Future of Chinese Solar Module Imports in India likely to be decided on February 13th, 2018

In a previous post, we had discussed the pros and cons of a 70 % safeguard duty on solar modules being imported from China.

On January 19, the Madras High Court admitted Shapoorji Pallonji’s petition against safeguard duty and issued a temporary stay on the implementation of the recommendation, Economic Times Reports.

The petition claimed that since Shapoorji Pallonji was not given an opportunity to place its viewpoint before the DG Safeguards, the findings were “illegal, arbitrary, without authority of law and in contravention of the Customs Tariff Act”.

The High Court is likely to announce its decision on 13th February as per a report in Economic Times.



How a farmer from Thamna village inspired Mr Jaitley’s renewable energy budget 2018

In a blog post published in January, we had discussed the expectations of the Renewable Energy Sector from the Union Budget 2018-19.On 1st February 2018, Mr. Arun Jaitley – India’s Finance Minister, presented the budget. We think that the budget is fairly average and non-committal as far as renewable energy sector is concerned. While, solar energy retains the focus that it has been getting over the last few years, wind and other forms of renewable energy stand neglected.

We will discuss the highlights of the budget and what it holds for the Indian Renewable Energy Industry:-

  • DISCOMS/Licensees to purchase surplus electricity from farmers     

The finance minister in his speech mentioned that state governments will be encouraged to place a mechanism, so that Surplus solar power is purchased from farmers by DISCOMs(or Licensees) at reasonable remunerative rates.

A report in downtoearth.org  notes that the pioneer for this practice was a farmer in Thamna village of Anand district, who installed a solar power pump to save Rs 500 per day on diesel and managed to sell surplus power to a discom. The Solar Pumps are an empowering upgrade from electric and diesel pumps. Electric Pumps are unreliable as electricity cuts lend the farmers helpless, while diesel pumps are expensive and eat into the revenue of farmers. On the other hand, solar pumps require the farmer to pay just 10% of the cost upfront.

According to a report in Indian Express, the first solar cooperative of India, in Village Dhundi (MP), managed to sell 98000 units of surplus electricity to Madhya Gujarat Vij Company Ltd (MGVCL). This surplus electricity is worth a cool Rs 6.8 Lakhs. The solar panels were installed for facilitating irrigation and this diversion of electricity to the grid additionally prevented overdrawing of groundwater. It’s a win-win situation. During an interaction with Livemint, Mr. R.K. Singh, secretary MNRE, said that he foresees speedier credit of subsidies for DISCOMS in the near future.      

  • Elimination of custom duty on solar tempered glass

In January last week, we had discussed the pros and cons of DGS’s recommendation of a 70% safeguard duty on Chinese solar modules. This recommendation seeks to protect domestic manufactures from Chinese modules which were far cheaper and far more favoured by Solar Developers.Now, the budget 2018-19 has eliminated import duty on imported tempered glass which constitutes approx. 33% of the total cost of a solar module. The rollback of customs duty is expected to decrease the price of modules manufactured by domestic manufacturers. This move shows that the Indian Government wants the Indian Solar Manufacturers to be a part of the solar growth story. This decision is good news for Solar Developers  too who were unhappy with the safeguard duty as it was a threat to their profitability.

  • Budget outlay 

We will quickly give you the numbers. The budget outlay for Wind Power (Grid Interactive) is 750 cr which is the same as the budget estimate for 2017-18. The budget notes state that the amount is for the past liability for GBI(Generation based incentive) Scheme, which has been discontinued from 1st April, 2017.For off-grid, the budget is Rs 7.5 crores with a comment which states that small wind energy & hybrid systems program is being discontinued from this financial year. The budget is required for clearing pending liabilities only. From what we understand, the government has not allocated any funds for new wind projects. Perhaps, along the year we will see an increase in expenditure on the wind industry. 

The government hopes to add 11000 MW of  solar power to the grid this year with a budget of Rs 2045.25 cr. We can give you more figures, however, the revised estimates always tell a different story. You can check the detailed outlay on page 103 of Indiabudget.nic here                                                                                                                      

It was most disappointing to see that the budget for Human Resource Development and Training under MNRE has been rolled back from 70 crores in 2017-18 to 60 crores in 2018-19. A major purpose of this scheme was to train Suryamitras.



The most interesting bit of the budget speech on 1st February was the government’s commitment to install more solar pumps in the country by way of making it a revenue-churning scheme for farmers.  It is a noble thought and one hope works. The solar pumps are a big investment for farmers which makes it imperative for the state government to clearly specify a feed-in tariff. The Feed-in-tariff will prevent disputes and loss of revenue for farmers. The government should also streamline subsidies so that they reach the farmers as soon as possible. Our farmers are a stressed lot and it is time that the government does good to them by ensuring that the subsidies are credited on time.

Another interesting development was the elimination of custom duty on tempered glass imports used in solar modules. The government seeks to give a much needed impetus to solar manufacturers and developers by helping in producing cheaper modules to keep the solar momentum going. 


Solar Panels


Sources :-


The case for and against safeguard duty on solar module imports from China

Last year, solar tariffs in India touched an all time low of Rs 2.44 Per unit i.e. 4 cents per kWh. This tariff was lower than coal at Rs 3.20 Per kWh, as reported by Economic Times .Experts said that a major reason for the fall in tariffs was availability of cheap solar modules from China.

On 5th January 2018, Directorate General of Safeguards Customs and Central Excise (DGS) recommended a 70 % provisional ‘safeguard’ duty on Solar Module/Panels imported from China, Malaysia and Taiwan. This news was received with much criticism from the Solar Developer community.

Since the news about the recommendation on ‘safeguard’ duty has come in, speculations are rife that Solar tariffs will rise again.You should know that solar modules account for nearly 60 % of the project cost so a change in price of module will impact the cost of production greatly. An article in  Business Line  quotes a Crisil Ratings Spokesperson talking about the impending rise in tariffs “The 70 per cent safeguard duty proposed will also inflate project costs by 25 per cent and crank up the viable tariff to Rs. 3.75 per unit from around Rs. 3 estimated earlier, making solar power less attractive to discoms. That would also be more than the average power purchase cost of 10 out of 14 discoms last fiscal.”

The most upsetting facet of this recommendation is that it puts to risk projects worth Rs 12000 Cr (and around 4 GW) as reported in the same article. These projects were auctioned in 2017.

We certainly hope that if the approval does come in for the DGS recommendation then the projects auctioned in 2017 are spared from the import duty.

Now, every coin has two sides. While the Solar Developers are unhappy with this recommendation, the domestic solar panel manufacturers are praying for an approval from the Finance Ministry.

According to the Preliminary Findings published by DGS, just about 53% of the production capacities of domestic solar manufacturers was utilized upto Sept, 2017. The finding is not surprising because Indian manufacturers held just about a meagre 10% market share in India.

As you may have guessed, employment in the domestic industry has taken a hit. The DGS report mentions how employment is on the decline when it should be rising. The same report also explains how a price cut by Chinese Imports has stopped Domestic Manufacturers from fixing a price that would help them break even. All-in-All, the last few years have painted a dreary picture for domestic manufacturers, while the country was going Ga-Ga over falling solar tariffs.

The Report emphasizes that a decrease in export of Chinese Solar Panels to USA &  EU has led to a surge in Chinese Exports to India. In H1 2016, China was exporting 18.51% of its solar modules to India which grew to an astounding to 38.77 % by 2017 H1. If this figure surprises you then hold your breath right there, China’s exports to USA and EU fell from 30.65 % in 2016 H1 to a minuscule 5 % in 2017 H1.The anti-dumping duty and countervailing duty  in USA against Solar Imports and Protective Measures in EU have channelized China’s energies to capture the Indian Market.

The Final question is that who should the government side with? Developers or Manufactures? Why don’t you tell us in comments.

Sources –

Import Duty on Chinese Solar Modules by Indian Government

You can read the sequel to this blog post here.

In our First Blog Post, We did a comparison between India’s Growth in Renewables against Global Growth using 2 different parameters. The first parameter showed the global growth inclusive of China’s contribution while the second parameter showed India vs World growth excluding China. Such has been China’s meteoric rise that it seems unfair to turn it into a benchmark for other countries.

On 5th Jan 2018, the DGS recommended a 70% safeguard duty on Imported Chinese Modules. An article in Bloomberg has reported how India bought a third of China’s $8 billion of shipments from January through September in 2017. These numbers have been sourced  from a BNEF research. The seriousness of the situation was  first realized in August 2017 when Economic Times reported that the DGAD is considering taxing Chinese Solar Module Manufacturers and Wind Energy Equipment Manufacturers. The application was filed in June 2017 against China, Malaysia and Taiwan.

The finance Ministry has not yet approved the tax on Solar Modules.  If the tax is approved, it will spell relief for Indian Panel Manufacturers but slow down the growth of the Indian Solar Industry. The speculations have left Solar Developers in despair.

An Important news that has streamed in this week, reported by Livemint,Donald Trump has levied 30% tariff on imported solar cells and module in the first year, with the duties declining to 15% in the fourth year. Lets see how this decision affects Solar module Prices globally and especially for India.

As mentioned earlier in the post, the tax is pending an approval from the Finance Ministry. This was not the first appeal registered by Indian Solar Manufacturers.Here’s a Snapshot of the appeals made since 2012 against cheap Imports from Neighboring South Asia countries countries as reported by Business Standard. What needs to be seen is that Will the Solar Manufacturers be lucky to have their way this time around?


2012: First case of dumping filed by group of indigenous solar cell & module makers

May 2014: identifies injury to tune of 60-110% by the US and China, finalises anti-dumping duty

June 2014: Finance ministry did not impose the duty, let it lapse

July 2014: Piyush Goyal urges domestic industry to drop case, assures enough demand pipeline| 950 Mw projects for domestic industry during 14-15

September 2016: WTO rules against India to have a separate solar programme for the domestic solar cell & module industry.

In our next blog post, we will discuss the repercussions of the Import Tariff levied by the Indian and American Government on the Indian Solar Industry.

Stay Tuned!

Note :-

The blog was updated on 26th Jan at 9:49 to change the import duty from 7.5 % to 70 %

You can read the sequel to this blog post here.


  1. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-04/india-is-said-to-consider-7-5-tariff-on-imported-solar-panels
  2. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/foreign-trade/anti-dumping-authority-recommends-import-duty-on-solar-and-wind-energy-equipment-from-china/articleshow/59906447.cms
  3. http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/indian-solar-panel-makers-demand-anti-dumping-duty-against-china-117060600255_1.html
  4. http://www.livemint.com/Industry/rg4fMAJLJIrqg8urW2UzjI/Donald-Trumps-solar-module-tariff-barrier-may-help-Indias.html

Indian Renewable Energy Sector’s Expectations from the Union Budget 2018-19

Soaring Renewable Energy Dreams of the 21st Century India

In 2015, the Current Government revised the Renewable Energy Target to 175 GW. This assertion of Commitment towards Renewable Energy made the right noises across the world. To add to this, India’s Pledge to drive the share of Renewable Energy to 40% of the Total Energy Mix by 2022 earned laurels globally.

To Achieve these goals, the Indian Government needs to Pump money in this sector.

‘India will need $125 bn to fund renewables dream’

I came across an article today in Business Line* where Anand Kumar, secretary at the ministry of new and renewable energy, said investment of at least $125 billion would be needed.

We feel that the Union Budget can play an Important role to attract new investments, mitigate risks and increase performance efficiency of this sector. The Budget will be presented on 1st February, 2018 by Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley.

Our Expectations from the Union Budget 2018-19 :- 

  1. Allocation of NCEF/NEF – The National Clean Energy Fund was introduced in the 2010-11 budget by then Finance Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee. The objective of this fund was to fund clean energy projects.It was renamed to National Environment Fund. Last year, Dr. Arunabha Ghosh and Kanika Chawla wrote in Livemint that the total cess collected (projected up to 31 March 2017) was a mammoth Rs54,336 crore, only Rs25,810 crore was transfered to NEF. Of this, under half (Rs12,427 crore) was spent on renewable energy projects.While nearly all of the budgetary allocation to renewables in 2017-18 was from NEF, the budget could have clarified the proportion of the cess that would be transferred to NEF. So what this budget needs is clarity on the allocation of funds from NEF.  A firm stand from the government on the allocation  of funds for the RE Sector will highlight India’s commitment to achieving the mammoth goal of 175 GW. If you go by a report published in Financial Express , 30% of the fund between 2015-17 has been allocated to Ganga Rejuvenation project.
  2. Revision of Accelerated Depreciation Policy– W.E.F 1st April, 2017, the accelerated depreciation was reduced from 80 % to 40%. A case study published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development reports that the Accelerated Depreciation Benefit played a major role in attracting private investment for Wind Energy in India and facilitated the entry of a new class of investors comprised of high net worth individuals (HNIs), corporations, and small and medium- sized enterprises.These investors have harnessed wind energy to meet their captive demand and also used it as an instrument to offset profits coming from other businesses. The report gives good insights on the limitations of the AD policy and recommends measures to make it relevant with the changing times. The AD policy sought to add capacity but did not penalise inefficiency and poor performance of plants. The new budget can consider reinstating the 80% AD policy to regain investor confidence but link it to performance and efficiency.
  3. Rooftop Solar Subsidy as a Housing Incentive – Many states in India in their Solar Policies have given great importance to Rooftop Solar as one of the avenues to reach the 2022 Renewable Energy Target. Dr. Arunabha Ghosh and Kanika Chawla have pointed out that While budgetary support was extended for housing infrastructure, no direct support was announced for rooftop solar.  Perhaps, the government can come out with a common rooftop solar capital subsidy for all the states and talk about it in the same breadth as they talk about affordable housing.This will not only give greater clarity on subsidies but will acquaint home owners and buyers with the options availed to them by the government if they embrace rooftop solar PV System.
  4. Rapid Installation of Solar Pumps The Current Govt had introduced ‘Solar Pumping Programme for Irrigation and Drinking Water‘ under which the govt. aims to install 10,00,000 Solar Pumps by 2020-21. As per the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation’s study conducted by KPMG, there are about 18 million pumps in the country which are connected with grid power. In addition there are about 7 million pumps running with diesel. The power consumed by agriculture sector is nearly 20% of installed power generation capacity in the country. More than 4 billion litre of diesel and 85 million tons of coal are thus consumed per annum to support water pumping for irrigation. Despite the power shortages, coal shortages and increasing trade deficit, the country cannot ignore this important sector in the view of food security. Saving of 9.4 billion liter of diesel over the life cycle of solar pumps is possible if 1 million diesel pumps are replaced with Solar Pumps.                  Replacing 15% of India’s irrigation pumps with solar pumps could build 20 GW of capacity, writes Dr. Arunabha Ghosh and Kanika Chawla. The Key here is upfront subsidies for farmers. However, this project to set up 1 Million Pumps  may alone cost 1.25 bn dollars as mentioned in a report published on CEEW ‘Solar pumps for Sustainable Irrigation’ ****

Sources :-



Renewable Energy Sector under the Current Indian Government

In May 2014, Mr. Narendra Modi was elected the Prime Minister of the Country. This appointment led to a lot of optimism in the Renewable Energy Sector as under his leadership the Indian state of Gujarat had made big strides in Solar Energy. 

Our Takeaway from the Current Government’s Run

 The Indian Government looks committed to increase the share of Renewable Energy in the energy mix exponentially. Their commitment is evident from the revision of Renewable Energy targets to 175000 MW till 2022, comprising 100000 MW Solar, 60000 MW Wind, 10000 MW Biomass and 5000 MW Small Hydro.  However, the Government does not want to make this sector dependent on  Subsidies and Waivers. For instance, W.E.F 1st April 2017, Accelerated Depreciation in Wind Energy has been capped at 40% from an earlier figure of 80%. The current government wants this sector to become financially viable by 2022. The government hopes that the RE Sector will open employment opportunities for many. Case in Point is the Suryamitra Scheme launched in 2015 to train 50,000 Solar Professionals. 


How has the Budget Outlay for the Renewable Energy Sector changed over the Years? Here’s the low-down starting from the Union Budget 2013-14. 


Budget 2013-14 – The budget in 2013 was a letdown for the Renewable Energy Sector.  According to the numbers mentioned on indiabudget.nic.in the government rolled back the revised budget outlay from Rs 4232 crore for  2012-13 to Rs. 3,915 crore in the budget for 2013-14. The budget for Renewable Energy saw a disappointing 7.49 % drop. 

In an article for http://www.downtoearth.org.in, Mr. Chandra Bhushan who is the Deputy Director at CSE noted that “In the budget 2013-14, finance minister P Chidambaram reiterated India’s dependence on coal imports, which is likely to go up to 185 million tonnes in 2016-17 from the existing 100 million tonnes, but did not deliberate on the need to increase energy generation from renewable sources. In fact, the outlay of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has been reduced and so has been the plan for installing renewable energy projects”

Now we move to Budget 2014-15, here the budget outlay for MNRE increased from Rs 3393 cr to Rs 3941 cr. This is an impressive 16.1 % increase and a firmer show of commitment towards Renewable Energy.

We will again quote Mr. Chandra Bhushan from his article published in http://www.downtoearth.org.in “Highlighting new and renewable energy as the high priority sector, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley focused more on the big solar power projects in his budget speech, neglecting decentralized mini and micro grid solar projects for rural areas of the country. However, solar power agricultural pumps have been given a big boost in the budget.The BJP-led NDA government has taken up the Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects (UMSPPs) announced by the previous UPA government in Rajasthan, Gujarat,and Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir. Jaitley has allocated Rs 500 crore for these projects. The projects received flak from some renewable energy experts advocating the need of mini-grids over big solar projects. Jaitley has added Tamil Nadu in the list of states where UMPPs will be set up”

Budget 2015 was the year of Ambitious targets for Renewable Energy. Ahead of COP 21 in Paris, on 2nd October India Pledged to source 40% of its energy requirements from Renewable Energy Sources. Earlier to the pledge, the Govt had increased its RE Capacity targets dynamically to 175000 MW till 2022, comprising 100000 MW Solar, 60000 MW Wind, 10000 MW Biomass and 5000 MW Small Hydro. However, the budget outlay told a different story. The budget estimate was slashed from Rs 3941 cr (2014-15) to Rs 3661 cr which is a good 7% drop. Now here’s the glitch in the plan – The Ambitious targets call for Ambitious Investments. Along the year, Revised Budget Estimates showed that Rs 5677 cr  was finally allocated to MNRE in 2015-16. At this point readers would be sighing with relief but the revised estimates are a far cry from the investment needed to install 175 GW by 2022. We will discuss the Investment that the RE Sector needs in future posts. 

Source : http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/india-s-energy-mix-to-have-40-renewable-sources-by-2030-115092200057_1.html 

Budget 2016-17 The Budget estimates for 2016-17 were a gigantic 14193 cr.  Gokul Chaudhri, partner at BMR and Associates, observed in an article for Livemint –

This outlay includes Rs.5,000 crore from the National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF) with the balance coming from Internal & Extra Budgetary Resource (IEBR). A significant part of viability gap funding for solar power projects is intended to be financed out of such cash outlay.

The budget appears to be focusing more on administrative issues within the limits of fiscal prudence, like providing a legal framework for dispute resolution in PPP projects and measures to curb litigation in order to promote a non-adversarial tax regime.

Source : http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/lkjrlBIKEfChAi4Hh4mp5L/Budgets-impact-on-renewable-energy.html 

This budget also saw the reduction of Accelerated Depreciation from 80% to 40% w.e.f April 1st, 2017. 

Budget 2017 -18 The 2017 Budget was a disbelieving low Rs 5396.30 cr. This was a 62 % drop from 2016-17.  

Anjali Viswamohanan and Neeraj Kuldeep, researchers at CEEW, wrote in an article for FirstPost –

A number of areas that required government support, which the Budget could have addressed, remain unaddressed. Allocation of funds to specifically mitigate financial risks plaguing the renewables sector by way of developing and institutionalising innovative government-backed financial instruments could have been a potential game changer. Stakeholders also relied on the 2017-18 Budget to put to rest some of the crucial uncertainties plaguing the sector such as the impact of the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax regime. The Budget failed to provide any clarity or certainty on this front as well.

Could this perhaps be indicative of the Government’s view that it has provided enough fiscal and policy support to put the sector on auto-drive to achieving the set targets, with the occasional requirement of minor incentives to ensure a smooth ride? When there are a number of gaping flaws in the sector which reappear periodically, it may be a bit too soon for the Government to take a back seat.

Source : –


Highlights of MNRE’s Performance since 2014


Renewable Energy in 2014-15 –Key Schemes/ Programmes Launched/Policy Initiatives of the Year 2014-15 :-

  • Restoration of Accelerated Depreciation Benefits for Wind Power Projects: After significant harm was done to the wind sector due to withdrawal of AD with effect from 1.4.2012, it has been restored on 18.7.2014. This decision of the Government has helped in creating a robust manufacturing base for wind turbines in the country.
  • The Government has also approved a Scheme, in December 2014, for setting up of 25 Solar Parks, each with the capacity of 500 MW and above and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects to be developed in next 5 years in various States and will require Central Government financial support of Rs.4050 crore. These parks will be able to accommodate over 20,000 MW of solar power projects. 
  • The Ministry took up an ambitious programme for installation of 1,00,000 solar water pumping systems for irrigation and drinking water in different States of the country during 2014-15. Under the programme 63436 Solar pumps will be installed through the State Govt. Agencies and 15330 pumps has been earmarked for community drinking water supply in collaboration with Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. In addition 30,000 solar pumps will be installed through bank loan for irrigation purpose to individual farmers. NABARD is the Nodal Agency for this scheme. Under the scheme Banks (Regional Rural Banks, Commercial Banks etc.) extended the loans at normal interest rates and subsidy component to the beneficiaries.
  • Ordinance Factory Board (OFB) and other Defence Establishments agreed to set up solar power projects on the large tracts of land and vacant rooftops which they own.The Establishments in the border area and remote locations use diesel as the primary source of energy. In some areas they pay very high tariff. Solar power is clean source of energy and can replace diesel power generation to a large extent. Potential of Solar Energy in cantonment and Military Stations are approximately 5000 MW and in Ordnance Factory Boards (OFB) are 950 MW.The Cabinet has approved the Scheme in its meeting held on 10th December, 2014. The Ministry has issued Administrative Approval on 07th January, 2015.

Key Highlights of the Year 2015-16 in the Renewable Energy Sector :-

  • 2015-16 — Target of renewable energy capacity revised to 175000 MW till 2022, comprising 100000 MW Solar, 60000 MW Wind, 10000 MW Biomass and 5000 MW Small Hydro.
  • The budget estimate was shockingly reduced to Rs 3661 cr from 3941. This is nearly a 7.01 ‘% decrement.
  • Electrification of the remaining 20,000 villages including off-grid Solar Power- by 2020.
  • Clean energy cess increased from `100 to `200 per metric tonne of coal, etc. to finance clean environment

Policy Initiatives of the Year 2015-16

  • Surya Mitra Scheme Launched

Surya Mitra Scheme launched for creating 50,000 trained personnel within a period of 3 years (2015-16 to 2017-18). 

  • Wind Atlas, 2015 Launched

A wind Atlas having information at 100 m height has been launched. It’s a GIS based software tool which will help not only the developers but also policy planners.

  • National Offshore Wind Energy Policy, 2015  

Under this Policy, the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) has been authorized as the Nodal Ministry for use of offshore areas within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the country and the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) has been authorized as the Nodal Agency for development of offshore wind energy in the country and to carry out allocation of offshore wind energy blocks, coordination and allied functions with related ministries and agencies. It would pave the way for offshore wind energy development including, setting up of offshore wind power projects and research and development activities, in waters, in or adjacent to the country, up to the seaward distance of 200 Nautical Miles (EEZ of the country) from the base line. The policy will provide a level playing field to all investors/beneficiaries, domestic and international. It is planned to set up the first offshore wind power project off the Gujarat coast soon.

  • MoU to establish PACE Setter Funds

Establishment of Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE) Setter Fund:S. and India have signed an MoU to establish PACE Setter Funds with a contribution of US$ 4 million (INR 25 crores) from each side for providing grants for seed capital for innovative clean energy projects. The PACE Setter Funds has been formally launched on 19th August, 2015 in New Delhi

  • Inclusion of Renewable Energy Projects in Priority Sector Lending Norms of Commercial Banks

In pursuance to the initiatives taken by MNRE, Reserve Bank of India vide its circular dated 23rd April, 2015 on ‘Priority Sector Lending: Targets and Classification’ has issued revised guidelines for all scheduled commercial banks to include renewable energy in categories of priority sector, in addition to existing categories. Bank loans up to a limit of Rs 15 crore to borrowers for purposes like solar based power generators, biomass based power generators, wind mills, micro-hydel plants and for non-conventional energy based public utilities viz. street lighting systems, and remote village electrification. For individual households, the loan limit will be Rs 10 lakh per borrower.

  • The following activities have been initiated at NISE during 2015-16 :-

(i) Up-gradation of SPV module test facility; (ii) Up-gradation of solar cell test facility; (iii) Expand of battery test facility; (iv) Enlarge SPV water pumping test facility and other labs; (v) Up-gradation of Solar Thermal Labs; (vi) Establishment of IT cell; (vii) Renovation of work shop facility; (viii) Establishment of R&D monitoring cell; (ix) Setting up of 500 kW SPV power plant and (x) House the Secretariat of the International Solar Alliance, whose foundation stone was laid jointly by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President François Hollande on 25th January 2016.

Renewable Energy in 2016-17 – Important Policy Initiatives/Schemes/programmes of 2016-17

  • Amended Tariff Policy

The Amended Tariff Policy notified on 28 January 2016 provides for notification of longterm Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO) trajectory by Ministry of Power (MoP). The MoP has issued RPO trajectory up to 2019 notifying uniform RPO across the country as under :

Year Solar Non-Solar Total
2016 17 2.75% 8.75% 8.75%
2017 18 4.75% 9.50% 14.25%
2018-19 6.75% 10.25% 17.00%
  • Waiving Interstate Transmission Charges

Wind power potential is concentrated in 7-8 windy states and to facilitate the interstate transmission of wind power suitable provisions have been made in the Tariff Policy, waiving the interstate transmission charges and losses for interstate sale of wind and solar power. MoP has already issued order in this regard

  • Repowering Policy

The Ministry in August 2016 released Policy for Repowering of Wind Power Projects with the objective of promoting optimum utilization of wind energy resources by creating facilitative framework for repowering. Higher wind capacities and power generation is now possible from wind potential sites occupied by old, de-rated and small capacity wind turbines by using more efficient new technology wind turbines of much higher capacities. Under this policy initially old projects which have installed wind turbine generators of capacity 1 MW and below would be eligible for repowering. Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency will provide an additional interest rate rebate of 0.25% for repowering projects apart from all fiscal and financial benefits available to the new wind projects.The State governments will support repowering by augmenting transmission infrastructure, facilitating acquiring additional footprint required for higher capacity turbines, purchase of additional wind power at prevailing rate and relaxing micro-siting criteria. The project developers will also be exempted from any penalties on non-production of electricity during the repowering period.

  • Package to Electrify Border Villages of Arunachal Pradesh 

The Hon’ble Prime Minister had announced a package of Rs.550.00 crore to electrify/ illuminate border villages of Arunachal Pradesh. Accordingly, a plan was made to electrify / illuminate 1053 un-electrified villages of all border districts of Arunachal Pradesh. The project is now in the final stages of implementation. Out of 1053 villages, 976 villages have been illuminated / electrified. These include, 523 villages, where all households have been provided with solar home lighting systems.

  • Development/ Reconstruction package for Jammu and Kashmir

The Hon’ble Prime Minister had announced a package named as “Development/ Reconstruction package for Jammu and Kashmir” of Rs.2350.00 crore for Renewable Energy which includes Rs.2000.00 crore for Small Hydro. This may cover Preparation of DPRs and implementations/ installations of SHP projects. Duration of project is 2014-15 to 2020.

  • Target to Setup 5 GW by the year 2022

During the year 2016-17, the Ministry had interaction with the State Governments, SHP developers and manufacturers of SHP equipment. A meeting under the chairmanship of Hon’ble Minister was held on 06.04.2016. Ministry has to achieve a target up to 5 GW by the year 2022 through SHP in the total target of 175.00 GW from Renewable Energy Sources. To achieve the target in full during the remaining period of 12th Plan, the Ministry interacted with SHP developers (State Nodal Departments/Agencies). A consultative meeting held on 31st August, 2015, wherein the State Governments opted to achieve the following targets voluntarily. State wise details are given below:-

Target setup during the meeting:-

S.No Name of State Target Allocated (MW)
1 Arunachal Pradesh 500
2 Himachal Pradesh 750
3 Jammu & Kashmir 500
4 Karnataka 250
5 Maharashtra 200
6 Odisha 100
7 Punjab 100
8 Uttarakhand 500
Total 2900

Department of Financial Services has advised all Public Sector Banks to provide loans for grid connected rooftop solar systems as home loan/ home improvement loan. So far, ten PSBs namely Bank of India, Syndicate Bank, State Bank of India, Dena Bank, Central Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Allahabad Bank, Indian Bank, Indian Overseas Bank and State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur have given instructions to their branches.

  • Grant by ADB

4.82 Multilateral grant of USD5 million by ADB, USD1.8 million from USAID and USD28.8 million from World Bank has been approved for solar rooftop programme

Subsidy Policies Announced/Revised for Off Grid Solar Photovoltaics in 2016-17

  • Under the Off-grid and Decentralized Solar Applications for the year 2016-17, the Ministry provides 30% subsidy on the cost of the system ranging from Rs. 21/- per watt peak to Rs.120 /- depending upon the capacity of the modules and configuration of the solar photovoltaic systems /plants in General Category States in the country.
  • The Ministry is also providing subsidy of 40% of the capital cost limited to Rs. 160/Wp (LED based) upto 40 Watt peak & Rs. 100/Wp for system above 40 Wp limited to 300 Wp by individuals through NABARD, Regional Rural Banks and other Commercial Banks. For balance of the cost, the banks extend credit facility to the beneficiary at usual commercial rates. 300 Wp to 1 KWp systems are also covered under the scheme but the subsidy is limited to 300 Wp only. The RRBs and other Commercial Banks extended the loan for balance cost of the systems at normal interest rates. Regional Rural Banks and Commercial Banks are extending loans to the consumers and directly disbursing subsidy for solar home lighting systems and small Capacity PV systems under the financing of Off-grid Solar Applications Programme. Banks have extended loans for 1,12,445 solar lighting systems during the last year and the current year as on 30 Nov, 2016.
  • For installation of stand-alone SPV power plants by Central and State Government Bodies and their establishments in Special Category States and North East States and Islands the Ministry provides 90% subsidy ranging from Rs.72/- to Rs.396/- for off-grid solar PV applications.
  • To meet unmet community demand for electricity or in un-electrified rural areas, standalone SPV power plants with battery storage in a micro grid mode/ local distribution network, would be provided in the range of Rs.85 /Wp to Rs.115/Wp of capital subsidy.
  • For Solar Water Pumping system, the capital subsidy ranges from Rs.27,630 per Hp to Rs.57,600 per Hp depending upon category and capacity. 4.99 DST has initiated a concept on Micro Solar Dome (MSD) which is based on the Principle of passive as well as active solar device and gives day and night lighting solution. The PV Integrated Micro Solar Dome has been included as a product for off grid solar lighting applications by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and is eligible for subsidy at par with other solar lighting products. Attempts are being made to integrate Surya Jyoti for subsidy in rural and urban housing schemes, MP Local Area Development Schemes and corporate social responsibility activities of public sector enterprises

Prime Highlights of Renewable Energy Sector in 2017-18 

  • India attains global 4th and 6th position in global Wind and Solar Power installed capacity
  • By November 2017, a total of 62 GW Renewable Power installed, of which 27 GW installed since May 2014 and 11.79 GW since January 2017
  • Historic Low Tariffs for Solar (Rs. 2.44/ unit) and Wind (Rs. 2.64/ unit) achieved through transparent bidding and facilitation 

Source : MNRE             

Sector-wise highlights of Achievements  in 2017-18

  • Largest ever Wind Power capacity additionof 5502.39 MW in 2016-17 exceeding target by 38%. During 2017-18, a total 467.11 MW capacity has been added till 30.11.2017, making cumulative achievement 32746.87 MW. Now, in terms of wind power installed capacity India is globally placed at 4thposition after China, USA and Germany.
  • Biggest ever Solar Power capacity additionof 5525.98 MW in 2017-18. During 2017-18, a total 4323.1 MW (including 207.92 MW Solar Roof Top) capacity has been added till 30.11.2017, making cumulative achievement 16611.73 MW (including 863.92 MW Solar Roof Top).
  • So far,1.42 lakh Solar Pump have been installed in the Country as on 30.11.2017 including 1.31 lakh during last three and half year.
  •  Solar projectsof capacity 23656 MW have been tendered and LoI for 19,340 MW issued.
  • A capacity addition of0.59 GW has been added under Grid Connected Renewable Power since last three and half years from Small Hydro Power plants.
  • Biomass powerincludes installations from biomass combustion, biomass gasification and bagasse co-generation making a cumulative achievement to 8181.70 MW.
  • Family Type Biogas Plants mainly for rural and semi-urban households are set up under theNational Biogas and Manure Management Programme (NBMMP). During 2017-18, against a target of 1.1 lakh biogas plants, 0.15 lakh biogas plants installations has been achieved making a cumulative achievement to 49.8 lakh biogas plants as on 30.11.2017.

Source : MNRE

Renewable Energy Capacity Installed since 2014 under the Current Government 

Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 11.07.28 PM

*Biomass Power & Gasification & Bagasse Cogeneration

**Biomass Power and Bagasse cogeneration were added to reach this figure


State of Renewable Energy in India – 2017

If we were to list the most pressing issues that a country’s administration has to deal with, then Energy Security and Water Security would be at the top of that list with Food Security and Defense coming as a close second.

Following the two oil crises of 1973 and 1979, the Indian Government decided to give new and renewable energy some serious thought. However, the sector showed a flurry of activity only around the mid 2000s with Wind Energy Leading the way.

Before we move to the current state of Renewable Energy in India, it is important to note that at the end of 2006 India had installed capacity of Renewable Energy totaling to a measly 10 GW.

While, it is important to compare India’s renewable energy progress with the world, an important factor to take into consideration would be world with and without China.

Technology World Total (GW) India (GW) India’s share in world capacity
Wind Power 74 6.3  8.51%
Biomass Power 45 1.5 3.33%
Geothermal Power 9.5 0 NA
Solar Photovoltaic Grid 5.1 0 NA
Solar Thermal Power CSP .4 0 0
Ocean Tidal Power .3 0 0
Total* 134.3 7.8 5.8%

India’s Installed Renewable Energy Capacity Vs The World (Including China’s Share) 2006 (TAB 1.1)
* Does not include Small Hydro

Technology World Total (GW) India (GW) India’s share in world capacity
Wind Power 487 29  5.95%
Biomass Power 112 8.3 7.41 %
Geothermal Power 13.5 0 NA
Solar Photovoltaic Grid 303 9.1 .27%
Solar Thermal Power CSP 4.8 .2 4.17%
Ocean Tidal Power .536 0 NA
Total* 921 46 4.9%

India’s Installed Renewable Energy Capacity Vs The World (Including China’s Share) 2016 (TAB 1.2)

Technology World Total (GW) India (GW) India’s share in world capacity
Wind Power 71.6 6.3  8.8 %
Biomass Power 43 1.5 3.49 %
Geothermal Power 9.5 0 NA
Solar Photovoltaic Grid 5.1 0 NA
Solar Thermal Power CSP .4 0 0
Ocean Tidal Power .3 0 0
Total 129.9 7.8 6 %

India’s Installed Renewable Energy Capacity Vs The World (Excluding China’s Share) 2006 (TAB 1.3)

Technology World Total (GW) India (GW) India’s share in world capacity
Wind Power 318 29  5.95%
Biomass Power 100 8.3 7.41 %
Geothermal Power 13.5 0 NA
Solar Photovoltaic Grid 226 9.1 .27%
Solar Thermal Power CSP 4.8 .2 4.17%
Ocean Tidal Power .536 0 NA
Total 662.8 46 6.9%

India’s Installed Renewable Energy Capacity Vs The World (Excluding China’s Share) 2016 (TAB 1.4)

Since 2006, India has come a long way to reach a total installed capacity of 60.15 GW in Dec, 2017.

What needs to be noted here is that China’s renewable energy capacity has grown exponentially in the last decade. China’s haste to add renewable energy to its energy mix has been a result of the following three reasons:-

  1. Massive air pollution problems faced by its urban cities
  2. Establish energy security in China
  3. To dominate the renewable energy manufacturing and power generation Industry.

India, when compared to the world excluding China, has increased her share from 6% to 6.9%. However, once we include China in the mix, India has shrunk from 5.8% to 4.9% over 10 years.  While, India has done well but when we put into context India’s solar energy potential, we should rather say we have done okay.

Program/Scheme wise Physical Progress in 2017-18 & Cumulative up to the month of October 2017

While, it is great to understand how India did in comparison to the world, it is extremely important to understand how various regions in India are doing in context of renewable energy.

In 2015, The current Indian Government raised the renewable energy capacity target from 100 GW to an ambitious 175 GW by 2022.

We now take a look at where India Stands now. As of 31st October 2017, India stands at 62.5 GW. In the adjoining chart, there is a breakup of installed capacity as per different technologies. It also mentions how much capacity was added through the year. Clearly, the most activity has been witnessed in the Solar Sector followed by Wind Sector. In our upcoming posts, we will discuss in detail which sectors are on an upward curve.

 TAB 1.5
Ministry of New & Renewable Energy
Programme/ Scheme wise Physical Progress in 2017-18 & cumulative upto the month of October, 2017
Sector FY- 2017-18 Cumulative Achievements
Target Achievement (April – October, 2017) (as on 31.10.2017)
Wind Power 4000.00 435.61 32715.37
Solar Power – Ground Mounted 9000.00 3118.44 14751.07
Solar Power – Roof Top 1000.00 167.64 823.64
Small Hydro Power 200.00 19.30 4399.35
BioPower (Biomass & Gasification and Bagasse Cogeneration) # 340.00 0.00 8181.70
Waste to Power 10.00 0.00 114.08
Total 14550.00 3740.99 60985.21
Waste to Energy 15.00 4.37 175.45
Biomass(non-bagasse) Cogeneration 60.00 9.50 661.41
Biomass Gasifiers 7.50 0.92 163.37
Aero-Genrators/Hybrid systems .50 0.14 3.29
SPV Systems 100.00 76.56 539.13
Total 183.00 91.49 1542.65

It is also worth looking at the installed capacities of various states in India.

State RES FOR 2017 DEC
TN 10686.88
Karnataka 7773.47
Maharashtra 7709.33
Gujarat 6877.53
Rajasthan 6628.61
Andhra Pradesh 6543.97
MP 3800.13
UP 2470.18
Telangana 2393.36
Punjab 1205.92
Himachal Pradesh 836.44
UK 526.68
WB 431.98
Chattisgarh 427.02
Haryana 366.09
Kerala 330.59
Bihar 324.28
Odisha 194.52
J & K 158.85
Arunachal Pradesh 108.99
Delhi 70.66
Sikkim 52.12
Assam 45.22
Mizoram 41.67
Meghalaya 31.09
Nagaland 30.67
Jharkhand 24.42
Tripura 21.01
Chandigarh 15.72
Andaman & Nicobar 11.35
Daman & Diu 10.31
Manipur 6.76
Lakshwadeep 0.75
Goa 0.56
Dadar & Nagar Haveli 0.48
Puducherry 0.05
NLC 0.00
DVC 0.00

If you compare the top 6 states with the highest installed capacities with the rest of the states, you will notice that there is a considerable difference in the numbers of the Top 6 against the rest of India. So, what is it that makes these states tick? These 6 states have in common state renewable energy policies that create a favorable environment for Investors, Developers and Consumers.

We will discuss these State Renewable Energy Policies in detail in the coming posts.

Which States are Making Big Strides in Renewable Energy?

State Installed Capacity added between April 2017 and Oct 2017 Percentage of Current Capacity Added during 2017
Tamil Nadu 61.88 0.58%
Karnataka 315.50 4.23%
Maharashtra 61.73 0.81%
Gujarat 205.64 3.08%
Rajasthan 390.81 6.27%
AP 379.15 6.15%
MP 262.24 7.41%
UP 170.35 7.41%
Telangana 847.48 54.82%
Punjab 52.82 4.58%
HP 3.90 0.47%
Uttarakhand 10.87 2.11%
West Bengal 7.34 1.73%
Chattisgarh -5.84 -1.35%
Haryana 114.79 45.68%
Kerala -8.13 -2.40%
Bihar 32.06 10.97%
Odisha 0.07 0.04%
J&K -0.54 -0.34%
Arunachal 4.12 3.93%
Delhi 14.39 25.57%
Sikkim 0.01 0.02%
Assam -0.67 -1.46%
Mizoram 0.10 0.24%
Meghalaya 0.05 0.16%
Nagaland -0.50 -1.60%
Jharkhand -2.90 -10.61%
Tripura -0.09 -0.43%
Chandigarh -1.60 -9.24%
Andaman & Nicobar -0.46 -3.90%
Daman & Diu -0.15 -1.43%
Manipur 1.28 23.36%
Lakshwadeep 0.04 5.63%
Goa -0.20 -26.32%
Dadar & Nagar Haveli -2.49 -83.84%
Puducherry -0.03 -37.50%
NLC 0.00 0.00%
DVC 0.00 0.00%

While, Renewable energy seems to have completely taken off in some states such as Telangana, it is worth noting that the negative numbers might refer to capacities retired. Additionally, it will be worth investigating why smaller states seem to be retiring their renewable capacities.