MonitorsPublished on Jun 28, 2018
Energy News Monitor | Volume XV; Issue 2

Power News Commentary: May – June 2018


With a heat wave gripping the country– the northern states are reeling with temperatures of 44-46 degrees Celsius — the demand for electricity has soared to a record high. India recorded a cumulative power demand of 170,121 MW, which is around 8 percent higher than the same month last year. Northern and western states had the highest power demand, with Uttar Pradesh sourcing 19,082 MW, Delhi 6,029 MW, Rajasthan 10,395 MW, Gujarat 16,825 MW, and Maharashtra 23,609 MW. Leaving Jammu & Kashmir, Assam and Uttrakhand, none of the states faced any shortage in required power supply. For Delhi, 6,000 MW is a record high. In order to meet the stipulated demand, power discoms in Delhi have tied up with various states through PPAs. According to the latest Load Generation Balancing report of Central Electricity Authority, power supply during this financial year is expected to be surplus, by 8.8 percent in energy terms and by 6.8 percent in peak terms, with peak demand at around 169 GW. As temperatures soared, spot power prices increased to ₹ 11/kWh, averaging at around ₹ 5/kWh. Power trading platform IEX witnessed a record high short-term power trading of 190 million units. The agency expects the demand to continue throughout the summers.

Spot power price touched 5-year high of ₹ 11.41/kWh at IEX, which experts attributed to aggressive bidding by captive units following government’s decision to ramp up coal supplies to power plants. The government decided to augment coal supplies to centre/state power plants and independent power producers from May 19 to June 30 to overcome shortage of the dry fuel and check power crisis. The decision was taken in a joint meeting of power, coal and railways ministries on May 17, 2018. Power sector has been witnessing coal shortage since last year, resulting in surge in spot prices to as high as ₹ 10.80/kWh in September 2017. In October, the government said the issue of coal supply to power plants is being addressed in a co-coordinated manner by the ministries of power, coal and railways. ₹ 11.41/kWh is a five-year high rate of power at IEX which is mainly triggered by government’s decision to stop supplies to captive power producers till June 30. However, the average spot power price was ₹ 6.28/kWh at IEX. Spot power price went up by ₹ 1 to ₹ 1.25/kWh mainly due to outage of transmission line in north India due to storm warnings, which resulted in lower import (or availability) of power from other regions.

Amid sweltering heat, the peak power demand of the national capital soared to an all-time high of 6,934 MW, showed Delhi State Load Despatch Centre figures. On June 1, the peak power demand soared to 6,651 MW breaking the record of 6,526 MW on June 6, 2017. This is the fourth time in the current month that last year’s all-time high record of peak power demand of 6,526 MW has been broken, power discom BSES said. The Power department and distribution companies of the Delhi government have expected the peak demand to breach 7,000 MW mark in June this year. This year peak power demand crossed the 6,000 MW mark eight times, BSES said. Power demand had crossed the 6,000 MW only twice (6,021 MW on May 16 and 6,001 on May 26, in 2017). In 2016 too, the peak power demand had crossed the 6,000 MW twice (6,044 on May 19 and 6,188 on May 20). The fact that the city’s power demand crossed the 6,600 MW shows the robustness of the capital’s distribution and transmission system, which has been able to measure up, BSES said. The peak power demand in BSES discom BRPL areas — South and West Delhi — had reached 2,745 MW during the summers of 2017 and is expected to cross 2,880 MW this year. In BYPL’s areas of East and Central Delhi, the peak power demand which had reached 1,469 MW last year is expected to touch around 1,670 MW, he said. The Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd, which supplies to north and northwest Delhi, expects peak demand to touch 1,850 MW and said it has prior arrangements of meeting up to 2,200 MW power demand.

By June 6, the peak current draw had risen to 6,526 MW. While there has been no major blackout, many neighbourhoods have been going through outages mostly due to local faults. Some of the other affected areas include, Preet Vihar, Mayur Vihar Phase III, Seelampur, Krishna Nagar, Uttam Nagar west, Rohini east, Rithala, Chhattarpur and Karawal Nagar. While outlining a summer action plan on March 8, Delhi’s Power Minister Satyendar Jain said the city was equipped to deal with demands of up to 7,000 MW. This year, the month of May recorded its highest ever power consumption. Coal shortage in thermal power plants supplying to Delhi threatened to plunge the city into a series of blackouts. But the matter was resolved with the extra coal being rushed to the plants.

UP cabinet gave its nod to establishment of dedicated police stations in all 75 districts of UP to check power theft. The move comes amid recurrent incidents of power pilferage to the tune of over 30% causing massive revenue losses to the state government. At least 28 police personnel headed by an inspector would be deployed in each police station in every district. The proposal to establish a dedicated police station was mooted during the previous government. The energy department wrote to the home department seeking its permission to establish police outposts in selected few districts. Agra was initially selected for the purpose. UP government to get cracking of power pilferers also comes in the wake of recurrent line losses to the tune of over 30% despite the Central Electricity Authority asking the state government to bring it down to at least 15%.

Consumers with no electricity metres in Haryana would be given an opportunity to pay their bills on the basis of the average of last one year. Other defaulters would also be given two years-time to pay their pending bills in 12 instalments, and no penalty would be levied on them. Power rates in the state may be reduced soon. In Kaithal district, power losses ranging from 20 to 83 percent are registered in villages only. The state government has been successful in reducing power losses through the ‘Mhara Gaon Jagmag Gaon’ scheme. Under this scheme, five districts of the state namely, Gurugram, Panchkula, Ambala, Sirsa and Faridabad, are being provided 24-hour electricity.

Five months before the assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, the government took a major decision to freeze and thereafter, waive all electricity dues of 770,000 persons registered under the MMJKY. The decision was taken at the cabinet meeting headed by the chief minister. It was also approved that all these beneficiaries will henceforth, be supplied electricity for domestic consumption at a flat rate of ₹ 200 per month. The MMJKY has been recently introduced to give benefits like free medical treatment to labourers and BPL families. The scheme will be launched on June 13 and with this will start the process of implementation of power supply for households at ₹ 200 per month so that it gives a boost to the ruling party in the elections. After July, these beneficiaries under the scheme will be entitled to power supply for domestic use at a flat rate of ₹ 200 per month. For ₹ 200, they may use one fan, light one bulb and run a television set. State government has earmarked ₹ 18.06 billion as subsidy to be paid to the power distribution companies for payment of surcharge and dues of the beneficiaries till June 30, 2018. However, the government is yet to calculate how much this scheme would cost the state exchequer annually though it expects the burden to be around ₹ 10 billion.

The Punjab Farmers’ Commission has proposed restricting the state’s power subsidy to non-income tax-paying farmers in its draft Punjab State Farmers’ Policy. The objective is to stop giving subsidy to those farmers who have other sources of income. The draft policy was released by chairman of the Punjab State Farmers’ Commission. Punjab’s power subsidy bill for agriculture comes to ₹ 60 billion annually. The policy, expected to be presented to the Punjab government in the first week of July after addressing public objections, also proposes rationing of subsidy to a financial cap for such farmers.

The district administration made a public announcement near the Botanical Garden metro station in Sector 38 claiming that the DMRC owed ₹ 97 million to the Noida Power Corp Ltd as electricity dues incurred in operations of the metro in Noida. The administration gave 48 hours to the DMRC to clear the payment or face action. DMRC said that there is a dispute over payment of electricity tax due to which the payment has not been cleared.

The Allahabad High Court ruled that a power company can’t be taken to bankruptcy court for not repaying loans unless it has been declared a wilful defaulter, recognising the stress that the sector is under. It also directed the finance secretary to meet power producers in June to discuss their financial woes. This follows a February directive from the RBI asking lenders to resolve stressed loans within 180 days of default, failing which the company had to be referred to the National Company Law Tribunal for resolution. This was applicable to loans above ₹ 20 billion for all sectors including companies in power sector that suffered due to several factors such as the inability to sign PPAs, delays in government approvals and unavailability of coal. A wilful defaulter is one that has not repaid loans despite having the wherewithal to do so. Also, around 22% of India’s installed power-generation capacity is already counted as non-performing assets. The exposure of India’s banks to the power sector was ₹ 5.19 trillion in April, according to RBI data. The high court order was in response to a petition filed by the Independent Power Producers Association of India. The court asked the finance secretary to “consider the grievance” of power producers and “see whether any solution to the problem is possible”. According to the Association of Power Producers, about 70,000 MW of generation capacity faces the threat of liquidation due to the new RBI norms. In the recent past, meetings of the power ministry, RBI and lenders to find ways to resolve stressed loans in the power sector were twice cancelled. Measures taken by the government and regulators to resolve the problems of the power sector could take 8-12 months to have an effect, Association of Power Producers said.

The draft amendment to the National Tariff Policy, 2016, released by the power ministry proposed to introduce a penalty mechanism for gratuitous load-shedding by electricity discoms, capping cross subsidies at 20% of the power supply cost and compute tariffs assuming AT&C losses of 15%.  The draft also said that regulators should not take into account the subsidy component disbursed by the states while calculating tariffs and if state governments decide to subsidise certain consumer categories, it has to be done solely through DBT mechanism. The draft also proposes to reduce the cost of electricity units and increase the fixed monthly rental, in line with the two part tariff (fixed and variable) mechanism through which discoms pay power generators. While the fixed charges, roughly 40-45% of the tariff, are used to recover the costs of establishing and operating power plants, the variable charges are used to compensate for fuel charges and other taxes.

In a bid to assist loss-making power discoms, the CERC has proposed that payment which they make to power generators would be according to the energy supply to discoms, rather than just plant availability. The move comes at a time when the PLF or operating ratio of thermal plants is declining owing to less demand and increasing share of renewable energy, which operates at 20 percent PLF. CERC has proposed a new formula for payment to the gencos in its draft tariff regulations for 2019-24. In its earlier tariff policy, the CERC had proposed shifting incentives based on actual purchase of power. This was opposed by NTPC Ltd since it amounted to a situation that if power procurers do not purchase power from NTPC and it does not run its plants at 85 percent capacity, it would not be entitled to incentives. The regulated returns were linked to availability of NTPC’s plants. The power tariff paid by discom is divided into two parts — fixed cost which is the capital cost of the plant and energy tariff which is the cost of fuel. Discoms have to pay the fixed cost to the gencos with which they have signed long-term power purchase agreement, even when there is no supply. According to the tariff regulations 2012-17, a generating station has to declare availability on a daily basis. Failure to achieve the target plant availability factor leads to dis-incentive in terms of reduction of the fixed charges on proportionate basis and incentive for actual generation above the target availability factor. The target PAF is 85 percent. State-owned discoms have been reeling under debt and the reform scheme is yet to improve their loss status. To compensate the gencos for coal quality, CERC has also proposed a new remedy. Losses arising out of difference in the quality of coal between ‘as billed’ by the supplier and ‘as received’ at the plant’s end would be borne by the coal supplier or the Railways.

According to the Ministry of Power, all electricity meters in the country will be smart prepaid meters in the next three years. Manufacturing of smart prepaid meters is to be scaled up as the demand is expected to increase. This is expected to revolutionise the power sector by way of reduced AT&C losses, better health of discoms, incentivisation of energy conservation and ease of bill payments etc. Further, it is expected to generate employment for skilled youth. Various aspects of smart meters like BIS certification, compatibility with RF/GPRS, harmonisation with existing digital infrastructure has been taken up.

Work on installation of 2 million prepaid smart electricity meters in urban areas of the state, including Patna, Ara, Aurangabad and Bhagalpur, is set to commence from September. These 2 million meters will cover both high tension and low tension power consumers. Energy department said installation of smart meters would ensure convenience of consumers and control power thefts. The department said the total cost of the project was estimated at ₹ 8 billion. The installation work will start in September. In the first phase, around 2 million meters will be installed in all the urban areas of the state.

Adani Group company Adani Transmission Ltd has won the bid for laying the transmission line for the 1980 MW Ghatampur thermal power plant in UP. Adani pipped two other bidders, including Power Grid Corp of India Ltd and Kalpataru Power Transmission Ltd by emerging as the lowest bidder for laying the transmission lines for the much-delayed power plant. The plant is estimated to cost ₹ 156 billion, while the contract for laying 4 transmission lines for the unit has been awarded for a consideration of ₹ 22.60 billion. The contract would be valid for 35 years and the state power utility would pay rent for using these transmission lines for relaying power. The power plant is likely to go full steam by 2011, although a 660 MW unit is projected to be complete by November 2020, followed by two other 660 units by May 2021 and November 2021 respectively. Meanwhile, the UP government has also decided to set up anti-power theft police stations in all the 75 districts of UP. Manned by 28 police personnel, each thana would be headed by an inspector and comprise 5 sub-inspectors apart from head constables, constables and support staff. The infrastructure is being created to curb rampant power theft across the 5 power distribution companies (discoms) in the state, which results in massive financial losses and power outages. In all, the energy department would recruit 2,157 personnel to man these anti-power theft police stations. At the end of 2015-16 fiscal, the accumulated losses of UP power discoms had breached Rs 600 billion mark. Under Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana, the state had made budgetary provisions of ₹ 400 billion to issue bonds to discoms to partly clean their books. UP has always grappled with high AT&C losses of about 40%, which was targetted to be tamed to 10%.

As the power sector struggles to deal with stressed generation assets worth ₹ 1.74 trillion, there is an urgent need to critically look at the developments in the regulatory environment in the last 15 years since the liberalisation of the sector with the introduction of the Electricity Act in 2003. Private power producers have claimed that their receivables due to various regulatory delays have swelled to more than ₹ 80 billion. With minuscule portion of electricity currently being traded at the exchanges, there is a need to introduce derivatives and other trading tools to make the market more vibrant.

India became a net exporter of electricity for the first time during the last four years and aims to achieve the target of universal household electrification by the year-end three months ahead of the original deadline.  Efforts are underway to revive some of the NPAs in the sector. In September last year, the government had launched the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya) scheme aimed to connect all households with electricity March 2019. With 100 percent village electrification being achieved by the end of April, the government brought ahead the Saubhagya target of powering around 40 million households three months ahead of the original deadline. 100,000 MW of power generation capacity and one million ckm of interstate transmission capacity had been added in the last 4 years. Besides, 25,000 ckm of transmission capacity were added per year, as against 3,400 ckm during previous governments.

The Centre has released ₹ 80 billion to boost power sector in Jammu & Kashmir. Power infra augmentation work is being stepped up from this month as tender process for pending works has been completed. Around 650 MVA power is required in Jammu region and the supply is 500 MVA, resulting in power curtailment.  The government is initiating a strict surveillance against power theft and the corruption within the department will not be spared at any cost. Three to four Grid Stations of Jammu city are going to be upgraded soon while the Canal Grid Station with the capacity of 50 MVA has been already installed. 20 MVA additional transformer will be commissioned at Janipur Grid, and Barn to Janipur line is in process of augmentation.

Aiming to strengthen electrical transmission and distribution system in the city, Punjab government has sanctioned ₹ 648.2 million for the entire project of delivering electricity supply to the consumers of Punjab State Power Corp Ltd. The project is expected to start from September this year. At present, tendering process of the project has been initiated to outsource the work. Strengthening of electrical power distribution network of Ludhiana city includes 417 power lines of 5 sub-divisions of Ludhiana city (West), CMC, Focal Point, Estate and Sunder Nagar. The project will include replacement of low-tension line of 163.22 km and high tension lines of 626.66 km along with reconstruction of 1,197 high tension connections, which will be beneficial for the consumers.

With the Madras high court staying expansion of the Sterlite Copper unit in Tuticorin, the TNPCB ordered cutting of power supply to the plant, located in SIPCOT industrial estate on the outskirts of the port town. The TNPCB order may not have any significant impact, since the plant is already shut and has ceased operations for almost last two months. The Sterlite plant has a captive power unit for taking care of the power supply needs.

Twenty sugar mills, including six from Muzaffarnagar district, sold surplus electricity worth ₹ 2.14 billion to the Uttar Pradesh Power Corp Ltd in 2016-17. Six sugar mills from Khatauli, Titawi, Budhana, Mansurpur, Tikola and Khaikheri areas in Muzaffarnagar accounted for electricity worth ₹ 780 million. Sugar mills generate electricity by burning sugarcane waste and after using the requisite amount, sell the surplus to the government.

HP is planning to set up a power sale control room to monitor real time electricity generation and revenue of the state government. Monitoring of all projects, including up to 5 MW Projects be carried out by one agency, the Directorate of Energy and the monitoring of all HEPs be web based. The Directorate of Energy will also conduct study to reduce the cost of major financing components, impacting the tariff of HEP with the view to making them financially viable. The Directorate of Energy will also explore the possibilities for arranging international funds for financing the HEPs for revival of Hydro Sector in HP and take up the matter with various funding agencies. With HP witnessing less generation of power in summers, the state government is worried as it would not only cause huge revenue losses to the exchequer, but also create power crisis in the state. With rains and snow in higher reaches, less discharge of water is taking place in rivers that is directly affecting power generation. In winters, missing rain had affected power generation while now prolonged cold spell in the higher reaches with frequent rain and snow is affecting melting of glaciers due to which very less discharge of water is being witnessed in the rivers. He said that government was also providing around 20-2.2 million power to Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Ltd seeing current power scenario. Selling electricity to other states during summers was biggest source of income for the HP government. At present market price of electricity was good as prices have increased but state has failed to reap the benefit as power generation was very low. The state government had tie-ups with other states. While electricity is being supplied to Bihar at the rate of ₹ 5.41/kWh and UP is being supplied electricity at the rate of ₹ 4.26/kWh unit.

Rest of the World

Egypt announced new cuts to electricity subsidies, raising prices by an average of 26 percent from July, the latest in a raft of tough economic reforms. Electricity costs for factories would rise by 42 percent and for households by 21 percent. Egypt has committed to deep cuts to energy subsidies and other tough fiscal measures as part of a three-year, $12 billion International Monetary Fund loan programme begun in 2016. The government intends to take further tough measures, including fuel subsidy cuts expected in the summer. The government has said electricity subsidies will be phased out completely by the end of the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

A power cable being laid between Germany and Norway may lower Norwegian energy prices in its first years as wind power in northern Germany at times cannot be exported further south due to grid bottlenecks, Norway’s Statnett said. NordLink, a 1.4 GW interconnector that will begin operations in 2020, will export power produced by hydro-electric dams from Norway to Germany. It could also import power. The project and other planned cables have been under fire in Norway over concerns the Nordic country would lose its cheap power supply by exporting electricity to Germany. Cheap power has been a draw for energy-hungry industries in Norway. Statnett said the new cable could initially lower prices for Norwegian customers until Germany’s grid is upgraded to distribute the extra supplies from Nordlink, although he said prices would rise after 2025. After 2025, the € 1.5-2 billion ($1.8 billion-$2.3 billion) cable would increase Norwegian power prices by an estimated one euro per megawatt hour, Statnett said. Statnett began laying the second of two 0.7 GW subsea wires that together make up the interconnector, in a fjord in the southwest of the country. NordLink is being developed by Statnett, Dutch-German grid firm TenneT and Germany’s KfW investment bank. French cable maker Nexans is installing the cable in Norway. NordLink is due to start commercial trials by the end of 2020, with upgrades on the Norwegian grid completed by 2022, Statnett said.

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, EBRD and the Dutch Development Bank FMO have joined forces to finance improvements in the electricity distribution network in Turkey’s Osmangazi region in Western Anatolia. The financing package of Turkish Lira equivalent of $330 million to OEDAS will help to upgrade, modernisation and expansion of the distribution network which serves around 2.7 million people in 194 towns and 1,596 villages. OEDAS is the electricity distribution company of the Osmangazi region, which includes five provinces: Afyonkarahisar, Bilecik, Eskisehir, Kutahya and Usak. IFC is extending a loan worth $ 80 million, the EBRD is providing $ 110 million and FMO is contributing US$ 65 million.  The World Bank Group has been a long-time partner in the development of power sector in Turkey. Since 2008, IFC consistently continues to support the sector with a series of high impact projects. IFC has financed over 5 GW capacity generation by investing or mobilizing more than $3 billion in the Turkish power sector.

Britain’s SSE said it would raise its standard electricity and gas prices, leading to a 6.7 percent increase on average to a typical dual fuel bill. The price rise, effective from July 11, reflects the impact of higher wholesale and policy costs, SSE said. Power suppliers in Britain have been under pressure from the emergence of small, cut-price rivals, as well as the cap on retail prices proposed by the government. SSE said the price rise equates to an increase of 5.7 percent for gas and 7.7 percent for electricity, meaning 2.36 million customers with SSE Energy Services and M&S Energy will see their bills go up by about 1.50 pounds per week, or 76 pounds per year.

China Southern Power Grid Company Ltd reported record power demand this month, the government said, the latest sign that China’s power market is already under pressure as weather forecasters predict a hotter-than-usual summer. The state power company has increased its load to a record of 164 GW this month, up 0.9 percent from the previous peak load and an increase of 25.5 percent year-on-year, the National Development & Reform Commission said. It is the first time the peak load has reached a new high before the official start of the Northern Hemisphere summer on June 21, when power demand surges as a result of air conditioner use. China Southern Power is one of two state-owned power transmission firms covering five provinces in the south, including Yunnan, Hainan, Guangxi, Guangdong and Guizhou, with the rest of the country covered by the State Grid Corp. An unusually warm spring and forecasts of a hotter-than-usual summer are expected to boost electricity demand as households turn up their air-conditioning units or fans to keep cool.

Power company China State Grid Corp Ltd will invest 140 billion reais ($38 billion) in Brazil over the next five years, including investments in transmission and generation. Investment in the transmission segment alone will total more than 90 billion reais. Ultra-high voltage transmission technology – which sends huge amount of power long distances with low losses – to connect remote areas that can generate large amounts of wind and solar to population centers in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and the rest of the Americas will be used.

UK energy regulator Ofgem has launched an investigation into National Grid Electricity Transmission’s demand forecasting for the UK electricity market. Inappropriate forecasting can lead to inefficient investment decisions by market participants, Ofgem said. The investigation is to examine whether NGET breached rules relating to its duty to operate the system in an economic and efficient manner, Ofgem said. NGET is the system operator for the high voltage transmission network in England, Scotland and Wales and is owned by National Grid. It ensures that supply and demand are balanced in real time and provides demand forecasts to the UK electricity market.

US power company NRG Energy Inc wants to boost the size of its retail business as it sheds more than half of its power plants. NRG serves around three million homes and businesses. In the past, NRG racked up billions of dollars of debt by diving into the renewable energy business at the same time US power prices sank as cheap and abundant natural gas from shale formations flooded the market. NRG wants to grow its retail business, especially in the Northeast where NRG still has more generation than it needs to serve customers. NRG wants to increase the size of the retail business through organic growth, but will consider acquisitions if the right opportunity presents itself, like its purchase of retail provider Xoom Energy earlier this year.

Most US regions are prepared to meet power and natural gas demand this summer, but shortages are possible in Southern California due to low hydropower and gas supplies and Texas following the retirement of several coal plants, federal energy regulators said in a report. In Southern California, staff at the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said lower-than-average hydro generation may create challenges as natural gas-fired generation – the replacement for hydro production shortfalls in past years – may be limited due to reduced gas storage capacity and local pipeline outages in the region. Nationwide, the staff said North American reliability coordinators forecast demand for electricity from the grid would be about the same as last summer due to increased use of demand response programs to reduce usage and distributed energy resources like home solar panels. The report said energy firms were expected to add over 25,000 MW of mostly gas and renewable generation through the end of the summer. That new capacity will replace much of the roughly 14,000 MW of generation that has retired since May 2017, including about 10,800 MW of coal-fired capacity. In California, the grid operator said it also expects to use demand response programs and consumer conservation to mitigate tight supply conditions this summer.

Ugandan power distributor Umeme Ltd plans to spend $1.2 billion in the next seven years to revamp and expand the grid and has hired an adviser to explore options for raising the money. The investments will be used to prepare for an expected rise in power expected to come online by 2020. The East African country is developing two new hydropower plants on the Nile – Karuma and Isimba – and when completed, they are expected to add a combined 780 MW of power to the grid. When the two China-financed and constructed plants come online, they will roughly double the country’s existing generation capacity which currently stands at about 700 MW. Uganda’s energy market is largely seen as underexploited and holding significant potential for growth. The grid reaches just 23 percent of the country’s 40 million people and power consumption, according Umeme, stands at 85 kilowatt hours per capita annually. Last year Umeme, Uganda’s sole electricity distributor, saw its pre-tax profit plunge 77 percent, hammered by debt servicing costs.

MW: megawatt, discoms: distribution companies, PPAs: power purchase agreements, GW: gigawatt, kWh: kilowatt hour, IEX: Indian Energy Exchange, BRPL: BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd, BYPL: BSES Yamuna Power Ltd, UP: Uttar Pradesh, MMJKY: Mukhya Mantri Jan Kalyan Yojana, BPL: below poverty line, DMRC: Delhi Metro Rail Corp, RBI: Reserve Bank of India, AT&C: Aggregate Technical and Commercial, DBT: direct benefit transfer, CERC: Central Electricity Regulatory Commission, PLF: plant load factor, gencos: generating companies, NPAs: non-performing assets, ckm: circuit kilometre, MVA: mega volt amp, TNPCB: Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, SIPCOT: State Industries Promotion Corp of Tamil Nadu, HP: Himachal Pradesh, HEPs: hydro electricity projects, OEDAS: Osmangazi Elektrik Dagitim A.S, EBRD: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, UK: United Kingdom, US: United States


IOC in talks with US producers for term deals to buy 1 mt of crude oil

19 June. Indian Oil Corp (IOC) is exploring term deals with producers in the United States (US) for purchase of about a million tonnes (mt) of crude oil, a move that could turn the US into one of its regular suppliers and counterbalance traditional producers in the Gulf. Indian refiners began buying US crude in the spot market last year and IOC’s term deal, when it happens, will be the first regular supply deal with the US. Term deals are usually annual contracts for purchase of a predetermined quantity at a price that varies with international rates during the period of contract. IOC and other state-owned refiners source about 70% of their crude oil via term deals with multiple suppliers across producing regions. The balance 30% is procured from the spot market. Term deals ensure certainty in supply for refiners, and such firm supplies from the far-off US to India could bring traditional suppliers from West Asia under pressure and could help keep prices in check.

Source: The Economic Times

Amethi residents sell petrol, diesel at low rates to ring in Rahul’s birthday

19 June. Selling petrol and diesel at low rates, providing 10 percent discount on goods and distributing household items to 87 families of a village—is how residents of Amethi celebrated the birthday of Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Gandhi, who represents Amethi in Parliament, turns 48. The party workers said they wanted to see their “MP become the PM in 2019”. On the occasion, Congress activists led by Gandhi’s representative Chandra Kant Dubey distributed domestic items to 87 families of Gajanpur Duaria village in Musafirkhana Tehsil. The families had lost their possessions in a devastating fire some days back. Gandhi’s representative Chandra Kant Dubey said at least three petrol pumps in Amethi sold petrol and diesel at low prices to “show that prices will be controlled when Rahul Gandhi will be prime minister in 2019”. Some traders also sold goods at a discount of 10 percent, stating that reduced prices would be a reality if Gandhi became the next Prime Minister of the country, he said.

Source: Business Standard

India’s oil import bill swells 49 percent to $115 bn in May

19 June. The recent rally in global crude oil prices has led to India’s oil import bill swelling 49 percent to $115 billion in May as compared to $76 billion recorded in the corresponding month a year ago. This has pushed the country’s merchandise trade deficit to $14.62 billion during the month. Commerce ministry data shows global benchmark Brent crude prices have increased by more than 50 percent in May 2018 year-on-year. Crude prices have been on an upward trajectory since 2017 on the back of production cuts initiated by Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and non-member allies. Also, significant drop in Venezuelan oil production and the recent economic sanctions on Iran by the United States pushed oil prices to $80 per barrel last month. The cascading effect of surging crude prices also propped up domestic fuel prices in India which reached record highs in May. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had met ambassadors of OPEC in New Delhi and voiced his concerns over high crude prices and its negative impact on the India consumers. India’s cumulative oil import bill including petroleum products increased by 46 percent to $219 billion in the first two month of the present financial year, raising concerns over an expected shortfall in budgeted petroleum subsidy and widening Current Account Deficit (CAD). The country’s CAD is expected to reach 2.5 percent of GDP in the current financial year from an estimated 1.9 percent in the last fiscal, SBI Capital Markets and Emkay Global Financial Services said in separate reports. Also, sector analysts expect the surge in crude oil prices to inflate the country’s fuel subsidy bill to Rs 53,000 crore in the current fiscal year. The government has budgeted for petroleum subsidy of Rs 24,933 crore for the current financial year, a mere 2 percent increase over the Revised Estimate of Rs 24,460 crore allocated last fiscal. Also, as oil prices increase, upstream firms Oil and Natural Gas Corp and Oil India Ltd face increasing risk of government asking them to share the fuel subsidy burden.

Source: The Economic Times

Oil Minister to take up crude price issue at OPEC Vienna meet

18 June. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan will raise India’s concerns about rising crude oil prices at the meeting of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to be held in Vienna later this month, he said. He would be putting across to OPEC and non-OPEC producers at Vienna that crude oil price should be regulated and pricing should be “reasonable and responsible”. OPEC and non-OPEC countries are also expected to decide on extending the output cuts, which, along with the geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, have helped push up crude prices. He said market fundamentals do not support such high prices and impressed on the need for OPEC governments to move towards responsible pricing, according to the oil ministry.

Source: Business Standard

Oil companies plan to add 25k petrol pumps

18 June. State oil companies plan to add an unprecedented 25,000 petrol pumps in one shot, nearly half as much as operational today, across the country after the government signalled them to do so. The oil ministry has also scrapped an official policy on petrol pump dealers’ appointment, giving fuel retailers such as Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum the freedom to design their own rules for setting up filling stations, according to industry executives familiar with the matter. The ministry allowed companies to prepare their own respective guidelines for appointing new petrol pump dealers on ground that a government guideline was no more needed since the sale of diesel and petrol are already deregulated. These companies have almost finalized their guidelines that would govern new appointments. In about a month or so, all three companies will advertise, seeking interested candidates for dealers at 25,000 locations, mostly in rural and other under-served regions. State companies currently operate about 57,000 retail outlets and private firms another 6,000. To be sure, not all locations advertised may attract applicants or finally have a petrol pump, but even a 50% success rate could mean an investment of thousands of crores in the fuel retailing business, jobs for tens of thousands of people, and an increased dominance of state firms in a business they already control more than 90%. New pumps also mean more business for equipment suppliers, transporters and tanker manufacturers. The state firms’ expansion comes at a time private players such as Rosneft-led Nayara Energy, Reliance-BP, and Shell too are expanding their retail network.

Source: The Economic Times

Jaitley hints at no cut in excise on oil, asks citizens to pay taxes honestly

18 June. Union Minister Arun Jaitley urged citizens to pay their due share of taxes “honestly” to reduce dependence on oil as a revenue source, and virtually ruled out any cut in excise duty on petrol and diesel saying it could prove to be counter-productive. While salaried class pay their due share of taxes, Jaitley said “most other sections” have to improve their tax payment record, which is keeping India “far from being a tax-compliant society”. Almost half of this, 0.72 percent of GDP, accounts for an increase in non-oil tax-GDP ratio. The level of non-oil taxes to GDP at 9.8 percent in 2017-18 is the highest since 2007-08 – a year in which our revenue position was boosted by buoyant international environment, he said. In an apparent dig at senior Congress leader P Chidambaram’s remark that tax on oil should be cut by Rs 25 per litre, Jaitley retorted “this is a ‘trap’ suggestion”. Chidambaram had claimed that it was possible for the centre to cut tax by up to Rs 25 per litre on petrol prices but the Modi-government will not do so. As per government estimates, every rupee cut in excise duty on petrol and diesel will result in a revenue loss of about Rs 13,000 crore. The price of Indian basket of crude surged from $66 a barrel in April to around $74 currently. Jaitley said despite higher compliances in new system, as far as the non-oil taxes are concerned, India is still far from being a tax complaint society.

Source: The Times of India

Iran oil payment route to be blocked from November

15 June. India will from November not be able to use European banks for making payments for crude oil it buys from Iran as US (United States) sanctions against the Persian Gulf nation take effect. State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest lender, has communicated to oil refiners that the euro payment route will be not available after November 3, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) said. US President Donald Trump had last month pulled out of a landmark nuclear deal and said sanctions will be re-imposed on Iran within 180 days. However, it is not “doomsday” for Indian refiners and alternate crude oil sources in the Middle East, US and Russia can be tapped should Iranian supplies dry up due to payment problems, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) said. During the first round of sanctions in 2012 when European Union joined the US in imposing financial restrictions, India initially used a Turkish bank to pay Iran for the oil it bought but beginning February 2013 paid nearly half of the oil import bill in rupees while keeping the remainder pending till opening of payment routes. It began clearing the dues in 2015 when the restrictions were eased. Besides, New Delhi sought to get around the restrictions by supplying goods including wheat, soybean meal and consumer products to Iran in exchange for oil. Iran is India’s third-largest oil supplier behind Iraq and Saudi Arabia. It supplied 18.4 million tonnes (mt) of crude oil during April 2017 and January 2018 (first 10 months of 2017-18 fiscal). Iran was India’s second biggest supplier of crude oil after Saudi Arabia till 2010-11 but western sanctions over its suspected nuclear programme relegated it to the 7th spot in the subsequent years. In 2013-14 and 2014-15, India bought 11 mt and 10.95 mt, respectively from the country.

Source: The Times of India


ONGC sells CBM gas at $5.77-6.12 per mmBtu

17 June. Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has sold natural gas from three coal-bed methane (CBM) blocks in Jharkhand for a price ranging between $5.77 per million metric British thermal unit (mmBtu) to $6.12 per mmBtu. ONGC sold gas from its Bokaro CBM block to a private industry, H N Roy, for $5.77 per mmBtu on a gross calorific value basis. GAIL (India) Ltd will buy gas found below coal-seams in the North Karanpura block at $5.56 per MMBtu while private sector Positron Energy Pvt Ltd would offtake gas from Jharia CBM block at $6.12 per mmBtu. ONGC is to start production from the three blocks by next month with the peak volumes touching 3 million standard cubic meters per day. The company has already drilled six wells on Bokaro block and the 7th well was in progress. A total of 30 wells are planned to be drilled during 2018-19. Drilling in North Karanpur started and 30 wells are planned on the block before March 31, 2019. The price realised by ONGC is less than the rate at which Essar Oil has sold its entire production of coal-seam gas or CBM from a West Bengal block to GAIL. GAIL in February bought 2.3 million standard cubic meters per day of CBM that Essar Oil and Gas Exploration and Production (EOGEPL) will produce from its Raniganj block in West Bengal for $7.1 per mmBtu. The rate is more than double of the $3.06 per mmBtu price set by the government for most of the domestically produced conventional natural gas. Essar had used the same formula which Reliance Industries had first used in 2012 to seek bids for its CBM gas from its Sohgpur block in Madhya Pradesh, and then again last year for selling the CBM. In the first instance, the oil ministry had not approved the price.

Source: The Financial Express

Gujarat to be 1st state with 100 percent piped gas network, India to see 25 percent coverage

14 June. Gujarat will become the first Indian state to get completely covered under the piped gas distribution network after the ninth round of bidding, which will see a quarter of the country brought under the network. The western Indian state already has 84.31 percent of its area under the city gas distribution (CGD) network, and will see the remaining area covered after the ninth round of bidding which opened, Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Chairperson D K Sarraf said. Sarraf said that to promote natural gas consumption in kitchens and for vehicles in the state, CGD has been given the priority for access to cheaper domestic gas. Gujarat has also decided to offer a subsidy to households belonging to weaker economic sections of society to avail cooking gas through CGD network in order to raise household penetration, he said. CGD sector is currently consuming 20 million cubic metre natural gas per day, with the demand expected to multiply as penetration grows, he said. In the latest bidding round, 14 additional districts, 6 complete and 8 part, will be covered under the CGD network in the state, including Gir Somnath, Morbi, Mahisagar, Narmada, Kheda, Junagadh, and Tapi.

Source: Business Standard


Government admits coal shortage, asks discoms to import

19 June. The power ministry has advised all state governments and private power distribution companies (discoms) to import coal as Coal India Ltd (CIL) was unable to meet the growing demand. To add to problems, there was also a shortage of rail rakes to evacuate coal. The advisory comes in the wake of states demanding more coal to run their thermal units in face of growing demand. In Tamil Nadu, power demand shot up by 2383 MW this summer. If TANGEDCO (Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corp) is to import five million tonnes of coal to meet the shortage, it would cost the state discom around $5,000. The coal consumption during April 2018 increased by 3.9% compared this year. TANGEDCO started importing coal regularly from 2004-05. The imports started in 2004-05 at one million tonne but as the demand for power increased and more thermal units were commissioned, the amount of coal imported also increased. In 2016, Coal India Limited requested Tamil Nadu government to advise TANGEDCO to stop imports and use indigenous coal available with CIL.

Source: The Times of India

India plans to sell a stake in state-run coal miner

18 June. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration is planning to offload a stake in state-run Coal India Ltd (CIL) to speed asset sales after a disastrous attempt to find a buyer for the cash-strapped national airline. The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management is finalizing the amount of stake to be offered in the financial year ending March 31. If needed, the government could explore the option of staggering the sale offer in two tranches. Modi’s plan to raise about $12 billion in the current year from asset sales is at risk after a high-profile plan to sell Air India ground to a halt as no prospective suitors emerged. CIL has reported strong shipment numbers in recent months due to demand from power plants. The government holds more than 78 percent in CIL. It had previously sold a 10 percent stake in January 2015, mopping up Rs 225.5 billion.

Source: Bloomberg

Punjab writes to Centre for more coal for private thermal projects

14 June. Ahead of the paddy season during which power generation at privately-owned case II projects has been hit by shortage of coal, the Punjab government has written to the union ministry of coal to consider these plants at par with the state-owned thermal stations while allocating the fuel stocks. The state government stated that being case II projects, the 1,400 MW Rajpura thermal plant and the 1,920 MW Talwandi Sabo thermal plant sell entire electricity generated to meet the state’s demand and forced shut down of these affects the availability of power forcing the corporation to go in for regulatory measures, including power cuts. PSPCL (Punjab State Power Corp Ltd) has allowed the Talwandi Sabo plant and the Rajpura plant to import 3 lakh and 2 lakh metric tonnes of coals to meet the fuel requirements during the paddy season.

Source: The Times of India

Delhi firm fined Rs 180 mn for inflating coal import value

13 June. Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal has set aside an order that imposed penalties of Rs 17.5 crore and Rs 1.25 crore on Delhi-based Knowledge Infrastructure Systems Private Ltd and its promoter Rahul Bhandare, respectively. They are accused of inflating the value of coal imports from Indonesia. In February 2017, the company appealed in the tribunal against the order passed by the adjudicating authority.

Source: The Times of India


Power discom losses down 70 percent to Rs 170 bn in 2 yrs

19 June. The UDAY (Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana) scheme has helped debt laden discoms (distribution companies) reduce annual losses by 70 percent to around Rs 17,350 crore in last two years, according to the Deutsche Bank Market Research report. The scheme for restructuring power distribution companies has also helped them cut aggregate technical and commercial losses by 5 percent. The report said however that the net results of UDAY scheme have not been keeping pace with the stringent targeted trajectory. The government had launched UDAY reforms for the power distribution sector in November 2015, to turn them around from deep financial and operational losses. At that time the accumulated losses of these discoms amounted to Rs 4.3 lakh crore with annual incremental losses of Rs 60,000 crore. It said that electricity demand revival is partly showing up in elevated exchange tariffs as well as better health of state utilities and ‘Saubhagya’ household electrification led growth.

Source: The Economic Times

Reliance Energy shuts power supply to 3.25k consumers in slum for arrears of Rs 630 mn

19 June. Reliance Energy has shut down power supply of 3,250 consumers of Siddharth colony slum in Chembur. The power cut continues for an hour now, and there is no untoward incident so far although residents have come out to discuss about the issue. The outage at the slum is due to non-payment of electricity bills amounting to Rs 63 crore for a period of over ten years. Local activists warned that it would be difficult to switch off electricity supply of the entire slum as the residents may come on the road to protest.

Source: The Times of India

Uttar Pradesh to shame non-performing power engineers

18 June. After announcing dedicated police stations to register complaints related to power theft, the UP (Uttar Pradesh) government is now toying with the idea of shaming non-performing power engineers by displaying their photographs in the offices of distribution companies and electricity substations. The idea was recently mooted at a high-level review meeting chaired by energy minister Shrikant Sharma and attended by UPPCL chairman Alok Kumar and other senior officials. Sharma was irked over high line losses in the divisions of some districts. The photographs of under-performing chief engineers and superintending engineers will be pasted in the office of distribution companies, while those of executive engineers, assistant engineers and junior engineers will be put up in substations. When contacted, Sharma said that it was not just about shaming engineers. According to UPPCL records, the line loss average in the state is around 30%, which is almost double the benchmark set by the Centre. Union Power Minister RK Singh had said the high line losses in the state during a recent review meeting. The UP government move to get cracking on non-performing engineers comes after it decided to deploy at least two vigilance teams in every district. The state government, Sharma said, has also initiated feeder-wise monitoring to account line losses. The state government has also sought deployment of GPS-enabled bill collection vans in rural areas.

Source: The Times of India

Electricity distribution company waives processing charges for online payment

16 June. The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) has waived off the processing charges for online payment of bills in order make it popular among consumers. All types of online payment gateways, including debit card, digital wallets, cash card and Unified Payments Interface (UPIs), have been exempted from processing charges. Mumbai-based central public relation officer of MSEDCL P S Patil said that the payment through credit card would continue to attract processing charges. As per data, over 35 lakh consumers pay their monthly bills using online facilities of MSEDCL.

Source: The Times of India

In peak summer, frequent power outages become norm in Chandigarh

16 June. The electricity department of Chandigarh has been struggling to provide uninterrupted power supply to the residents, especially in the summer season when the demand is at its peak. Frequent outages despite regular hikes in electricity tariff have become a norm in the City Beautiful. Scheduled power cuts to accommodate gap between demand and supply are mostly imposed in the southern sectors. The data of scheduled cuts imposed by the department — ranging between 2 to 10 hours a day — points to preferential treatment of the northern sectors.

Source: The Economic Times

Greenko plans to buy Rs 60 bn power transmission project in Uttar Pradesh

14 June. LSE-listed Greenko Group is looking to acquire a Rs 6,000 crore worth power transmission project in Uttar Pradesh developed by Hyderabad-based Megha Engineering & Infrastructure Ltd (MEIL). The project, secured by MEIL under competitive bidding, was commissioned in February. Greenko is in talks with Megha Engineering Infra to acquire the latter’s commissioned intra-state transmission project in western Uttar Pradesh. MEIL said the establishment cost of the project is above Rs 6,000 crore. But it denied comments on negotiations with Greenko. The intra-state 765 kilovolt high capacity transmission line from Mainpuri-Hapur and Mainpuri-Greater Noida was awarded to MEIL on build, own, operate, maintain and transfer basis in May 2011.

Source: The Economic Times

India requires a new market design to resolve stressed power assets: FICCI

13 June. Industry chamber Federation of Indiana Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) pitched for creation of a completely new market design in the power sector apart from linking the upcoming natural gas trading hub with spot power market as a solution for resolving the stressed assets in the electricity sector. Stressed coal-based power generating assets, especially those of Independent Power Producers (IPPs), will need a differentiated resolution path primarily because the crisis is caused more by externalities beyond the control of sponsors, according to the industry body. FICCI President Rashesh Shah said that for many of these projects coal supply was made subject to signing to Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and Fuel Supply Agreements (FSAs) were re-calibrated to serve part capacities. These factors had negatively affected under-construction projects from the perspective of financial tie-up or fund-raising. Shah said that out of 26 GW of coal-based power plants taken up, projects totalling 23 GW are stalled because of funding constraints and a majority of them also suffer from fuel and PPA related issues.

Source: The Economic Times


MNRE sets 30 GW offshore wind energy target by 2030

19 June. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) announced medium and long-term offshore wind energy target of 5 GW by 2022 and 30 GW by 2030, respectively, to provide confidence to the industry. The MNRE recently invited Expressions of Interest (EoI) for the first 1 GW offshore wind project in India, which has evoked a keen response from the industry, both global and Indian, the MNRE said. In order to give confidence to the wind industry, the ministry has declared medium and long-term target for off-shore wind power capacity additions, which are 5 GW by 2022 and 30 GW by 2030, the MNRE said. While this may look moderate in comparison to India’s on-shore wind target of 60 GW and its achievement of 34 GW, and solar target of 100 GW by 2022, this would still be challenging considering the difficulties in installing large wind power turbines in open seas, the MNRE said. The MNRE had notified National Off-Shore Wind Policy in October 2015 to realise the offshore wind power potential in the country. Preliminary studies have indicated good wind potential for off-shore wind power both in the southern tip of Indian peninsula and west coast.

Source: Business Standard

Bengaluru International Airport could switch to total solar power by 2020

19 June. The Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) has set itself an ambitious target of running Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) completely on solar power by 2020. Currently, power demand at KIA is 11 MW per day and airport authorities estimate it to increase to about 20 MW after completion of the second terminal. The airport now generates 3.44 MW from solar energy daily and the proposed capacity enhancement project will add another 8.35 MW in two phases, taking the total to about 12 MW. While the 12 MW would be from on-site energy generation, BIAL plans to source another 8 MW of solar energy from off-site. BIAL plans to install a solar power plant with a total capacity of 12 MW, of which work has begun on installation of a 3.35 MW capacity plant. The other plant with 5 MW capacity is in the planning stage. Authorities at Cochin International Airport Ltd, Kerala has set up a 12 MW solar power project within the airport complex to cater to power requirements.

Source: The Economic Times

Strong winds push wind power generation in Gujarat to 4.2 GW

19 June. High wind velocity in coastal areas of Saurashtra region has increased state’s wind power generation which reached a record level of 4,280 MW. The higher generation of electricity from wind has also helped Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (GUVNL) reduce its dependence on open market to meet power demand in the state. As against the 5,574 MW installed capacity, wind power generation stood at 3,000 MW. With no resumption of contracted power supply under power purchase agreements by two private sector companies, GUVNL has been forced to manage power from open market. The apex utility had to purchase upto 72 million units on June 1 from IEX (Indian Energy Exchange). However, with higher contribution from wind energy, GUVNL’s electricity purchase from the exchange stood at around 23 million units on June 17.

Source: The Times of India

Over 43 percent of electricity needs met through renewable energy: Infosys

19 June. Infosys, India’s second largest software services firm, saw over 43 percent of its electricity requirements being met through renewable energy sources during 2017-18. As per Infosys’ 11th Annual Sustainability Report, 43.7 percent of the company’s electricity requirements — equating to more than 100 million units — is sourced from renewable sources. The company has an installed capacity of 46.1 MW of solar energy across the country, it said. The company said that it is in the process of adding another 12 MW off-site solar power plant in Karnataka and around 7 MW of on-site solar plants in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mangaluru, Mysuru, Thiruvananthapuram and Chandigarh campuses.

Source: The Times of India

Madhya Pradesh implements 26 MWp rooftop solar programme via RESCOs

19 June. Madhya Pradesh is implementing 26 megawatt peak (MWp) rooftop solar programme via Renewable Energy Service Company (RESCO) mode. The projects are being implemented largely in the government buildings using the subsidy of Central and state governments, Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (MPUVNL) said. Under the RESCO model, the project developer invests, builds and operates the rooftop solar project using its own funds and/or taking debt to generate electricity and sell it to the beneficiary. This programme is in line with India’s ambitious target to achieve 40 GW of solar rooftop installation by 2022. MPUVNL said the second pre-bid meeting for this tender will be held in New Delhi on June 22. RESCOs from across the country are expected to participate in this meeting. Bids for the tender are to be submitted by July 9, 2018. Under the provisions of the tender, the rooftop projects are targeted for commissioning within 9 months from the date of execution of power purchase agreement with the beneficiary procurers.

Source: The Financial Express

Waaree Energies triples capacity with Vapi solar panel plant

18 June. Waaree Energies Ltd has tripled its solar photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturing capacity with a new 1 GW facility in Vapi. This is in addition to the existing 500 MW plant in Surat, Waaree Energies said. Waaree’s focus is on rooftop solar installations. It has already built a network of 250 franchises across India and plans to reach a franchisee count of 1,000 by end-2018. It also has 200 MW of engineering, procurement and construction projects in the pipeline. Though the centre’s decision to increase India’s renewable energy production target to 227 GW by 2022, from the earlier 175 GW, is good news for the sector, Waaree has been struggling to compete with cheap imports from China. With Beijing scaling down its solar energy targets and subsidies, India has become an easy market for Chinese solar panel producers to sell their excess stock.

Source: Livemint

Climate change to affect India’s renewable energy plan

18 June. Changing weather patterns may negatively impact India’s renewable energy generation capacity, developers and weather scientists said. A recent research published in Nature Geoscience, which used 10 global climate models to investigate large-scale changes in wind power generation across the globe, indicated that there will be changes in wind power across Northern Hemisphere, with substantial regional variations. The findings could throw a spanner in the works of the world’s largest renewable energy programme launched by India, which seeks to produce 100 GW from solar projects and 60 GW from wind power plants by March 2022. In fact, Hyderabad-based renewable energy firm Greenko Group said that in the past two years the company has faced certain headwinds in wind power generation. The impact of climate change is also evident from the fact that India incurred losses of $9-10 billion, annually, due to extreme weather events.

Source: Livemint

Gujarat Borosil to invest Rs 4.3 bn to double capacity

17 June. Solar glass manufacturer Gujarat Borosil plans to invest around Rs 435 crore to more than double its manufacturing capacity of tempered solar glass facility by fiscal 2020. The company, which has a facility in Bharuch in Gujarat, currently manufactures 180 tonne per day of 2 mm tempered solar glass, which is used on existing glass modules to improve efficiency. The company plans to increase the capacity to up to 400 tonne per day by 2020.

Source: Business Standard

600 farmers get solar power pumps for irrigation in Bijnor this year

16 June. Farmers in Bijnor are increasingly opting for solar pumps to irrigate their fields due to the subsidy being provided by the government, and also because of the erratic power supply in rural belts. This year, as many as 3,700 farmers had applied for subsidized solar pumps and 600 got them. The government is providing a subsidy of 70% on these pumps which are run on renewable source of energy. In the last three years, the government distributed 450 solar pumps in Bijnor. And this year, the number has jumped to 600.

Source: The Economic Times

Wind, hydro energy help TANGEDCO meet high power demand

16 June. Tamil Nadu’s power demand has once again touched 15,000 MW in June. The power demand comes down after May as the summer heat subsides, but this year, especially in the last few days, the demand has been on the rise, touching 14,997 MW. Due to availability of wind and hydro power, thermal units of TANGEDCO (Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corp) took a break and the generation from these units reduced to 3000 MW. The power demand is expected to come down in the next few days due to weekend and Ramzan holiday.

Source: The Times of India

Solar power plants to be installed on rooftops all senior secondary schools

14 June. Solar power plants would be installed on the rooftops of all senior secondary schools in Haryana, Minister of State for Public Health Engineering Banwari Lal said. In order to promote solar energy, solar photovoltaic power plants are being installed atop various other buildings also, he said. He said solar pumps would be given to 1.5 lakh farmers of the state. Besides, solar lights would be installed at all public health centres and Anganwadi Centres by October this year. A solar power plant of 24 MW capacity would be set up at a cost of Rs 137 crore. It would generate 36 million units of electricity annually and result in saving of Rs 21.60 crore, he said.

Source: Business Standard

600 MW Karnataka solar projects stuck over new wheeling, transmission charges

14 June. A total of 600 MW solar power projects, set up with investment of Rs 2,500 crore under the open access scheme, in Karnataka have come under severe stress after the state electricity regulator last month increased wheeling and transmission charges retrospectively. As per the new order from the Karnataka SERC, dated May 14, developers will have to pay 13 paise/unit as transmission charge at 25% of current charge of 51.09 paise/unit for conventional power producers. These charges were exempted for 10 years from the date of commissioning for open access projects. The wheeling charges levied by various discoms (distribution companies) in Karnataka vary between 57 paise per unit and 94 paisa per unit for conventional (thermal) power producers. Now, solar power developers under open access will have to pay 25% of this as wheeling charge. The open access policy allows solar power generators to directly supply power to consumers, mostly corporates, instead of supplying to discoms. According to industry estimates, setting up a 1 MW solar power plant costs between Rs 4 crore/MW and Rs 4.5 crore/MW, while levellised cost of tariff is between Rs 2.6/unit and Rs 3/unit. Gajanan Nabar, managing director of CleanMax Solar, said that the company, along with other developers, has approached the court and obtained a stay order on the latest charges.

Source: The Financial Express

Union cabinet approves renewable energy pact with Peru

13 June. The Union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved an agreement between India and South American nation Peru for promotion of renewable energy projects. The agreement provides for establishing a Joint Committee to develop Work Plans in order to implement the agreement which will help in strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Source: The Economic Times

President to launch Solar Charkha Mission on June 27

13 June. President Ram Nath Kovind will launch Solar Charkha Mission on June 27, which will entail a subsidy of Rs 550 crore in the initial two years for 50 clusters, Union Minister Giriraj Singh said. The scheme also aims at linking five crore women across the country to the initiative, the Minister said.

Source: Business Standard


Global oil production cuts should be halved if oil at $75 per barrel: Alekperov

19 June. The president of Russia’s second-largest oil firm Lukoil, Vagit Alekperov, said that oil production cuts should be halved if the oil price reaches $75 per barrel. Alekperov said that $75 per barrel was a fair price for oil and that Lukoil could restore its oil output to the same level as before the OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) deal in 2-3 months.

Source: Reuters

Oil market moving ever closer to becoming rebalanced: UAE Energy Minister

18 June. UAE (United Arab Emirates) Energy Minister Suhail Al- Mazrouei said that the oil market is moving closer to rebalancing. Mazrouei, who holds the OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) presidency in 2018, also said he acknowledged concerns expressed by some countries regarding potential shortages in the global oil market. Mazrouei said OPEC will discuss and agree their plans for the remainder of 2018 and beyond when the group meets.

Source: Reuters

Uruguay to adopt permanent offer process for offshore oil blocks: Energy and Mining Minister

16 June. Uruguay will move toward a permanent offer process for offshore oil blocks as other Latin American countries have done, after an April auction failed to attract bids, Industry, Energy and Mining Minister Carolina Cosse said. The tiny South American country had offered up 17 blocks in its first oil auction in seven years, as rising oil prices were renewing companies’ interest in the region. But the legacy of a crash in oil prices that began in 2014 still weighed on their willingness to bid in little-explored areas, Cosse said. Under the new bidding system, the country will set consistent conditions and leave blocks permanently open to bids from companies. That would differ from previous “rounds” of bidding which each had different conditions, meaning companies had to win approval to present an offer each time, Cosse said. Companies including Argentina’s YPF, Portugal’s Galp Energia, BP Plc, Royal Dutch Shell, Tullow Oil, Norway’s Statoil and Exxon Mobil are among the companies currently exploring in Uruguay after winning blocks in previous auctions, but so far have not found hydrocarbons. With more than 1,000 oil and gas blocks on offer in Latin America – mostly in Brazil – 2018 has been a competitive year for countries seeking energy investments. But the results of what some analysts have dubbed “Latin America’s energy reform” have so far been mixed, with some countries reaching record bids and others failing to attract bids at all.

Source: Reuters

Libya’s NOC calls on armed faction leader to withdraw from oil crescent

16 June. Libya’s National Oil Corp (NOC) called for the “unconditional and immediate” withdrawal of militia loyal to Ibrahim Jathran from Ras Lanuf and Es Sider terminals, warning of further damage to key infrastructure. Jathran headed an armed group that blockaded the terminals in Libya’s oil crescent for three years before being forced out by the rival Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Haftar, the dominant figure in eastern Libya. The LNA took control of Es Sider, Ras Lanuf and other ports in the oil crescent in September 2016, reopening them and lifting oil production after the blockade that cost Libya tens of billions of dollars in lost oil exports.

Source: Reuters

Venezuela eyes first-ever refining of foreign oil

14 June. Venezuela is considering producing fuels from foreign crude oil for the first time, according to planning documents, as the country struggles to meet its obligations despite having the world’s largest crude reserves. State-run oil company PDVSA may process up to 57,000 barrels per day (bpd) of foreign crude in June at the country’s largest refinery, according to a monthly refining plan. The output would help fulfill fuel contracts for Russian, Chinese and other customers and reduce purchases of fuels for domestic use, the documents showed. PDVSA has been falling short on fuel exports in recent years due to a lack of lighter crudes to refine, a shortage of spare parts, poor maintenance, and management upheaval at its domestic refining network. PDVSA also lost access in May to inventories produced in Curacao, where it operates the Isla refinery. Venezuela, an OPEC member country, has never before imported foreign crude oil for its domestic refineries, although it has blended African, Russian and United States crudes with its extra heavy oil to make exportable products. It also has purchased foreign oil for Caribbean refineries and to supply allies, including Cuba. In May, the country produced 1.53 million bpd of crude, according to numbers delivered to OPEC, but other sources put the figure at 1.39 million bpd, which would be the lowest monthly output since the 1950s. To meet its domestic demands and PDVSA’s fuel supply contracts, Venezuela would have to produce some 850,000 bpd of fuels, the documents show. Neither of the June alternatives show it getting close to that level. If PDVSA decides to process the foreign crude, it would produce 606,000 bpd, and less if it does not.

Source: Reuters

Canada oil output to rise 33 percent by 2035, pipeline woes weigh

13 June. Canada’s oil output is set to rise 33 percent by 2035, driven almost entirely by higher oil sands production, but without new export pipelines Canadian producers will continue to be excluded from emerging markets. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) also warned that Canada’s inability to get new crude export pipelines built, along with regulatory uncertainty, was weighing on investor confidence. Despite the challenges, CAPP said Canadian output would rise to 5.6 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2035, compared with 4.2 million bpd in 2017, driven largely by a 58.5 percent jump in oil sand production to 4.2 million bpd. Western Canada accounts for roughly 95 percent of Canada’s oil production, with the bulk coming from Alberta’s oil sands, but an exodus of international oil majors has prompted doubts over whether the region can compete with US (United States) shale plays. Indeed, capital spending on oil projects in the US rose 38 percent to hit $120 billion in 2017, while investment in Canada dropped to C$45 billion ($34.6 billion), CAPP said. Efforts to build new pipelines to the coast to tap into emerging markets like China and India have so far failed. Canada sends roughly 99 percent of its oil to the US, most of it deeply discounted against the US benchmark price. With Canadian oil output already surpassing pipe capacity, pipeline operators are also looking to expand major export lines to the US, but those projects face their own political and regulatory hurdles.

Source: Reuters

Permian Basin oil production to reach 5.4 mbpd in 2023: IHS Markit

13 June. Oil production in the US (United States) Permian Basin is expected to total 5.4 million barrels per day (mbpd) in 2023, driven by nearly 41,000 new wells and $308 billion in upstream spending between 2018 and 2023, analytics and data provider IHS Markit said. The forecast is based on an assumption of an oil price environment of around $60 per barrel or higher, the company said. The Permian Basin, located in Texas and New Mexico, is the United States’ biggest oil patch. Production of both natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs) in the Permian are expected to double during this period, reaching 15 billion cubic feet per day and 1.7 mbpd, respectively, IHS Markit said.

Source: Reuters


ExxonMobil Papua New Guinea LNG export plant offers cargo for July

19 June. ExxonMobil’s Papua New Guinea liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant has offered a cargo for July delivery. The cargo is being offered on a delivered ex-ship (DES) or free-on-board (FOB) basis. It will load from the plant around July 6-7 and will arrive in Japan or Taiwan over July 15-22, or into South Korea or China over July 16-23 or into Dahej, India on July 20.

Source: Reuters

CNOOC developing new deep sea gas block in South China Sea

19 June. China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) has started developing a new gas field in the South China Sea. The Lingshui 17-2 gas field is the first deep sea gas block fully operated by a Chinese company. The deep sea project, which was discovered in 2014, is 150 kilometre (94 miles) south of China’s southern Hainan island, with an average operational depth of 1,500 metres. CNOOC is ready to start building a subsea level platform used for drilling.

Source: Reuters

BHP offers August loading LNG cargo from Australia export plant

19 June. Global mining and resources company BHP is offering to sell a liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo from its North West Shelf export plant in Australia, traders said. The cargo will load over the August 15-17 period and is offered on a free-on-board basis, traders said.

Source: Reuters

Japan’s Osaka Gas moves forward plan for restoring piped gas supplies

19 June. Japan’s Osaka Gas Company said it would bring forward its schedule for restoring normal piped gas supplies to customers hit by an unplanned disruption following a magnitude 6.1 earthquake a day earlier. Osaka Gas would try to resume normal supplies to affected customers by June 25, ahead of its previous schedule of between June 26 and 30, the company said. The move comes after Osaka Gas and other firms in the industry nearly tripled the number of staff tackling the restoration effort to about 2,900 from an original plan of 1,000. Piped gas supplies were cut off to about 112,000 Osaka Gas customers in Takatsuki, Ibaraki and two other cities in Osaka prefecture, for safety checks following the quake, the trade ministry said. Osaka Gas said there had been no impact on its core facilities for supplying piped gas, sometimes called ‘city gas’.

Source: Reuters

Trafigura signs second storage agreement with Singapore LNG Corp

18 June. Commodities trader Trafigura has signed a second deal with Singapore LNG Corp (SLNG), operator of the city-state’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, for storage and reload services, the two companies said. Under the agreement, which was signed on May 30, Trafigura will have access to 160,000 cubic metres of firm LNG storage capacity on a segregated basis for the next 24 months, they said. It is the second such agreement that Trafigura has signed to use excess LNG storage capacity at SLNG’s terminal on Jurong Island off western Singapore. The first deal was signed in 2015. The SLNG terminal currently has three 188,000 cubic metre storage tanks and a regasification capacity of around 6 million tonnes per year. A fourth storage tank, which will add around 260,000 cubic meters of storage capacity, will be ready this year. Trafigura has been active in LNG trading and placed the first transparent bid in commodities price agency S&P Global Platts’ pricing process. Trafigura increased its traded volumes of LNG by 27 percent to 8.1 million tonnes in 2017 after expanding its trading desk, aided by sharp Asian demand growth.

Source: Reuters

US approves work on EQT Mountain Valley natural gas pipe

18 June. US (United States) federal energy regulators approved EQT Midstream Partners LP’s request to proceed with construction along various segments of its $3.5 billion Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline from West Virginia to Virginia. The segments include construction in parts of Harrison County, West Virginia and Roanoke County, Virginia, the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said. The 303 mile (488 kilometer) pipeline is designed to deliver up to 2 billion cubic feet per day of gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale formations in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio to meet growing demand for the fuel for power generation and other uses in the US Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.

Source: Reuters

ConocoPhillips awards three contracts for Australian offshore gas project

17 June. ConocoPhillips has awarded three engineering contracts for the design of the major Barossa gas project intended to supply its Darwin LNG export plant for more than 20 years, the firm said. Barossa is an offshore gas and light condensate project in Australian territorial waters in the Timor Sea, 300 kilometre (186 miles) north of the northern city of Darwin. It is expected to produce about 3.7 million tonnes per year of liquefied natural gas and 1.5 million barrels per year of condensate once it begins production, Australia’s offshore petroleum regulator has said. ConocoPhillips will make a final investment decision on the project at the end of next year. The Darwin LNG plant, majority-owned and operated by ConocoPhillips sells all its gas to Japan through Tokyo Gas and JERA, a joint venture between Japanese firms Tokyo Electric and Chibu Electric, it said. Barossa is the first stage of the Barossa-Caldita proposal accepted by the regulator, National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority, in March, and would involve a floating ship producing from six wells. Japan’s Mitsui Ocean Development & Engineering Company, which supplies offshore floating platforms, has been awarded a contract to help design the floating, production, storage and offloading ship.

Source: Reuters

Argentina to export natural gas to Chile by end of 2018

15 June. Argentina will begin exporting natural gas to neighbouring Chile before the end of the year, as output from the Vaca Muerta shale field rises. The two South American countries had previously signed deals allowing for the export of gas or electricity in emergency situations, but required that an equivalent amount be re-imported within twelve months. Chilean companies are in talks to sign import deals and the first flow of gas across the Andes could come in October or November of this year, Chile Energy Minister Susana Jimenez said. The gas could be used for electricity generation, replacing imports from elsewhere, or to heat homes in areas where families still depend on wood, a source of pollution in the center-south region, Jimenez said. Chile produces little hydrocarbons of its own. The unrestricted exports would mark a turning point in energy trade in the region. Argentina was once a major supplier of natural gas to Chile, but triggered a diplomatic crisis in the mid-2000s by cutting off shipments when its own supplies ran low. Argentina sits atop the world’s No. 2 shale gas reserves but is still a net energy importer. Since taking office in December 2015, President Mauricio Macri has sought to loosen labor rules and boost infrastructure to attract investment. Rising output from Vaca Muerta could help the country export more than it imports by 2021, Argentina’s Energy Minister Juan Jose Aranguren said. The country is set to import slightly more than 50 cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) this year, down from 68 last year and 90 in 2015. Argentina still needs the LNG imports to meet peak winter demand, but in the southern hemisphere summer months it could see a surplus, Aranguren said.

Source: Reuters

Chevron starts second production unit at Wheatstone LNG in Australia

15 June. Chevron Corp has started producing liquefied natural gas (LNG) at the second unit of its $34 billion Wheatstone development, marking the completion of its two megaprojects in Australia after cost-blowouts and delays. Wheatstone Train 2 is the last of five LNG production units built by Chevron in the state of Western Australia over the past decade at a combined cost of $88 billion. Wheatstone LNG, with a total capacity of 8.9 million tonnes a year, is the eighth LNG project to be completed in Australia. That puts the nation on track to challenge Qatar as the world’s biggest LNG exporter when the two remaining ongoing projects – Inpex Corp’s Ichthys and Royal Dutch Shell’s Prelude floating LNG – are finished. At full capacity, Wheatstone is expected to make up about 6 percent of the Asia Pacific region’s LNG production, Chevron said. The first cargo from Wheatstone was shipped from Train 1 in October, 2017, a few months behind target, following hiccups in the start-up of Chevron’s $54 billion Gorgon project, which slowed work on Wheatstone.

Source: Reuters


South Korea’s KOSPO buys 160k tonnes coal for Sept-Oct 2018

18 June. Korea Southern Power Co Ltd (KOSPO) bought 160,000 tonnes of coal for loading between September and October via a tender that closed, the utility said. KOSPO originally sought to buy a total of 480,000 tonnes of coal but declined to buy 320,000 tonnes due to high prices, the utility said. It had not yet decided whether to re-issue a tender for the cancelled amount.  The utility purchased 160,000 tonnes of coal from Indonesia, the source said, without giving price and supplier information.

Source: Reuters

World Bank in doubt whether to back Kosovo coal-fired power plant

13 June. The World Bank said it has not yet decided whether to support a planned 500 MW coal-fired power plant in Kosovo, the first major energy project in the Balkan country in more than two decades. Kosovo’s government signed a deal with US (United States)-based but London-listed power generator ContourGlobal to build the plant at a cost of around 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion). Kosovo is struggling with power shortages. Around 90 percent of its electricity is produced in two ailing coal-fired plants that are seen as among the worst polluters in Europe.

Source: Reuters


China’s State Power to bid for Brazil hydroelectric dam

16 June. China’s State Power Investment Corp is likely to deliver a bid for Brazil’s fourth-largest hydroelectric dam as soon as next month. China’s State Power Investment Corp had been in talks with shareholders of the Santo Antonio plant last year, before breaking off negotiations to bid for another dam. Cia Energética de Minas Gerais (Cemig) and Odebrecht SA, the owners of the 3.6 GW Santo Antonio dam in the state of Rondonia, are selling assets to pay down debt. China’s State Power Investment Corp paid 7.2 billion reais ($1.9 billion) in a September auction for the license to operate the 1.7 GW Sao Simao hydroelectric plant. The Chinese group was looking for new targets in Brazil. China’s State Power Investment Corp, which has 120 GW of power generating capacity in 41 countries, aims to add 30 GW worldwide through 2020.

Source: Reuters

California power prices rose 25 percent in 2017 due to higher gas costs

15 June. California’s wholesale electric costs rose 25 percent in 2017 due to higher natural gas prices, according to a report by the market monitor for the state’s power grid operator. The average total cost of electricity and reserves in the state’s power grid run by the California Independent System Operator (ISO) rose to $41.77 per megawatt hour (MWh) in 2017 from $33.52 in 2016, the market monitor said. Power prices in 2015 and 2016 were both at record lows for the biggest trading hubs in the West with SP-15 EL-PK-SP15-SNL in Southern California averaging just $34.16 per MWh in 2015 and $30.96 per MWh in 2016. The market monitor said peak demand in the ISO rose in 2017 to 50,116 MW from 46,232 in 2016. The all-time peak was 50,270 MW in 2006.

Source: Reuters

South African power outages enter second day as workers protest

15 June. South Africa suffered power outages for a second day as workers protested over wages at national electricity provider Eskom, in a test of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s resolve to cut costs at struggling state companies. Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said Eskom and the unions had agreed to resume talks immediately on conditions that include Eskom makes a pay increase offer and operations return to normal. Eskom, which produces more than 90 percent of South Africa’s power, said it would implement outages throughout the day because of an “illegal protest action” by some of its employees.

Source: Reuters


Strike hits hydro plants, data shows output unaffected: France’s EDF

19 June. France’s EDF said workers had gone on strike at the utility’s hydroelectric plants and that a fall in power output was possible, although latest data from the grid operator showed no dip for the moment. Earlier, EDF said it had received notice from employees of their plans to launch a 10-day strike, the latest in a series of walkouts to hit the transport and energy sectors of the euro zone’s second biggest economy. State-controlled EDF did not give more details on the impact of the industrial action. Hydropower accounted for 10.1 percent of France’s power supply in 2017.

Source: Reuters

Belgian reactor closures to hit Engie 2018 profit

18 June. French gas and power group Engie said that unscheduled outages at its Belgian nuclear reactors will have an impact of € 250 million ($289.15 million) on its 2018 core and net profit. The company said that it was confident that it would be able to compensate this negative impact on the back of the commercial dynamic of group activities, as well as the performance of its midstream gas business and hydropower assets in France.

Source: Reuters

China cuts subsidies for some renewable power projects: Finance ministry

15 June. Some Chinese biomass and waste-to-energy plants will no longer be eligible for renewable energy subsidies, the country’s finance ministry said, as it bids to resolve a huge payment backlog. The ministry said that a series of co-fired plants burning a mixture of coal, forest waste and household refuse would no longer be entitled to financial support. The ministry has been struggling to find the funds to pay a subsidy backlog now amounting to an estimated 120 billion yuan ($18.71 billion), following a rapid surge in solar and wind capacity.

Source: Reuters

Cambridge University sticks to indirect fossil fuel investments

15 June. Cambridge University said it would keep investing in funds that hold shares in fossil fuel companies, despite public pressure from hundreds of its academics. One of the most eminent academic institutions in the world, Cambridge University has an endowment fund (CUEF) of just under 3 billion pounds ($3.98 billion), the vast majority of which is invested indirectly through funds. Any weakening in the performance of the fund would mean less support to academic activities, it said. It had no direct investment in fossil fuel companies and wanted to avoid any direct investment in coal and tar sands, while keeping any indirect investment in those areas to a minimum.

Source: Reuters

Climate protection goals hard to reach: Austria’s energy regulator

13 June. Austria may find it tough to achieve its goal of producing as much energy from renewable resources as it consumes by 2030 due to public opposition to new dams and other projects that disturb nature, the head of energy regulator e-Control said. The 2030 target is part of a climate and energy strategy, which the coalition government’s conservative and far-right parties adopted last month. The goal is in line with the Alpine country’s commitment to the 2015 Paris climate accords. Austria already generates about 75 percent of its annual energy consumption of 65 terawatt hours (TWh) from renewables thanks to its many rivers and lakes. The country, covering 84,000 square kilometre, has about 130 large hydropower plants. But adding more dams would require inundating an even larger area with water, which could spark protests. By 2030, Austria aims to generate the amount of energy it consumes each year from renewables, although it still expects to need fossil fuels to meet peak demand, but allowing it to export or storage excess levels.

Source: Reuters


Investments in Power Sector in India

Rs Crore

Sector 2015-16 2016-17
Transmission Sector 39, 399.57 40, 703.22
Generation & Distribution Sector 1, 28, 108.3 66, 854.64

Investment Trends in Transmission Sector

Investment Trends in Generation & Distribution Sector

Source: Rajya Sabha, Unstarred Q. No. 2879

Publisher: Baljit Kapoor

Editorial Adviser: Lydia Powell

Editor: Akhilesh Sati

Content Development: Vinod Kumar Tomar

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