My Blog

NSEFI and IEX present joint workshop on green power markets for renewable generators.

NSEFI and IEX present joint workshop on green power markets for renewable generators. Entry only on invitation. Please send in your interest to admin@nsef.in with name, organization, designation if you are interested in participating

adminNSEFI and IEX present joint workshop on green power markets for renewable generators.
read more

Pranav Mehta, India’s ‘Solar Man’ and GSC head, talks solar strategies

From a metallurgical engineer to India’s CNG warrior and later, the country’s Solar Man, Pranav Mehta’s story reads like a series of ‘renewable’ steps. In the first of pv magazine India’s new personality interview series, editor Preeti Verma Lal talks to the Global Solar Council’s new head. He discusses what’s on the to-do list and the strategies needed to succeed.

Born in a Nagar (literally: city dweller) family in the Indian state of Gujarat, Pranav Mehta grew up to study metallurgy. While working for Tata Steel, he pioneered the use of natural gas for steel making. That move won him the prestigious National Metallurgist Award in November 1990 and sparked his dream to create a cleaner, better world.

“The world will not survive if our dependency on fossil fuels is not curtailed.”

Back then, solar energy was not his calling; rather he was focused on compressed natural gas (CNG). As advisor to the Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation, he spearheaded the state – and later India’s – CNG revolution.

However, during a 2006 conference in the United States, Mehta became aware of India’s large, as of yet untapped, solar energy potential. Back home, his newly found solar fervor did not fade, and he spent two years relentlessly working to persuade people that it was time to set the scene. Finally, his hard work paid off and by 2008, 50 MW had been instaled at various sites across the country.

From no installed capacity in 2007, to 28 GW today, Mehta has played a pivotal part in steering India’s renewable energy dream. On January 1 2019, he became the first Indian to head the Global Solar Council (GSC), an international coalition of 30 countries and several corporate houses, which aims to lead the energy transition and enhance energy security through solar PV.

Last week, GSC’s first meeting under his leadership was held on the sidelines of the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) in Abu Dhabi. Talking to pv magazine India after the meeting, Pranav Mehta discussed the council’s new to-do list and the strategies needed to achieve it.

What was discussed at GSC’s Abu Dhabi meet?

Pranav Mehta: Call it new headwinds: GSC will move away from gigantic targets and practice ‘action & spread’. With 1.2 billion people still without access to electricity, GSC will strive for large deployment of micro and mini grids, and rooftop installations to promote decentralised energy generation, early deployment of already developed high-efficiency technology from laboratory to the field, formulate programs to promote and develop financial mechanisms to reduce cost of capital and ultimately energy cost, and intensify R&D efforts among ISA and IRENA countries.

What is your focus area?

My heart reaches out to the energy have-nots and GSC is now emphasising on the spread of solar in uncovered areas of Africa, Latin America, climatically threatened small islands, and some parts of India, Bangladesh, to name a few.

What is your primary aim?

To achieve one trillion mini grids, one trillion solar homes, solar agricultural pumps, and 10 million jobs by 2030. The idea of a Solar Home stems from the United Nations’ September 2015 declaration of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which is pegged around better living for all. A Solar Home should have enough energy for two fans, four tubelights, one plug point for a mobile charger, and one for a television.

One trillion mini-grids and 10 million jobs is a tall order. How will this be achieved?

Partnership is the answer. For dissemination of tech, experience, knowledge, we will – together with and in consultation with the International Solar Alliance (ISA), International Renewable Energy Association (IRENA), governments and other organisations – achieve this. But there cannot be a one-size fits-all policy. For Africa, the India-Africa Youth Forum for Energy will be the main conduit. We will pick 25 students (five each from five African countries) and train/intern them in different countries/companies. At the end of one year, they will return to their countries to become GSC solar-knowledge agents and entrepreneurs.

GSC directors from Brazil and Mexico will spearhead the solar spread in LatAm, while for the climatically challenged smaller islands, we are partnering with Greening the Islands (GTI), a not-for-profit group that aims to accelerate the sustainability and self-sufficiency of islands and remote locations. Interestingly, Gianni Chianetta, GSC’s new Chairman-elect is heading GTI.

The need of the hour is to develop, implement and promote internationally-recognised solar codes and standard. How is GSC taking this forward?

A lot needs to be done in this sphere. Quality is a huge question mark. There are international quality standards but not all of it is adhered to. To begin with, we are creating awareness as well urging developers to buy only from Tier 1 companies. We are also in the process of formulating definite solar standards.

What is driving India’s solar dream?

India is placed amongst the Top 5 solar players in the world and is the world’s third largest solar market. This growth has been possible, because of the government’s enabling policies, the role of proactive bureaucracy, and the significant contribution of solar industry players in terms of capital investment, technology deployment, employment generation, skill development, innovative financing and above all, achieving cost reduction.

With global warming looming over the world, what does the future hold?

The world will not survive if our dependency on fossil fuels is not curtailed. At GSC, we are looking at 2030 as the first goalpost. By 2050, I am hopeful the entire world will run on renewable energy. I envisage a day when each home will have a refrigerator-like box, which will provide/store all energy needs. Sounds impossible at the moment, but it is actually doable. Hopefully, sooner than we think.

Source : PV Magazine India
adminPranav Mehta, India’s ‘Solar Man’ and GSC head, talks solar strategies
read more

RBI’s New Policy on ECBs Could Leave Renewable Energy Projects Stranded

The new framework makes the repayment of rupee loan to domestic lenders by renewable project developers through ECB proceeds impossible

The National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI) has written a letter to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) regarding the new External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) policy framework implemented by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which is against the best interests of the domestic renewable industry according to the Federation.

The federation has argued that renewable energy generation projects require huge amounts of capital and long-term financing for 20-25 years. However, there is a lack of availability of domestic debt funds for renewable power projects. Foreign lenders are also hesitant to take risks before commercial operation, citing issues with land acquisition and laying of the transmission system.

Therefore, renewable power developers first take pre-construction and under-construction loans from domestic lenders at relatively higher interest rates and later refinance such high-cost rupee loans by low-cost foreign currency loans from foreign lenders through External Commercial Borrowings once the project is operational. Such a method is an accepted alternate funding practice for the renewable energy projects.

The RBI has allowed the external borrowing in the form of security bond/loan in U.S. dollar to replace the Indian rupees loan having a tenure of 10 years or more given by the domestic banks and financing institutions.

However, as per the notification issued by the RBI on January 16, 2019, in order to rationalize the framework for ECB and rupee denominated bonds to improve the ease of doing business – Tracks I and II have been merged as ‘Foreign Currency denominated ECB’ and Track III and rupee denominated bonds framework are combined as ‘Rupee Denominated ECB’.

In the revised Foreign Currency ECB framework, the existing end-use of repayment or refinancing of the rupee loan taken under Track-II of ECB has not been considered. This makes the repayment of rupee loan to domestic lenders by solar or wind project developers through ECB proceeds impossible.

NSEFI, in the letter, has requested the PMO to intervene in the matter and give the required directions to the RBI in this matter.

“RBI should carve out a special category such as earlier Track-II with ECB with a minimum average maturity period of 5 years and above within the new merged foreign currency ECB category and permit renewable project developers for repayment of their rupee loans to domestic lenders from ECB proceeds.”

It has also requested to rationalize the new ECB framework suitably excluding repayment of rupee loans from the negative list.

Recently, NSEFI also issued recommendations to help attain India’s solar targets.

Source : Mercomindia

adminRBI’s New Policy on ECBs Could Leave Renewable Energy Projects Stranded
read more

Rationalise new norms for external borrowing: NSEFI

‘Include repayment of rupee loans from ECB proceeds’

National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI), a non-profit organisation with the objective of solar power development, has written to the Prime Minister’s Office requesting to direct the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to rationalise the new ECB framework suitably, excluding repayment of rupee loans from the negative list.

NSEFI apprises you that till date, RBI allowed the external borrowing in the form of security bond/loan in U.S. dollars to replace the Indian rupee loans having tenure of 10 years or more given by domestic banks/financing institutions. As per this notification, erstwhile tracks I and II are merged as ‘foreign currency denominated ECB’ and track III and rupee denominated bonds framework are combined as ‘rupee denominated ECB’ to replace the current four-tiered structure.

“However, the existing permissible end use of repayment /refinancing of rupee loan availed under track-II of ECB has not been considered in the merged foreign currency ECB framework in any form,” NSEFI chairman Pranav Mehta wrote in the letter, adding that therefore, the repayment of rupee loan to domestic lenders by solar/wind project developers from ECB proceeds would not be possible.

NSEFI requests your good offices to intervene in the matter and provide suitable direction/advice to the Reserve Bank of India to carve out a special category like erstwhile track-II with ECB having minimum average maturity period of five years and above within the new merged foreign currency ECB category to permit solar/wind project developers for repayment of their rupee loans to domestic lenders from ECB proceeds,” Mr. Mehta added.

NSEFI once again requests you to rationalise the new ECB Framework suitably excluding Repayment of Rupee Loans from the negative list. Otherwise, such a new framework would jeopardise the large-scale development of wind and solar power projects in Indiaand would hamper in achieving ambitious target of deploying 160 GW by 2022, said the letter addressed to PMO, Finance Minister, Minsiter of Power, Finance Secy., RBI Governer, Minister Power, and MNRE, he wrote.

We look forward for early rationalisation of the ECB framework as requested to encourage the solar/wind project developers to meet the ambitious targets of the nation, said the letter.

NSEFI was founded in 2013 by solar energy industry leaders with a vision to promote solar energy.

Source : Thehindu

adminRationalise new norms for external borrowing: NSEFI
read more

MR. PRANAV R. MEHTA RECEIVES SOLARFUTURE.TODAY VISIONARY INFLUENCERS AWARD 2019

Abu Dhabi (January 16, 2019) – Mr. Pranav R. Mehta, Chairman of Global Solar Council (GSC) and Chairman of National Solar Energy Federation of India has been awarded the SOLAR FUTURE.TODAY Visionary Influencer Award 2019 in the category of Visionary Disruptor Award.

The award was presented to Mr. Mehta during the 3rd Black-Tie Gala Abu Dhabi on the occasion of the 3rd SOLAR FUTURE.TODAY World Annual Forum in Abu Dhabi on January 15.

Mr. Pranav R. Mehta receives the Visionary Influencers Award, picture by SOLARFUTURE. TODAY

Mr Mehta is a leading Global Solar Energy thought leader, known for his social and environmental concerns. He is the Chairman of Global Solar Council consisting of over 30 solar countries – which was launched during the Paris Climate talks COP21 in December 2015, as the private sector response to global warming and climate change. He is also the Founder Chairman of National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI) and has made outstanding contributions in India ranking globally amongst the top 5 solar countries.

As a passionate Global Solar thought leader and environmentalist, he is regularly invited as Chair and Speaker at world solar events like World Future Energy Summit(WFES), SNEC at Shanghai, China, Inter Solar Europe at Munich and the Governments of leading Solar countries like China, Germany, Dubai Abu Dhabi, USA, Spain to Chair / Moderate Sessions and share his views in the area of policy advocacy, planning of Solar Growth, Capacity Building, various applications of Solar Energy and Sustainable Growth. He visited over 15 countries in the last 2 years spreading the message solar adaptation and has kept the Indian flag flying high in the solar world.

As a National Scholar throughout his academic career, Mr. Pranav Mehta has an overall industrial experience of over 45 years, mainly in the area of “Concept to Commissioning” of high technology projects in Steel, Petroleum, Natural Gas and Solar sector with an emphasis on Sustainable Development. He is a globally well-respected name in Solar and environmental sectors and is a firm believer in the slogan “Dream Come True” and continues to work for Sustainable Development with his characteristic perseverance and zeal.

“I am glad to receive this prestigious Solar Visionary Influencer Award on behalf of Global Solar Council and NSEFI Members. The political will of world leaders like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as also the solar industry leaders and all stakeholders, have contributed to this Dreams Coming True with India finding a place amongst top 5 Solar countries in the world and double-digit growth not only in financial terms, but also in terms of employment generation and growth of entrepreneurship not only big players but also MSME sector”, said the suave and humble Pranav R Mehta on the occasion of receiving the Award.

Another SOLAR FUTURE.TODAY Visionary Influencer Award 2019 in the category of Yearly Lifetime Achievement was awarded to Prof. Eicke R. Weber, Vice President of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES), an Association Member of Global Solar Council (GSC), and former director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems.

Global Solar Council (GSC) congratulates both Mr. Mehta and Prof. Weber on this well-deserved recognition of their long career and dedication to solar energy.

Mr. Pranav Mehta and Prof. Eicke Weber at the award ceremony, picture by SOLARFUTURE.TODAY

adminMR. PRANAV R. MEHTA RECEIVES SOLARFUTURE.TODAY VISIONARY INFLUENCERS AWARD 2019
read more

Form renewable energy export body: Pranav Mehta, NSEFI

The industry body is now waiting for the commerce ministry’s go-ahead for the council

The National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI) has proposed the creation of a Renewable Energy Export Promotion Council on the line of Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) to encourage exports of renewable energy equipment and related services from India.

“In December, a proposal for Renewable Energy Export Promotion Council of India was submitted to the Union commerce ministry. There is vast untapped potential to export solar equipment and services from India. Not only solar, but this is also true also for other renewable energy segments such as wind, small hydro and waste to energy,” said Pranav Mehta, the founding chairman of NSEFI.

“While imports of solar equipment are still considerable, the domestic industry has already started exporting solar panels and services to Africa, UAE, and parts of the US. The exports, however, are at a very smaller scale,” he added.

The industry body is now waiting for the commerce ministry’s go-ahead for the council. “We expect the government’s approval to come in the next few months,” Mehta said.

 

Source: Energy EconomicTimes IndiaTimes

adminForm renewable energy export body: Pranav Mehta, NSEFI
read more

Pranav R Mehta Becomes the first Indian to head Global Solar Council, Headquartered in Washington DC

A visionary in the field of Solar Energy and the chairman of National Solar Energy Federation, Shri Pranav R Mehta, has taken over as the president of Global Solar Council (GSC) from January 1, 2019. The GSC has its headquarters in Washington D.C., USA.

Highlights:

  • Solar Man of India Pranav R Mehta continues to increase country’s Clout in Solar World
  • Chairman of NSEFI and world-renowned Shri Pranav R. Mehta took over as head of the Global Solar Council, headquartered in Washington DC from 1 January 2019.
  • Pranav R. Mehta will be felicitated with “Solar Visionary and Influencer Award” in Abu Dhabi next week

The Global Solar Council (GSC) was launched on December 6, 2015, following the historic United Nations Climate Change Conference (UN COP 21). The GSC came into being as International Coalition of more than 30 nations, utilising maximum solar energy, decided to harness the renewable energy for the greater good.

Mr Mehta has been invited by over 15 countries in the last two years to share his vision and experience in India’s impressive solar growth. The visionary started his solar journey way back in 2006 when India was at Zero Megawatts solar capacity and is credited with having played a catalytic and pivotal role in opinion building, emphasis and awareness about the importance of solar energy, integrating the efforts of all solar energy stakeholders including government and private sector as well as the intellectual inputs. Today, India is placed amongst the Top 5 solar players in the world and is third largest solar market. But the suave and low profile attributes the credit to the political will and leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and in equal measure to solar industry players and all stakeholders including the government.

“India’s impressive growth would not have been complete without Prime Minister and his government’s enabling policies, role of proactive bureaucracy and significant contribution of solar industry players in terms of capital investment, technology deployment, employment generation, skill development, innovative financing and above all, achieving cost reduction,” opines Mr Mehta, who is well known for his work in the area of sustainable development and outgoing environmental and social concerns.

Recognising his contributions to the solar sector across the world, Shri Pranav Mehtawho has been keeping the Indian flag flying high in the solar arena, has been conferred with the ‘Visionary Disruptor Award’ by Solar Future Today, which he will be receiving on 15th January, 2019 at the sidelines of World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.

Speaking about GSC’s future plans, Mr Mehta stated, “My heart goes out to the energy have-nots. Moreover, solar energy has a vast potential for poverty alleviation. We at Global Solar Council will thus strive to achieve not only growth but spread of solar energy globally and reach out to those who have no access to energy. To this end we will – together with and in consultation with ISA, IRENA, World Governments and like-minded positive organizations – strive to achieve 1.0 Trillion Mini Grids ensuring decentralized energy, 1.0 Trillion Solar Homes, and 10.0 million jobs by 2030. Of course, we will aim at 1.0 million of each of the above items and then scale it up deploying new storage and other technologies.”

adminPranav R Mehta Becomes the first Indian to head Global Solar Council, Headquartered in Washington DC
read more

India’s Growing Imprint on Solar World

NSEFI Chairman and globally acknowledged Solar Leader Pranav R Mehta takes over as Washington DC headquartered Global Solar Council India’s globally well known and visionary solar leader Pranav R Mehta took over as the Chairman of Washington DC based Global Solar Council (GSC) on 1st January, 2019. Global Solar Council which was launched during the landmark UN COP 21 at Paris on 06 December 2015 with the high decibel Paris Agreement period, is an international coalition from over 30 solar countries including China, USA, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Australia, South Africa, Middle East, Israel, Brazil, Mexico, Taiwan, Malaysia etc. and more and more country associations as well as large, medium and small solar companies are joining this global solar organization.

Solar WorldGSC is a private and NGO sector initiative response to global warming and climate change. Its aim is to accelerate solar growth, spread and deployment worldwide and works in close cooperation and hand in hand with international government bodies like ISA, IRENA, REN21, Clean Energy Ministerial etc. GSC inked an agreement of cooperation with ISA at Munich in June 2018 during Inter Solar Munich and has chalked out many activities with ISA including for solar agricultural pumps, capacity building, increased and varied solar applications etc. GSC has A similar agreement with IRENA and is an important player in the IRENA Coalition for Action and its steering committee.

Pranav R Mehta, highly regarded as a global solar energy thought leader led these GSC activities from front in his earlier capacity as GSC Chair Elect and its Co – Chairman since its inception.

adminIndia’s Growing Imprint on Solar World
read more

Safeguard Duty on Solar Units in SEZs and Other Policy Highlights from December 2018

The month of December was a busy one for the domestic renewable sector, with a series of orders issued by various state and central agencies, especially the state electricity regulatory commissions. However, the highlight of the month remained the notification from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry stating that the solar module and cell manufacturers in India that are operating in special economic zones (SEZs) will not benefit from the levy of 25 percent safeguard duty on solar imports. These units will have to pay safeguard duty for the modules and cells produced by them and utilized for solar projects in India.

Here is a roundup of key policy announcements made by central government and state agencies in the renewable energy sector in the month of December 2018:

Center

The Ministry of Power (MoP) announced the ECO Niwas Samhita 2018, which is the Energy Conservation Building Code for residential buildings (ECBC-R). The implementation of this code is expected to boost energy efficiency in the residential sector, its occupants, and the larger environment by promoting energy efficiency in the design and construction of homes, apartments, and townships.

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC)  issued an order stating that the introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) that came into effect from July 1, 2017 will constitute a change in law event for the transmission service providers in India.

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) issued an order extending the scheduled commercial operating date for 72 MW of grid-connected solar photovoltaic projects. The commission was examining a petition filed by Welspun Energy Private Limited against the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).

With the goal to facilitate the widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EV) in the country, the Ministry of Power announced guidelines and standards for the development of electric vehicle charging infrastructure in India.

MNRE

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) issued a memorandum for the implementation of public procurement in renewable energy sector giving preference to ‘Make in India’ products. This is in response to the central government’s order, issued by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) to promote manufacturing and production of goods and services in India in order to improve income and employment in the country.

The MNRE also amended the guidelines for the implementation of its scheme under which the government aims to develop 5 GW of solar projects with Viability Gap Funding (VGF) under the fourth batch of the National Solar Mission (NSM) Phase-II.

Moreover, the agency amended two clauses in the policy to support the promotion of biomass-based cogeneration projects in sugar mills and other industries in the country up to March 2020. MNRE had announced the program in May 2018.

 States

The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) set the generic tariff for grid-connected solar rooftop units between 1 kW and 10 kW installed by domestic consumers in the state. While the generic tariff without capital subsidy has been fixed at ₹4.15 (~$0.06)/kWh, the tariff with capital subsidy will be ₹3.08 (~0.044)/kWh.

The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) approved the competitive bidding process for the long-term procurement of power from wind-solar hybrid projects in the state. The MSEDCL had also proposed an upper tariff ceiling of ₹2.75 (~$0.039)/kWh and a PPA tenure of 25 years.

The MERC has also approved the competitive bidding process for the long-term procurement of 1 GW power from floating solar projects which will be established on the state’s Ujjani Dam. The MSEDCL had proposed that after the scheduled commissioning date, if the project is ready but the necessary power evacuation infrastructure beyond delivery point is not ready, no compensation will be permissible to the generator.

The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC)  issued draft guidelines to implement a group net-metering and a virtual net-metering framework under the Delhi Solar Policy 2016. According to the draft, the purpose of this group net-metering framework is to help maximize the utilization of rooftop space for solar energy generation for consumers with multiple buildings and service connections.

The Uttarakhand Electricity Regulatory Commission (UERC) issued a draft order regarding the review of benchmark capital cost for solar PV, solar thermal, grid-interactive rooftop, and small solar PV projects to be applicable for the financial year (FY) 2019-20.

The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) rejected the plea made by Neyveli Lignite Corporation India Limited (NLCIL) for a tariff protection of ₹4.41 (~$0.062)/kWh for 400 MW solar power projects under force majeure clauses. The commission has agreed on tariff of ₹3.05 (~$0.043)/kWh (with AD benefit) for these projects.

Source : Mercomindia

adminSafeguard Duty on Solar Units in SEZs and Other Policy Highlights from December 2018
read more

Pranav R Mehta : Chairman of Global Solar Council

Today on 1st January 2019 our Chairman Shri Pranav R Mehta assumed the responsibility as the chairman of Global Solar Council. He will be chairing the Washington DC-based Global Solar Council in its first board meeting on 14th of January in Abu Dhabi. Join us in congratulating Shri Pranav Mehta on his assumption as Chair – GSC.

Click here to know more about the Global Solar Council

adminPranav R Mehta : Chairman of Global Solar Council
read more