MonitorsPublished on Sep 30, 2019
Energy News Monitor | Volume XVI; Issue 16


Monthly Non-Fossil Fuels News Commentary: August - September 2019


Solar installations in India, during the H1 of 2019 reached 3.2 GW. This is a 35 percent decline in capacity, compared to 5.1 GW added in H1 of 2018, according to Mercom India. In its report on Q2 2019, titled India Solar Market Update, Mercom found that the total installations in the Indian solar market declined by 14 percent in the second quarter, reaching 1,510 MW as against 1,761 MW in Q1 2019. Installations were also lower year-over-year compared to 1,665 MW in Q2 2018. In Q2 2019, large-scale installations totalled 1,218 MW compared to 1,498 MW in Q1 2019 and 1,250 MW installed in Q2 2018. The large-scale solar project development pipeline has increased to 22 GW. About 34 GW of solar has been tendered and was pending to be auctioned at the end of the quarter. Rooftop installations grew by 11 percent quarter-over-quarter in Q2 2019, totalling 292 MW compared to 263 MW installed in Q1 2019. Total power capacity additions in the first half of 2019 was 8 GW in India from all power generation sources. Of this, renewable energy sources accounted for nearly 58 percent of installations, with solar representing 41 percent of new capacity. Wind energy accounted for 15 percent of the new capacity while coal represented for almost 42 percent of new capacity added. Mercom forecasts India to install over 8 GW of solar capacity during 2019. The report estimates solar installations in India to reach approximately 70 GW by the end of 2022 based on the current market dynamics. India has achieved half of its renewable energy production target. The government plans to achieve 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 as part of its climate commitments. India currently has an installed renewable energy capacity of around 80 GW.

The MNRE has decided to enlist approved models and manufacturers of solar PV cells and modules complying with the BIS norms, according to the latest MNRE notification. The ALMM will consist of two lists. List-I will specify models and manufacturers of solar PV modules, and list-II will specify models and manufacturers of solar PV cells. The effective dates for operationalising of these lists has been set as 31 March 2020 after which, only the models and manufacturers included in ALMM lists (of solar PV cells and modules) will be eligible for use in government and government-assisted projects, and schemes and programmes, to be implemented across the country. All projects for which bids have been finalised before the issuance of order shall stand exempted from the mandatory requirement of procurement of cells and modules enlisted in the ALMM order. The associations of solar power developers and solar equipment manufacturers have also been kept informed regarding compliance to the order. MNRE has also written to some of the main banks/financial institutes in this regard, and department of financial services has been requested to bring it to the notice of all concerned banks and financial institutes for necessary compliance. During the inspection, the team shall conduct the production and sale audit of the company to ensure that the solar cells and modules being supplied are indeed made in the same unit. The MNRE has issued guidelines for series approval of solar PV inverters for conducting testing in labs.  The guidelines are meant to facilitate test labs to approve the product family including change in design and materials for the solar inverters for their compulsory registration with BIS and for the implementation of the Solar Photovoltaics Systems Order. The guidelines are applicable for solar PV-based off grid, grid-tied and hybrid inverters of capacities up to 150 kW, the MNRE said. Under the guidelines, the manufacturer will submit a declaration about the series of the product while submitting the samples for testing. Of the range of models to be covered under registration, the highest rated model will be tested to cover the entire range of family. The lab will be required to charge the cost of testing only for the highest-rated inverter size model and the product label of each series model will be placed in the test report. Domestic solar equipment manufacturers have requested the MNRE to stick to the plan of using indigenously manufactured components in the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM-Kusum) scheme. In the wake of favourable market visibility stemming from the Kusum scheme, existing manufacturers (Adani Group’s Mundra Solar, Jupiter Solar, Premier Solar, Euro Multivision and Renewsys) have short-term investment plans to set up 2,400 MW of solar cell-making capacity. The current installed cell manufacturing capacity is 3,164 MW. In the letter, ISMA has requested the government to “maintain the resolve to develop a solar manufacturing base in India, which we are sure will happen in the next 15 to 24 months”. It said the government’s mandate on domestic equipment will increase solar-cell manufacturing base to 8-10 GW by 2021. The imposition of the safeguard duty in July last year on solar imports from China and Malaysia and ‘developed countries’ has not done much to domestic manufacturers. Though it reduced imports by 44 percent to $2.2 bn in FY19, it was mainly on the back of slower solar capacity additions. The country added 6.5 GW of solar plants in the fiscal, recording an annual fall of 31 percent.

Gujarat will likely add 46 GW to its new renewable energy capacity by 2029-30, according to a new report by the IEEFA. While Gujarat has already lifted its renewable energy target to 30 GW in July from 17 GW, the state could be more ambitious, with the ministry of new and renewable energy estimating its renewable energy potential to be 72.7 GW, equally balanced between solar and wind energy potential. According to the report, renewable capacity addition of 4-5 GW annually would ensure that Gujarat’s incremental demand going ahead is supplied by renewables. This would be a dramatic shift in Gujarat’s electricity sector composition, with renewables forming 70 percent of its capacity and 48 per cent of generation by 2029-30. The IEEFA notes the incorporation of nearly 55 GW of intermittent renewable energy into Gujarat’s electricity network would require investment and active measures on the grid integration and balancing front.

The Rajasthan government and Utah state of the US have entered into a partnership for knowledge sharing in the energy sector. The two states signed an MoU to advance state-level policy exchange, share emerging knowledge of innovative energy solutions and to develop direct ties between Utah and the Rajasthan government agencies and private sector energy companies for creating new grid and off-grid energy availability. The two states discussed challenges and opportunities for collaboration between the two states, including renewable energy integration, power plant flexibility, transmission and distribution sector issues, energy storage and electric mobility, the US embassy said. Utah has experienced a 150 percent growth in renewable energy in advancing affordable, reliable and clean power options for its thriving economy and high quality of life.

Delhi government’s plan to generate solar energy on agricultural land is set to take off. The power department will soon float tenders to invite companies to set up the solar plants under the Mukhyamantri Kisan Aay Badhotari Solar Yojana under the public-private participation model. The scheme was approved by the government in July last year, but picked up speed only after Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission notified the net metering guidelines. The energy generated through the renewable source will be exported to the grid and then supplied to the areas. Under the scheme, the private companies under the Renewable Energy Service Company model will be allowed to install solar panels on not more than one-third of the total land owned by a farmer. The farmers will be paid ₹100,000/acre as rent with 6 percent annual increase for 25 years. By the 25th year, the farmer will be getting ₹404,000/ acre from the companies.

In an effort to bring down Tamil Nadu farmers' dependence on electricity, the state government has planned on a trial basis to set-up 20,000 solar systems that will be connected to water pumps. The project which is being implemented by TEDA comes under the Central renewable energy ministry’s scheme KUSUM. As per the scheme, 1 million agriculture pumps in India that are currently connected to the electricity grid will be connected to a solar PV panel which will in turn set-up by each state government at the ground level. According to Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission, there are around 2.1 million agriculture pumps in the state which can consume as much as 8,900 MW. Out of 29,859 MW of electricity generated in the state in 2017, 30 percent was used only by these pumps. Experts in the renewable energy sector said that this number can be cut down by more than half of the pumps work on solar energy. TEDA will be installing 20,000 solar panels connected to the pump across seven to eight regions in the state, free of cost. The MNRE has also fixed a target of installing 1.8 mn stand-alone solar pumps and setting up 10,000 MW of decentralised solar power plants across the country.

Public sector NLCIL, formerly Neyveli Lignite Corp Ltd, said it has surpassed the 1 GW installed renewable energy capacity at its facility. The Tamil Nadu-based 'Navratna' company under the coal ministry had a present mining capacity of 30.6 mt of lignite per annum. The present power generation capacity, including that of its joint venture with Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corp Ltd, is 5,192 MW. With this, the total installed renewable energy capacity of NLCIL has exceeded 1 GW, the company said.

Himachal Pradesh signed two pacts for setting up solar power plants with an outlay of ₹10 bn. The state aims to tap 776 MW solar power by 2022. One pact for ₹6 bn was signed with Renew Energy Private Ltd for setting up a 150 MW solar plant, which is proposed to commission by 2021, while the second was signed with Centre for Science and Environment Development (India) Private Ltd for setting up a 100 MW plant. The solar plants would be set up in Una and Kangra districts. The special initiative is called 'Solar in Schools' in Shimla in partnership with the Himachal Pradesh Council for Science, Technology and Environment. The GSP 2018 environmental audit of 1,700 schools revealed that only 13 percent of schools operate on solar energy. In Himachal Pradesh, of the 114 schools that participated in the GSP Audit 2018, only 16 claimed to have installed solar energy systems. Many of the schools were burning biomass or wood mainly for cooking mid-day meals. The programme will be piloted first in Shimla, and will be rolled out in phases. The participating schools will submit an energy audit of their schools to identify the sources of energy used. Himachal Pradesh is also one of the 11 special category states that can claim 70 percent of the project cost as Central Financial Assistance under the National Solar Mission.

Tata Power announced that its 100 percent subsidiary TPREL commissioned 150 MW solar capacity in Village Chhayan, Tehsil Pokharan, State Rajasthan. With this, the overall operating renewable capacity of TPREL now stands at 2,628 MW in India. The Company had won this capacity in a bid at a tariff of ₹2.72/kWh announced by MSEDCL during May 2018. The sale of power from this solar plant has been tied up under a 25 year PPA with MSEDCL. The project is connected at 220 kV to PGCIL’s Bhadla substation making it the Company’s first ISTS solar project. The Company is currently developing 500 MW of renewable capacity across the country including 100 MW under PPA signed with UPPCL and NPCL in UP, 100 MW under a PPA signed with GUVNL at Raghanesda solar park and 250 MW at Dholera solar park.

Clean energy solution provider Vikram Solar said it has commissioned eastern India’s largest single-shed rooftop solar project for Keventer Agro at Nilganj, West Bengal. The 2.15 MW project was awarded to Vikram Solar by Keventer Agro Ltd, the company said. The shed top solar plant has been built to increase the capacity of Keventer’s food processing plant as well as to leave a green footprint by using non-conventional energy at the Barasat plant, the company said. The project is expected to have 2.835 mn unit energy yield and will offset 2,647 metric tonne CO2 annually. Vikram Solar currently has a rooftop portfolio of 70 MW (commissioned + under execution) and has delivered green energy solutions to government entities such as - ISRO, IOCL, SBI, WBSEDCL, and AAI. The client list in private sector includes - SL Group, Century Ply, KBL, and Anmol Biscuits, etc.

Adani Green Energy signed a securities purchase agreement for acquisition of 205 MW operating solar assets of Essel Green Energy and Essel Infra projects. The assets are located in Punjab, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh. All the assets have long term PPAs with various state electricity distribution companies. The portfolio is relatively young with average remaining PPA life of approximately 22 years. The closing of the transaction is subject to customary approvals and conditions. The acquisition of these assets is at an enterprise valuation of approximately ₹13 bn. The existing long-term funding will continue.

After installing the Andhra’s largest-ever rooftop solar power plant with a capacity of two megawatts in September last year, HSL is now going about doubling its capacity. HSL has entered into a buyback arrangement for 25 years with Clean Max, one of the cost effective projects for any industry. The company will bear the expenditure incurred on the project and the only commitment for HSL is to provide its vacant roofs, offer administrative support and buy the power generated for its consumption at a fixed rate of ₹3.9/kWh.

Renewable energy production capacity has seen an increase of 30 percent in Surat in the past 18 months. Of the 250 kWh of electricity that the city produces, share of wind and solar energy is 90 percent. Surat happens to be the only city in the country whose captive power generation meets 33 percent of demand of consumers, with wind and solar power plants playing a significant role in this. SMC’s annual energy demand is 250 GWh. At present, SMC produces 78.4 GWh of wind energy. This saves SMC ₹472 mn/annum on electricity bills, it helps reduce emission of 64,000 tonne per annum of CO2. SMC has set up 6 MW solar power plants in last three years and they generate 8.3 GWh of energy, saving it another ₹52 mn annually on electricity bills and also reducing CO2 emission by 7,000 tonnes per year. SMC has plans to increase solar power generation from 6 MW to 10 MW and wind power production from 32.4 MW to 38.7 MW in another three years. Its thrust is on rooftop solar plant installation in the city. Till now, nearly 6,000 rooftops have been covered in last 18 months. The local body plans to have 15,000 rooftop solar plant installation by 2021-22 with installed capacity of 100 MW.

As many as 103 private hydropower projects in Arunachal Pradesh totalling about 35 GW are still to take off despite the government’s Act East policy focus. This comes against the backdrop of growing concerns on the delay in India’s plans to generate power from rivers originating from neighbouring China. The projects that are estimated to require investments of about ₹3.5 trillion were awarded to the private power producers by the Arunachal Pradesh government. The state government has approached the Centre to explore whether state-run power producers such as NHPC Ltd would want to take over the projects. The Arunachal Pradesh government has already issued termination notices to 21 such projects totalling around 2.5 GW. A delay in building hydropower projects in Arunachal Pradesh on rivers originating in China will affect India’s strategy of establishing its prior-use claim over the waters, according to international law. India is concerned that hydropower projects planned in Arunachal Pradesh may be affected by the neighbouring country’s plan to divert water from rivers that flow into the Brahmaputra towards the arid zones of Xinjiang and Gansu. India’s north-eastern region, along with Bhutan, has a total hydropower generation potential of about 58 GW. Of this, Arunachal Pradesh alone accounts for 50.32 GW. India at present has an installed generation capacity of 357.87GW, of which 13 percent or about 45.4 GW comes from hydropower projects.

The government plans to set up around 5,000 compressed biogas plants by 2022, producing 15 mt or 40 percent of India’s current annual consumption of compressed natural gas of 44 mt. IOC plans giving a big boost to the compressed biogas business by procuring biogas from across India and selling it at its retail outlets, as part of India’s strategy to reduce dependence on imported fuel and double farm income by 2022. Biogas, produced naturally through anaerobic decomposition from waste or biomass sources like agriculture residue, cattle dung, sugarcane press mud and solid waste, also provides an additional source of income to farmers. The company has already issued 200 letters of intent out of 250 issued by all PSUs put together for supply of gas in 250 kg cascades at a price of ₹48/kg for a distance of 50 km. The gas procured will be sold through fuel retail outlets or separate CBG stations at the retail outlets not only to the domestic customers but also to the industrial customers. The companies also plan to integrate compressed biogas networks with city gas distribution networks to boost supplies to domestic and retail users in existing and upcoming markets. This scheme was initiated by PSU oil marketing companies and GAIL (India) Ltd as an alternative source of fuel to reduce India’s dependence on imported fossil fuel by 10 percent by 2022, and help double farm income. The government plans to set up around 5,000 compressed biogas plants by 2022, producing 15 mt or 40 percent of India’s current annual consumption of compressed natural gas of 44 mt.

Rest of the World

Global investment in new capacity for renewable energy is on course to reach $2.6 tn by the end of this decade, more than triple the amount of the previous decade, a report commissioned by the UN Environment Programme said. Solar power has attracted the most investment this decade at $1.3 tn. By the end of this year, there will be more solar capacity installed this decade - 638 GW - than any other power generation technology. Around 529 GW of new coal plants have been added this decade, 487 GW of new wind capacity and 438 GW of new gas-fired power generation. Although more new capacity was added for solar than coal or gas, it does not directly translate into new power generation because solar is intermittent and dependent on sunlight. Despite the growth of renewables, global power sector emissions are likely to have risen by at least 10 percent by the end of this decade.

China’s new installations of solar power are expected to slow considerably this year and over the next five years as the industry comes to terms with a new subsidy-free era, GCL System Integration Technology said. China’s new solar installations hit a record 53 GW in 2017, but slowed to 41 GW in 2018 after the government announced a massive scaling-back of subsidies in order to ease pressures on the transmission system and reduce a subsidy payment backlog estimated at more than $14 bn. GCL and others are taking advantage of a global boom that could bring the share of renewables in the world’s total generation capacity to 80 percent by 2050, according to Norwegian energy firm Statkraft. China’s parliament will send inspection teams throughout the country to ensure regions are prioritizing renewable energy resources, in a bid to cut waste and boost the sector’s profitability. China’s total renewable power amounted to 728 GW at the end of 2018, up 12 percent on the year and amounting to 38 percent of total installed generation capacity. This included hydro and biomass as well as solar and wind. But regulators want plants to operate without state subsidies, partly in order to ease a payment backlog of more than $14 bn. China operates a so-called traffic light system to improve what it calls the rhythm of renewable infrastructure construction, giving regions the green light to approve new projects only if they have sufficient transmission capacity to take them on. China said the rate of wastage in the solar power sector fell 1.2 percentage points to 2.4 percent in the first half of this year, but it was still at 25.7 percent in Tibet and 10.6 percent in Xinjiang.

US President Donald Trump will announce a plan to boost demand for biofuels. The spat over the waivers has left the White House caught between the oil industry, which wants its refineries freed from obligations to blend ethanol into the fuel supply, and farmers in key election states who grow the corn used to make the ethanol. The Trump administration has scrambled Cabinet members for several weeks now to churn out a plan that would quell the uproar among the farmers, who say the biofuel waivers granted by the EPA to small refining facilities undermine demand for the corn-based fuel. The EPA announced a decision to grant 31 biofuel waivers to refineries facing financial hardship. The US RFS requires refiners to blend 15 bn gallons of ethanol into their gasoline each year, or buy credits from those that do. Small refining facilities can seek exemptions from the RFS if they believe the requirement will do them financial harm, but Trump’s EPA has vastly expanded the waiver program and has provided waivers to facilities owned by big profitable companies like ExxonMobil and Chevron.  Under the plan, the US EPA will calculate a three-year rolling average of total biofuels gallons exempted from the mandates under its Small Refinery Exemption program and add that figure to its annual biofuel blending quotas each year. For 2020, that figure would be 1.35 bn gallons. As a result, if the Trump administration followed through on the plan, next year’s total blending mandate would come out to about 22.4 bn gallons, from just over 20 bn in the EPA’s current proposal. The EPA has until the end of November to finalize its 2020 biofuel volumes mandates. Under the RFS, oil refiners are required to blend increasing volumes of biofuels like corn-based ethanol into their fuel each year, to help farmers and reduce imports, but small refining facilities in financial straits can seek waivers. US refiner Valero Energy Corp said it has started a cost review of a new plant in Port Arthur, Texas, along with food processor Darling Ingredients Inc. The facility, which aims to tap into the growing global demand for renewable diesel, is expected to produce 400 mn gallons of diesel and 40 mn gallons of renewable naphtha a year. The final investment decision on the project is expected in 2021. If approved, the construction of the first renewable diesel facility in Texas could begin in the same year, with expected operations starting in 2024. Production from the plant would increase Diamond Green Diesel Holdings’s annual renewable diesel production to about 1.1 bn gallons, with nearly 100 mn gallons of renewable naphtha production, the companies said.

Russia’s first-floating nuclear power plant has arrived to its permanent base near an isolated Russian town across the Bering Strait from Alaska, Russian state nuclear energy company. Rosatom said it aims to make the floating station operational by the year-end. It would become the world’s northernmost nuclear power station. The plant will replace a coal-fired power plant and an aging nuclear power plant supplying more than 50,000 people with electricity in Chukotka. Rosatom has long planned to launch the sea-borne power units, which, with their mobile, small capacity plants, are best suited to remote regions. It has said they can help the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming. Environmental protection groups, including Greenpeace, have expressed their concerns over potential safety issues.  Developed by the Russian state nuclear company Rosatom, the plant, known as “Akademik Lomonosov”, set off on a 5,000 km journey through Arctic waters to reach the Chukotka region, which lies across the Bering Strait from Alaska. The plant, loaded with nuclear fuel, will replace a coal-fired power plant and an aging nuclear power plant supplying more than 50,000 people with electricity in the town of Pevek. Rosatom said the plant is safe and can serve as a new power source for the planet’s most isolated communities, but environmentalists have voiced concerns over the risk of nuclear accidents.

Japan’s TEPCO said it may start to decommission at least one nuclear reactor at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power plant, the world’s biggest nuclear plant by capacity, within five years of restarting two of the reactors at the site. In 2017, TEPCO received initial regulatory approval from the Japanese government to restart the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, each with a capacity of 1,356 MW. The plant site has seven reactors with a total capacity of 8,212 MW, equal to 20 percent of Japan’s nuclear capacity. The facility is TEPCO’s last remaining nuclear plant after it announced plans to shut its Fukushima Daini station, nearby the Fukushima Daichi station where a massive earthquake and tsunami caused the meltdown of three of the site’s reactors in 2011. TEPCO has been trying to convince local authorities near Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, who have sign-off rights on nuclear restarts, that it has overcome operational failings revealed at Fukushima.  Japan’s New Environment Minister wants the country to close down nuclear reactors to avoid a repeat of the Fukushima catastrophe in 2011. Three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi station run by Tokyo Electric Power melted down after being hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, spewing radiation that forced 160,000 people to flee, many never to return. Most of Japan’s nuclear reactors, which before Fukushima supplied about 30 percent of the country’s electricity, are going through a re-licensing process under new safety standards imposed after the disaster highlighted regulatory and operational failings. Japan has six reactors operating at present, a fraction of the 54 units before Fukushima. About 40 percent of the pre-Fukushima fleet is being decommissioned.

Nuclear power generation grew most rapidly in Asia, where generation increased 12 percent, up 56.3 TWh to 533.0 TWh, now more than one-fifth of global generation. Worldwide nuclear generation increased for the sixth successive year, reaching 2,563 TWh in 2018. Nuclear power catered to more than 10 percent of global electricity demand according to data compiled by World Nuclear Association, an international organisation that represents the global nuclear industry. In 2019 five reactors will reach 50 years of operation, a milestone that is being achieved for the first time. Many reactors in operation are planning to operate for 60-80 years.

Turkey’s wind electricity generation hit a daily record with 19 percent of the total power being generated from wind, according to data from the Electricity Transmission Corp (TEİAŞ). The country produced 132.90 GWh of electricity from wind farms, according to data provided by TEİAŞ. In this particular time period, wind power became the third largest energy source after imported coal, which generated 157.87 GWh of electricity. Lignite came second with 144.18 GWh. Throughout the period, wind power generation per hour remained above 5 GWh. According to TEİAŞ, Turkey’s total installed power capacity was 90.39 GW as of 15 September. Wind power installed capacity was 7.27 GW in the same period.

France will launch a bidding process for rights to build solar power projects for a total capacity of 2 GW in 2020, the ministry in charge of energy transition said. The French government, which targets a fourfold increase in the country’s solar power capacity by 2028, will initiate two tenders, one for bidders eager to build solar power projects on the ground and another for projects on building roofs. These projects would add 20 percent to the country’s solar power installed capacity, the ministry said.  France’s Neoen SA announced plans for a massive renewable power station in South Australia including wind, solar and storage facilities. The Goyder South Renewable Power Station will have a battery storage capacity of 900 MW. The Goyder site would provide emergency power to South Australian consumers in the event of disruptions to interstate supply, the company said. Australia faces a higher risk of blackouts this summer because of generation outages in the state of Victoria and rising costs to avert shortages, the country’s market operator has warned.

Bangladesh has set up a $400 mn joint venture with a Chinese company to build renewable energy projects to provide a total 500 MW of power by 2023. The venture between China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation and Bangladesh’s NWPGC is the latest sign of Beijing’s growing role in Bangladesh’s energy sector. The renewable energy generation projects included 50 MW of wind power projects, NWPGC said. Bangladesh currently produces 25 MW from solar energy and has set a target to meet 10 percent of its power demand from renewable energy by 2021.

Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power plans to focus more on renewable energy projects, lifting their share of its portfolio to 70 percent over the next decade. The current value of the Saudi Arabian utility developer’s portfolio is more than $42 bn, with renewables accounting for 23 percent. The company has assets in 12 countries and has bid for renewable energy projects in five new countries – Ethiopia, Tunisia, Cambodia, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan.

Australia has met its 2020 target for generating electricity from large-scale renewable energy a year ahead of plan, the country’s clean energy regulator said, even as wind and solar investment has slowed. The renewable energy target was achieved despite more than a decade of climate policy uncertainty in Australia which has led to soaring power prices and unreliable supply. The target, launched in 2001 by a conservative government and reduced in 2015 with rare bipartisan support, was for Australia to generate 33,000 GWh of power from large-scale renewable energy by 2020. Australia’s total power generation is currently around 260,000 GWh. The clean energy industry said $16 bn had been invested in renewable energy in the last 18 months alone, while wind and solar have gone from the most expensive form of power in 2001 to the lowest cost.

The largest renewable energy project in Israel, a vast thermo-solar power plant near Ashalim in the Negev, ning approximately 390 hectares – larger than the central city of Givatayim the 121 MW solar power facility will supply electricity to approximately 70,000 households in Israel, or approximately 0.75 percent of all electricity generated in Israel. The power plant, will contribute significantly to Israel’s target of making 10 percent of the country’s electricity supply renewable by 2020, and 17 percent by 2030. At full capacity, the plant will reduce approximately 245,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel sources, equivalent to taking 50,000 vehicles off the road.

Montenegro’s 307 MW Perucica hydropower plant will reconnect to the grid on 1 September after completing an overhaul which began on 29 July, its operator power utility EPCG said. The overhaul of EPCG’s oldest hydropower plant is aimed at extending its life and boosting output and reliability. EPCG operates 649 MW of installed hydropower capacity and 225 MW of coal-fired power generation capacity.

FY: Financial Year, MW: megawatt, GW: gigawatt, mn: million, bn: billion, tn: trillion, H1: first half, Q1: first quarter, Q2: second quarter, MNRE: Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, BIS: Bureau of Indian Standards, ALMM: Approved List of Models and Manufacturers, PV: photovoltaic, kW: kilowatt, IEEFA: Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, US: United States, MoU: Memorandum of Understanding, TEDA: Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency, NLCIL: NLC India Ltd, mt: million tonnes, TPREL: Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd, kWh: kilowatt hour, MSEDCL: Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd, PPA: power purchase agreement, kV: kilovolt, PGCIL: Power Grid Corp of India Ltd, UP: Uttar Pradesh, UPPCL: UP Power Corp Ltd, NPCL: Noida Power Company Ltd, GUVNL: Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd, CO2: carbon dioxide, SMC: Surat Municipal Corp, HSL: Hindustan Shipyard Ltd, GWh: gigawatt hour, IOC: Indian Oil Corp, PSUs: Public Sector Undertakings, kg: kilogram, UN: United Nations, EPA: Environmental Protection Agency, RFS: Renewable Fuel Standard, km: kilometre, TEPCO: Tokyo Electric Power Company, TWh: terawatt hour, NWPGC: North-West Power Generation Company, EPCG: Elektroprivreda Crne Gore


India buys two LPG cargoes from ADNOC before festive season

24 September. India is buying two additional LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) cargoes from the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) on an urgent basis ahead of the festive season, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said. The cargoes will reach India over the next two weeks, he said.

Source: Reuters

Petrol price jumps 1.59 a litre, diesel by 1.31 after Saudi attacks

22 September. Petrol prices have soared by ₹1.59 a litre and diesel by ₹1.31 in the last six days -- the most since daily price revision was introduced in 2017, as a massive strike at Saudi Arabian oil facilities jolted oil markets. Petrol price was hiked by 27 paise to ₹73.62 a litre in the Delhi market -- the benchmark for national rates, according to a price notification by state-owned oil firms. Price of diesel was increased by 18 paise to ₹66.74 per litre in Delhi. This is the sixth straight daily increase and has taken the cumulative price hike since 17 September to ₹1.59 per litre in case of petrol and ₹1.31 for diesel. Analysts have warned that the style of the attacks on Saudi Aramco’s Abqaiq and Khurais oil facilities may add a permanent risk premium to oil and gasoline prices. Saudi Arabia, which is India’s second-largest oil supplier, sells close to 2 million tonnes (mt) of crude every month. Of this, 1.2-1.3 mt of supplies for September have already been taken and the rest too has been assured. However, Saudi has sought deferment of some LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) supplies, but they have assured to make up for all the quantities, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) Chairman Sanjiv Singh said. Any shortfall can be bought from Qatar. Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) has already tendered for import of LPG in October, possibly to make up for the shortfall from Saudi Arabia. India buys around 2,00,000 tonnes of LPG every month from Saudi Arabia. India imports 83 percent of its oil needs, with Saudi Arabia supplying a fifth of the purchases.

Source: Business Standard

45 lakh LPG consumers did not get subsidy for April, May

21 September. About 45 lakh LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) consumers in the State have not received their subsidy for April and May. While 20.5 lakh gas connections are yet to be linked with Aadhaar, which is mandatory to receive subsidy, a whopping 25.31 lakh consumers have not received subsidy in spite of submitting all documents. Many who received subsidy till March have been denied it in April and May allegedly due to technical glitches in the banking system due to which Aadhaar is getting delinked. The oil companies claimed that among active accounts many may have not demanded for refill and not updated their records for subsidy. However, the data given by IOC (India Oil Corp) showed over 98 percent of its consumers have received the subsidy disproving the official claim. About 41 lakh consumers of HPCL and BPCL have not been given subsidy in spite of linking their Aadhaar. Similarly, four lakh consumers of IOC have not got their subsidy.

Source: The New Indian Express

IOC eyes more US oil as India diversifies energy routes

21 September. India’s largest oil refiner and fuel retailer Indian Oil Corp (IOC) is looking at pumping up US (United States) crude import volumes next year, expanding India’s fledgeling energy bridge with Houston — the heart of American oil and gas industry where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address a congregation of Indian diaspora. Company’s former director finance A K Sharma said oil is transported from the terminals in smaller vessels to VLCCs (very large crude carriers) parked at high sea. IOC currently has term contracts for sourcing 4.6 million tonnes (mt) of US crude this year. This covers part of the Iranian supplies lost due to reimposition of US sanctions. The company established the viability of importing US crude with a shipment, bought from the spot market, in October 2017 as Washington had begun hardening its stand against Iran — then among India’s top three oil suppliers. Modi had signed a joint energy plan with Russian President Vladimir Putin and cleared the way for opening a new shipping route from Vladivostock to Chennai for importing Russian crude on term regularly.

Source: The Economic Times

India-funded oil refinery in Mongolia to be completed by 2022-end: Pradhan

21 September. The $1 bn oil refinery being built with Indian aid in Mongolia will be completed by December 2022 and will meet about three-fourths of Mongolian oil requirement, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said. Engineers India Ltd (EIL) is providing engineering consultancy services for this prestigious refinery project in Mongolia which will be completed by December 2022, and will meet about three-fourths of Mongolian requirement of oil, Pradhan said.

Source: Business Standard

Volatile oil prices potential risk to CAD: RBI Governor

< style="color: #ffffff">QuIck Comment

< style="color: #ffffff">Volatile oil prices is a risk to a stagnant economy! < style="color: #ffffff">Bad!

20 September. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das said global slowdown, trade and geopolitical tensions currently pose major downside risks for the Indian economy, while volatile crude prices also have the potential to increase the country’s current account deficit (CAD).

Source: The Economic Times

IOC’s Loni terminal to be ready with BS-VI grade fuel by February 2020

20 September. Indian Oil Corp (IOC) will be ready with the Bharat Stage (BS) VI emission-compliant grade fuel ahead of the government deadline of 1 April 2020. The company said the required quantity of fuel will be supplied to all outlets from the mandatory date. Loni-Pune Terminal is well equipped to commence the BS-VI supplies and will have product in stock from February 2020, the company said.

Source: The Economic Times


Petronet LNG signs $2.5 bn deal to take stake in US LNG plant

22 September. Petronet LNG Ltd, India’s biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) importer, has signed a preliminary deal to buy a stake in Tellurian Inc’s proposed Driftwood project in Louisiana and import 5 million tonnes (mt) a year of LNG. The deal is worth about $2.5 bn. Tellurian and Petronet will endeavour to finalise the transaction agreements by 31 March 2020, it said. India is targeting to raise share of natural gas in its energy basket to 15 percent by 2030 from 6.2 percent currently and is expanding its pipeline network and building new LNG import terminals to encourage use of the cleaner fuel. At present, GAIL (India) Ltd has 20-year LNG contracts to buy 5.8 million tonnes per year (mtpa) of US (United States) LNG, split between Dominion Energy Inc’s Cove Point plant and Cheniere Energy Inc's Sabine Pass facility in Louisiana.

Source: Business Standard

IEX rises after board approves setting up of gas exchange

20 September. Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) rose 1.91 percent to ₹123 after the company said its board has approved a proposal to create a subsidiary for setting up an exchange for trading of gas. IEX said its board approved the incorporation of a wholly owned subsidiary company in India to undertake the business of developing a gas exchange for transacting, clearing and settling trades in various types of gas based contracts including all other forms/types of energy, with an initial investment upto ₹100 mn in the form of subscribed and paid-up capital.

Source: Business Standard

IGL gets city gas licence for Hapur

19 September. Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL) has won a licence to retail CNG to automobiles and piped cooking gas to households in Hapur district in Uttar Pradesh (UP). The government had in June 2010 given IGL a city gas distribution licence for UP’s Ghaziabad district. Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) has decided to give IGL the licence for Hapur as well. Hapur is the smallest district of UP and is 60 kilometre (km) from New Delhi. It comprises three tehsils Hapur, Garhmukteshwar and Dhaulana - and IGL will begin work soon after a formal order is issued. Hapur has paper, textiles and steel tube industries which could be a major natural gas consumer. With a modest beginning in 1998, IGL is now one of India’s biggest city gas distribution (CGD) companies in the country.

Source: Business Standard

Essar to double CBM gas production to 1 mmscmd

18 September. Mumbai’s Ruia family-owned Essar plans to double production of coal-seam gas or coal-bed methane (CBM) from its Raniganj east block in West Bengal as a vital Urja-Ganga gas pipeline connecting users in eastern India gets commissioned by year-end. Essar Oil and Gas Exploration and Production (EOGEPL) currently produces about 0.45 million metric standard cubic meter per day (mmscmd) due to constraints of pipelines that could take the gas to consumers. The company plans to ramp up the production to more than 1 mmscmd. This would be the highest production of CBM from any block in the country. The firm has already invested ₹40 bn in the project, which encompassed drilling of 348 wells, setting up the supply infrastructure, and laying pipelines to Durgapur and nearby industrial areas. The current production from the Raniganj east CBM block is significantly lower than its capacity with the company having to throttle the output at about 0.45 mmscmd because of lack of a pipeline to take the gas to consumers. The Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga natural gas pipeline transverses from Jagdishpur in Uttar Pradesh to Haldia in West Bengal and Bokaro in Jharkhand and Dhamra in Odisha. The pipeline is being commissioned in phases and the last leg is scheduled for completion by December 2019. This will help gas supplies to reach four fertiliser plants in Gorakhpur, Sindri, Barauni and Panagarh, besides more than two dozen towns where city gas distribution rights have been awarded recently. The total demand in the region is envisaged at about 20 mmscmd.

Source: Business Standard


Coal miners strike hit production in Telangana’s Singareni

24 September. Coal production in Telangana’s Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) was affected as the miners went on a day-long strike called by various unions to protest against the Centre’s decision to allow 100 percent FDI (foreign direct investment) in coal mining. The coal production in almost all the mines spread across six districts of Telangana was hit as majority of the over 50,000 employees joined the strike. The strike might result in production loss of nearly two lakh tonnes. The company is estimated to suffer a loss of over ₹500 mn.

Source: The Economic Times

Government to invite global players for roll out of commercial coal mining auction plan by December

< style="color: #ffffff">QuIck Comment

< style="color: #ffffff">Commercial coal mining likely to introduce competition in the sector! < style="color: #ffffff">Good!

19 September. In a bid to liberalise the coal sector, the government is planning to invite global players for the roll out of auction plan for commercial mining by December this year, Union Minister of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi said. The maiden move aimed at cutting coal exports is set to end the monopoly of domestic giant Coal India Ltd (CIL) that accounts for over 80 percent of the India’s dry-fuel output. He said that the government will invite global players for this, as 100 percent FDI (foreign direct investment) in coal will lead to more investors in coal mining operations with better technology. Coal is the most important and abundant fossil fuel in India. It accounts for 55 percent of the country’s energy needs and the government is trying to curb imports. The country’s coal imports increased by 28.7 percent to 24.14 million tonnes (mt) in June as against 18.75 mt in the corresponding month of the previous fiscal. Total imports of thermal coal rose to 56.23 mt during the quarter as compared with the year-ago period. The country’s coal imports swelled by about 13 percent to 235.2 mt during the year-ended 31 March 2019. CIL along with the PSU (Public Sector Undertaking) Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) are the only companies that till now were allowed to mine and sell coal.

Source: Business Standard

Economic slowdown impacts coal import cargo in H1 FY20: ICRA

18 September. Economic slowdown has impacted coal import cargo in the first half (H1) of this fiscal, as overall cargo growth at major ports registered a marginal growth of 1.9 percent to 294 million tonnes (mt), rating agency ICRA said. Healthy volume growth in container, crude and iron ore segments was offset by the decline in coal and some other bulk cargo volumes, it said. Coal volumes at major ports grew 11 percent in FY19. Over the long-term, a sustainable pick-up in industrial activity and power demand will be crucial for the sustenance of healthy coal imports as domestic production also ramps up to meet the incremental demand, it said. ICRA said CIL (Coal India Ltd)’s supply is likely to increase every year by 5-7 percent at least and this will continue to be a risk for port players that are highly dependent on coal volumes for optimal utilisation of their port capacities. In FY19, total cargo handled at Indian ports had registered a moderate increase of 5.9 percent to 1,280 mt from 1,209 mt during FY18. Major ports handled 699 mt, whereas non majors handled 581 mt.

Source: Business Standard


Lucknow Development Authority map nod must for new power connections

24 September. LDA (Lucknow Development Authority) vice-chairman PN Singh has recently written to LESA (Lucknow Electricity Supply Administration) authorities requesting them not to give new electricity connections to owners of houses or commercial units if they do not have their maps approved by the development authority. LESA has agreed to the proposal and issued an order making it mandatory for power connection applicants to submit registration number obtained from the development authority after getting their maps approved, along with other documents to get electricity connection. MVVNL (Madhyanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd) said the existing sub-stations were overloaded and could not bear more burden. In reply, LDA said that power authority should not provide electricity to houses and commercial units which have not been approved by it. The authority gave a list of 450 unauthorised units in Gomtinagar, Gomtinagar Extension, Jankipuram and Kanpur road saying such units were behind overloading of sub-stations.

Source: The Economic Times

Madhya Pradesh government plans to privatise power to cut down losses

23 September. The Madhya Pradesh government is gradually trying to implement its plan to privatize power in state. In the past 20 days, two major firms have given presentation before the government and suggested their models that could help government cut down losses in the power sector. Two plans have been put up before the government — the first is to set up a franchise model and the second is to allow private firm to open its discom (distribution company). In the franchise model, the government would give the distribution and revenue collection to a firm, while in the second model a new discom would be opened by the private firm in a region. Power tariff in MP is among the highest in the country, but the sector is still facing massive losses in transmission and distribution. A few days ago, Madhya Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (MPERC) allowed discoms to hike tariff by 7 percent.

Source: The Economic Times

Government’s decision to cut corporation tax likely to impact power bill

23 September. The Union government’s decision to cut the corporation tax is expected to generate savings worth ₹40 bn to power distribution companies (discoms). Whether the savings will mean cheaper power or not, however, will depend on a host of regulations. The source of power, renewable or non-renewable, and the nature of the market, regulated or merchant, will be a factor in deciding whether the cost would go down. Conventional power producers are expected to see limited gains from the tax cut because power purchase agreements (PPAs) require them to pass on tax changes. Renewable power producers, however, may be able to absorb the change and benefit from the reduction. According to an ICICI Securities Research note, the impact of these cuts is likely to be positive for the power sector as cash-flows of the entire value chain will improve. The biggest beneficiaries will be discoms, where annual savings resulting from the cut are estimated at ₹40 bn, the note said. It is not clear whether the pass-on of tax saving from power producers to distribution companies will translate into lower power tariffs.

Source: Business Standard

BSES to provide temporary power connections during festive season

< style="color: #ffffff">QuIck Comment

< style="color: #ffffff">Reform of power distribution requires refusal of political intervention! < style="color: #ffffff">Ugly!

23 September. Two discoms (distribution companies) -- BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd (BRPL) and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd (BYPL) -- said that they would provide 'tatkal' temporary electricity connection for community and private festivities to ensure reliable power supply during the festival season. A consumer will be get a 'temporary' electricity connection the same day after completing the formalities. Normally, it takes up to seven days for a temporary connection. According to the BSES, a consumer will have to dial 19123/39999707 (BRPL) and 19122/39999808 (BYPL) or visit the customer care centre/Digi Seva Kendra at the division office and complete formalities for a 'tatkal' temporary electricity connection. One can also apply and make payment online on the BSES website ( and its mobile application. To ensure reliable power supply during festivals, BSES discoms are undertaking several measures, including putting its operations and maintenance teams on high alert. Discoms will be relying heavily on analytics to catch the power thieves. Consumers are requested to take legal 'temporary' connections whenever required.

Source: Business Standard

Adani Transmission acquires Bikaner-Khetri project in Rajasthan

20 September. Adani Transmission Ltd has acquired Bikaner-Khetri transmission project in Rajasthan from PFC Consulting. Adani Transmission won the project linked to renewable power generation in Rajasthan through a tariff-based competitive bidding process. The company will build, own, operate and maintain the transmission project for a period of 35 years. The project consists of approximately 480 circuit kilometre of 765 kilovolt line along with associated transmission system.

Source: The Economic Times

Power distribution sector needs drastic reforms: Power Secretary

18 September. Power Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said there is a need to bring in drastic reforms in the power distribution sector after the failure of the first version of Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojna (UDAY) and unable to fully address industry woes. Garg said the government is working on the revised version of the scheme, where it will also cater to separating carriage and content in the distribution sector. He said the government is currently working on bringing in the revised version of the scheme UDAY 2 which seeks to address most of the issues of the sector. He noted that the private sector will play a key role in the transformation journey of the Indian power industry.

Source: The Economic Times 


Polavaram hydropower plant re-tendering: Andhra claims 7.8 bn saving

24 September. The Andhra Pradesh government claimed that it saved ₹7.8 bn public money through re-tendering of Polavaram project work. After cancelling the contract awarded by previous Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the new government headed by Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy had called fresh tenders for hydel power plant and main concrete works worth ₹49.87 bn. The government claims that reverse tendering enabled participation by a large number of bidders, thus ensuring transparency and bring down the cost by awarding the project to the lowest bidder.

Source: The Economic Times

Climate change may cause water shortage for India’s power plants

23 September. Climate change and over-tapped waterways may leave developing countries in Asia, such as India and China, without enough water to cool power plants in the near future, according to the journal Energy and Environment Science study. The study found that existing and planned power plants that burn coal for energy could be vulnerable. The study suggests that it is likely to be an even greater problem in developing parts of Asia -- Mongolia, Southeast Asia and, India and China -- where more than 400 GW of new coal-fired power plant capacity are planned for operation by 2030, researchers said.

Source: Business Standard

India has committed $90 bn renewable energy investment so far: UNEP

23 September. India has so far committed a mammoth $90 bn investment in the renewable energy sector and is fast emerging as a leading investor for green energy projects, according to United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The report "Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2019" highlights a ranking of countries, including India, based on their renewable energy investments between 2010 and the first half of 2019. China remains the top country by far in terms of the sums invested in renewables capacity during the current decade, committing $758 bn between 2010 and the first half of 2019, with the US (United States) second with $356 bn and Japan third with $202 bn. India is starting to emerge as an offshore wind market, with the government eyeing up to 1 GW of projects along the coast of Gujarat. In the second-largest deal last year, Indian power generator ReNew Power acquired Ostro Energy with its more than 1.1 GW of assets, nearly 850 MW of which are operational.

Source: The Economic Times

PM Modi vows to more than double India’s non-fossil fuel target to 400 GW

23 September. Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi gave a clarion call for a "global people's movement" to bring about a behavioral change to deal with climate change as he made a path-breaking pledge to more than double India’s non-fossil fuel target to 400 GW. In his Independence Day speech, Modi had announced that India will produce 175 GW of non-fossil fuel as part of its commitment to the Paris Climate agreement.

Source: Business Standard

43 yrs on, Baggi Power Plant to see the light of day

22 September. The hydro power generation plant at Baggi, which was constructed on the Beas-Sutlej Link (BSL) over four decades ago, will finally become operational as the dispute over royalty and power sharing between member states of Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) has finally been resolved. The operationalisation of the power plant, which was lying in a disused state since 1976, will add another 40 MW to the BBMB’s power output. Baggi Power Plant comprises two units of 20 MW each.

Source: The Tribune

India needs thorium-based nuclear power reactors: Kakodkar

22 September. India needs to fully exploit its potential to develop reactors that use thorium. This is what eminent nuclear physicist and former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India Anil Kakodkar said. Currently, much of the research on thorium, which India is rich of, is being conducted in the country. Efforts are under way to set up a 300 MW technology demonstrator reactor called as the Advanced Heavy Water Reactor. Nuclear energy’s present share in the energy basket is just 2.5 percent. India should take capacity to 60,000-65,000 MW by 2030-2032 to make nuclear energy’s share to 10 percent, he said.

Source: The Economic Times

New NTPC technology to cut Dadri pollution

19 September. The capital’s airshed management will receive a boost with NTPC Ltd introducing online coal analysers at its Dadri power plant near Delhi as part of a larger plan to reduce ash and other pollutants such as sulphur in emission from its thermal units. The 1,820 MW power station is located in Gautam Budh Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh adjoining Delhi. The plant is a major source of electricity for the capital and its emission has a bearing on the city’s ambient air quality.

Source: The Economic Times

Gujarat govt announces changes in solar power policy to encourage MSME units move towards clean energy

19 September. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel announced changes in the 'Gujarat Solar Power Policy-2015' to ensure that the MSME (Medium and Small Scale Industries) sector is able to reap benefits of solar energy. Energy Minister Saurabh Patel said the government has made necessary changes in the policy to ensure its outreach and accessibility for production and use of solar energy by the MSME sector. He said the MSME units in Gujarat, after the amendments in the policy, can now set up solar installations with a capacity of more than 100 percent compared to the previous limit of 50 percent. At present, MSMEs pay ₹8 per unit for electricity consumption. The new decision will benefit the MSME sector and earn them a profit of ₹3 per unit. The firms will make a profit of ₹3.80 per unit if they produce solar energy on their own land, and in case of leased land, they will make a profit of ₹ 2.75 per unit.

Source: News18

UP CM, Oil Minister lay foundation stone of biofuel plant in Gorakhpur

18 September. Uttar Pradesh (UP) Chief Minister (CM) Yogi Adityanath and Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan laid the foundation stone of a bio fuel plant to be built in Gorakhpur at ₹12 bn. The CM said fuel can be generated from the biofuel plant by using urban waste and farm waste.

Source: Business Standard

UP energy watchdog cuts solar power tariffs, clears bidding for 500 MW

18 September. Uttar Pradesh (UP) energy sector watchdog has cut solar power tariffs and allowed the state power utilities to procure 500 MW of solar power through competitive bidding. In its order, UP Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) approved tariff and power purchase agreements for procuring 500 MW of solar power by UP Power Corp Ltd (UPPCL) and the state power distribution companies (discoms). The capacity of approved solar projects ranges between 20 MW and 140 MW, while the approved tariffs lie between ₹3.17 per unit to ₹3.23 per unit, which is the lowest power procurement price approved by the Commission for solar power projects in the state.

Source: Business Standard

Telangana to invite bids for producing 1 GW solar power

18 September. As part of its target to achieve 5,000 MW solar power, the Telangana government will float tenders in the next two months to produce 1,000 MW of the green energy, Special Chief Secretary-Energy Ajay Mishra said. The state currently has 3,700 MW of solar power constituting about 25 percent of the commissioned capacity in the energy sector, he said.

Source: Business Standard


Poland restores flow via Druzhba oil pipeline after leak

23 September. Poland’s pipeline operator, PERN, said it restored flows via Druzhba pipeline, which pumps oil from Russia to eastern and western Europe, after an oil leak near Warsaw caused by an illegal attempt to access the pipe. The operator said that during the incident it continued oil supplies to its clients - two refineries in Poland and two in Germany.

Source: Reuters

Alberta sees progress on crude-by-rail talks to ease oil curtailments

18 September. The premier of Canada’s main oil-producing province Alberta said he is hopeful of more progress on talks between his government and producers about easing oil curtailments, as long as extra output is shipped by rail. Alberta introduced mandatory production curtailments, effective 1 January 2019, to ease congestion on export pipelines and support crude prices. Premier Jason Kenney’s government extended those curtailments into 2020 because of slow progress in building new pipelines. Major producers including Suncor Energy and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd have suggested the government allow them to boost output above curtailment limits, on the condition incremental production is exported by rail. The government is trying to offload onto the private sector nearly C$4 bn ($3 bn) of crude-by-rail contracts that were signed by the previous government, amounting to 120,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude.

Source: Reuters


Equinor makes gas discovery in Norwegian Sea

23 September. Equinor revealed that it has found gas in the Orn exploration well south-west of the Marulk field in the Norwegian Sea. Recoverable resources are estimated at 8–14 mn standard cubic meters of oil equivalent, or 50–88 mn barrels of oil equivalent (boe), Equinor highlighted. Norway headquartered Equinor currently operates 42 fields on the Norwegian continental shelf and produces around 2.5 mn barrels a day, including the volumes from its partners, according to the company.

Source: Rigzone

Exxon Mobil, Shell among groups picked to build 5 Pakistan LNG terminals

20 September. Pakistan has selected groups that include Exxon Mobil Corp and Royal Dutch Shell to build five liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals as it aims to triple imports and ease gas shortages. The terminals could be in operation within two to three years, Power and Petroleum Minister Omar Ayub Khan said. Pakistan is chronically short of gas for power production and to supply manufacturers such as fertilizer makers, hobbling the country’s economy. The five must submit plan details to the ministry of ports and shipping by 5 November for approval, but cabinet has already approved them, Khan said. Pakistan’s two LNG terminals currently have 1.2 bn cubic feet per day of capacity, and a third expected to come on line next year will add 600 mn cubic feet per day, Khan said. The country has sought bids for a 10-year LNG supply tender for the current terminals and the results will be announced in two to three weeks, Khan said. The cost of building the terminals and finding buyers for the gas will be up to the groups, and they will pay Pakistan a royalty based on volume, Khan said.

Source: Reuters


China coking coal futures hit 5 month low on weak demand

24 September. China’s coking coal futures prices fell for a sixth straight session to hit an over five-month low due to weak demand for the steelmaking raw material, amid production curbs on steel and coke ahead of China’s National Day celebrations. The most-traded coking coal on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, for January 2020 delivery, slumped as much as 3.8 percent to 1,246.50 yuan ($175.12) a tonne, its weakest since 19 April this year.

Source: Reuters

German coal closure auctions could be costly, insufficient

23 September. German climate protection plans involving the closure of some coal plants might cost €1.2 bn ($1.32 bn) by 2030 without achieving the desired reductions in carbon emissions, an independent study said. A draft law detailing the plan to shut hard coal fired power plants by offering operators fiscal incentives in auctions, showed Germany will start shutting coal plants from next year, under a long-term exit plan up to 2038.

Source: Reuters


California utility cuts power to 24k customers

24 September. California’s largest utility cut power to 24,000 northern customers as fall brings back dangerous weather conditions and the company tries to head off wildfires sparked by electrical equipment. The utility shut down power to areas of Butte, Nevada and Yuba counties in the Sierra Nevada foothills. The power will remain off until conditions are safer, and PG&E warned that it might expand the precautionary outages to El Dorado, Placer, Sutter, Lake, Napa and Sonoma counties if gusty winds and hot, dry weather continue. Meanwhile, Southern California Edison warned it might shut off power to 41,000 customers due to forecasts calling for gusty Santa Ana winds.

Source: The Economic Times

Zambia to import 300 MW power from Eskom for 6 month

24 September. Zambia’s state power utility said it had reached an agreement to import 300 MW of electricity from South Africa’s Eskom for a period of six month to ease shortages. Zambia has a power deficit of more than 750 MW because of low water levels at hydropower dams and announced it would increase the hours for power rationing as water levels continued to fall.

Source: Reuters

Israel cuts power in parts of West Bank over debts

23 September. Israel’s national electricity company said it was cutting power to parts of the occupied West Bank due to outstanding payments amounting to nearly $483 mn. The Israel Electric Corp said it was owed 1.7 bn shekels in debts from the main Palestinian power distributor for the West Bank, which is based in east Jerusalem. It said it had found no alternatives to being paid. The Palestinian Authority said in the past two months it has repaid nearly $100 mn in debts accumulated by the east Jerusalem-based distributor of Palestinian municipalities. The Palestinian health ministry has warned the powers cuts could affect hospitals and medical centres.

Source: The Economic Times

New York approves $400 mn for upstate power transmission line

20 September. New York Transco, a consortium of major utilities, has received approval for up to $400 mn to add a new power transmission line to reduce grid congestion and allow lower-cost and renewable electricity produced in upstate New York to flow to downstate customers. The State Public Service Commission said the financing is needed for the New York Energy Solutions (NYES) transmission project, which in the first phase includes a new 54 mile (87 km), 345 kilovolt (kV) transmission line that begins at Rensselaer County and ends at Dutchess County. The project is expected to be operational by the end of 2023.

Source: Reuters

Orsted to sell its Danish power businesses for $3.2 bn

18 September. Orsted has agreed to sell its Danish power distribution and retail businesses to energy firm SEAS-NVE for 21.3 bn Danish crowns ($3.15 bn) on a cash and debt-free basis, the Danish utility said. Orsted, 50.1 percent owned by the Danish state, put its divestment drive on temporary hold after politicians interfered to avoid a sale to foreign companies. SEAS-NVE is Denmark’s second-largest cooperatively-owned energy company. It owns a 9.54 percent stake in Orsted which it said it plans to reduce to around 5 percent over the next 12 months.

Source: Reuters


China pledges new impetus in climate efforts after 2020

24 September. China will inject new impetus into climate change efforts after 2020, and use its Belt and Road initiative to boost cooperation in the fight on global warming, the government’s top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, said. China has promised to show “the highest possible ambition” when reviewing its climate commitments next year, raising hopes that the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter would include stronger targets in a five-year plan from 2021. Wang, who is representing President Xi Jinping at a United Nations climate summit in New York, said China would aim to step up efforts to cut climate-warming greenhouse gases after next year. A “green” Belt and Road program would strengthen global cooperation on climate change, he said. Beijing has already pledged a target date of around 2030 for a peak in greenhouse gas emissions, but the Paris accord on climate change urges nations to make stronger pledges if possible.

Source: Reuters

Former California Governor launches climate partnership with China

24 September. Former California Governor Jerry Brown announced the launch of a partnership between China and the University of California at Berkeley to advance research into low-carbon technology to fight climate change. Brown cast the partnership as a way for the United States (US) and China, the world’s two biggest emitters of heat-trapping gases, to work together even as President Donald Trump steps back from global cooperation on climate change and engages in a trade war with Beijing. The Trump administration revoked California’s authority to set its own greenhouse gas and vehicle fuel efficiency standards, an action expected to hobble efforts at cutting carbon emissions from cars. Brown said China is on the verge of leadership on electric cars and will benefit from working with California.

Source: Reuters

Solar sector sees tax credit extension adding $87 bn to US economy

24 September. The US (United States) solar energy industry will add an additional 113,000 jobs and generate $87 bn in investment over the next decade if US lawmakers extend the sector’s key tax credit. The forecast by the US Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) trade group and energy research firm Wood Mackenzie comes as the solar industry is lobbying lawmakers in Congress to pass an extension of the credit, which is worth 30 percent of the value of a solar energy system. The SEIA forecast assumes the tax credit is allowed to remain at 30 percent until 2030. Under that scenario, the US would install 36 percent more solar energy than it would if the credit was phased out as scheduled. That additional 82 GW of capacity would be enough to power more than 15 mn homes.

Source: Reuters

Bank of England Governor urges financial sector to transform management of climate risk

23 September. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said that the financial sector must transform its management of climate risk, warning that global warming would prompt reassessments of the value of every single financial asset. Carney has been a leading voice among regulators in warning of the risks climate change poses to the stability of the global financial system. He has led various international initiatives to improve supervision and disclosure. As climate impacts - from wildfires to sea-level rise and hurricanes - intensify, investors are increasingly concerned over the risks that extreme weather could pose to assets and companies in their portfolios. The valuations of fossil fuel companies could also be at risk if governments act to spur stronger action to curb greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate the adoption of renewable energy, analysts said. Carney said that mandatory disclosures of climate risk would be essential in supporting efforts to transition economies to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit the rise in average global temperatures.

Source: Reuters

Scientists race to read Austria’s melting climate archive

23 September. Scientists are racing to read a rapidly melting archive of climate data going back thousands of years - the inside of Austria’s Alpine glaciers. Mountain glaciers are receding the world over as average global temperatures rise - a phenomenon that will be described in detail in a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Glaciers in Austria, on the eastern edge of the Alps, are particularly sensitive to climate change and have been shrinking even more rapidly than most, making it all the more urgent to examine their contents before they disappear, Andrea Fischer, a scientist conducting the work, said.

Source: Reuters

Exelon to close Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania

20 September. US (United States) energy company Exelon Corp said it will shut the last reactor at the Three Mile Island power plant, site of the worst nuclear accident in US history. The company announced in May that it planned to shut the 45-year old unit in September due to inaction in the Pennsylvania legislature on a bill that would have subsidized the continued operation of nuclear power in the state. Exelon said it bought the 837 MW Unit 1 at Three Mile Island about 20 years after accident at Unit 2. Unit 2 is owned by FirstEnergy Corp. Nuclear services company EnergySolutions Inc said in July it was in negotiations with a unit of FirstEnergy to acquire and complete the decommissioning of Unit 2. In recent years, electricity prices have been depressed by cheap natural gas from shale fields, including the Marcellus in Pennsylvania, and by increased use of renewable power. Many states, including New York, Illinois, Connecticut, New Jersey and Ohio have already adopted nuclear subsidies to keep their reactors in service to help meet carbon reduction and other goals. Nuclear power plants generated about 39 percent of Pennsylvania’s electricity in 2018 and have provided over 90 percent of its zero-carbon power, according to federal and industry data. FirstEnergy’s bankrupt FirstEnergy Solutions unit has said it would shut Beaver Valley in 2021 unless the reactors receive some financial support from federal or state programs.

Source: Reuters

Britain’s new renewable subsidies hit record low on the path to net zero

20 September. Britain has awarded record low subsidies to twelve renewable energy projects capable of generating enough power for some 7 mn homes, the government said, as a drop in the cost of offshore wind projects curbs the need for state support. The bulk of the capacity will come from new offshore wind projects, with Innogy, SSE and Equinor among the winners. Britain is already the world’s largest offshore wind market, and plans to generate a third of its electricity from the technology by 2030 as a part of efforts to reach its 2050 net zero carbon emissions target. Britain, which aims to lift industrial productivity as it leaves the European Union, is the world’s biggest offshore wind market with almost 40 percent of global capacity. It is also seeking to increase renewable power capacity as a part of efforts to meet its 2050 net zero climate goal. Thousands of students took to the streets of Asia-Pacific countries to kick off a global strike demanding world leaders gathering for a UN (United Nations) climate summit adopt urgent measures to stop an environmental catastrophe.

Source: Reuters

Google makes biggest corporate purchase of renewable energy in history

20 September. Google CEO (Chief Executive Officer) Sundar Pichai has announced the biggest corporate purchase of renewable energy in history -- made up of a 1,600 MW package of agreements that includes 18 new energy deals. The announcement came at a time when hundreds of Google employees were scheduled to participate in the "Global Climate Strike", led by students globally before the United Nation’s climate summit on 23 September. In 2017, Google became the first company of its size to match its entire annual electricity consumption with renewable energy (and it did the same in 2018). The latest agreements will also spur the construction of more than $2 bn in new energy infrastructure, including millions of solar panels and hundreds of wind turbines spread across three continents. In all, Google's renewable energy fleet now stands at 52 projects, driving more than $7 bn in new construction and thousands of related jobs.

Source: The Economic Times

Global renewable energy capacity additions to grow by 12 percent this year: IEA

20 September. After a muted growth posted last year, global capacity additions for renewable energy are set to bounce back with a double-digit growth in 2019 driven by solar, research agency International Energy Agency (IEA) said. The cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) has plunged more than 80 percent since 2010, making the technology increasingly competitive in many countries. IEA estimates global solar PV capacity additions to increase to 115 GW this year despite a slight decline in China, the world’s largest market. According to IEA, 2018 was the first time since 2001 when the growth in renewable energy capacity additions failed to accelerate year-on-year, primarily due to policy changes in China. The agency expects faster expansion in the European Union, led by Spain, new installation boon in Vietnam and faster growth in India and the United States to offset the slowdown in Chinese solar PV market. According to IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario, renewable energy capacity additions need to grow by more than 300 GW on average each year between 2018 and 2030 to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Source: The Economic Times

Massive US geothermal lease sale draws few bids

18 September. A massive government sale of geothermal energy leases in Nevada generated bids on just 26 percent of the land parcels offered, with most selling at the minimum price of $2 an acre. According to energy marketplace EnergyNet, which conducted the online sale, 37 parcels representing 102,402.85 acres received bids for a total of $426,900. The sale, overseen by the US (United States) Bureau of Land Management, was part of the Trump administration’s “energy dominance” agenda to open up more federal land to all forms of energy production. Geothermal power plants tap heat stored far below the earth’s surface to generate electricity. The renewable energy source is prized for being able to operate around the clock, unlike wind and solar power which can only generate electricity when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining. In 2018, geothermal accounted for 0.4 percent of US electricity generation, compared with 2.3 percent for solar and 6.5 percent for wind, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

Source: Reuters


Domestic LPG Scenario by All India Regions

Region Domestic LPG Sales, April to June 2019 (in ‘000 Tonnes)
North 1655
North-East 151
East 866
West 1031
South 1309
All India 5012

All India LPG Coverage

Source: A Report on “Data on LPG Marketing” by Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell

Note: The estimated no. of households as on 1 July 2019 is arrived at using household growth rate during the decade 2001-2011 as per Census 2011.

This is a weekly publication of the Observer Research Foundation (ORF). It covers current national and international information on energy categorised systematically to add value. The year 2019 is the sixteenth continuous year of publication of the newsletter. The newsletter is registered with the Registrar of News Paper for India under No. DELENG / 2004 / 13485.

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