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Energy Power, Renewable, Solar, solar parks
Conditions are damaging renewable energy projects, threatening businesses that survive on thin margins. 

India’s ambitious plan to take the leadership position among nations as one of largest producers of renewable energy may have run into some unfavorable weather 

Freak climatic conditions are damaging renewable energy projects, threatening a business which survives on wafer-thin margins. A storm in Rajasthan, known for its deserts and sunny days, tore through a solar park and blew away modules of various developers. In the adjoining state of Madhya Pradesh, a generator found sections of his project submerged in 10 feet of water due to unseasonal rains. 

“We’d done a study of 50-year pattern of water-flow in the area and this time it exceeded that pattern,” said Manu Srivastava, the chairman of Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Ltd, a joint venture between state-owned Solar Energy Corp. of India and the Madhya Pradesh government. The project has installed capacity of 750 megawatts. 

Extreme weather events seem to have become the latest risk to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s renewable energy goal to quadruple solar power generation to 100 gigawatts by 2022. India may further push it to 440 gigawatts of green power by 2030, the country said in its latest forecast this month. 

Flooding 
The South Asian nation has been witnessing a rise in unexpected weather events. About 400 people were killed in floods in the southern state of Kerala state last year after rains in first fortnight of August were over 150 percent higher than the average. Over 2,400 lives were lost in India due to cyclonic storms, flash floods, landslides and cloudburst in the year ended March, Babul Supriyo, junior environment minister said in Parliament earlier this month. 

The World Bank-funded Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Power park received exceptionally heavy rains and winds on the night of July 5 that flooded a nearby drainage, submerging parts of project under water, according to the state government. Acme Cleantech Solutions Pvt., the producer of some of the cheapest clean power in the world, lost over a 1,000 modules in a storm in May at its project in Rajasthan. 

India has been classified as one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change and extreme weather events in several studies. The Global Climate Risk Index 2019 rank India at second in terms of fatalities in 2017 while a HSBC Bank PLC report in 2018 concludes India is the most vulnerable among 67 countries to climate risks. 

Lower Generation 
It’s not just unpredictable rainfall but also solar radiation in India that can no more be taken for granted. Over the last 6-8 months radiation has been lower by 4% to 6%, hurting power generation, according to Vinay Rustagi, managing director at renewable energy consultancy Bridge to India Energy Pvt. 

“We haven’t seen any systemic analysis of weather risks partly because the sector is still very new,” Rustagi said. 

The race to bid lower tariffs has also prompted some developers to contain engineering and structural costs, making them more vulnerable to extreme weather phenomena. That’s left the financial sector worried, which has been betting big on solar power given the number of sunny days the country experiences. 

“The uncertainty is a growing concern among lenders and financiers,” said Anurag Rastogi, chief actuary and chief underwriting officer at HDFC ERGO General Insurance Co Ltd, adding that his company has seen claims in the first year of the launch of their insurance product for solar projects. 

Source : – Freak weather poses new risk to India’s renewables goals
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Energy Power, Renewable, Solar
If he was paying Rs 2.5 lakh every month as electricity bill, then he would save around Rs 90,000 once the system started producing power

City residents are catching up with solar energy and coming forward to install panels on their rooftops. They are not only producing energy, but also saving money as their electricity bills have reduced to half or even lesser.

A resident of Vikas Nagar on Pakhowal Road, Dr Renu Beri, got 7kW solar panels installed at her house around a year ago. She said, “To harness natural resources, we decided to set up a system that is generating 35 units a day during summer. Till now it has generated around 9,200 units. Our electricity bill has come down from Rs 10,000 per month to just Rs 2,500 and we are very happy.”

Beri said her daughter, who is married in Jalandhar, has also got the panels installed at her house and her son in the US would also follow suit. “Initial cost is high, but low bills offset it,” she said, adding that they were also waiting for the launch of electric car.

BRS Nagar’s Amarjot Singh Bajaj has got 100 kW capacity solar panels installed atop his unit in Focal Point. “Sunrays are reaching us free of cost and we should utilize them for producing energy. The plant was installed a week ago. It will start functioning in a day or so. It will help save a lot of money,” he said.

If he was paying Rs 2.5 lakh every month as electricity bill, then he would save around Rs 90,000 once the system started producing power. After seeing the result, he would install these panels at home too, he added.

Apinder Sodhi from Dugri Phase 3, who had got the panels installed last year to develop her house into a green building, shared, “When my house was under construction, I was keen to get solar panels. I have 5 kW capacity system, which daily produces 25-26 units. The energy goes to national grid and the bill gets adjusted. I was paying Rs 16,000 on an average per month. The bill has now come down to Rs 7,000-Rs 8,000.”

Rajesh Jain, a businessman and resident of Mahavir Enclave, had got installed a solar water heater on his rooftop 10 years ago. Jain said, “We use hot water for bathing, washing and other purposes in summer too. With this system, we are getting hot water free of cost. When we use pre-heated water for tea or washing clothes, we save gas and energy. I want to install solar panels as well, but am waiting for some advanced technology.”

Source : – Ludhiana: City residents writing sunshine stories to save energy
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Energy Power, Renewable, Solar, solar parks, Wind Power
The wind power generators have also been facing liquidity crunch as the three discoms have failed to pay dues of Rs 843 crore that has accumulated since September 2018

Despite power regulator Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission (RERC) reversing an order passed by the previous government last year and bringing in fresh norms to ensure continuity in renewable power purchase, Rajasthan Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd (RVUNL) is yet to sign power purchase agreement (PPAs) with generators that expired in March this year.

The wind power generators have also been facing liquidity crunch as the three discoms have failed to pay dues of Rs 843 crore that has accumulated since September 2018. While the RUVNL continues to consume the power generated by these companies even after March, the generators are unable to raise invoice as there is no new PPA.

“The reasons are best known to the government why they are not renewing the PPAs despite us agreeing to the new price formula that lowered the rates. The delay has compounded our woes. First, our dues of Rs 843 crore have been pending and secondly, we have not been able raise invoice since April this year,” said Rajendra Vyas, president of Rajasthan Chapter, Indian Wind Power Association.

In July last year, RVUNL had written to the power developers not to continue PPAs as the cost of renewable energy has declined significantly over the past five years (the tenure of the PPAs) and wanted them to lower the prices as per the prices discovered in recent biddings. The PPAs were signed for five years even as the projects have a life of 25 years and they were expected to be renewed after five years as a practice in the industry.

In the order passed in March, RERC adopted a pooling price mechanism for the Renewable Energy Certificate projects worth 623 megawatt to arrive at Rs 3.14 per unit for the new PPAs to be signed from the start of this financial year.

But Indian Oil Corporation, which had put up units under the REC mechanism, went to Rajasthan High Court against the RERC’s recommended price of Rs 3.14, citing it the rate was not viable. But most of the projects developers had written to the RVUNL accepting the Rs 3.14 per unit price and urged the agency to sign PPAs.

While hearing the case, the court had also ordered the state government to sign PPAs, saying the same would be subject to final outcome of the writ petition. Vyas also said if the pending dues are not cleared by discoms within 30 days, it has to be paid with interest but the discoms do not pay the full interest.

“The discoms say they don’t have funds to clear the dues as they are yet to receive the subsidy money for the agriculture connections from the government,” added Vyas.
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