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NEW DELHI: India will double the target for energy to be generated from solar parks by 2020, a top government official said, as roof-top installations progress slower than anticipated and U.S. company SunEdison’s projects are threatened by its bankruptcy. The solar parks are sought after by companies because the Indian government acquires land for the installations and sets up transmission lines, major attractions in a country notorious for red tape and public opposition to land transfers.
Debt-heavy SunEdison was one of the first companies to be drawn into the programme to encourage solar use, bidding aggressively to win a 500 megawatt (MW) project in Andhra Pradesh state in India’s south last November. But after its bankruptcy, SunEdison has been forced to initiate stake-sale talks with companies like Adani Group and Finland’s Fortum Oyj for funds, according to sources. “We are adding 25 more solar parks to create a buffer for exigencies like SunEdison,” Upendra Tripathy, secretary at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, told Reuters on Monday. “Solar parks are a hit with companies. A lot of them are interested.” Tripathy declined to name any companies. But the new generation target of 40,000 megawatts for solar parks was likely to be approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet in two months, he said in an interview in his office.

Pashupathy Gopalan, president of SunEdison Asia Pacific – which focuses mainly on India – did not immediately respond to calls for comment. He has previously said the company would stick to its India growth plans.  Analysts said it was doubtful any rival would pick up the Andhra Pradesh project at the aggressive power prices promised by SunEdison. Once the fastest growing renewable energy developer in the United States, SunEdison beat out 29 other bidders for the solar park with a record-low tariff of 4.63 rupees per kilowatt-hour. Japan’s Softbank Corp, Taiwan’s Foxconn and India’s Bharti Enterprises have pledged to invest a total of about $20 billion in India’s renewable sector.
Global solar giants like First Solar Inc, Trina Solar Ltd and Fortum are also expanding their presence. Modi wants India’s solar capacity to jump nearly 30 times from 2014/15’s levels to 100 gigawatts by 2020. Last month India secured a loan of more than $1 billion from the World Bank for its ambitious solar programme. Total investment needed for the solar goal is around $89 billion, according the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. India wants renewable energy, excluding hydro-electricity, to contribute 8 percent of the energy mix by 2022, up from 5.7 percent early this year.

Source :
The Economic Times, 18/07/2016


NEW DELHI: Mercom Capital Group today said corporate funding into the solar sector in April-June quarter fell to $ 1.7 billion, a 41 per cent drop compared to the $ 2.8 billion raised in Jan-March period of 2016.

Mercom Capital Group, LLC, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm, released its report on funding and merger and acquisition (M&A) activity for the solar sector in the second quarter of 2016.

Total corporate funding, including  including venture capital funding, public market and debt financing into the solar sector in Q2 2016 fell to $ 1.7 billion this quarter, a 41 per cent drop compared to the $ 2.8 billion raised in Q1 2016, it said.

Mercom Capital further said that the year-over-year total corporate funding was down significantly compared to $ 5.9 billion in the second quarter (April-June) of last year.

“The solar industry continues to experience weakness in terms of financing activity, and corporate funding in Q2 2016 was at its lowest level in three years,” CEO and Co-Founder of Mercom Capital Group Raj Prabhu said in a statement.

Global solar VC funding (including private equity) saw a large decline this quarter with $ 174 million in 16 deals compared to $ 406 million in 23 deals in Q1 2016.

Year-over-year (YoY) VC numbers were slightly better compared to Q2 2015 with $ 142 million in 24 deals.

Solar downstream companies raised the most (64 per cent) VC funding in Q2 2016 with $ 112 million in seven deals. A large part of the total came from the $ 100 million raised by Silicon Ranch from private equity firm Partners Group.

Other VC deals this quarter included the $ 20 million raised by Tigo Energy, 1366 Technologies’ $ 15 million raise, and the $ 12.5 million raised by Sol Voltaics. A total of 21 VC investors participated in funding deals.

Solar public market financing in Q2 2016 came to $ 179 million in four deals compared to $ 94 million in four deals in the first quarter of 2016 and $ 2.3 billion in 12 deals in Q2 2015.

According to the report, Tata Power Renewable Energy (TPREL), a Tata Power subsidiary and a renewable energy project developer, acquired Welspun Renewables Energy’s (WREPL) 1,140 MW renewable energy project pipeline for $ 1.38 billion.

CLP India, a subsidiary of Hong Kong based CLP Group, bought a 49 per cent stake in Suzlon Energy’s 100 MW solar project in Veltoor, Telangana, with an option of acquiring the 51 per cent stake balance in the future.

Amplus Energy Solutions (Amplus Solar), an Indian solar installer and a portfolio company of I Squared Capital, acquired SunEdison’s 7 MW rooftop solar project portfolio in India.The projects are spread across the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Delhi.

Source : Economic times, 11th July 2016,


The announcement by World Bank president Jim Yong Kim of over $1 billion for India’s solar energy initiatives has come as a major boost to the Andhra Pradesh power utilities.

The power utilities had planned to set up solar power projects in Anantapur, Kadapa and Kurnool districts with an aggregate capacity of 4,000 MW.

Land for the projects was identified in the three districts and the process for its alienation had already begun. A joint venture company of the State and Central Governments and the A.P. Solar Power Corporation Limited had already been floated as a special purpose vehicle for monitoring the progress of the projects.

The utilities, however, appear to be in no hurry to scout for assistance proposed by the World Bank as they would be anyway benefited, if not directly, from the announcement made by the Bank. “We have adopted a different model for the solar power projects and may not go for the Bank’s funding in the immediate future,” a senior official said.

According to officials, the utilities would allot land for the power projects along with basic infrastructure like connectivity and other facilities to the selected developers.

The developers would, in turn, be asked to pay an upfront amount calculated on the basis of the location and the land costs. “The value for the infrastructure in Kurnool, for instance, has been calculated at Rs.40 lakh per MW which the developer will have to pay as the upfront cost,” the official told The Hindu.
The developer, in turn, would factor in this amount and prepare the tariff proposals, the official said, adding that though a proposal was mooted initially to approach lending agencies, it was subsequently put off after the Central Government announced incentives for promotion of renewable energy projects.
Upfront charges
The upfront charges would be in addition to Rs. 20 lakh per MW grant provided by the Central Government for promoting solar energy projects.
Given the grant announced by the Centre, the State would stand to secure at least Rs.800 crore from the Centre for the 4,000 MW installed capacity planned.
Senior officials said the State would anyway stand to benefit from the announcement as the money would be routed through the Central agencies, the Power Finance Corporation and the Rural Electrification Corporation. “We can approach these agencies as and when required,” the official said.

Source : The Hindu, 16/07/16 http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/world-bank-aid-for-solar-projects-a-big-boost-to-ap/article8857749.ece



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