green27/03/2018

US private equity giant KKR is in talks to invest as much as Rs 500 crore to fund clean energy company Leap Green, founded by members of the family of Formula One racer Narain Karthikeyan. The global buyout giant, which has turned to credit investing in a big way in India, has furnished a term sheet to provide short-term mezzanine funding worth Rs 500 crore that would help the Coimbatore-based Leap Green to meet capital requirements for execution of its existing pipeline of 750 megawatts of wind farms.

The funding terms give KKR the option to convert the loans into equity if required. Leap Green is also separately in discussions to raise equity funding of Rs 1,000 crore to finance capacity additions of 500 megawatts.

Rajeev Karthikeyan, brother of Narain Karthikeyan, is also a director of Leap Green and focuses on marketing and brand-building for the company. JP Morgan is one of the largest shareholders of Leap Green. The clean energy company has power purchase agreements with state-run electricity distribution utilities in Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. 

images 7327/03/2018

 

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), signed the Host Country Agreement here. The Agreement will give ISA a juridical personality and gives it power to contract, to acquire and dispose off movable and immovable properties, to institute and defend legal proceedings. Under this agreement, ISA shall enjoy such privileges, applicable tax concessions and immunities as are necessary for ISA’s Headquarter to independently discharge its function and programmes. ISA shall be deriving its status, privileges and immunities as per Article 10 of Framework Agreement.

The agreement was signed by General (Dr.) V.K. Singh, Minister of State, Ministry of External Affairs and Shri Upendra Tripathy, Interim Director General, ISA in the gracious presence of Shri R K Singh, Union Minister of State (IC) Power and New & Renewable Energy.

Congratulating the signatories, Shri R.K. Singh said that ISA has potential to change developmental paradigm in the world. He said that energy will now be available to less developed tropical countries at affordable rates and in an easily deployable manner. The Minister also mentioned that many countries have shown interest to learn from India’s experience in renewable energy. He emphasized the need for our industry to go and set up infrastructure in these countries and talked about doing necessary de-risking in this regard.

General (Dr.) V.K. Singh also congratulated ISA and stated that ISA has an onerous task at hand to mobilise over US $ 1000 billion of investment into the Solar Sector and deploying over 1000 GW of Solar capacity. He also stated that ISA need to firm up financial partnership deals with more multilateral and bilateral donor agencies in order to meet its stated objectives.

Shri Upendra Tripathy called the signing of Host Country Agreement an important milestone and thanked the Government of India for its wholehearted support.

Secretary, MNRE; Secretary (ER), MEA were among the dignitaries present at the event.

Background:

The International Solar Alliance is an initiative jointly launched by the Prime Minister of India and President of France on 30th November 2015 at Paris, in the presence of the Secretary General of the UN, on the side lines of COP21 UN Climate Change Conference. The main objective of ISA is to undertake joint efforts required to reduce the cost of finance and the cost of technology, mobilize more than US $ 1000 billion of investments needed by 2030 for massive deployment of solar energy, and pave the way for future technologies adapted to the needs of 121 countries lying fully or partially between the Tropics.

ISA has presently four ongoing programmes: Scaling Solar Applications for Agricultural Use, Affordable Finance at Scale, Scaling Solar Mini Grids and Scaling Solar Rooftop catering to the needs of solar energy in specific areas.

The Framework Agreement coming into force on 6th December 2017, the ISA became the first international intergovernmental treaty based organization to be headquartered in India. ISA celebrated its founding day on 11th March, 2018.

 

27/03/2018

The Commerce Ministry's investigation arm DGAD said it is terminating its anti-dumping probe on imports of solar cells from China, Taiwan and Malaysia.

The Indian Solar Manufacturers Association has made a request to terminate the present investigation, it added.

The probe was initiated by the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) on July 21 last year following complaints of dumping of the product by the association.

"The authority is constrained to terminate the present antidumping investigation concerning imports of 'solar cells whether or not assembled partially or fully in modules or Panels or on glass or some other suitable substrates'," from these countries, DGAD said in a notification.

The domestic industry has cited certain reasons for its request to terminate the probe. They have stated that post-initiation, the injury being suffered by the domestic producers on account of dumping has aggravated sharply.

Besides, the industry has said that the imports of the cells from these countries have increased substantially in the recent period.

The period of investigation covers April 2016 to June 2017 (15 months).

The directorate, however, noted that "the reason cited by the domestic industry for termination of the petition is devoid of any merit".

But it said Rule 14(a) of the anti-dumping rules does not grant any discretion to the DGAD in the matter of termination of investigation, once the domestic industry files a written request for termination of the probe.

Anti-dumping duties are levied to provide a level playing field to local industry by guarding against cheap below-cost imports.

Increasing imports and dumping of goods from China have always been an area of concern for Indian companies. India's exports to China were only USD 10.2 billion in 2016-17 but imports aggregated to USD 61.3 billion.

DGAD is also probing dumping of several other products such as certain chemicals and steel products from China and other countries.

India is one of the most attractive markets for global producers due to its large middle class population.

Imposition of anti-dumping duty is permissible under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) regime. Both India and China are members of the Geneva-based body.

The duty is aimed at ensuring fair trading practices and creating a level-playing field for domestic producers vis-a-vis foreign producers and exporters.

27/03/2018

State-run equipments major Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) on Monday said it has won its largest solar photovoltaic (PV) power project for setting up a 75 MW power plant in Gujarat.

In a stock exchange filing, BHEL said the order has been placed by Gujarat Industries Power Company for setting up a plant at the Gujarat Solar Park in Charanka.

"Against stiff competitive bidding, BHEL has won an order for setting up a 75 MW solar PV power plant on engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis, in Gujarat. This will be BHEL's largest solar PV project till date," the statement said.

With this order, BHEL's solar portfolio has risen to 545 MW, it said.

The company is currently executing over 150 MW of ground-mounted and rooftop solar PV projects across the country.

"BHEL has enhanced its state-of-the-art manufacturing lines of solar cells to 105 MW and solar modules to 226 MW per annum," it said.

"In addition, space-grade solar panels using high efficiency cells and space-grade battery panels are being manufactured at its Electronic Systems Division, Bengaluru."

The company said it offers EPC solutions both for off-grid as well as grid-interactive solar plants.

27/03/2018

US private equity giant KKR is in talks to invest as much as Rs 500 crore to fund clean energy company Leap Green, founded by members of the family of Formula One racer Narain Karthikeyan. The global buyout giant, which has turned to credit investing in a big way in India, has furnished a term sheet to provide short-term mezzanine funding worth Rs 500 crore that would help the Coimbatore-based Leap Green to meet capital requirements for execution of its existing pipeline of 750 megawatts of wind farms.

The funding terms give KKR the option to convert the loans into equity if required. Leap Green is also separately in discussions to raise equity funding of Rs 1,000 crore to finance capacity additions of 500 megawatts.

Rajeev Karthikeyan, brother of Narain Karthikeyan, is also a director of Leap Green and focuses on marketing and brand-building for the company. JP Morgan is one of the largest shareholders of Leap Green. The clean energy company has power purchase agreements with state-run electricity distribution utilities in Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. 

 27/03/2018

 

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), signed the Host Country Agreement here. The Agreement will give ISA a juridical personality and gives it power to contract, to acquire and dispose off movable and immovable properties, to institute and defend legal proceedings. Under this agreement, ISA shall enjoy such privileges, applicable tax concessions and immunities as are necessary for ISA’s Headquarter to independently discharge its function and programmes. ISA shall be deriving its status, privileges and immunities as per Article 10 of Framework Agreement.

The agreement was signed by General (Dr.) V.K. Singh, Minister of State, Ministry of External Affairs and Shri Upendra Tripathy, Interim Director General, ISA in the gracious presence of Shri R K Singh, Union Minister of State (IC) Power and New & Renewable Energy.

Congratulating the signatories, Shri R.K. Singh said that ISA has potential to change developmental paradigm in the world. He said that energy will now be available to less developed tropical countries at affordable rates and in an easily deployable manner. The Minister also mentioned that many countries have shown interest to learn from India’s experience in renewable energy. He emphasized the need for our industry to go and set up infrastructure in these countries and talked about doing necessary de-risking in this regard.

General (Dr.) V.K. Singh also congratulated ISA and stated that ISA has an onerous task at hand to mobilise over US $ 1000 billion of investment into the Solar Sector and deploying over 1000 GW of Solar capacity. He also stated that ISA need to firm up financial partnership deals with more multilateral and bilateral donor agencies in order to meet its stated objectives.

Shri Upendra Tripathy called the signing of Host Country Agreement an important milestone and thanked the Government of India for its wholehearted support.

Secretary, MNRE; Secretary (ER), MEA were among the dignitaries present at the event.

Background:

The International Solar Alliance is an initiative jointly launched by the Prime Minister of India and President of France on 30th November 2015 at Paris, in the presence of the Secretary General of the UN, on the side lines of COP21 UN Climate Change Conference. The main objective of ISA is to undertake joint efforts required to reduce the cost of finance and the cost of technology, mobilize more than US $ 1000 billion of investments needed by 2030 for massive deployment of solar energy, and pave the way for future technologies adapted to the needs of 121 countries lying fully or partially between the Tropics.

ISA has presently four ongoing programmes: Scaling Solar Applications for Agricultural Use, Affordable Finance at Scale, Scaling Solar Mini Grids and Scaling Solar Rooftop catering to the needs of solar energy in specific areas.

The Framework Agreement coming into force on 6th December 2017, the ISA became the first international intergovernmental treaty based organization to be headquartered in India. ISA celebrated its founding day on 11th March, 2018.

 

download 5423/03/2018

Despite the unexpectedly lukewarm response to its latest solar tender, the Karnataka government has decided not to reissue it but instead allot to the three bidders projects of whatever size they had bid for.

Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd (KREDL) had issued a 1,200 MW tender for projects at its Pavagada Solar Park, at a reserve tariff of Rs 2.93 per unit, setting a deadline of February 21. But the tender received only two bids of 100 MW each. KREDL then relaxed some of its earlier conditions and reissued the tender with a deadline of March 12. But once again it attracted only three bids, amounting to no more than 550 MW.

ReNew Power bid for 300 MW at Rs 2.91 per unit, Avaada sought 150 MW at Rs 2.92 per unit, while Azure Power asked for 100 MW at Rs 2.93 per unit. Following a meeting with KREDL officials on Wednesday evening, all three were allotted the full amounts they had bid for.

At the meeting, KREDL officials sought to lower the tariff further, according to insiders, but the developers did not relent. Neither KREDL nor the winning developers were willing to comment on the matter.

The response to this tender was in sharp contrast to the earlier one issued by KREDL in January this year for 860 MW across 43 talukas of the state, which saw 18 developers seeking a total of over 1,800 MW. The main reason, developers felt, was the reserve price set by KREDL, which in the earlier auction was Rs 3.57 per unit. The winning bids spanned a wide range of Rs 2.94 per unit to Rs 3.54 per unit across different talukas.

Emboldened by this, KREDL set its new reserve price at Rs 2.93 per unit, just below the lowest winning bid at the previous auction. But tariffs had clearly bottomed out. 

Solar tariffs, which have fallen steeply since 2015, are unlikely to do so any longer for several reasons. On the one hand, the cost of solar modules, mostly imported from China, is no longer falling as before, while on the other, solar developers have the threat of safeguard duty and anti-dumping duty hanging over solar imports.

Following complaints from local solar manufacturers that imports were crippling their industry, the Directorate General of Safeguards has proposed 70% duty on solar imports, while the Directorate General of Anti Dumping is still examining whether anti-dumping duty should be imposed too. Either duty if implemented is bound to increase solar developers’ input costs considerably and thereby increase solar tariffs.

Karnataka currently has the highest solar capacity among Indian states, with 3,657.52 MW commissioned by the end of February this year. 

biog23/03/2018

 

The National Biogas and Manure Management Programme (NBMMP) aims at setting up of family type biogas plants for providing biogas as clean cooking fuel and a source of lighting. The slurry produced from biogas plants as a by-product is an organic bio-manure for enhancing crop yield and maintaining soil health. The biogas technology dissemination helps in reducing the environment degradation and prevents the emissions of Green House Gases (GHGs) such as Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Methane into the atmosphere. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has fixed an annual physical target of setting up 65,180 biogas plants for the current year 2017-18 under the NBMMP.

Under the NBMMP, about 49.6 lakh household size biogas plants have been installed since the inception of the National Biogas Programme in the country.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), through the State Nodal Agencies/ Departments, spreads awareness about the programme (NBMMP) through advertisements in local Newspapers, display of posters in Panchayats Offices, Schools, Kisan Seva Kendra’s, distribution of booklets on biogas during gatherings at exhibitions, Kisan Melas/Fairs etc.

The MNRE has taken various steps to increase the production of biogas in the country including Tamil Nadu which include introduction of new biogas plant designs under the NBMMP such as floating design Shakti Surabhi Model, Solid-State Deenbandhu design model of biogas plants.

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

biogas-plants0123/03/2018
As per Census 2011, about 65.9 per cent of households depend on solid biomass, including firewood, crop residue and cow dung as primary fuel for cooking in India. The use of traditional biomass for cooking through simple traditional cook stove is a cause of indoor air pollution due to incomplete combustion of biomass which produces a range of toxic products.
 
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is already implementing various programmes with a view to provide alternate cooking solutions which would help in reducing dependence of traditional biomass cooking. These include:
 
  1. The Unnat Chulha Abhiyan programme launched in June 2014 for promotion of improved biomass cook stove in the country for providing a clean cooking energy solution with a view to reduce consumption of fuel wood with higher efficiency and low emissions. So far 36,940 family type and 849 community type improved cook stoves have been distributed.
  2. National Biogas and Manure Management Programme (NBMMP) for setting up of family type household biogas plants for meeting cooking energy needs of rural and semi urban areas and to save the use of firewood. About 49.6 lakh family type biogas plants have been installed in the country so far.
  3. Promoting solar cookers to reduce the indoor air pollution. About 7.05 lakh solar cookers have been distributed / sold through the State Government so far.
  4. Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) implemented by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas aims to safeguard the health of women & children by providing them with clean cooking fuel through LPG. Under this scheme, 8 crore new LPG connections will be provided to women’s belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families up to 2020. More than 3.45 crore connection have been given under PMUY since the launch of the Scheme. 
 
This information was provided by Shri R.K. Singh, Union Minister of State (IC) Power and New & Renewable Energy in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.

26/03/2018

Despite the unexpectedly lukewarm response to its latest solar tender, the Karnataka government has decided not to reissue it but instead allot to the three bidders projects of whatever size they had bid for.

Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd (KREDL) had issued a 1,200 MW tender for projects at its Pavagada Solar Park, at a reserve tariff of Rs 2.93 per unit, setting a deadline of February 21. But the tender received only two bids of 100 MW each. KREDL then relaxed some of its earlier conditions and reissued the tender with a deadline of March 12. But once again it attracted only three bids, amounting to no more than 550 MW.

ReNew Power bid for 300 MW at Rs 2.91 per unit, Avaada sought 150 MW at Rs 2.92 per unit, while Azure Power asked for 100 MW at Rs 2.93 per unit. Following a meeting with KREDL officials on Wednesday evening, all three were allotted the full amounts they had bid for.

At the meeting, KREDL officials sought to lower the tariff further, according to insiders, but the developers did not relent. Neither KREDL nor the winning developers were willing to comment on the matter.

The response to this tender was in sharp contrast to the earlier one issued by KREDL in January this year for 860 MW across 43 talukas of the state, which saw 18 developers seeking a total of over 1,800 MW. The main reason, developers felt, was the reserve price set by KREDL, which in the earlier auction was Rs 3.57 per unit. The winning bids spanned a wide range of Rs 2.94 per unit to Rs 3.54 per unit across different talukas.

Emboldened by this, KREDL set its new reserve price at Rs 2.93 per unit, just below the lowest winning bid at the previous auction. But tariffs had clearly bottomed out. 

Solar tariffs, which have fallen steeply since 2015, are unlikely to do so any longer for several reasons. On the one hand, the cost of solar modules, mostly imported from China, is no longer falling as before, while on the other, solar developers have the threat of safeguard duty and anti-dumping duty hanging over solar imports.

Following complaints from local solar manufacturers that imports were crippling their industry, the Directorate General of Safeguards has proposed 70% duty on solar imports, while the Directorate General of Anti Dumping is still examining whether anti-dumping duty should be imposed too. Either duty if implemented is bound to increase solar developers’ input costs considerably and thereby increase solar tariffs.

Karnataka currently has the highest solar capacity among Indian states, with 3,657.52 MW commissioned by the end of February this year. 

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