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New Director General, National Institute of Wind Energy

Dr. K. Balaraman has been appointed as Director General, National Institute of Wind Energy (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India) on 9th November 2017. He was earlier Chief General Manager at Power Research and Development Consultants Pvt. Ltd. (PRDC), Bangalore. Dr. K. Balaraman received his B.E degree from Bangalore University in 1989, M. Tech from Visvesvaraya Technological University in 2000 and Ph. D. from Visvesvaraya Technological University in 2007. Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association (IWTMA) heartily welcomes Dr. K. Balaraman and extends all support and cooperation. Dr. Balaraman has attended the Executive Program in Management from the University of California, Berkeley Center for Executive Education at the Haas School of Business.

India Needs Over $200 Bn of Investment in Renewable Infrastructure

India is the world's second-largest producer, consumer and importer of thermal coal. It's also the third largest electricity user in the world after China and the US.India is on track to catalyse $200-300 billion of new investment in its renewable energy infrastructure in the next decade with global capital inflows playing an increasingly crucial role, a top financial analyst with a leading US-based institute foresees. India's decarbonisation policy is in line with global trends which, since 2011, have been seeing investments in renewable energy infrastructure running at two-three times of that for new fossil fuel capacities, said Tim Buckley, Director of Energy Finance Studies Australasia with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

Kerala Electricity Regulator Sounds Warning On Power Purchase Obligations

Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission has warned the power distribution entities against non-compliance of their respective renewable purchase obligations and said their failure to do so would lead to additional tariff burden on consumers in the future. This was done in view of the central government decision to strictly monitor and ensure that all licensees in the country attain their renewable power purchase obligation fixed by the central agencies without fail.

Green Energy Sector Facing Headwinds on Low Bidding for Projects: ICRA

The bidding activity for wind and solar energy projects has slowed down in the current calendar year in terms of awarded project capacity, research and ratings agency ICRA said. “With very limited progress on the bidding plans by the state-owned distribution utilities to award wind energy projects, the sector is facing near term headwinds and capacity addition in the near term remains adversely impacted due to migration from feed-in tariff to bid tariff route,” ICRA said in a statement. ICRA said state utilities are preferring reverse auction for wind projects owing to lower tariffs than feed-in tariffs approved by SERCs varying from Rs 3.74 per unit to Rs 5.76 per unit.

Power Grid Sees $25 billion up for Grabs on Modi's Power Plan

India’s largest transmission utility is shifting its focus to projects within states, where it expects a government plan to provide electricity to all to generate about Rs. 1,60,000 crore ($25 billion) worth of new orders over the next five years. States are increasing investments in their electricity grids and upgrading old transmission systems as they seek to supply round-the-clock electricity to households and industries as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to supply every household with electricity. “Many states may not have the funds needed for upgrading their transmission systems and may want to go for a joint venture with Power Grid.

Over 330,000 New Jobs to be on Offer in India’s Renewable Energy Sector

India’s growing renewable energy sector is likely to generate more than 330,000 new jobs over the next five years through 2022) creating opportunities to support mainly the country’s rural poor by offering an alternative to subsistence farming, according to US-based global research organisation World Resources Institute (WRI).

India, Sweden to Work Closely in Promoting Clean Technologies

India–Sweden Innovations’ Accelerator Programme aims to facilitate transfer of innovative clean technologies and solutions from Sweden to India and provide a bridge for commercial Swedish–Indian innovation cooperation. In the last four years, the programme has facilitated interaction between more than 45 Swedish companies and 300 Indian companies through workshops and B2B meetings implementing 30 projects.

Toyota, Suzuki to Introduce Electric Vehicles in India in 2020

Japanese automakers Suzuki Motor and Toyota Motor finalised an agreement to manufacture and sell electric vehicles in India by the turn of the decade. The move, particularly the involvement of Suzuki that sells one in every two passenger vehicles in India through local unit Maruti, gives further credence to the government’s vision of switching to full electric mobility from 2030 and boosts its ‘Make in India’ initiative. In line with the agreement, batteries, electric motors and major components for manufacturing electric vehicles will all be procured locally “helping the Indian government fulfil its ‘Make in India’ initiative, even in the field of EVs”.

Mr. Pradhan Asks Scientific Community to Help Cut Fuel Import Dependence

Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan asked geo-scientific community to reduce oil and gas import dependency by at least 10%, and ensure energy accessibility as well as affordability for entire spectrum of people to fulfill the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

At Least 15 States Join Global Alliance to Phase Out Coal By 2030

Britain, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium, Switzerland, New Zealand, Ethiopia, Mexico and the Marshall Islands have joined International Alliance Powering Past Coal to phase out coal from power generation before 2030. The alliance aims to have 50 members by the next U.N. climate summit in 2018 to be held in Poland's Katowice, one of Europe's most polluted cities. But some of the world's biggest coal users, such as China, the United States, Germany and Russia, have not signed up.

Supreme Court asks why not use battery-run vehicles to curb pollution?

With air pollution rising to dangerous levels in India, home to twenty of the world's most polluted cities, the Supreme Court asked why battery-run and solar energy-run vehicles were not being manufactured in the country on a large scale to replace petrol/diesel-run cars. The court asked the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) to adopt new technology for the benefits of the citizens.

Rules Soon to Make Sure 'Squatters' Utilise Transmission Infrastructure

PowerGrid Corporation of India had complained to the regulator about renewable project developers who had obtained connectivity rights at its sub-stations and taken control of one or more “bays” there, but were not using them to transmit power. This, it had complained, prevented others with power projects from utilising the bays. CERC has indicated that it would come up with guidelines to deal with “squatters” on the Central Transmission Utility (CTU) and ensure that the infrastructure is utilised.

Source: Economic Times, October 02, 2017

Eighteen firms bid to supply wind power in GUVNL auction

Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) has received bids from 18 companies for the supply of 500 MW wind power to the state-run power utility. The Gujarat high court in its recent order allowed GUVNL to continue with the bidding process. The technical bids were opened few days back and the financial bids will be opened on November 15.

Delhi Discoms to Purchase 1,000 MW Clean Energy by 2019

The power discoms in Delhi will be able to purchase 1,000 MW clean electricity by 2019, a major step towards implementing the AAP government's solar policy. Delhi Power minister Mr. Satyender Jain said if needed, the city government will get more clean energy to keep air pollution in check. "Discussions with the three discoms were on for nearly six months and they have agreed. In-principle agreement has been made. He said that one thousand MW clean energy will be purchased for Delhi.

Civil Society Groups Start Campaign in Europe for Clean Energy

Bonn: To combat the worsening impacts of climate change and air pollution, civil society groups across 28 European nations on November 03, 2017 (Thursday) starting campaigning under Europe Beyond Coal, a collective campaign to move away from coal towards clean renewable energy. Underscoring the need for this shift, new health impact modelling released by the campaign showed that in 2015, the European Union's coal fleet alone was responsible for an estimated 19,500 premature deaths and 10,000 cases of chronic bronchitis in adults. Coal's health costs are equally staggering, with up to 54 billion euros in the same one year period. "Momentum is building for Europe to be coal-free by 2030, and civil society is coming together to make it happen, and happen sooner," Europe Beyond Coal campaign Director Kathrin Gutmann said, according to a statement.

Source: IANS | November 03, 2017

Karnataka Govt Overrules Regulator's Order to Reduce Discom Tariff

In an unprecedented step, the Karnataka government has overruled a regulatory order that had reduced the tariff the state discom would pay for wind energy projects for which power purchase agreements were signed before this fiscal year. The state has invoked special provisions under Section 108 of the Electricity Act to veto the decision of the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) -- largely an autonomous body -- to insist that developers whose PPAs were signed before March 31 this year, should be paid Rs 4.50 per unit, and not Rs 3.74 per unit as the KERC had laid down. The regulatory order had jeopardised many wind projects.

ET Bureau, October 31, 2017

Supreme Court Order to Bring PPA Discipline

A recent Supreme Court ruling that electricity regulators’ “inherent powers” are circumscribed and can’t be used “to deal with any matter which is otherwise specifically provided under the Electricity Act 2003,” would have implications for many delayed power projects wanting to extend the “tariff periods” under the existing power purchase agreements (PPAs), industry analysts said. The apex court, in an October 25 ruling, set aside the Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (GERC) order, which allowed a private generator — Solar Semiconductor Power Company (SSPC) — to extend the start of the tariff period from 2010, when the PPA was signed, to 2012, when it actually commenced operations. While the regulatory panel used the power under the Act to extend the tariff period — which would practically raise the tariffs, the court said that such decision, which has the effect of amending the PPA can be done only as per PPA’s own provisions, and not by invoking the regulator’s inherent power.

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