Fossil fuel reserves are limited and are very close to depletion. The continuously shrinking reserves have given rise to energy cost, which stand to deprive more people (already 1 bn people live without electricity) of energy and spewed toxic fumes that have led to environmental degradation. Facing such a scenario, the world is on its way to adopt sustainable energy that can offer release from economic and environmental binds forged by fossil fuel usage. Solar continues to win the favour of the world as the best replacement of fossil fuels. However, what it can bring is more than sustainable energy for all; it can offer a chance to build a better economy and social structure within a country, which developing countries desperately need.
The year 2019 is expected to improve Indian solar scenario, which witnessed a slowdown in second half of 2018. Research data indicates that more than 35 GW of solar projects were tendered in the country between Jan-September 2018. Surprisingly, near about 13 GW of projects were auctioned at the end of the year. This stands as 65% decline in tender activity in Q3 2018, in comparison with Q2 2018.
However, in 2019 developments like, introduction of battery storage policy will have positive effects on renewable energy capacity addition. According to Bridge to India 15 GW renewable energy capacity will be added in 2019 (out of which most will come from solar), which is twice the capacity compared to 2018. However, recent policies have made a dent in the Indian solar growth and stand as challenge in way of solar growth. Let us split the expectations and effect of policy to identify the current scenario.
Current progress in India indicates incredible growth in business and industry development, testified by the country’s acquirement of 77th position On World Bank’s Ease Of Doing Business Report from 126th rank in 2016. However, factoring in 6.1% (NSSO data) current unemployment rate it is important to note that unemployment in the country is surging faster than development and job creation. Improving functionalities and inner mechanisms through policy reformations have done a great job in India, but as a scenario indicates, the country needs a saviour to significantly increase job development.
The latest memorandum issued by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) stresses upon the importance of following BIS certification rather than Bloomberg Tier-I List when lenders are selecting solar projects to invest in. Government has highlighted this mandate as a way to protect domestic solar manufacturers from discrimination, as solar project lenders generally favour investing for projects that have used modules manufactured by Bloomberg Tier-I rated manufacturers. And only handful of Indian solar manufacturers (Vikram Solar, Tata, Adani, Waaree) claimed rank in the list, while majority of the rest are Chinese manufacturers.
Although, Government of India’s intent behind this new mandate seems beneficial for the industry, we need to have a closer inspection for derive an accurate opinion.