ANALYSIS OF APTEL ORDER ON REC PRICING AND MULTIPLIER

Order in the case of REC pricing and vintage multiplier has now been uploaded on the ApTel’s website. Following is a quick summary of the same:
ApTel has rejected all prayers of the RE generators. Specifically, it has held:
-       Pricing: ApTel found no issues with the change in methodology by CERC when they used bid-discovered prices as against CERC determined generic tariffs.
The order states: “
“In view of the growing competition and induction of latest technologies, more and more generators are participating in the auctions/bids with considerable reduced cost of generation. Thus, the Central Commission in specifying REC prices, has shifted to bid discovered prices in place of earlier generic tariff fixed by it when the RE sector specially solar was in infancy stage.”
 
And
“We have carefully considered the contentions of all the parties and note that under the prevailing market scenario, the prices of RECs cannot be kept artificially high to burden the end consumers. Further, if the prices of RECs are kept high without aligning them with the market reality and current cost of electricity, the obligated entities may not purchase the RECs and try to fulfil their RPOs by other means.”
-       Vintage Multiplier – The ApTel has said that providing vintage multiplier is the “discretion” of CERC, and said that the CERC has provided “cogent reasoning” in its order, and further that the ApTel found “no unjustness in specifying the floor and forbearance prices of REC and discontinuation of the Vintage Multiplier”

-       In our opinion, the justification of price reduction is also to some extent based on factually incorrect premise. For example, the order says:
 
It is also noteworthy that sufficient time has been given to RE generators to sell their RECs at the power exchange but perhaps in anticipation of selling them at better prices has resulted into unsold REC inventory.”
 
            And further,
 
“Another important fact is that among the three routes available for RE generators, the REC capacity is dominated by RE generators operating under CGP and OA route rendering APPC route as the last choice”
 
We believe that this order will have a significant adverse impact on projects and investors that have invested in REC projects. An immediate impact will be that such project will have to bear heavy losses on the existing inventory of RECs – the losses will be particularly heavy for solar projects.
It also does not bode well for future investment in the REC mechanism, as falling RE prices are an irreversible trend. Does this mean that REC projects will have to bear losses of such reduction every year?

UPDATE ON HEARING ON PRICE AND TRADING OF SOLAR RECS IN APTEL

We attended the hearing at ApTel today. The court has dismissed all the petitions – implying that the CERC order remains as is. More details will be available once the final order is uploaded on the ApTel’s website (generally by end of day or tomorrow).
Since the stay on trading for Solar RECs was till the order of ApTel, it stands automatically vacated, and trading will resume from this month (unless a fresh stay is obtained by the generators).
We will provide a very detailed analysis of the order once it becomes available.

EXTENSION ON WAIVER OF INTER-STATE TRANSMISSION CHARGES AND LOSSES FOR ELECTRICITY GENERATED FROM SOLAR AND WIND SOURCES

The Ministry of Power has released an order  which provides extension on the waiver of intra-state transmission charges and losses for transmission of electricity generated from solar and wind sources. As per the last order dated 14 June 2017, MoP had provided an extension on the waiver of transmission charges for electricity procured from solar and wind sources till 31.12.2019. This waiver has been further extended to 31 March 2022 for electricity transmitted both the sources of renewable energy.

 

The waiver shall be applicable for 25 years from the date of commissioning of the projects and only on those projects entering into PPAs with distribution licensees for sale of electricity for compliance of their RPO. The order also states that the waiver shall be applicable to projects awarded through competitive bidding process.

 

This order continues to encompass the same issues present in the previous orders. It is only applicable to solar projects from which the electricity will be sold to the DISCOMs. Secondly, it will only be on those solar projects entering PPAs for the compliance of RPO.

GUVNL’S BIDDING FETCHES TARIFF OF Rs 2.65

In a bidding which took place on 19th September 2017 for a 500 MW solar plant of Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd. (GUVNL), the lowest price determined was Rs 2.65 per unit. This was slightly higher than the price of Rs 2.44 determined in the last reverse bidding by SECI. This increase in the price determined was attributed to the implementation of GST and the increase in the cost of solar panels being imported from China.

A continuous decreasing trend has been seen in the tariff determined for solar projects in the Country this year. The following graph determines the trend in prices of solar power determined in the past:

The article can be accessed here.

CEA’S DRAFT NATIONAL ELECTRICITY PLAN

Central Electricity Authority  (CEA) published the Draft National Electricity Plan (NEP). Following are some of the main features of the report:

  • For the 12th plan (2013-2018), target capacity addition from renewable energy was set at 30,000 MW. However, in view of the revised target of adding 1,75,000 MW capacity of renewable energy sources by the year 2022, the capacity addition for every year has been revised. A target of 16,825 MW has been set for capacity addition in 2016-2017. As per the review, capacity addition from conventional sources is going to exceed its target by 115% and private players will play a big role in capacity addition. Coal based plants are likely to contribute around 39% of capacity addition.

  • Projections for peak demand and energy requirement has been done for utilities for which two scenarios have been considered in the report for the years 2021-22 and 2026-27. One is with the consideration of DSM, energy efficiency and conservation measures. As per calculations, both peak demand and energy requirement values reduce significantly in the scenario where DSM, energy efficiency and conservation measures are being considered.

 

  • The installed capacity from renewable energy sources was 42,849 MW as on 31.03.2016. The share of renewable energy sources in the same is about 13%. However, the share of renewables is estimated to increase as the government is giving a major thrust to renewable energy. India, as a country has vast solar and wind potential. It also has potential for biomass and small hydro projects.

 

  • The CEA carried out EGEAS studies to assess the kind of capacity addition that will be required to meet the projected demand for the year 2021-22. Hydro, gas and nuclear are given maximum priority. CEA has developed three scenarios which consider the different combinations of installed capacity from renewable sources so as to determine the capacity addition from 2017-22. From the study it can be concluded that no additional coal based capacity is required to fulfill the energy demands during the year 2017-22 if the capacity of hydro, gas and nuclear are 15,330 MW, 4,340 MW and 2,800 MW and additional renewable energy sources. However, coal based capacity of 50,025 is under construction in will probably be commissioned during 2017-22.

 

  • As per the report, Electric Power Survey Committee’s 19th report will come out in some time and on the basis of that, changes will be made to the final Electricity Plan. Due to shortage of natural gas in the country, except for the already existing plants, no new natural gas plants have been planned during 2017-22. Also, the coal based capacity of 50,025 MW that is under construction currently will be able to fulfill the capacity requirement for the years 2022-2027. As estimated, in the year 2021-22, generation from RES will be 20.3%. Imports from neighbouring countries is also estimated to increase from 5,100 MW in the years 2021-22 to 21,600 MW in the year 2026-27.

  • The compound annual growth rate of energy demand will grow from 4.42% between the years 2012-13 to 2015-16 to 6.34% from the years 2015-16 to 2021-22. This increase is significantly higher than that in the past considering the increase in demand and the increase due to implementation of PFA and other projects from the government of India between 2017-22. Therefore, as per the report, energy demand of 1611 BU and peak demand of 235 GW in March 2022 under CAGR= 6.34% look realistic and is likely to occur.

 

  • The CEA report has mentioned ambitious targets of achieving an installed capacity of 175 GW by 2022. The breakup of the energy derived by various sources has also been given in the report. The report also mentions the percentage of energy that will be derived from various sources and from different states. As per the report, 9 states will contribute almost 77% of installed capacity by 2022. The report also gives year-wise targets for achieving the desired target.

  • The targets set by the CEA will require strong indigenous manufacturing facility for equipments related to RES. Policy frameworks may be developed to encourage the same and this will also fall in line with the ‘Make in India’ policy.

 

  • At the end of the year 2021-22, the projected peak demand and the energy requirement is 235 GW and 1,611 BU respectively. As per the 18th EPS report, this is around 17% and 16.4% lesser respectively. Similarly for the years 2026-27, these values are 20.7% and 21.3% lower.

 

  • As for the capacity addition predicted from 2017-22, development of hydro, nuclear and gas based project is being given priority. Capacity addition estimated from gas, hydro and nuclear is 4,340 MW, 15,330 MW and 2,800 MW. The capacity addition from RES is predicted to be 1,15,326 MW. For the years 2022-27, similar trends as the previous 5 years will be followed. It is estimated that non-fossil based capacity is bound to increase by 46.8% at the end of 2021-22 and will further increase by 56.5% by the end of 2026-27. For the year 2017-22 and 2022-27, low hydro capacity addition of 11,788 MW and 5,000 MW has been estimated.

 

SOLAR CAPACITY SET TO CROSS 20 GW IN THE NEXT 15 MONTHS, SAYS PIYUSH GOYAL:

As per Mr Piyush Goyal, India’s installed solar capacity is going to cross the 20 GW mark from the current 19 GW capacity by 2020. The reason for this estimated increase has been attributed to the fact that Make in India is no more in its nascent stage. Now, India can support majority of its financial and technological needs for increasing its renewable energy capacity. The proof of the same is the drastic reduction in the cost of solar power to an extent that it is comparable to the cost of thermal power. India’s capacity increased four times since the past 3 years when it reached the 10 GW mark in March this year. In May 2014, the capacity was 2,650 MW. The same has been covered in our previous blog.

The Deccan Chronicle article can be accessed here.

INDIA’S SOLAR CAPACITY CROSSES 10 GW:

As per the article in DNA India, the New and Renewable Energy Minister, Piyush Goyal, declared that India has crossed 10,000 MW of solar energy on the 12th of this month and has increased more than three times in the last three years. This milestone coincided with the commissioning of 45 MW solar power project in Rajasthan by National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).

This is in concurrence with the proposed goal that India has of installing 100 GW of solar capacity 2022 and its renewable energy capacity to 175 GW.

REC Trade Results February 2017

The Feb trade session remained a robust one, following the record setting session in January.  Total Non-solar demand was 10.4 lakhs (vs 15.2 L demand in January), and clearing ratios on IEX and PXIL were 8.7 and 6.2% respectively. On a year-to-date basis, this year Non-solar RECs demand has been significantly higher than last year. March 2017, which will be the last trading session of FY 16-17, is also expected to result in high trading volumes.

 

Solar RECs trading, on the other hand, has remained subdued. One reason is the significantly solar capacity coming online in states (with record low tariffs) – this result in Discom’s not buying solar RECs in large volumes. Also, the expected price drop in April 2017 may be resulting in potential buyers deferring purchases.

 

Non Solar – The clearing ratio stood at 8.72% and 6.2% in both IEX and PXIL respectively.

Solar – Clearing ratio stood at 1.26% and 0.34% in IEX and PXIL respectively.

 

 

 

KEY PROVISIONS FOR THE RENEWABLE ENERGY INDUSTRY IN UNION BUDGET 2017

Nothing exceptional was noticed in the budget this year with regards to the Renewable Energy sector. There was no change in the accelerated depreciation rate or the coal cess. Neither was there any change seen in the National Clean Energy Fund. This year’s budget proved to be quiet uneventful for the renewable energy sector. The only development that has been cited is that 7000 railway stations will be powered by solar energy. The allocation of budget to MNRE was 5,437 Cr which wasn’t a big change since last year’s budget of 5,000 Cr. Other than that, there weren’t any exceptional changes. An article in the Livemint also mentioned the following ” While total budgetary outlay to renewable energy marginally increased, there is little to celebrate. This budget is unlikely to catalyse action, attract private investment or underwrite risks. An opportunity was lost.”

 Key features of the budget can be found here

PORTUGAL RUNS ON RENEWABLES FOR FOUR AND A HALF DAYS

In a remarkable achievement reported by The Guardian, the country of Portugal ran only on renewable power for 107 hours in the month of May. The sources of renewable power that the country relied on were hydro, wind and solar power.

During the year 2016, 59% of the national energy production was fulfilled through renewable energy while the remaining was from fossil fuels. Out of the 59% yielded from renewable sources, 2% was from solar, 25% was from wind and remaining 32% was from hydro. The article quoted  ”the managing director of the Portuguese Renewable energy association Apren, believes that by 2020, Portugal will be able to generate 60% of its energy from renewables and will be able to completely rely on renewable power by the end of 2040”.

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