Update from IWTMA

Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association, Chennai, India

A Green Energy Exchange on Cards to Reduce Power Costs

Power buyers can so-on start buying green electricity - solar and wind - from the ex-change at competitive rates. The Indian Energy Exchange initiative is likely to make green power cheaper, helping reduce the cash outgo on power bills by consumers.

The Central Electricity Regulatory Authority has agreed to the proposal. The ground work is ongoing and a dedicated green power exchange market is slated to be in place by April 2017. Those who buy from the green market can use it to meet their obligation on purchasing green power.

“Initially, it will be a day-ahead market where power for the next day would be traded. The trading window would be opened every day just before the general day-ahead market which primarily deals in thermal power,” said Rajesh K Mediratta, Director of Business Development at the Indian Energy Exchange.

“Unsold power at the green exchange platform can be offered at Rs 0 per unit at the day-ahead market, the window for which would open after the green window shuts. If this power gets sold, the producers will receive at least the renewal energy certificate price of Rs 1.50 per unit plus the average clearing price of the day,” he said.

A few green power generators already sell output through the exchanges, but the buyers get no special benefit from buying the non-polluting power. This purchase is dealt at par with that from other sources such as thermal and hydel.

A few months ago, the Indian Energy Exchange filed a request with the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission for allowing it to set up a dedicated renewable energy platform for selling and buying green power. The regulator agreed to it and is now seeking stakeholders’ comments and suggestion on the proposal.

The move is expected to increase the sale of green power which is witnessing a glut. “For example, in Tamil Nadu, some solar projects are being asked to back down about 50% of generation without compensation,” said an analyst from the solar power segment.

Independent green power companies would be able to sell power at the exchange. Producers that have power purchase agreements with states, but have unrequisitioned power, can also sell power on this platform.

The exchange will require buyers to make upfront payment. As far as payments for selling solar power is concerned, payment cycles for distribution companies are getting better although there are some rare cases with delays of 45-60 days.

Source: The Economic Times, Kolkata, 12th December 2016

Wind Turbines also Fan Growth of Crops

Wind turbines in farms not only capture renewable energy but may also help crops grow more efficiently, a new study has found.

Wind turbines disbursed throughout a field create air turbulence that might help plants by affecting variables such as temperature and carbon dioxide concentrations, said Gene Takle, a professor at Iowa State University in the United States.

For the study, scientists installed research towers on a 200-turbine wind farm to discover how the turbulence created affected conditions at ground level.

The data showed wind turbines can change the temperature in the areas around them. It also showed that turbulence produced by wind turbines leads to temperatures about a half degree cooler during the day and between a half to a full degree warmer at night.

Takle said that wind turbines might make growing conditions more favorable for corn and soyabeans. “On balance, it seems turbines have a small, positive impact on crops,“he said.

That is because the turbulence mixes air at different elevations. That mixing cools the ground level during the daylight hours, like a fan blowing on a wet surface. At night, as the ground loses heat, the mixing brings warmer air aloft down to ground level, resulting in a net warming effect. The turbulence also suppressed the formation of dew and dried the crops, Takle said, which could combat harmful moulds and fungi.

The turbulence, and the associated changes in air pressure at ground level, also might enrich the carbon dioxide content in the air surrounding crops, which could make the plants grow more efficiently, he said.

Power Minister Releases Reports on Renewable Energy Integration in National Grid as Green Energy Corridors and Electricity Demand Pattern Analysis

Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Shri Piyush Goyal released the following 3 reports:

  1. The Renewable Energy Integration: Transmission, an Enabler (by PGCIL) report covers the study of balancing and stability issues for 15% & 30% RE capacity penetration and the aspects of Balancing Reserve Analysis with Thermal Power Plants, both gas and supercritical coal, Reservoir type Hydro & Pumped Storage Plants and the Way forward.
  2. The Green Energy Corridors-II’ (Part-A) report details about the identified capacity of Solar Parks and transmission infrastructure requirement in various states at Intra-State and Inter-state level. It inter-alia covers the financing options available for rationalization of transmission tariff and the challenges to be addressed to facilitate smooth integration of solar power parks.
  • The Electricity Demand Pattern Analysis(by POSOCO) report covers the analysis of data archived by POSOCO since 2008 with insights towards diurnal, seasonal and yearly demand patterns, decomposition of demand data into seasonal trends at all levels - National, regional and individual State level. The Demand Pattern Analysis may be used by Central and state level planning agencies for Generation, transmission and distribution planning, Identification of areas/sectors with maximum growth and Behavioral pattern of the population residing in that state/ region. It can also be used as valuable input for research by the academia and the industry.

Source: PIB

US-India Clean Energy Finance Facility Initiative

Letter of Intents were signed and exchanged between MNRE and OPIC in presence of Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister for the creation of a $20 million for US-India Clean Energy Finance (USICEF) Initiative, equally supported by the United States and India would supprt projects which, upon long-term financing and deployment, and would qualify for the support of long-term debt financing from OPIC.

The U.S.-India Clean Energy Finance facility (USICEF) would support project preparation activities for distributed solar projects in order to unlock OPIC financing and mobilize public and private capital to expand access to distributed clean energy solutions that will benefit disadvantaged communities in India and contribute to India’s ambitious renewable energy and energy access goals. USICEF builds on the success of other project preparation facilities to support renewable energy in emerging markets. Through this initiative, project developers pursuing mini-grid, distributed rooftop and off-grid solar projects, as well as smaller-scale grid connected solar projects would be benefitted.

During the event, Mr Udai Khemka presented Clean Energy Finance Forum (CEFF) Report to Shri Goyal. The report has been prepared after an extensive domestic and international consultation with all categories of financial Institutions (including pension funds, sovereign investors, insurance companies, other financial investors/funds, banks, investment banks etc.), multilateral institutions, as well as strategic investors and developers.

CEFF has made recommendations which will help solicit greater investment into the renewable energy sector. Some of the key cross cutting recommendations includes to boost and Accelerate “Open Access” Markets; Improve PPA Bankability; Improve Ease of Access to Domestic Banking and Capital Markets; Encourage International Debt and Equity Investments and Mitigate Currency Risk.

17 December 2016

India will be One of Largest Installations of Renewable Energy in the World -Piyush Goyal

Asserting that the present generation has the duty to leave behind a better place to live in for the next generation, Minister of State for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines, Shri Piyush Goyal said by 2022, India will be one of largest installations of renewable energy in world. Goyal also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed towards ramping up renewable energy. “This government is committed and has created an actionable agenda so that by 2022 India would probably be one of the world’s fasted growing renewable energy in the country, one of the largest installations of renewable energy in the world if not the largest. India will have about 2,25,000 MW of renewable energy by 2022, which is the world’s largest installation.”

Under its plan, Goyal said, the government is also committed to set up solar plant of one lakh megawatt to meet its security needs. “So far in the two and half years, we have expanded the solar installed capacity by 200 percent, i.e 9,000 MW and by end of December 2017 I expect it to be 20,000 MW,” he added. Goyal further said India is also considering to expand its hydro power capacity which currently stands at 25 MW. “Similarly in wind we are aggressively taking it to 20,000 MW, apart from expanding the scope of nuclear and small hydro projects,” he said.

Goyal also expressed optimism at world’s commitment under the Paris declaration and the Conference of the Parties (CoP) 21 to fight against climate change. “In the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), I am delighted to say that India has been an integral part of that entire journey where it was at the forefront of negotiations in the Paris agreement,” he said.

Incentive for wind power needs to be revisited: Study by CRISIL

The study says a shift to procurement-based incentives is the need of the hour.

The reluctance of distribution companies (Discoms) to procure wind energy due to their weak financial health is one of the biggest challenges facing the wind energy sector and there is now a need to shift from Generation-Based Incentives (GBI) to Procurement-Based Incentives (PBI) in the country, according to an evaluation of the GBI scheme done by CRISIL.

The GBI scheme was introduced by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in December 2009 to provide a “level playing field to Independent Power Producers (IPPs), and to promote increased generation and efficiency in installation,” according to the report by CRISIL.

The scheme was discontinued in March 2013. However, the government reintroduced it in Sept 2013 retrospectively. With the scheme set to end in March 2017, the Ministry has sought feedback on it.

Under the second phase of the scheme, the GBI provided to wind power producers is Re. 0.50 per unit of electricity that is fed into the grid, for a period of four years, and a maximum of 10 years. The GBI has a cap of Rs. 1 crore per MW.

While India ranks fourth behind China, the US and Germany in terms of total installed wind power capacity, within India, Tamil Nadu had the highest installed capacity at 7,686 MW out of a gross estimated potential of 33,800 MW, followed by Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

The study found that various wind power developers and investors had highlighted that “the GBI level of Re. 0.50 per unit is insufficient to promote wind capacity addition in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Karnataka due to unviability of FIT (feed-in-tariff) plus GBI model.

The study also found that the capacity addition under the GBI second phase was “modest”. In the second phase, while the capacity addition target was 15,000 MW, only 5,762 MW has been added. However, the study found that GBI remained “one of the key incentives that has driven investments in the sector especially from number of IPPs who are not availing Accelerated Depreciation (AD) benefit but doing project finance.”

“The overall objective behind the GBI scheme, i.e., providing incentive equivalent to that of AD, and thus to provide a level playing field between various classes of investors, has been appreciated. This gets reflected in the fact that the GBI scheme has been helpful in securing investments from IPPs and FDIs to the tune of 7,993 MW out of total new installed capacity addition of 14,939 MW – close to 54 per cent. This has resulted in increasing the share of GBI-based projects to about 30 per cent of total wind installed capacity in India,” CRISIL observed.

According to the study, investors in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka preferred options other than GBI, such as group captive, captive and third-party models that offered better returns and financial viability of a project.

CRISIL has recommended that suitable mechanisms need to be developed to use GBI “to encourage Discoms to procure wind power, make timely payments and also prevent forced backing down of wind power.” It also recommended a suitable performance-based incentive be developed to reduce purchase cost of wind power by States.

Source: The Hindu: December 05, 2016 07:20 IST

Landowners' Nod Not Required to Lay Overhead Power Lines: Supreme Court

Removing roadblocks in reaching electricity to every village, the Supreme Court has ruled that no prior consent of landowners was required to lay overhead power transmission lines and erect towers to support these lines.

Through the judgment, the SC settled the issue which gave rise to conflicting judgments from various HCs. The SC's top priority was to enable the government and its agencies to get electricity to the last household in the remotest areas.

A bench of Justices A K Sikri and R Banumathi said, "It is well known that India is an energy deficient country. There are many households where lighting even an electric bulb is a dream."

The issue was filed by a cement manufacturer from Chhattisgarh and Power Grid Corporation. The cement manufacturer challenged Power Grid's decision to erect towers for transmission lines on its limestone mine lease area without its consent. The bench said, "As per the provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act, unobstructed access to lay down telegraph and/or electricity transmission lines is an imperative in the larger public interest."

Source: Economic Times, Dec 30, 2016&lt;img src="https://timeslog.indiatimes.com/timeslog.dll/topcnt?CHUR=economictimes.indiatimes.com&amp;amp;nojs=1" border="0" height="0" width="0"&gt;&lt;img border="0" height="0" width="0" src="https://cmstrendslog.indiatimes.com/cmslog.dll?cms-msid=5624&nbsp;.. <br /><br /><div style='font-siae:12px;font-family:arial'>Read more at:<br /><a href='http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/56249765.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst'>http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/56249765.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst</a></div>

CEA- Draft National Electricity Plan (NEP), 2016

CEA has published the Draft National Electricity Plan (NEP) on 7th December 2016. The Draft covers a review of the 12th Plan for 2017-2022 in detail and perspective plan for 2022-2027. The Comments/Suggestions are requested by 22nd January 2017.

CERC- Draft Indian Electricity Grid Code (IEGC) Fifth Amendment Regulation, 2016

CERC has published Draft Fifth Amendment on Indian Electricity Grid Code (IEGC) on 9th December 2016. Comments/Suggestions/Objections from the stakeholders and the interested persons on the Draft Regulations are invited by 30.12.2016.

Suggestions for Amendments in AP Wind Policy 2015

The government of Andhra Pradesh announced AP Wind Power Policy 2015 on 16.12.2016 vide GO Ms No. 9 dated 13.02.2015 with incentives for promotion of Wind Power Projects. Suggestion/Views for making necessary amendments to the AP Wind Power Policy 2015 are requested by 31.12.2016.

Shri Piyush Goyal launches ‘Coal Mitra’ Web Portal to facilitate Flexibility in Utilization of Domestic Coal

Coal Swapping Allowed between Government/ PSUs and the Private Sector

Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Shri Piyush Goyal has launched ‘Coal Mitra’, a Web portal for flexibility in Utilization of Domestic Coal. The Coal Mitra Web Portal has been designed to bring about flexibility in Utilization of Domestic Coal by transferring the reserves to more cost efficient State/Centre owned or Private sector generating stations, leading to lower generation costs and ultimately lesser cost of electricity for the consumers.

The web portal would be used by the State/Central Gencos to display information about normative fixed and variable charges of electricity for the previous month, as well as margin available for additional generation so as to enable the utilities identify stations for transfer of coal. It would host data on Operational and Financial parameters of each coal based station; Quantity and source of supply coal to the power plant; and Distance of Power plant form the Coal mine.

The Cabinet, on 4th May 2016, approved the proposal for allowing flexibility in utilization of domestic coal amongst power generating stations. Further, Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has issued the methodology for this on 8th June 2016, followed by the issuance of a memorandum by the Ministry of Power on 10th June 2016. The methodology for use of transferred coal in Independent Power Producers (IPPs) generating stations would be issued separately.

Shri Piyush Goyal has said that the Power Ministry has approved the system by which the Government and PSUs would be able to swap coal with private companies. Further, he said, “I would like to see the Coal sector open up and achieve the next level of Efficiency in power generation. For this the Ministry is working tirelessly and guidelines for coal swapping would be out in next 30 days.” He envisioned this coal swapping initiative to be cross sectoral and not confined to the power to power sector swaps

Reverse Bidding for 1000 MW of Wind Power

Later last year, SECI had floated tenders for total wind power capacity of 1,000 MW. The competitive bidding is tariff based and will be awarded to those quoting the lowest price (power tariff). SECI has tied up with PTC for long term power purchase agreements of developers with non-windy states to whom power will be supplied through the central transmission utility. Under the scheme, the government will not acquire land or equipment as developers will have to do that on their own. They would also run and maintain their plants.

According to the scheme, the project capacity will be determined by SECI for each tender, but will not be less than 25 MW for a single project developer at one site. SECI is the nodal agency for implementation of this scheme and is working on the e-bidding process followed by e-reverse auction for eligible bidders. It will also develop a suitable mechanism for project monitoring.


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