NEW HORIZONS COVERED BY MNRE: RE Round-Up for 2018–19
The year 2018–19 was phenomenal in the manner in which India marched ahead in the pursuit of achieving its renewable energy targets.
RE ROUND-UP 2018–19
The year 2018–19 saw India progressing quite well towards fulfilling its renewable energy targets as the country attained global 4th and 5th positions in wind and solar power installed capacities, respectively. India is now at 5th global position for overall installed renewable energy capacity. As on March 31, 2019, India’s renewable power installed capacity has already reached over 78 GW. Solar energy capacity has increased manifolds from 2.63 GW in 2014 to 28.18 GW by March 31, 2019. The wind energy capacity also increased considerably from 21 GW in 2014 to 35.62 GW by the end of 2018–19.
Projects worth 46.75 GW capacity have been bid out/under installation. The Government has declared the trajectory of bidding 60 GW capacity of solar energy and 20 GW capacity of wind energy till March 31, 2020. This has given assurance to the renewable energy developers and investors community about longterm commitment and planning of the Government in the RE sector encouraging them to make risk-free investments in the country.
LOWEST EVER SOLAR TARIFFS REGISTERED IN INDIA IN 2018
India registered the lowest ever solar tariff of 2.44 per unit in reverse auctions carried out by Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) in May 2017, for 200 MW and again in July 2018, for 600 MW. The tariff for grid-connected solar power projects is determined through competitive bidding process involving reverse e-auction. This has helped in bringing down the tariff significantly. The lowest solar tariff discovered as on date is 2.44/kWh in July 2018 in ISTS-based bidding of solar projects in India. The solar tariff has come down from around 18/kWh in 2010 to 2.44/kWh in 2018 due to various factors like economies of scale, assured availability of land and power evacuation systems, etc.
RPO TRAJECTORY FROM 2019–20 TO 2021–22
On June 14, 2018, the Ministry of Power notified the long-term renewable purchase obligation (RPO) trajectory from 2019–20 to 2021–22. The government issued guidelines for procurement of solar and wind power through tariff- based competitive bidding process involving reverse e-auction. It also issued order on waiving the Inter State Transmission Systems charges and losses for inter-state sale of solar and wind power for projects to be commissioned by March 2022. Standards for deployment of solar photovoltaic systems/devices were also notified. The Government has revised the target of Grid Connected Solar Power Projects from 20 GW by the year 2021–22 to 40 GW by the year 2021–22 under the National Solar Mission. As on March 2019, 42 solar parks with cumulative capacity of 23,449 MW have been approved in 17 States. Over 100,000 lakh acres of land has been identified for various solar parks out of which over 75,000 acres have been acquired. Solar projects of aggregate capacity 4,195 MW have been commissioned inside various solar parks. The Ministry is also taking up projects for new emerging technologies such as floating solar power.
CABINET APPROVES LAUNCH OF KISAN URJA SURAKSHA EVAM UTTHAAN MAHABHIYAN (KUSUM)
A major development in the solar energy sector in India happened in February 2019 when the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the launch of Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM) with the objective of providing financial and water security to farmers. The proposed scheme consists of three components:
1. Component-A: 10,000 MW of Decentralized Ground Mounted Grid Connected Renewable Power Plants
2. Component-B: Installation of 17.50 lakh standalone Solar Powered Agriculture Pumps
3. Component-C: Solarization of 10 lakh Grid-connected Solar Powered Agriculture Pumps
All three components combined, the scheme aims to add a solar capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022. The total central financial support provided under the scheme would be `34,422 crore. The Component-A and Component-C will be implemented on pilot mode for 1,000 MW capacity and one lakh grid connected agriculture pumps respectively and thereafter, will be scaled-up on success of pilot run. Component-B will be implemented in full-fledged manner. For more information, please visit .
The Green Energy Corridor project continued under implementation in 2018–19. The project includes approx. 9,400 ckm transmission lines and Substations of total capacity of approx. 19,000 MVA to be completed by March 2020. The purpose is to evacuate approx. 20 GW of large-scale renewable power and improvement of the grid in the implementing States. Projects worth `6,766 crore have been awarded and approx. `1,400 crore have been disbursed to the States.
INDIA’S ACHIEVEMENTS IN WIND ENERGY SECTOR IN 2018–19
During the year, 1.48 GW wind power projects were commissioned with a cumulative achievement of 35.62 GW as on March 31, 2019. Around 9.4 GW capacity is under implementation or have been tendered out. The Government has issued ‘Guidelines for Tariff Based Competitive Bidding Process for Procurement of Power from Grid Connected Wind Power Projects’, vide Resolution notified on 8 December 2017, with an objective to provide a framework for procurement of wind power through a transparent process of bidding.
NATIONAL WIND–SOLAR HYBRID POLICY
The National Wind–Solar Hybrid Policy was issued in May 2018. The main objective of the policy is to provide a framework for promotion of large grid connected wind–solar PV hybrid system for optimal and efficient utilization of wind and solar resources, transmission infrastructure, and land. The wind– solar PV hybrid systems will help in reducing the variability in renewable power generation and achieving better grid stability. The Policy provides for procurement of power from a hybrid project on tariff-based transparent bidding process for which Government entities were invited to bid. The Policy also permits use of battery storage in the hybrid project for optimizing the output and further reduce the variability. It mandates the regulatory authorities to formulate necessary standards and regulations for wind–solar hybrid systems.
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WIND ENERGY SECTOR IN INDIA IN 2018-2019
A bid for setting up of first 1,200 MW Greenfield wind–solar hybrid project was floated by SECI. The National Offshore wind energy policy was notified in October 2015 with an objective to develop the offshore wind energy in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) along the Indian coastline. Initial studies carried out by NIWE indicate offshore wind energy potential off the coasts of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. LiDAR was commissioned on the monopile platform in November 2017 at Gulf of Khambhat, off Gujarat coast for wind resource assessment. NIWE floated Expression of Interest (EoI) for establishment of 1 GW offshore wind farm in Gulf of Khambhat region off Gujarat coast. National targets for offshore wind capacity additions of 5 GW by 2022 and 30 GW by 2030 were declared. All the major global players in this field have their presence in the country. Over 24 different models of wind turbines are being manufactured by more than 12 different companies in India. Wind turbines and components are being exported to the US, Australia, Europe, Brazil, and other Asian countries. Around 70%–80% indigenization has been achieved with strong domestic manufacturing in the wind sector.
The Ministry is implementing off-grid and decentralized renewables programme for meeting energy demand for cooking, lighting, motive power, space heating, hot water generation, etc. The Ministry also supports deployment of decentralized solar applications, such as solar lanterns, solar street lights, solar home lights, solar pumps, etc., in the country. As on March 2019, over 40 lakh no. of lanterns and lamps and over 2 lakh solar pumps have been installed in the country.
MNRE ANNOUNCES DRAFT OF QUALITY CONTROL ORDER FOR SOLAR THERMAL SYSTEMS
The MNRE has brought out draft quality control order for solar thermal systems (STS) for stakeholder comments. According to the draft order, a manufacturer or seller of solar thermal systems will now have to register with BIS to obtain a Standard Mark. The order prohibits storage, sale, import or distribution of solar thermal systems by manufacturers or by any person on behalf of a manufacturer which does not bear the Standard Mark.
EMPLOYMENT GENERATION THROUGH RENEWABLE ENERGY
During 2018–19, skill development programmes were conducted and monitored by MNRE’s institutions such as NIWE and NISE. The feedback reveals that around 70% of the trained youths got decent employment opportunities in India and abroad.
India is now at the cusp of transition towards a renewable energy-based energy economy. Every passing year is giving India new experiences and lessons. The MNRE is continuously refining policies and programmes to address the emerging challenges. The Hon’ble Finance Minister in his Interim Budget Speech has indeed vindicated the Ministry’s conviction and defined renewable energy as one of the major area of action for achieving energy security by the year 2030.
Shri N B Raju, Director I&PA, MNRE, New Delhi, India