Augmenting Renewable Energy
The Government has decided to invite bids for 50 GW of renewable energy capacity annually for the next five years i.e., from Financial Year 2023-24 till Financial Year 2027-28. These annual bids of ISTS (Inter-State Transmission) connected renewable energy capacity will also include setting up of wind power capacity of at least 10 GW per annum. The plan , finalized by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) at a meeting chaired by Union Minister for Power & NRE Shri R. K. Singh last week, is in accordance with Prime Minister’s announcement at COP26, of achieving 500 GW of installed electricity capacity from non-fossil fuel (Renewable Energy + Nuclear) sources by 2030.
India currently has a total renewable energy capacity of 168.96 GW (as on 28th February 2023) with about 82 GW at various stages of implementation and about 41 GW under tendering stage. This includes 64.38 GW Solar Power, 51.79 GW Hydro Power, 42.02 GW Wind Power and 10.77 GW Bio Power.
Considering the fact that Renewable Energy (RE) projects take around 18-24 months for commissioning, the bid plan will add 250 GW of renewable energy and ensure 500 GW of installed capacity by 2030. The Ministry of Power is already working on upgrading and adding the transmission system capacity for evacuating 500 GW of electricity from non-fossil fuel.
Speaking during the meeting, Shri R. K. Singh, Union Minister for Power & NRE said that the declaration of trajectory of short-term and long-term RE capacity addition by the Government is a significant step towards achieving the goal of 500 GW of non-fossil fuel capacity by 2030 and towards a faster energy transition. “India has emerged as one of the world leaders in Energy Transition and this is evident in the growth that we have achieved in the area of Renewable Energy. We are committed to achieve 500 GW of Target by 2030 and the bidding trajectory will provide a further stimulus towards this. The structured bidding trajectory will provide sufficient time to the RE developers to plan their finances, develop their business plans and manage the supply chain more efficiently This is a golden opportunity of industry to invest in this sector,” Shri Singh said.
Shri B. S. Bhalla, Secretary, MNRE said that the bidding trajectory will also enable the power procurers, including the distribution companies, to manage their RE procurement plans effectively. “The bid trajectory will also provide a fillip to the RE manufacturing industry in the country by indicating the demand that would be created for their equipment,” the MNRE Secretary added.
In addition to this, the Ministry has declared a quarterly plan of the bids for FY 2023-24, which comprises of bids for at least 15 GW of renewable energy capacity in each of the first and second quarters of the financial year (April-June 2023 and July-September 2023 respectively), and at least 10 GW in each of the third and fourth quarters of the financial year (Oct-December 2023 and January-March 2024 respectively).
This capacity addition is over and above the RE capacities that would come up under schemes like Rooftop solar and PM-KUSUM of the Ministry, under which, bids issued directly by various States & also capacities that may come up under Open Access Rules.
Presently, Solar Energy Corporation of India Ltd. (SECI), NTPC Ltd. and NHPC Ltd., are notified by the Government as Renewable Energy Implementing Agencies (REIAs) for calling such bids. It has been decided to also notify SJVN Ltd, a public sector enterprise under Government of India, as an REIA.
The targeted bid capacity for FY 2023-24 would be allocated among the four REIAs. The REIAs would be permitted to bring out the bids for solar, wind, solar-wind hybrid, RTC RE power, etc. – all with/without storage, as per their assessment of the RE market or as per directions of the Government.
Some of the recent initiatives undertaken to promote solar & wind energy domestic equipment manufacturing in the country, inter-alia, includes the following:
(i) Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for High Efficiency Solar PV Modules: The Government of India is implementing the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme under National Programme on High Efficiency Solar PV Modules, for achieving domestic manufacturing capacity of Giga Watt (GW) scale in High Efficiency Solar PV modules, with an outlay of Rs. 24,000 crore. This Scheme has provision for Production Linked Incentive (PLI) to the selected solar PV module manufacturers for five years post commissioning, on manufacture and sale of High Efficiency Solar PV modules.
(ii) Domestic Content Requirement (DCR): Under some of the current schemes of the MNRE, namely CPSU Scheme Phase-II, PM-KUSUM Component B and Grid-connected Rooftop Solar Programme Phase-II, wherein government subsidy is given, it has been mandated to source solar PV cells and modules from domestic sources.
(iii) Preference to ‘Make in India’ in Public Procurement: Through implementation of ‘Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) Order’, procurement and use of domestically manufactured solar PV modules and domestically manufactured solar inverters has been mandated for Government/ Government entities.
(iv) Imposition of Basic Customs Duty on import of solar PV cells & modules: The Government has imposed Basic Customs Duty (BCD) on import of solar PV cells and modules, with effect from 01.04.2022.
(v) Discontinuation of Customs Duty Concessions: MNRE has discontinued issuance of Customs Duty Concession Certificates for import of material /equipment for initial setting up of solar PV power projects with effect from 02.02.2021.
(vI) Government has extended concessional custom duty exemption on certain components required for manufacturing of wind electric generators, including some raw materials for blades of wind turbines, till 31.03.2025.