India’s Renewable Energy Sector is Still Primed for Growth: IEEFA

While the pace of renewable energy growth has slowed in India, positive outcomes in recent auctions suggest there remains plenty of appetite among domestic and foreign investors to build renewable infrastructure, according to a new IEEFA briefing note.

Policy-related headwinds and a collapse in electricity demand due to the COVID-19 crisis have disrupted India’s renewable energy capacity tendering and commissioning process. But despite these setbacks, renewables are proving resilient with investment capital available for new projects with favorable risk-return profiles, said author Kashish Shah, Research Analyst at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

The note looked at the outcomes of seven renewable energy capacity and storage auctions held to-date in 2020. It found that together they attracted some USD 10-20 billion of investment commitments, despite the pandemic. The note points to the Solar Energy Corporation of India’s (SECI) 2 gigawatt (2GW) solar auction in June as a particular highlight. It delivered India’s lowest-yet renewable energy tariff at Rs 2.36/kWh (USD 31/MWh) with zero indexation for 25 years.

Developers from around the world secured winning bids: Solarpack (Spain); Enel (Italy); Amp Energy (Canada); Eden Renewables (France); IB Vogt (Germany); Ayana Renewable Power (backed by the UK’s CDC Group); and ReNew Power (Indian, but backed by Abu Dhabi’s ADIA, Canada’s CPPIB, Japan’s JERA and the US’s Goldman Sachs).

“The cost competitiveness and continuing price deflation of renewable sources makes them a more viable energy generator than many existing thermal power plants, and all-new import power plants,” said Shah. “Domestic and global investors are sitting up and taking notice of declining renewables prices plus the clear government policy alignment and ambition, and this is reflected in the very positive results of these recent auctions.”

Shah adds that the encouraging results of these auctions demonstrate strong investor interest in renewables in an extremely tough economic environment. Renewable Energy IEEFA

“At the moment there is more capital available than opportunities to invest in India’s renewable energy sector. With the right policy environment, India’s renewable energy sector will continue to attract international as well domestic investment capital.

“A green stimulus that accelerates investments into renewable energy infrastructure could help India to emerge from the economic slump by boosting employment, reducing fossil fuel imports and building energy security.”

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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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