solar Power Tender

The Indian state of Rajasthan is set to develop 1,070 megawatts, or 1.07 gigawatts, of solar parks to increase its share of renewable in overall energy mix. The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has invited bids for grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) power projects to be set up in the state. The developers have to submit a single bid for any capacity starting from a minimum of 10 megawatts to a maximum of 1,070 megawatts. The projects will be implemented under a build-own-operate basis and can be set up in any location of the Rajasthan state. 

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

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