India’s MNRE wants to launch tenders of 3 GW in December 2017, followed by 3 GW in January, 5 GW in February and 6 GW in March 2018 to reach 20 GW of tendered capacity in FY2017-18.- This will be followed in the next two fiscal years by even higher tender targets of 30 GW PV each.
- Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to issue EoI to establish 20 GW of domestic manufacturing facilities
- Bids to be issued for ground mount solar parks of 20 GW capacity
- From December 2017 to March 2018, a total of 17 GW PV capacity is scheduled to be tendered, as 3.6 GW has already been bid out in the current fiscal year 2017-18
- The 20 GW tender is to be followed by 30 GW in FY 2018-19 and another 30 GW in FY 2019-20
- The ministry is in talks with the Ministry of Finance to clear out the confusion regarding GST rates for solar panels in the next 7-10 days
- It repeated that honoring PPA terms and renewable purchase obligations (RPOs) is mandatory
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The Government of India is planning to issue an expression of interest (EoI) for the industry to establish domestic solar manufacturing facilities for providing 20 GW in the near future. That’s not all, project developers too have a reason to cheer. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has laid out its roadmap for future tenders – which will start hitting the ground from December 2017.
Mint, a local business paper, had earlier reported that the government is thinking about launching a tender of 20 GW PV capacity at one go (see 20 GW PV Tender In India?).
In 2017-18 alone, the government wants to issue bids for ground mounted solar parks for 20 GW capacity. Out of this, 3.6 GW has already been bid out. A tender for another 3 GW is planned to issued in December 2017, 3 GW in January 2018, 5 GW in February 2018 and 6 GW in March 2018.
Thereafter, in 2018-19, 30 GW will be tendered, followed by another 30 GW in 2019-20, informed MNRE Secretary Anand Kumar.
Speaking at the signing of power supply agreements of Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) II Scheme on November 24, 2017, MNRE head Raj Kumar Singh shared the trajectory for auctions of solar and wind power. His speech finally seemed to address most of the concerns of the PV industry.
Singh spelt out his government’s plan to speed up renewable energy installation in the country and strengthening the renewable energy manufacturing base in India. He said his department is exploring innovative ways to achieve additional installed RE capacity through floating solar power plants over dams, offshore wind energy systems and hybrid-solar-wind power systems that may provide more than 10 GW of additional renewable capacity. MNRE’s team has already carried out a survey for floating solar power plants at Bhakra Nangal Dam.
Taking note of utilities not honoring previously agreed upon PPAs,
Singh categorically stated that such agreements have to be ‘mandatorily honored’. Even renewable purchase obligations (RPOs) are mandatory and need to be adhered to strictly, he emphasized. His ministry is in constant talks with state governments, including Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka to ensure this happens, he said.
One of Andhra Pradesh’s utilities had recently refused to buy power from NTPC’s 250 MW capacity at Kadapa Solar of Bhakra Nangal Dam Park. A recent media report stated that the utility has now agreed to buy this power with the condition that it is bundled with thermal power to cut cost (see Indian Utility To Bundle Solar+Coal).
Singh seemed confident of comfortably achieving a ‘rather conservative’ target of 175 GW of clean energy by 2022 and even exceed it, along with providing 24×7 affordable, clean and efficient power for all. He sought cooperation of states in ensuring their power utilities/discoms remain financially viable.
Speaking about the confusion regarding Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates for solar panels, Singh assured that his department is in talks with the Ministry of Finance over the matter. All issues were promised to be resolved in the next 7-10 days. The MNRE Minister is also discussing with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on another issue – customs officials have reportedly demanded duty on imported solar equipment. Non payment of this duty has resulted into shipments being held up and massively delayed, stated local media reports.