Our Aim is to Double Our Portfolio in the Next 2 years: ShriPrakash Rai

Canada -based AMP Energy has emerged as a significant player on the IPP side, including in India. The firm, which has stepped up its ambitions in India with a few recent wins in auctions, with bids as low as Rs 2.50 per unit, prides itself on empowering its different country operations. We got responses from ShriPrakash Rai, Head C&I Business at Amp Energy India, on their plans.

Q. What is the best-case scenario for AMP Energy in the next 2 years in India?

ShriPrakash Rai Amp Energy India

Shri Prakash Rai Head C&I Business at Amp Energy India

Amp Energy India is the fastest growing renewable IPPs in India and is already one of the leading players with a 1GW portfolio in a short span of time. Our aim is to double our portfolio in the next 2 years and develop a balanced portfolio of assets supplying power to both C&I and utility customers.

Q. In recent auctions, we have seen a strong show from foreign developers, with very aggressive price bids. Why do you think that is happening?

India is one of the largest renewable energy markets with an ambitious expansion plan driven by its policy thrust towards renewables and increasing investments in the clean energy sector. This makes it an attractive investment destination for foreign players. Additionally, the world is moving towards decarbonisation and investors are indulging in sustainable investment avenues by adding carbon risk to their portfolios.

Now, tariffs have decreased consistently over the years due to falling module prices and changes in financing costs, but they have more or less stabilised in the last 2 years at around Rs 2.50- 2.87 per kWh.

Q. On the policy front, what is the big policy change that you believe could really spark a strong growth momentum back into solar in India?

The government has been trying to promote domestic manufacturing which we think is a step in the right direction. But to meet the 100GW target by 2022, we must introduce policies that support capacity deployment and not promote one segment at the cost of another. We believe that all stakeholders must be aligned to the same goal of 100GW and must work towards achieving it with the support of the government.

Q. Do you see the market shifting to Hybrid projects in a big way in 2021? Or later?

Wind-solar hybrid power, which harnesses both solar and wind energy, is fast emerging as a viable new renewable energy option in India and rightly so. This is a very effective combination because it is cost-effective, improves the CUF of the project and helps in efficient utilisation of the space available. Although the wind solar hybrid model has not been accepted yet due to issues such as land availability, lack of transmission infrastructure and reliable power supply. Things can improve for hybrids if the power supply is guaranteed and hence, hybrids integrated with storage will make power dispatchable on demand.

Q. What will it take to make an impact in the rooftop segment, in your view? It is currently at barely 15 percent or less of its target for 2022.

More than 70% of distributed generation in India has been contributed by C&I customers. We expect this trend to continue in the foreseeable future since C&I have the highest power needs as compared to other categories, and they also pay the highest tariffs. Also, renewable energy enables them to reduce their electricity costs and carbon mitigation. The sector needs its own set of policies directed to promote rapid deployment of assets such as removal of upper limit for net metering, better financing options, removal of CEIG approval for projects below 1MW and avoiding frequent policy revisions.

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