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India to add 2700 MW of solar PV capacity in 2015.

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BRIDGE TO INDIA is the leading boutique consultancy and knowledge provider in the Indian cleantech market. We work with leading Indian and international companies, governments and institutions. Through our different activities, we have a unique vantage point on the market dynamics, combining the comprehensive, constantly updated 360 degree view of our market intelligence, the in-depth analysis of our consulting efforts and the on-ground understanding from transaction advisories. Our goal is to enable innovative cleantech solutions in India.

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The poor financial health of India’s power distribution companies (DISCOMs) is deemed to be the weakest link in the Indian power sector and a huge headache for project developers.  It is not just critical for the revival of the power sector but also for the health of public sector banks. Recent estimates by CRISIL suggest that poor progress on tariff reforms and high AT&C losses have cost led to accumulated DISCOM losses of INR 3.75 trillion (USD 56 billion). To put this in perspective: this is equivalent to around 2.7% of India’s GDP.

  • Central government wants states to issue bonds for raising funds at 8.5-9% to refinance power firms’ current high-cost loans (13-14%)
  • In return for reforms, central government will offer funds from schemes such as the Integrated Power Development System and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana
  • The long term growth prospects of the solar sector are contingent upon the financial health of the DISCOMs


The Indian Parliament recently concluded a literally washed out monsoon session. The key Amendments for Electricity Act 2003, which the Parliamentary Standing Committee had already recommended was ready but not tabled (refer here to read why this matters for the solar sector). Another important proposal to amend the National Tariff Policy 2005 has been severely watered down (refer here to read about its proposed impact on the solar sector).

  • Amendments to the Electricity Act are ready but could not be introduced in the parliament.
  • Dropping of the compulsory adherence clause in the amendment to the National Tariff Policy will undermine the impact of the reform.
  • Written replies to questions raised by parliamentarians revealed several aspects of various government initiatives.


India has been discussing dollar dominated bids for solar projects in the country for some time now. The rationale is to attract low cost international capital and reduce hedging costs by pooling currency risk with the ultimate objective of reducing the cost of solar power. An initial allocation for 1 GW of projects is believed to be in planning stages and guidelines on bidding process are expected within the next couple of months.

  • The government hopes to lower the cost of solar power by around 10%
  • BRIDGE TO INDIA analysis shows that cost reduction may be slightly less at about 5% but these projects may attract new capital to the sector
  • It is worth going through the added complexity of Dollar dominated bids only if the government is confident of using this mechanism for much larger capacity, say 10 GW or more


Financial bids were opened today (3rd August 2015) for the 2,000 MW solar tender in Telangana. This is the single largest allocation in the country till date. According to unconfirmed sources, the lowest tariff for this bid has been quoted at INR 5.17/kWh by SkyPower. Sky Power had also quoted the lowest tariff in Madhya Pradesh at INR 5.05/kWh.

  • Despite the manifold increase in the number and capacity of allocations in India, competition remains intense
  • Appetite of developers has also increased manifold and several new players have entered the market
  • We expect NSM bids for 420 MW in Rajasthan to witness even more intense competition


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