India-Spain cooperation in renewable energy

A MOU is signed between India and Spain on India-Spain cooperation in renewable energy

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Spain on India-Spain Cooperation in renewable energy. The MoU was signed on 30th May, 2017 at Spain.

The MoU will help in strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries with the exchange of expertise and networking of information.

Both sides aim to establish the basis for a cooperative institutional relationship to encourage and promote technical bilateral cooperation on new and renewable energy issues on the basis of mutual benefit equality and reciprocity. The MoU envisages establishing a Joint Working Committee to review, monitor and discuss matters relation to areas of cooperation.

World Bank Loan for Solar Projects

World Bank financing of USD 100 Million for development of internal infrastructure of solar parks has been planned by Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd. (IREDA) under the aegis of Ministry of New & Renewable Energy. The World Bank loan is proposed to flow to the interested Solar Power Park Developers (SPPDs) through IREDA. This was stated by Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal & New and Renewable Energy and Mines in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.

In addition, the World Bank is providing low cost financing to roof-top solar developers under a $625 million Programme for Results (PforR) to be routed through the State Bank of India. These programmes will increase the availability of debt financing, de-risk commercial financial flows, and build capacity across the solar PV industry to significantly expand the programme of rooftop solar PV across India. The first 100 MW of solar rooftop financing under this loan has just been approved, the Minister added.

Separate Solar RPO Queried By Indian Minister

India may soon review its Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) mechanism to give targets more suited to the environment of each state and offer more flexibility. The RPO mandates individual states to procure a certain percentage of renewable energy into their power mix.

However, speaking at the PPA signing ceremony for 1,050MW of wind power in India last week, Piyush Goyal said that India “at some stage” may have to review the policy of having a separate RPO for solar and other forms of energy.

He said: “We should leave it to the states to decide what is in their best interests, how they can serve their people best and who are we to or why should we anymore be looking at different mixes, somebody wants to have 100% wind so be it, somebody wants 100% solar so be it.”

The minister said that the RPO came about in an environment where renewables were seen as expensive and therefore they had to be “thrust” onto the system – adding: “Of course, the volumes were so small, it did not matter also, now we are looking at much larger volumes.”

Indeed, the solar and wind context has changed with both technologies bringing the lowest electricity prices in India, when considering the most recent PPA signings. The confidence of these tariffs and thermal plant addtiions has caused an environemtn with surpluses of energy rather than shortfalls and as a result “the entire future [framework] will have to be recrafted, redesigned”, Goyal said.

On a separate issue, Goyal also noted the need to bring in spinning reserves to reduce the need to back down thermal plants. Just at the beginning of the month, he launched a report on integrating renewables into the grid, which specified the assumption that coal plants would able to operate at just 55% of rated capacity in compliance with Central Electricity Regulatory Commission regulation, in order for renewables to fit into the system.

Considering even energy stroage, Goyal also said: “We can do faster ramp up and ramp down, either through hydro or through gas, may be also through storage, through batteries at some stage in the future.”