Corporate Renewable PPAs in India may Increase in 2021: Report

A report has found that corporate renewable power purchase agreements (PPAs) in India may increase in 2021, despite setbacks from COVID-19.

Corporate Renewable PPAs in India

A new report has found that corporate renewable power purchase agreements (PPAs) in India may increase in 2021, despite setbacks from COVID-19. The report by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), shows that companies in India are playing a key role in setting and implementing the country’s ambitious decarbonisation trajectory, by driving the deployment of renewable technologies through their purchase of renewable power.

In recent years, India has seen impressive growth in corporate renewable electricity sourcing and was the second-largest market for corporate renewable PPAs after the US in 2019, with an addition of 1.4 GW of capacity. However, the report finds that India witnessed a significant slowdown in corporate renewable PPA activity in 2020 (800 MW vs 1.4 GW in 2019).

Two key factors posed new challenges for corporate renewable PPAs in 2020, namely:

  • New restrictions at the state level – including limiting banking provisions for power – that are delaying, and in some cases reversing, open-access project approvals and imposing additional open access charges; and
  • The COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in paused PPA negotiations, delayed permit approvals due to restricted site access and suspended project construction due to labor and equipment shortages.

Looking forward into 2021, there are reasons to be positive. Government reforms in the electricity sector may stimulate uptake of corporate renewable PPAs if successfully executed, including the new draft Electricity Amendment Bill and the privatisation of India’s electricity distribution companies.

The report goes on to highlight evolving market dynamics from 2020 that are expected to impact the market in 2021:

  • The first wind and solar hybrid corporate PPA in India was commissioned, as a model for others to follow and supported by waivers on open access charges for hybrid projects in several states.
  • 2020 saw increased adoption of rooftop solar PPAs to reach almost a third of cumulative onsite solar installations in India.
  • Use of the newly launched Green Term Ahead Market was encouraging in the final quarter of 2020, as an alternative platform for companies to procure renewable power.

Despite limited capacity additions in 2020, it found that company interest in corporate renewable PPAs remains high. Power demand in India has bounced back to pre-COVID levels and we expect negotiations that were paused in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic to resume in 2021.

The report expects an increase in demand for corporate renewable PPAs due to increased sustainability ambitions and actions by leading corporate buyers such as Dalmia Cement, Infosys, Mahindra Holidays & Resorts, Tata Motors, Accenture, Adobe, Ikea, Panasonic, Sony and Starbucks, all of which have voluntarily pledged to meet 100 percent of their electricity demand with renewable electricity.

Additionally, various developers such as AMP Energy, Amplus Solar, Avaada, CleanMax, Cleantech Solar and Fourth Partner, have planned substantial additional capacity development for the coming years.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.

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