Mahindra Renewables to sell entire stake in 3 arms for Rs 340 crore to CLP

Source: Business Standard, Feb 21, 2020

New Delhi: Mahindra & Mahindra on Friday said its wholly-owned arm Mahindra Renewables will sell its entire stake in three subsidiaries to CLP India, a part of Hong Kong-based CLP Group, for nearly Rs 340 crore.

Mahindra Renewables Pvt Ltd (MRPL) has on Friday agreed to sell its entire stake aggregating 100 per cent of the paid-up equity share capital in Cleansolar Renewable Energy Pvt Ltd (CREPL), Divine Solren Pvt Ltd (DSPL) and Neo Solren Pvt Ltd (NSPL), wholly-owned subsidiaries of MRPL, to CLP India Pvt Ltd (CLP), Mahindra & Mahindra said in a regulatory filing. Read the rest of this entry »

MNRE likely to expand duty relief for domestic solar equipment industry

Source: Business Standard, Feb 18, 2019

New Delhi: To boost domestic solar equipment manufacturing, the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) is planning to also include components under exemption from basic Customs duty (BCD). This comes after the ministry clarified that BCD over imported solar cells, modules, and panels will remain zero.

“The MNRE has taken up with the finance ministry the issue of exemption of BCD on import of capital goods required for setting up manufacturing units of solar photovoltaic cells, modules, wafers, ingots, and polysilicon,” said a recent notice by the ministry. The move is in line with the Centre’s efforts to promote domestic solar manufacturing which faces stiff competition from imports, especially from China. Indian solar equipment manufacturers had in the past requested the Centre to clamp down imports and suggested the government to impose duties on the same. There is an existing 15 per cent safeguard duty on Chinese solar panels.

No customs duty on imported solar cells and modules, says ministry

Source: Business Standard, Feb 13, 2019

New Delhi: The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) clarified that the basic customs duty (BCD) on imported solar cells and modules would remain nil in the current financial year.

In this year’s Union Budget, two new item heads were inducted in the customs duty bracket which pertained to solar cells and modules. The Budget proposed a 20 per cent BCD on solar equipment. However, these items will continue at ‘nil’ BCD,” according to the budget speech.

 

The announcement led to confusion with the industry claiming that solar equipment is exempted from BCD. Solar cells and modules (under item number 8541) are exempted from any BCD, according to a 2005 notification of the department of revenue. Read the rest of this entry »

In a world-first, India’s dozen major ports now run fully on renewable energy

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Feb 12, 2019

Mumbai: The dozen state-owned major ports in the country have switched to renewable energy to meet their entire power requirements, making India the first nation to have all government-owned ports running on solar and wind energy.

Under a ‘green port’ initiative, the Shipping Ministry had directed all the major ports to install grid-connected and roof-top solar and wind power projects to facilitate day-to-day operations including supplying shore-power to visiting ships in an eco-friendly manner.

The 12 state-owned ports are Deendayal Port Trust, Mumbai Port Trust, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, New Mangalore Port Trust, Mormugao Port Trust, Cochin Port Trust, Chennai Port Trust, VO Chidambaranar Port Trust, Visakhapatnam Port Trust, Paradip Port Trust, Kolkata Port Trust and Kamarajar Port Ltd.

Shore-power savings

Shore-power, also known as cold ironing or alternative maritime power, enables ships at dock or in dry dock to use shore-side electricity to power on-board electrical systems, such as lighting, ventilation, communication, cargo pumps and other critical equipment, while turning off their auxiliary engines.

The electricity comes from the local power grid through a substation at the port and is plugged into special power connectors in the shore-power system on the ship.

Shore-power is considered an important way to cut emissions and save costs for shipping companies. It is also a quicker and cheaper short-term solution for allowing shipping companies to meet emissions targets – particularly those related to emission control areas.

Emissions from ships at berth is estimated to be approximately 10 times greater than those from the ports’ own operations. “So, there is a greater potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ships in ports than from port activities on the land-side,” a Ministry official said.

Ships when berthed at port, though not propelling, still consume a large amount of energy to meet various functions during their port stay. This could be for running the ships’ auxiliary power for ventilation of accommodation, loading and unloading of cargo, provisions and spares, cooking, etc. Running these on fuel-powered generators results in noise, vibrations and emissions in the ports.

The supply of shore-side electricity to ships (all types of vessels) at ports can reduce emissions, noise and vibrations, and is therefore considered environment friendly.

The government has enabled the major ports to develop the necessary infrastructure to supply shore electric power to all types of ships during the period of their port stay.

Lowering costs

Using renewable energy also helps ports cut power bills – a key operating cost – which in turn translates into lower vessel- and cargo-related charges.

India’s maritime administration has framed standard operating procedures (SOP) for shore electric power supply to ships in Indian ports that presently cover only a low power supply – up to 150 kW at low voltage.
“Once a port is ready with high voltage supply to meet any power demand of a ship, a new SOP will be issued,” a Ministry official said.

Andhra govt plans 10,000 mw solar power project to meet energy needs

Source: Business Standard, Feb 12, 2019

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh cabinet on Wednesday approved a government plan to develop 10,000 mw of solar power capacity for meeting the state’s energy needs. The project will require a massive investment of Rs 35,000 crore-Rs 45,000 crore, according to the state information and public relations minister Perni Venkataramaiah (Nani).

A new company called AP Green Energy Corporation will be incorporated as a wholly owned subsidiary of the state-owned power utility AP Genco for the purpose of developing the 10,000 mw solar power project. The project will be funded 100 percent by the state nodal agencies, the minister said without elaborating on how they seek to mobilise these funds or the exact timeline.

The state government will tap the subsidy grant provided by the Centre at the rate of Rs 20 lakh per megawatt for the project. This massive solar project is expected to be set up at Donakonda in Prakasham district, where a huge chunk of government land is available.

Once the project is commissioned, the Green Energy Corporation will sell power to the state power utilities at the rate of Rs 3 per unit for supply to the grid, according to the minister.

AP has around 7,200 mw of installed capacity, mostly in thermal and hydel power under the state sector, around 9,700 mw of installed capacity under gas, wind and solar power run by private sector and another 3,500 mw of capacity in the Central sector totalling around 20,000 mw of installed capacity. The new project would add 50 percent to this entire installed capacity in the state. The minister said proposed solar power project is intended to meet the requirements of agriculture sector for which the government has promised to provide 9 hours of free power per day entirely during day time.

Sun shines for Adani as Total buys 50% in solar business for $510 million

Source: LiveMint.com, Feb 06, 2019

NEW DELHI: French energy giant Total SA has agreed to acquire 50% in Adani Group’s solar assets for $510 million, in one of the biggest transactions in India’s clean energy industry.

Total will own half of a joint venture company that will house the solar assets of Adani Green Energy Ltd, which has a 2,148MW solar project portfolio across 11 states, the companies said in a joint statement on Thursday. Adani Green Energy will own the balance 50% in the joint venture.

The transaction, the second major proposed investment by the French energy major in a company controlled by billionaire Gautam Adani, comes amid a tough phase for India’s clean energy sector. The renewable energy industry is facing a tight lending environment, mounting dues from utilities and record low tariffs. The low solar and wind power tariffs have made banks wary of lending to renewable energy developers as they suspect the viability of the projects. Read the rest of this entry »

Wind energy capacity addition to remain subdued this fiscal: Report

Source: The Economic Times, Jan 29, 2019

NEW DELHI: Wind energy capacity addition is likely to be subdued this financial year amid challenges like payment delays from discoms and a tight financing environment, an ICRA report said on Wednesday.

Though on a year-on-year basis, capacity addition is likely to improve to about 2.5 GW in FY2020, from 1.6 GW in FY2019, achieving the 60 GW target set by the government by December 2022, remains a challenge, the report said.

“In this context, ICRA has recently revised the outlook for the wind energy sector from stable to negative,” an ICRA statement said.

According to ICRA, the wind power sector is facing significant challenges because of delays in making payments by the state distribution utilities and execution delays being faced by the projects.

This apart, the tariff uncertainty for the wind power projects in Andhra Pradesh has affected investor sentiments in the sector. This is also reflected in the slowdown in the tendering activity of wind power projects by 67 per cent to 2.3 GW in CY2019 (calender year) from 6.9 GW in CY2018.

Moreover, many of the bids called by central nodal agencies remained under-subscribed, it added.

Read the rest of this entry »