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Blogs


India’s burgeoning solar pipeline defies sceptics

07 September 2015 | BRIDGE TO INDIA

India’s utility scale solar project pipeline is growing rapidly, bringing the government’s ambitious solar goals closer. The installed capacity stands at 4.4 GW and projects under development and allocation stand at an additional 10.9 GW. The pipeline number is expected to swell further as new tenders are released. Accounting for policy uncertainties and delays, these developments can...

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Will states live up to the ambitions of the central government?

31 August 2015 | BRIDGE TO INDIA

As part of the 60 GW target for utility scale solar, the central government is taking the lead at present through projects developed under National Solar Mission.  But states are expected to play a bigger role over time and develop 20 GW of capacity (refer). In percentage terms, this seems...

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A New Approach to Improve DISCOM Health

24 August 2015 | BRIDGE TO INDIA

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...

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Parliament’s Monsoon Session and what it meant for the Solar Sector

17 August 2015 | BRIDGE TO INDIA

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...

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Bridge To India

A status check on Dollar dominated bids for solar projects in India

10 August 2015 | BRIDGE TO INDIA

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...

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Telangana gets lowest bid at INR 5.17/kWh in India’s largest solar tender

03 August 2015 | BRIDGE TO INDIA

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...

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Expect bruises, not bubbles in India’s solar market

29 July 2015 | Tobias Engelmeier

The Indian solar market is growing at a breathtaking speed: This year alone, by more than 300%, next year perhaps by 150%. Competition is as intense as the market is enthusiastic. Projects are being won at record low tariffs – tariffs that many observers doubt will leave investors with acceptable returns. Will these projects be “stranded solar assets”? Is there a bubble in the making?...

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Renewables in India: Bringing it All Together

27 July 2015 | BRIDGE TO INDIA

Recently, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) released a draft of the “National Renewable Energy Act” (refer). Along with the proposed amendments to the Electricity Act 2003 and the National Tariff Policy 2005 (

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Bridge To India

Evolution or Revolution? How renewables will shape our future

22 July 2015 | Tobias Engelmeier

In the early 20th century, when cars started to compete with horse-drawn carriages in Europe, they still had innumerable technical teething issues and no distribution channels. Germany’s last emperor William II famously said (possibly while sitting on a horse): “I believe in horses, automobiles are a passing phenomenon.” Well, you know which side of history...

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Madhya Pradesh bid results: record low tariffs, tight margins

20 July 2015 | BRIDGE TO INDIA

Last week, 300 MW of solar capacity was auctioned in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh (MP). The record low tariffs surprised most observers. Canadian developer Sky Power offered to sell solar power at INR 5.05/kWh (50 MW capacity). The bids closed at INR 5.64/kWh with the median tariff at INR 5.34/kWh. The auction received a lot of interest and over 2,200 MW of projects were offered at tariffs...

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Lowest Tariffs, Accelerating Growth: How India’s Solar Market is Changing

17 July 2015 | Tobias Engelmeier

A year ago, the Indian government announced a goal of 100 GW of solar by 2022. Large parts or the markets (including us) were skeptical. In the last couple of months, however, the mood has changed. We revise our growth projections for 2015 up from 3 GW to 4.5 GW Solar tariffs have dropped to as low as 5.05 per kWh Some stumbling blocks remain These are the reasons to be...

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Solar policy vs. DISCOMs – Round One

13 July 2015 | BRIDGE TO INDIA

One group in India that has so far not shared the enthusiasm about the country’s solar ambitions is utilities. Their immediate concerns relate to how the transmission and distribution grid is used and paid for. At a more fundamental level, they are wondering about whether the growth of solar will restrict or change their role in India’s future electricity system. While some DISCOMs have...

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