NTPC invites bids from developers to build 900-MW solar photovoltaic parks in Cuba

Source: Economic Times, 19 January 2022

State-owned power giant NTPC has invited bids from developers to build a 900-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic park in Cuba. “NTPC Ltd, India’s largest integrated energy producer, invites bids from developers to build the solar PV parks in the Republic of Cuba,” the company said in a statement.

NTPC, a corporate partner of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), has been chosen as the preferred partner for the implementation of the solar PV parks by the Government of Cuba.

The Union Electrica de Cuba (UNE) and NTPC will work in unison for the implementation of the 900-MW solar PV parks in Cuba.

The Government of Cuba, through its Ministry of Energy and Mines (MINEM), has taken the support of ISA for the implementation of 900-MW solar PV parks spread in 175 locations across all 15 provinces of Cuba.

NTPC, under ISA Program-6, will support UNE and MINEM in this selection process, signing of project agreements and overseeing the project implementation till commissioning.

This 900-MW project, which is part of the 2,100-MW solar project implementation target of Cuba, is aimed at significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The annual generation is expected to be 2,400 megawatt-hour.

The request for qualification (RFQ) tender process will start from March 2022 till May 2022.

Azure Power commissions 600 MW solar project in Rajasthan

Source: Economic Times, 03 January 2022

Azure Power on Monday said it has commissioned a 600 MW solar power project in Bikaner. According to a statement, the power generated from the project, located in Rajasthan, will be supplied to SECI at a tariff of Rs 2.53 per kWh for 25 years.

This is the largest solar power project in India, owned and operated at a single location by any developer, it claimed.

“Azure Power announced the successful commissioning of its largest project- 600 MWs Interstate Transmission System (ISTS) connected solar project, allocated by Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI),” the statement said.

The company has commissioned the project in phases and now, it has 2,510 MW of high-performing operational solar assets across the country.

“It is an incredible way to start the new year. Since this project was initiated around the onset of COVID-19 in India, we faced several challenges amid lockdowns and safety concerns,” Ranjit Gupta, MD and CEO of Azure Power, said.

Despite the challenges and while prioritising the health and safety of all employees and communities, the company managed to deliver high performing assets, Gupta added.

NTPC arm NREL to float global tender to set up 3GW RE project worth Rs 15K cr by Feb

Source: Economic Times, 30 December 2021

State-owned power giant NTPC arm NTPC Renewable Energy Ltd (NREL) will float a global engineering procurement and construction tender to set up a 3GW renewable energy project with a battery storage system worth around Rs 15,000 crore by February 2022, according to a senior official. “The NREL has decided to float a global tender or RFP (request for proposal) for a 3GW renewable energy project (like solar and wind) with battery energy storage system in the next two months (by February 2022). This entails an investment of about Rs 15,000 crore,” the senior official said.

A request for proposal (RFP) is a business document that announces a project, describes, and solicits bids from qualified contractors to complete it.

The development assumes significance given India’s ambitious target of having 175GW of renewable energy by 2022, including 100GW of solar and 60 GW of wind energy.

According to a Central Electricity Authority (CEA) report, as of November 30, 2022, India’s renewable energy capacity — excluding large hydro plants — is 104GW, including 49GW solar and 40GW of wind energy.

NREL, a 100 per cent subsidiary of NTPC Ltd, currently has a renewable project portfolio of 3,850 GW, of which, 970 MW projects are under construction and 2,880 MW projects have been won and are in different phases of implementation.

NREL is set to realise its target of having 60GW renewable energy (RE). The RE capacity of the NTPC is envisaged to be 45 per cent of its total 130 GW installed generation capacity by 2032.

The plan to have 60 GW RE capacity by 2032 would entail an investment of Rs 2.5 lakh crore.

NTPC had incorporated NREL with the Registrar of Companies, NCT of Delhi & Haryana, on October 7, 2020, to undertake renewable energy business.

It has also planned to bring strategic investors for NREL to bring its share of equity below 50 per cent before its listing on bourses in October 2022.

The present installed capacity of NTPC Group is 67,907.5 MW (including 13,675 MW through JVs/Subsidiaries), comprising of 48 NTPC stations (23 coal-based, 7 gas-based, 1 hydro station, 1 small hydro, 15 solar PV and 1 wind-based) and 26 joint venture stations (9 coal-based, 4 gas-based, 8 hydro, 1 small hydro, 2 wind and 2 solar PV).

Gensol Engineering bags order worth Rs 22.50 crore in December

Source: Economic Times, 30 December 2021

Solar energy solution provider Gensol Engineering has bagged orders to develop 10.7MWp grid-connected ground-mounted and rooftop solar power generating systems worth Rs 22.50 crore in December. “Gensol Engineering Limited Secures Purchase Orders to develop Grid-Connected Ground-mount and Rooftop Solar Power Generation Systems cumulating to 10.7 MWp,” a company statement said.

According to the statement, Gensol Engineering Ltd has in December 2021, in the normal course of business, received purchase orders from its clients for the development of solar power projects aggregating to a capacity of around 10.7 MWp in Gujarat, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.

The cumulative price of these projects is pegged at over Rs 22.50 crore, exclusive of taxes, it said.

While most of the projects are for captive use of the clients, one of the projects is for third-party sale in Gujarat.

All these projects are slated for commissioning before March 31, 2022, and will entail a cumulative revenue of over Rs 22.50 crore, exclusive of taxes.

As of December 29, 2021, the cumulative order book stands at more than Rs 131 crore following the closure of these projects.

Incorporated in 2012, Gensol Engineering is a part of Gensol group of companies, which offer EPC and solar advisory services.

The company is engaged in providing technical due diligence, detailed engineering, quality control, construction supervision and other consulting services for solar projects across many countries, including India.

Panel formed to prepare energy transition roadmap for India

Source: Economic Times, 31 December 2021

The government is planning to draw up an energy transition roadmap for the oil and gas sector that could prove to be a key step on India’s path to net-zero emissions by 2070. The oil ministry has set up the Energy Transition Advisory Committee headed by former petroleum secretary Tarun Kapoor, who demitted office in November, to draft the strategy.

The panel will include representatives of all public-sector oil and gas companies and will reach out to other stakeholders in the sector. The committee has until the middle of 2022 to recommend a roadmap for the sector’s transition.

“Oil companies are already preparing their respective plans to increase clean energy portfolio and set net-zero targets, and these efforts will get captured by the committee’s broader energy transition plan for the sector,” said Kapoor.

As part of its efforts, the committee will review and take into consideration existing initiatives while developing an action plan.

Before his appointment as petroleum secretary, Kapoor spent several years framing policies for the power and the renewable energy sectors and has been instrumental in pushing state-run oil companies to work toward a transition plan.

The oil and gas sector is a key player in energy transition and meeting the net-zero target. The International Energy Agency’s outlook for India, published in February, found that its current policies would see a huge expansion in the transport sector. An extra 25 million trucks are expected on the road by 2040 and more than 300 million vehicles will be added to India’s fleet by that time.

Unless there is a dramatic shift toward e-vehicles, the projections suggest that India’s fossil fuel import bill will triple over the next two decades. Oil will be the largest component, driving India’s import dependency to 90% from the current level of 75%, according to the IEA analysis. Industry and transport are likely to emerge as critical sectors as far as greenhouse gas emissions growth is concerned.

In this context, the Energy Transition Advisory Committee that Kapoor will head takes on added importance. Besides working on harmonised transition plans for the oil companies, the committee has been tasked with preparing plans for alternatives to hydrocarbons.

The committee will focus on scaling up infrastructure for biofuels that is based on a sustainable biomass supply chain. This is critical, particularly for the transition away from fossil fuels in the transport sector.

DOWNSTREAM OPS

Transition planning will require oil companies to draw up a road map for their downstream operations as well. This is expected to feature in the committee’s road map recommendations as well. In this context, Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum have announced plans to set up a combined 22,000 EV charging stations, nearly a third of their total retail network, in a bid to offset any loss from the shift to electric mobility in the future.

Green hydrogen, which has been identified as a priority, will be a focus area for the committee. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced a national green hydrogen mission in his Independence Day speech. The committee will focus on value chain development for green hydrogen infrastructure.

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India’s 2nd wind turbine system in Gujarat goes on stream

Source: Economic Times, 30 December 2021

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) on Thursday said its second wind turbine system at Bhanvad in Gujarat has gone on stream, which will help the company meet over 50 per cent of the energy requirements from hybrid renewable resources across all its four manufacturing plants. The wind turbine system at Bhanvad is around 350 km from the company’s Vithalapur two-wheeler manufacturing plant.

Built with an investment of Rs 17.6 crore, Honda will now produce total 4.7 MW wind energy including its first wind turbine system (2 MW capacity) installed at Radhanpur in Gujarat last year, HMSI said in a statement.

“HMSI will now meet over 50 per cent of total energy requirements at its four manufacturing plants in Manesar (Haryana), Tapukara (Rajasthan), Narsapura (Karnataka) and Vithalapur (Gujarat) from renewable energy resources,” the company said.

HMSI Managing Director, President & CEO Atsushi Ogata said,”As a company aware of its responsibility towards the society, now and in the future, energy security is a key focus area for us at Honda. By reducing our thermal power consumption, HMSI is moving closer towards Honda’s long-term environmental vision to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.”

Stating that the inauguration of the second wind turbine in Gujarat is yet another step towards reducing the environmental impact of the company’s products and business activities, he said,”We continue to remain committed in our efforts towards protecting the natural environment.”

HMSI said it has been harnessing solar and wind energy for sustaining future generations and has been consistently investing in sustainable resources for power generation.

“Generating close to 66 MW electricity every year, all HMSI manufacturing facilities across India harness renewable energy sources for meeting the company’s diverse energy requirements,” it added.

For FY20-21, HMSI generated more than 77 million kwh units of electricity from renewable resources while offsetting over 55,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in the environment, the company claimed.

JSW Group announces EV Policy for employees, incentive of Rs 3 lakhs to buy EV vehicles

Source: Economic Times, 27 December 2021

Sajjan Jindal-led JSW Group has launched an electric vehicle (EV) policy which will facilitate up to Rs 3 Lakhs incentive for employees to purchase electric vehicles- four-wheelers, as well as two-wheelers. This Policy aims to promote the adoption of electric vehicles across the Group.

”The goal is to build ambition among corporate and government bodies to support India’s transition to net-zero by 2070,” group chairman, Sajjan Jindal said in a media statement on Monday.

Apart from financial incentives, free-of-cost dedicated charging stations and green zones (parking slots) for electric vehicles will be provided at all JSW offices and plant locations for employees, the statement said.

“The transport sector in India is currently the third-largest emitter of CO2. As electric vehicles are more efficient than traditional IC engine vehicles, the JSW EV policy, effective January 2022, will set a benchmark for others to follow. EVs are not only environmentally-friendly but also cost-effective,” the company’s chief human resources officer, Dilip Pattanayak said.

JSW Steel Ltd has adopted a specific climate change policy and set a CO2 emission reduction target of 42% reduction over the base year of 2005 by 2030 (to a level 1.95tCO2/tcs). In India, JSW Steel is operating a Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCU) of 100TPD capacity where the captured and refined CO2 is used in the beverage industry.

JSW Group has been incorporating sustainability into its core operations and decision-making practices, along with adopting the Best Available Technologies (BAT) to improve climate impact performance.

“JSW Group’s new EV Policy is a unique initiative leading to increased adoption of EVs in India and enabling access to green mobility,” Jindal said.

ITC commissions first off-site solar plant in Tamil Nadu

Source: Economic Times, 28 December 2021

Diversified business conglomerate ITC Limited has commissioned its first off-site solar plant in Tamil Nadu set up at an investment of Rs 76 crore, the company said on Tuesday. The 14.9 MW solar plant in Dindigul about 450 km from Chennai, would help reduce the carbon dioxide emissions over the course of the time and it has already helped ITC to achieve the feat of meeting 90 per cent of its electricity requirement, a company statement said.

The project, in line with ITC Chairman Sanjiv Puri’s ‘Sustainability 2.0’ Vision, under which ITC plans to meet 100 per cent of the entire grid electricity requirements from renewable sources by 2030 and contribute to combat the threat of climate change.

ITC’s renewable portfolio comprises of 138 MW of wind power plants and 14 MW of solar plants with 53 MW of additional solar capacity under execution.

Currently, projects were underway in other sources of renewable energy like biomass boilers. The company has made investments of over Rs 1,000 crore in renewable energy assets to date.

“At ITC, we have relentlessly pursued a mission for environmental stewardship through a gamut of large scale endeavours that comprehensively address the threat of climate change,” Group Head, ITC Life Sciences and Technology, Central Projects, Sanjiv Rangrass said.

“Our large scale investments in renewable energy assets are an integral part of our low carbon strategy aimed at making a meaningful contribution to a net zero economy,” he said.

The solar plant spread across 59 acre, has been built with latest technology and complies with all national and international standards on design and safety.

“The unit would generate over 22 million units of renewable energy annually for ITC’s hotels, food manufacturing plants, paper manufacturing unit, printing and packaging factories in Tamil Nadu.”

According to the company, its renewable energy portfolio powers 20 factories, nine hotels, six office buildings of ITC in Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Bihar, Haryana, West Bengal and Punjab.

The company’s 46 MW wind power plant in Andhra Pradesh serves to over 15 ITC establishments in eight states.

As part of Sustainability 2.0 agenda, ITC Ltd aims to achieve a 50 per cent reduction in specific emissions and a 30 per cent reduction in specific energy consumption by 2030 over a 2014-15 baseline.

Such efforts in de-carbonising energy consumption through low-carbon energy solutions would be met through large-scale digitalization, research and development initiatives, cross-sectoral collaborations, and partnerships, the statement added.

India adds 8,530 MW RE capacity till November this fiscal: RK Singh

Source: Financial Express, 21 December 2021

India has added 8,530.92 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy capacity, including large hydro units, during April-November of the current fiscal, which is higher than 8,058.10 MW added in the entire 2020-21, Parliament was informed.

During April-November 2021, 8,530.92 MW of the renewable energy capacity, including large hydro, was added in the country, which is higher than 8,058.10 MW added in the entire fiscal of 2020-21, according to a reply to a query in the Rajya Sabha given by Union Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister R K Singh.

As per the reply, India had added 9,143.30 MW of RE, including large hydro, in 2019-20 and 8,866.33 MW in 2020-21.

The minister also told the House that against the target of 175 GW, a total of 150.54 GW of the renewable energy capacity, including large hydro, has been installed in the country as on November 30, 2021.

India has set a target of having 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022.

In another reply, the minister stated that the Government of India has made no commitment to phasing out coal by 2030.

However, he stated that the coal-based thermal power capacity that has been retired so far is 15,241.8 MW.

About financing clean energy, in another reply, the minister said India expects developed countries to provide a climate finance of USD 1 trillion per year to the developing countries.

Study suggests India could economically meet electricity demand through renewables by 2030

Source: Economic Times, 10 December 2021

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) this week released an in-depth study of India’s future power system investments which suggested that India could economically meet electricity demand through renewables by 2030.

The report shows that India could economically meet its electricity demand, which is expected to double by 2030, through renewables and complementary flexible resources, including energy storage, agricultural load shifting, and hydropower, and optimally utilizing the existing thermal power assets in the country, stated US Department of State media note.

LNBL study was funded by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Energy Resources that sets forth national roadmap for India to meet 500 GW of non-fossil electricity capacity goal by 2030, reported US Department of State media note.

The LBNL study validates the cost-effectiveness of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal of installing 500 GW of non-fossil electricity capacity by 2030. These targets are critical to meeting global climate goals as India is the world’s third-largest energy consuming country.

Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Jose W. Fernandez of the US Department of State and Secretary Alok Kumar of India’s Ministry of Power highlighted the LBNL study during a virtual launch on Thursday (local time).

This study was conducted under the Flexible Resources Initiative (FRI) of the US-India Clean Energy Finance Task Force, managed by the State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources. FRI advances cost-effective strategies to enhance the flexibility and robustness of India’s power system in support of its clean energy transition.

The study, Least Cost Pathway for India’s Power System Investments through 2030, found that dramatic cost reductions over the last decade in energy sources, such as solar, and flexible resources, like battery storage, make it affordable for India to meet its growing power demand dependably over the next decade, while at the same time reducing electricity costs by 8-10 per cent and emissions intensity of electricity supply by 43-50 per cent from 2020 levels.

It also finds that only 23 gigawatts of net additions to the coal capacity will be needed if battery storage costs continue to decline, supply chain issues are addressed, and adequate financing is secured.

The study is complemented by a report on important policy and regulatory recommendations, which if implemented, will enable India to achieve the 2030 goals at the lowest cost.

These recommendations include a nuanced long-term resource adequacy framework for system planning and procurement, and reforms of India’s gas pipeline operations to enable cost-effective, flexible operations of India’s existing gas power plants for seasonal balancing.

These recommended regulatory changes will promote optimal investments, help avoid overbuilding assets, and assure the rapid retirement of uneconomic assets, added the note.