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ill 110/03/2018

India is close to achieving 20 GW grid connected installed solar power generation capacity this fiscal itself with 19.58GW already in hand till February end, Parliament was informed.

"As on February 28, 2018, a grid connected solar capacity of 19.58 GW has been installed and the government is very close to achieving 20GW in 2017-18 itself of the target set initially," Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister R K Singh said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.

The government had revised the target of grid connected solar energy capacities from 20GW to 100GW by 2022.

However, the minister said that at present, the indigenous manufacturing capacity is not adequate and therefore the country is dependent on both imported as well as domestically manufactured solar panels/equipments.

The government has decided to auction 30 GW solar energy capacities each in 2018-19 and 2019-20 to achieve 100 GW grid connected capacities by 2022.

Besides, the government would also auction 10 GW capacities each in the two fiscal years to achieve 60 GW of wind power generation capacities by 2022. India's wind power generation capacity is 32.8 GW as per Central Electricity Authority data. Total renewable energy capacities was 62.8 GW by February, 2018.

Friday, 09 March 2018 16:22

Diu becomes first UT to run 100% on solar power

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The harnessing of solar energy has made Diu the country’s first energy surplus Union territory and a model for an effective way for people to harness this renewable energy source.

In just three years, Diu has made rapid progress in solar power generation. The Union territory has an area of just 42 square kilometres. Despite scarcity of land, solar power plants have been installed over more than 50 acres.

Diu generates a total of 13 megawatts of electricity from solar power generating facilities daily. Around 3 MW is generated by rooftop solar plants and 10 MW by its other solar power plants.

Three years ago, the people of Diu consumed electricity supplied from the power grid owned by the Gujarat government, resulting in huge line losses. Once the local power company started generating electricity from solar energy, the electricity loss was significantly reduced.

Daman and Diu electricity department executive engineer Milind Ingle said, “Diu’s peak-time demand for electricity goes up to 7 MW and we generate about 10.5 MW of electricity from solar energy daily. This is way more than the consumption demand requirement.”

He said solar power has come as a big relief for local residents as their monthly bill charges have fallen by around 12 per cent. Previously, the 0-50 units charge was Re 1.20 per unit and 50-100 units was Re 1.50 per unit. But once the solar power plants began operating, the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission for Goa and the Union territories removed the 0-50 units slab. They now have revised the 1-100 units charge to Re 1.01 per unit.


Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has launched a programme for women self-help groups at Thano near here which will train them in making LED lights.


The Chief Minister said the five-day programme named LED Gram Light Training programme will train 50 women from 10 SHGS in making LED bulbs, tubelights and chandeliers and help them stand on their own feet.

If women become self-dependent, they will automatically be empowered, Rawat said assuring the women of making proper arrangement for the marketing of their products once they are ready.

It will not only help women stand on their feet and generate revenue for the state by boosting sale of local products but will also help stop sale of Chinese items of home decor, Rawat said.

Energy secretary Radhika Jha welcomed the initiative saying it will generate self-employment opportunities for women in rural areas.


A consultative paper of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) has suggested a benchmark tariff of ₹2.86 per unit for wind energy and ₹3.11 per unit for solar energy, an over 30% fall from previously fixed tariffs.

The suggested tariffs are also cheaper than thermal power, whose average cost is ₹4 per unit.

TNERC, the State regulator, fixes the benchmark tariffs for procurement of wind and solar energy by the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Ltd (Tangedco), the State distribution company. States are also procuring wind and solar energy through competitive bidding, a process which could drive the prices even lower than the benchmark rates.

The consultative paper has fixed a rate of ₹2.86 per unit without accelerated depreciation and ₹2.80 per unit with accelerated depreciation benefits [for wind energy].

In its last order in 2016, the TNERC had fixed the tariff at ₹4.16 per unit without accelerated depreciation and ₹3.70 per unit with accelerated depreciation; the tariff will be expiring on March 31, 2018.

“Reports broadly suggest reduction in the prices of wind power turbines to an extent of 20% in the last two years. The recent auctions show that the developers have adopted a combination of various factors that have brought down the per unit price of wind energy,” the TNERC said in the paper.

For solar energy, it has suggested a tariff of ₹3.11 per unit without accelerated depreciation and ₹3.05 per unit with accelerated depreciation.

“A combination of factors – low module prices, loans with cheap rates of interest and location of projects – has led to low tariff rates to the extent of ₹2.44 per unit, in the auctions held for solar power. Since the issue of the last solar tariff order, prices of solar modules have reduced by 20%. Therefore, there is a need to have a new preferential tariff in place,” TNERC said in its consultative paper.

download 208/03/2018

In its endeavour to make Chandigarh first renewable city, the Chandigarh administration is all set to install country’s largest solar photovoltaic power capacity of 20 MW over water storage reservoirs.

The UT administration has also tied up with Municipal Corporation to set up solar roof top plants over community centres across the city.

“All government buildings have been provided with solar photovoltaic roof top plants in Chandigarh and now work is in progress to set up such plants on raw water storage tanks and community centres in the city,” home secretary, Chandigarh administration Anurag Aggarwal said while speaking 
at CII Annual Session 2017-18. He said that a capacity of 20 MW solar roof top have already been installed in government buildings.

Aggrawal said that the response by private owners of buildings to roof top solar installations have been placid in the city. “Placid response to roof top solar installations by owners of private buildings has resulted in just 2 MW of solar roof top capacity in the last 18 months,” he said.

He said that the UT Administration and Municipal Corporation are ready to install solar power installations over water reservoirs Municipal Corporation mayor Davesh Moudgil, speaking at the occasion, said that the corporation has approached Chandigarh Renewal Energy and Science & Technology Promotion Society (CREST) to set up solar roof top plants over 42 odd community centres in the city.

“Even though we plan to explore solar, hydel as well as wind energy for renewable energy resources but cost of energy cannot be allowed to go up,” Aggarwal said. Aggarwal said that JERC has come up with lucrative tariffs for sale of power to the grid.

reni 108/03/2018


The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of  the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in the field of Renewable Energy between India and Hellenic.  The MoU was signed by the External Affairs Minister, Smt. Sushma Swaraj, Government of India and H.E. Nikos Kotzias, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic during the latter's visit to New Delhi in November, 2017.

Both sides aim to establish the basis for a cooperative institutional relationship to encourage and promote technical bilateral cooperation on new and renewable issues on the basis of mutual benefit equality and reciprocity.

The MoU envisages establishing a Joint Working Group to review, monitor and discuss matters relation to areas of cooperation. The MoU aims for exchange of expertise and networking of information.

download 5707/03/2018


A new project for distribution of 70 lakh solar study lamps in the states of Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand Odisha and Uttar Pradesh which was sanctioned by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in December 2016, is currently under implementation. The One Million Solar Study Lamps Scheme which was sanctioned in January 2014 for empowering underserved communities of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra has been successfully completed. Following this the Ministry sanctioned 5 lakh solar study lamps in various states in May 2016.

In Rajasthan a total of 3.06 lakh solar study lamps have been distributed and 927 persons including 360 women have been trained for local assembly and repair of the solar study lamps. The MNRE also has a separate skill development programme “Surya Mitra” for imparting training in the field of solar energy for installation and repair and maintenance of solar power systems.

This information was provided by the Minister of State (IC) for New and Renewable Energy and Power Shri R. K Singh in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.


The International Solar Alliance (ISA), jointly launched by India and France at the UN Climate Change Conference over two years ago, is set to turn to the sun to brighten its future with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron co-chairing its founding conference in the national capital onSunday.

A brainchild of Modi, the India-based alliance -- a coalition of 56 signatories to the ISA Framework Agreement -- aims at accelerating deployment of solar energy by reducing costs and making adequate funding available for its rapid deployment in solar-rich member-nations.

Tim Buckley, the Energy Finance Studies Director with the US-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, told that the ISA is a tremendous initiative by India and France to accelerate the inevitable technology-driven renewable energy transformation of the world's electricity markets.

The deflationary benefits of renewable energy are an added bonus to consumers worldwide and the policy learning evident from India's accelerated deployment are exceptionally valuable as countries as diverse as Egypt, the Philippines and Thailand now embark on a similar journey, he said.

With the backing of nearly 121 member-countries rich in solar energy, 26 have so far ratified ISA's Framework Agreement.

ISA became a treaty-based inter-governmental international organisation on December 6, 2017, registered under Article 102 of the United Nations Charter.

Globally, India's the third-biggest solar installer after China and the US. India has reached 20 GW cumulative solar capacity, achieving the milestone four years ahead of the 2022 target originally set in the National Solar Mission.

It now aims to increase its solar capacity to 100 GW by 2022.

India's solar installations in 2017 at 9,629 MW was more than double the 4,313 MW installed in 2016.

Its pipeline of utility-scale projects under development stood at approximately 10.6 GW at year-end 2017, with another 4.3 GW of tenders pending auction.

The share of coal-based power plants in new installations declined significantly from 62 per cent in 2016 to just 19 per cent in 2017, whereas solar power led with around 45 per cent of total power capacity additions.

While India's power demand will double over the next decade, its draft "Ten Year Electricity Plan" calls for this rising demand to be met with 275 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2027 -- without requiring new coal plants beyond those already under construction.

The cumulative solar capacity of ISA member-countries is around 175 GW by end of 2017, around 44 per cent of the global capacity.

However, these are concentrated in China, India and Australia with 130 GW, 20 GW and 7 GW installations, respectively, or around 90 per cent of all ISA member-country solar capacity.

Tracing ISA's two-year journey, experts say the key milestones include the joint declaration signed on October 6 last year with the European Investment Bank to mobilise finance for promoting solar energy.

ISA aims to mobilise more than $1,000 billion in solar investments by 2030 to minimise fossil fuel dependence that help keep global temperatures from rising above two degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

At the last UN Climate Change Conference (COP-23) in Bonn last year, ISA presented the Common Risk Mitigation Mechanism, its first offering to deepen solar markets and unlock finance for solar projects in developing economies.

The Common Risk Mitigation Mechanism will create a global solar market, boosting confidence in the international development community and private and public institutional financiers.

As part of the Mechanism's pilot phase, a $1 billion guarantee could crowd in up to $15 billion of investments for 20 GW of solar PV capacity in more than 20 countries.

"In the coming years, ISA could inspire and support several developed and developing countries to advance on a clean energy pathway by lowering financing costs, developing common standards and encouraging knowledge sharing," said Arunabha Ghosh, CEO of policy research institute Council on Energy, Environment and Water.


The Madurai bench of the Madras high court on Tuesday stopped the work on Neyveli Lignite Corporation's solar power plant in four villages of Virudhunagar district till March 26.

The division bench of justices T S Sivagnanam and R Tharani which heard the petition filed by A Narayana Athimoolam of Tiruchuli said that the project would be kept in abeyance, and ordered notice to NLC chairman and Jakson Engineers Ltd.

The petitioner's counsel told the court that NLC was going to set up solar power plants in four villages - Tiruchuli, Parattanatham, Thammanayackanpatti and Pillaiyarnatham.

The corporation, through Jakson Engineers Ltd, has been purchasing several acres of land and also undertaking construction works on 1,000 acres. However, while doing so, they were encroaching on water bodies and public pathways which were being used by the public for years.

Wednesday, 07 March 2018 16:58

Maha wind power auction sees firming up of tariffs

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images 7407/03/2018

An auction to award 500 MW of wind power contracts in Maharashtra on Tuesday saw tariffs firming up, breaking a streak of plummeting prices for electricity generated from the renewable energy source.

Adani Green Energy and KCT Renewable Energy offered to supply electricity at Rs 2.85 per unit in their bids for 75 MW each. All other winners of the auction, conducted by Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd, quoted a higher amount.

Previous auctions have seen wind power tariffs falling below Rs 2.50 per kWh, with the lowest being Rs 2.43 in a 500 MW reverse auction conducted by Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd in December last year. In February this year, the largest wind auction of 2000 MW capacity conducted by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) saw the winning tariffs at Rs 2.44 and Rs 2.45.

Industry experts said the higher tariff in the latest auction does not come as a surprise, as states like Gujarat have more efficient wind zones and systems than Maharashtra.

On Tuesday, Inox Wind Ltd, Mytrah Energy and Hero Wind Energy quoted Rs 2.86 per unit for 50 MW, 100 MW and 75 MW of projects. Torrent Power placed the highest bid at Rs 2.87 per unit for 146 MW — it will though get only the balance of the 500 MW.

While the latest rates are way above the existing wind tariffs which have reached grid parity, it is difficult to conclude this as a reversed trend, said an industry player, who did not wish to be named. "The track record of Maharashtra as a destination for renewable energy power is considered to be pretty bad. The state has a record of not really honouring PPAs, and making delayed payments. Probably that was the reason many companies also avoided these auctions," this person said.

Bidders will factor in likely payment delays and certain bid conditions such as uncovered development risks and cap on PLF, that reduce value, said Kameswara Rao, leader-energy, utilities and mining, at PwC India.

"The bid prices are a composite result of many factors. As equipment prices have not varied much, higher rates could be due to smaller block size and lower wind regime," Rao added.

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