Daily Newsletter 2020

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Thursday, October 8, 2020

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Infraline Comprehensive Power , Oil & Gas & Coal Only Detailed Newsletter

What’s New

Acts and Regulations

§  Order on 1440 MW coal fired TPP at Ucchpinda, Chhattisgarh developed by RKMPPL Petition under Section 79(1)(b) of the EA, 2003 read with Article 10 of the PPA dt 15.3.2016 and Clause 4.7 of the CBGs, seeking adjustment of tariff for increase/ decrease in cost/ revenue of RKMPPL due to occurrence of ‘Change in Law’ events. in Petition no 1365/2018

§  Order on Petition Nu 1611 of 2020 - LPGCL vs UPPCL - Application seeking consequential orders in terms of paragraphs 13.1 to 13.3 of the judgement dated 01.05.2019 passed by the APTEL in Appeal No. 365 of 2018 in Petition no 1611/2020

§  Order on Petition Number 1557 of 2020- Simbhaoli Power vs UPPCl - Petition under Section 86 (1) (e.) and (f ) of Elelctricity Act 2003 and relevant provisions of power purchase agreement in Petition no 1557/2020

§  Order on Petition no 1502/2019 and 1491 /2019 - UPPCL vs RPSCL- Petition for seeking accounts and details of Domestic and Imported coal fired at Thermal Power Plant of RSPCL between FY 2010-11 to FY 2012-13

§  Order on Suo Moto proceedings in the matter of Failure of Electricity Supply to consumers who have smart meters installed in the premises, violation of UPERC Electricity Supply Code, 2005 and Standards of Performance Regulations and non-compliance of Conditions of Distribution License

View More...

Performance of State Discom



Future power bids to include emerging technologies: Power Ministry

“We are committed to fulfill our vision to “electrify our economy” and to “Green our Electricity,” said the minister, pointing out the ambitious initiatives of e-mobility and clean cooking based on electricity and powered by green energy

India Power aims to become preferred partner of state governments

The move is part of India Power's strategy to become the preferred partner of state governments across India for supplying electricity to domestic and industrial consumers at affordable rates

§  UPPCL asks staff to recover Rs 50,000 crore to stall privatisation

§  Power agitation for a cause or just a bid to derail reforms in energy sector?

§  PM discusses wind energy sector with Vestas CEO

§  Over 90percent families have electricity meters, billed regularly: CEEW study

§  India seeks to cut reliance on coal power generation

§  Uttar Pradesh won’t fix power sector: Stalling Varanasi discom privatisation makes this clear

§  Will Budgetary Support to promote Hydro Electric (HE) Power encourage DISCOMS to purchase power from HEPs?

[Poll Question]

Projects Update

Project Name




Jameri Hydro Power Project

KSK Jameri Hydro Power Pvt. Ltd.

60 MW

Arunachal Pradesh

Tidding II Hydro Power Project

Sai Krishnodaya Industries Pvt. Ltd.

75 MW

Arunachal Pradesh

Dardu Hydro Power Project

KVK-ECI Hydro Energy Private Limited

60 MW

Arunachal Pradesh

Attunli Hydro Power Project

Attunli Hydro Electric Power Company

680 MW

Arunachal Pradesh

Kolodyne Hydro Power Project Stage-2


460 MW


Renewable Energy


MNRE amends bidding guidelines; LoUs from IREDA, PFC, REC to act as bank guarantees for tenders

It added that such ‘payment on order instrument’ would promise to pay the procurer on demand within stipulated time

India has opportunity to become global hub for solar PV manufacturing: Kant

Addressing a virtual conference on ' Re- Define What is Possible', Kant said the government is confident of building competence, capabilities and capacities, especially in the sunrise areas of growth

§  RenewSys Expands Manufacturing Capacity at Facility in Bengaluru

§  Indian Oil Powers up Rooftop Solar Plant at Northern Regional Office

§  Govt to give incentives to boost domestic solar industry: Minister

§  India to replace coal fired power plants with renewables: R K Singh

§  IOC lights up northern regional office with rooftop solar plant

§  Does Anti-Dumping probe benefit Domestic Solar Manufacturers in India?[Poll Question]

Projects Update

Project Name

Plant Owner

Capacity (MW)


Chhayan Solar plant

Tata Power Renewable Energy Limited (TPREL)



Ramanathapuram Solar Project

Neyveli Lignite Corporation Limited (NLC India Limited)


Tamil Nadu

Tirunelveli Solar Power Plant

Neyveli Lignite Corporation Limited (NLC India Limited)


Tamil Nadu

Ibrahimpatanam Solar Power Project

Bharat Dynamics Ltd.



Kothagudem Solar Photovoltaic Power Project

Singareni Collieries Company limited (SCCL)



Oil & Gas


Cabinet approves reforms in natural gas marketing

Briefing the media after the meeting, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) will suggest an e-bidding platform for users

Karnataka: LPG pipeline between Hassan-Secunderabad gets nod

Meanwhile, four districts of South Karnataka region are expected to witness huge flow of investment with many companies showing interest in industrially backward districts

§  Can India attain the objective of decreasing 10% crude oil import by 2022?

[Poll Question]

§  Tamil Nadu: Farmers block IOC pipeline work over crop

§  8 injured in major fire at IOC petrol pump in Odisha

§  No change in petrol, diesel prices for 5th consecutive day

§  Mumbai: Mahanagar Gas cuts CNG, PNG prices

§  Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurates 42 CNG stations, 3 City Gate stations

§  Ahmedabad: Torrent Gas to invest Rs 8,000 crore in CGD over 5 years

§  Oil prices slip on halted stimulus talks and growing U.S. stockpiles

Oil & Gas Technical



Poland levels multi-billion-dollar fine on Gazprom over Nord Stream 2

Poland’s antitrust watchdog slapped a $7.6 billion fine on Gazprom PJSC over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, opening a new front in the bitter political battle over the natural gas project.

Inmarsat extends Fleet LTE coverage to offshore Gulf of Mexico vessels

Inmarsat is extending its ‘three-in-one’ Fleet LTE coverage for offshore service vessels to the Gulf of Mexico, following successful trials with V.Ships Offshore in the North Sea area.

§  Trillion-dollar fund managers fault energy companies on weak carbon reduction plans

§  Proserv and Synaptec sign strategic alliance agreement

§  An ongoing labor strike could shutter Equinor’s flagship Johan Sverdrup field

Daily International Coal Prices



India to replace coal fired power plants with renewables: R K Singh

India is the world's second largest coal consumer after China, and the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Coal-fired plants currently account for over half its nearly 373 gigawatt (GW) power generating capacity

CAG pulls up Odisha over Rs 112cr royalty shortfall on coal

In terms of a 2012 notification of the Ministry of Coal, royalty on coal is leviable at the flat rate of 14 per cent ad-valorem on the price of coal as reflected in the invoice excluding taxes, levies and other charges

§  Will Commercial Coal Mining attract global players to invest in India?

[Poll Question]

§  Coal India capex peaks at 118 per cent

§  CIL capex utilisation at Rs 5,023 cr in first half of FY21

§  India seeks to cut reliance on coal power generation



NHAI awards 1,330 km highway projects in April-Sept; up 60percent from H1FY20

NHAI said it awarded projects for building 1,330 km of highways in April-September, up 60 per cent from the year-ago period despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic

Signal-free airport road remains a pipe dream

A senior NHAI official told Bangalore Mirror, “The earlier design has been rejected as it would create hurdles for motorists while negotiating the entry to the underpass.

§  NHAI awards projects worth Rs 47,289 crore, ‘highest in 3 years’

§  Gadkari opens road overbridge near Puducherry via video-mode

§  Govt wants to shut road for repairs; police resist

§  New Agra-Lucknow e-way toll collector to pay 82percent more to UP government

§  Do you think construction target of 15000 kms by MoRTH in FY21 up over 46 percent what they built in the previous year is achievable?

[Poll Question]

Projects Update

Project Name



Length (Km)

Four Laning Sangli-Solapur (Package –II Borgaon to Watambare) NH-166

NHAI/ Dilip Buildcon Limited



Four Laning Chakur to Loha Section of NH-361

NHAI/ MEP infrastructure Developers - LongJian Road & Bridge Company (JV)



Four Laning of Repallewada to Telangana- Maharashtra Border (NH-363)

NHAI / Dilip Buildcon Limited



Four Laning Sahibganj-Manihari (NH-131A & NH-133B)

NHAI/ Dilip Buildcon Limited-HCC (JV)



Four Laning of Dhrol - Bhadra Patiya Section (NH-151 A)

NHAI / Dilip Buildcon Limited



Power(8 News Items)


Future power bids to include emerging technologies: Power Ministry

·  To further push reforms in power minister, plans are on to include the use of emerging technologies in power bids, said Union Power Minister RK Singh.

·  “Future power bids will be planned to encourage manufacturing using the latest technologies, said the Minister at India PV Edge 2020 held on Tuesday. “We are committed to fulfill our vision to “electrify our economy” and to “Green our Electricity,” said the minister, pointing out the ambitious initiatives of e-mobility and clean cooking based on electricity and powered by green energy.

·  Harbouring on the perfect timing to bring together various market players and catalyze cutting-edge PV manufacturing in India, NITI Aayog, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), and Invest India together organized a global symposium ‘India PV Edge 2020’ on Tuesday. It was one of its kind platforms for global cutting-edge technology providers, equipment makers, and PV champions to present their technologies to the Indian stakeholders who are drawing up their PV manufacturing plans and collaborate, thus boosting the ‘Make in India’ campaign. The participating companies also had the opportunity to hear from the Indian policymakers involved in developing manufacturing schemes.




India Power aims to become preferred partner of state governments

·  India Power Corporation, in consortium with a €71 billion (Rs 6.11 lakh crore) French power utility major EDF International, have submitted bids to acquire power distribution utilities in Odisha.

·  The consortium offers a combination of technical capabilities, financial strength and decades of experience in domestic and global environments, the company said in a statement.

·  The move is part of India Power's strategy to become the preferred partner of state governments across India for supplying electricity to domestic and industrial consumers at affordable rates.

·  India Power whole-time director Somesh Dasgupta said: "We believe that the consortium is well placed to meet expectations of all the stakeholders in Odisha. While India Power will bring in the local knowledge and domain expertise of more than a century, EDF International will offer cutting-edge technological capabilities and global best practices."

·  Having established its expertise in West Bengal, Gujarat, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, the company now plans to expand its operations to enter new geographies, subject to necessary clearances and approvals, said Raghav Raj Kanoria, managing director, India Power.

·  An integrated power utility, India Power has been supplying power over 618 square kilometres in West Bengal's Asansol-Ranigunj region for more than a century and has a 2 MW solar plant in Asansol jointly with the West Bengal Green Energy Development Corporation.

·  The company's renewable portfolio also includes 35.2 MW of wind power generation assets in Gujarat and Karnataka, where it has been supplying power to the state electricity distribution companies.

·  India Power's wholly-owned subsidiary, MP Smart Grid, has been engaged in executing a first-of-its-kind public private partnership that involves installation of 350,000 smart meters across five towns – Ujjain, Ratlam, Dewas, Khargone and Mhow – in Madhya Pradesh. In addition to the end-to-end deployment of smart meters at the consumer premises, the project entails setting up of sophisticated technology infrastructure with an operation and maintenance mandate for a period of five years.




UPPCL asks staff to recover Rs 50,000 crore to stall privatisation

·  While the power employees called off their strike on Tuesday evening, earlier in the day UPPCL management had proposed to its staff to help the corporation in recover at least Rs 50,000 crore from power consumers by March 31, 2021, and the privatisation proposal would be set aside, a top UPPCL official told TOI.

·  “This (Rs 50,000 crore) is just the annual power purchase cost. The average billing cost is higher than this,” the official said. In the last six months, UPPCL recovered only Rs 18,000 crore in revenue. This means that the corporation will have to recover Rs 32,000 crore by March next year. “We wanted to initiate the privatisation process while giving adequate time to the employees to recover requisite revenue,” the official said.

·  Sources said the privatisation bid, if initiated again, would have to be first ratified by the state cabinet. Sources said UPPCL has asked the power employees to be part of the documentation process and guide it in keeping the watch on companies which would distribute power to the consumers after privatisation. “UPPCL will ensure that the tendering process would be absolutely transparent,” the official said.

·  The official said that privatisation “was not the objective”. “Our objective is self-sufficiency…if the employees help in scaling up the revenue recovery then there would not be any need to privatise the distribution companies,” the official said, maintaining that the process of privatisation itself would take at least 9-10 months. “Employees need to go around in the district considering it is a do or die situation. They will have to provide better services to consumers while recovering revenue,” he said. “If the situation improves and the requisite revenue is recovered by March next year then UPPCL would cancel the tendering process,” the official assured. UPPCL sources said the employees told the corporation brass that they could not function with the sword of privatisation dangling over their head.




Power agitation for a cause or just a bid to derail reforms in energy sector?

·  Was the strike by power department employees, which was later joined by UPPCL officers to protest against the proposed privatization of Purvanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd (PVVNL), an attempt to derail the reforms initiated to change the work culture of the loss-making power sector?

·  The agitation was called off on Tuesday evening following an agreement between the energy minister and employees but a section of officials in UPPCL and the government are baffled over the strike call on an issue which is only at the stage of discussion. The state government has not yet taken any stand on the issue and energy minister Shrikant Sharma is also not in a mood to rush for privatization.

·  He himself has ordered inquiry against private companies in Noida and Agra for “fleecing consumers”.

·  Sharma is known for his consumer-friendly approach and has been averse to frequent hikes in power tariff. He has not been in favour of hasty privatization of power discoms.

·  Besides, the sudden Uturn by UPPCL chairman Arvind Kumar, who is also the additional chief secretary (power), on Monday evening when he reportedly declined to approve the agreement signed between the energy minister and agitating employees, created an uncomfortable situation. Talking to TOI, a director-level officer in UPPCL said: “If the chairman was not ready to sign the draft agreement to put off the proposed privatisation by another six months, he should have informed the minister in advance to save him from embarrassment before employees.”

·  “In fact, the two-day strike is a bid to derail the reforms being introduced by the minister,” he added.

·  Due to the pressure mounted by Sharma on the department to step up revenue recovery, the monthly collection has gone up to Rs 5,000 crore after lockdown which was Rs 1,500 more than prelockdown times.

·  Also, pending dues of over Rs 15,000 crore on government departments, boards and corporations have been adjusted through a government guarantee. With this, the dues that the government owed to the UPPCL stand nil.

·  Sharma has been on the target of various lobbies within the corporation. Tainted and incompetent officers, engineers and lower rung staff who have been given deadlines to bring down transmission and distribution losses have allegedly been targeting the minister.

·  Stern measures initiated by Sharma to plug loopholes in the sector have also annoyed the owners of power plants, generator suppliers, billing companies and smart meter vendors.

·  To minimise interface between consumers and UPPCL staff at power substations to check harassment of public, Sharma introduced applications for meter connections and payment of bills through online mode.

·  Soon after taking over, Sharma had cancelled nearly half-a-dozen power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed during the Samajwadi Party government as inflated tariff was being charged.

·  Due to the cancellation of PPAs with private power plants, UPPCL has been paying Rs 5,500 crore every year as cancellation charge to save Rs 15,000 crore – the cost of inflated PPAs.

·  In another setback to private players, Sharma had recently halted installation of smart meters after thousands of houses plunged into darkness on Janmashtami due to mass tripping of metres.

·  Despite repeated reminders, neither the SIT nor STF has handed over inquiry report to the minister. Lakhs of smart meters have been found faulty. Sharma has ordered an inquiry to find out why the UPPCL officials did not check the viability of smart meters.

·  Officials said that at a time when the state is generating sufficient power, the demand-supply gap is narrowing and rural areas are getting 14-hour supply for agriculture works, the unprovoked strike by UPPCL staff might have dampened the minister’s reform campaign but he would remain undeterred.




PM discusses wind energy sector with Vestas CEO

·  Prime Minister Narendra Modi has interacted with Henrik Anderson, President and CEO, Vestas on the issues related to the wind energy sector and highlighted Indias efforts to harness renewable energy.

·  "Had an insightful interaction with Mr. Henrik Andersen, President and CEO, @Vestas . We discussed a series of issues relating to the wind energy sector. Highlighted some of India's efforts to harness renewable energy in order to build a cleaner future for the coming generations," PM Modi tweeted on Tuesday.

·  "Great talk with Hon'ble PM @narendramodi on innovative ideas that can push the envelope in the #energytransition. Very insightful and we are very much looking forward to a continued collaboration and increased footprint in India", Anderson said in a tweet.

·  "We're thankful to be able to exchange ideas and ambitions with you, Prime Minister, as you are equally committed to building a more #sustainablefuture. Today we're launching the V155 turbine as a first step towards this," the company tweeted.

·  Vestas has introduced a low-wind variant suited for India's wind market and expands its production footprint in the country.

·  The global demand for sustainable energy solutions in low and ultra-low wind areas continues to grow as renewable technology improves in efficiency and cost. This trend is especially prominent in India, the world's fourth largest wind energy market, where the energy demand is expected to double and the government intends to add around 100 GW wind power in the predominantly low-wind market by 2030.

·  While the new turbine is globally applicable, it initially targets low and ultra-low wind condition projects in India and US. It increases the turbine swept area by 67 per cent in comparison to V120-2.2 MW, and with a large rotor to rating ratio, it significantly improves the partial load production in low-wind conditions. The V155-3.3 MW improves the annual energy production (AEP) by more than three per cent for a 300 MW wind park with 46 fewer turbines, creating an improved level of business case certainty.

·  A company statement said as the turbine will be predominantly locally manufactured and sourced in India, it reinforces Vestas' existing commitment to the country's growing renewable energy industry. Vestas will increase its already prominent manufacturing footprint in India by establishing a new converter factory in Chennai and expanding its current blade factory in Ahmedabad.

·  These investments follow our previously announced new nacelle and hub factory in Chennai, which is currently under construction. The production ramp-up will add around 1,000 new jobs within the next year to the approximately 2,600 people currently working for Vestas in India. While the expanded production setup in India will serve the growing wind market in the region, it will also act as a strategic export hub.




Over 90percent families have electricity meters, billed regularly: CEEW study

·  As many as 93 per cent of families have metered electricity connections and 91 per cent of households are billed regularly for power consumption, as per two independent studies released by the CEEW.

·  The studies are based on findings from India Residential Energy Survey (IRES) 2020 conducted by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) in collaboration with Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy (ISEP).

·  IRES, which covered nearly 15,000 households across 152 districts in 21 states, is the first-ever pan-India survey on the state of energy access, consumption and energy efficiency in Indian homes.

·  "93 per cent of grid-electrified Indian households had metered connections and 91 per cent were billed regularly according to two independent studies released today by the CEEW," the council said in a statement.

·  According to the statement, the studies also found that 77 per cent of grid users were satisfied with their electricity services.

·  Further, consumer satisfaction in the rural areas of Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal had more than tripled from 23 per cent in 2015 to 73 per cent in 2020.

·  The studies, which also examined energy efficiency in Indian households, found that 88 per cent of Indian homes had LED bulbs on the back of the government's Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) scheme and other state government initiatives.

·  Sanjay Malhotra, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Power, said, "While a 77 per cent satisfaction rate is high given the increasing expectations, a 23 per cent unsatisfaction rate is also a significant number".

·  "Our focus is now going to be on quality, reliability and consumer satisfaction to increase satisfaction rates from 77 per cent to 90 per cent and even higher. We are setting up a committee to develop a framework to rank the distribution companies. Improving satisfaction rates, and viability and sustainability of discoms is very important," he added.

·  State-run discoms lose almost a rupee per unit sold. Electricity is an enabler, and they need to improve the wherewithal of the discoms while simultaneously providing electricity to poorer households, Malhotra said.

·  The CEEW studies also found that 97 per cent of Indian households were connected to the grid, with another 0.33 per cent exclusively relying on off-grid electricity sources such as solar home systems, solar mini-grids, and battery storage.

·  However, an estimated 2.4 per cent of Indian households remained unelectrified. Most of such households were concentrated in the rural areas of Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Bihar.

·  Further, the studies found that the inability to afford grid-electricity was a key reason for these households to not have a connection.

·  There was an improvement in metering in several states, including a six-fold improvement in Uttar Pradesh, the studies said.

·  However, billing issues remained pronounced in rural areas, adding to the burden of discoms' poor finances.

·  The studies found that Jharkhand had the lowest share of grid users billed regularly (55 per cent), followed by Bihar (64 per cent). Billing irregularities were high in Assam, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh as well.

·  Given the poor payment rates across many states, power utilities must facilitate direct and indirect digital payment mechanisms by leveraging micro-entrepreneurs, such as grocery shops and general merchants, the studies added.

·  The CEEW studies found that only 17 per cent of billed consumers pay their bills digitally (27 per cent in urban India and 12 per cent in rural India). This was despite the fact that 70 per cent of Indian households had a smartphone.

·  An average Indian household received 20.6 hours of power supply from the grid. Urban households received 22 hours of power supply, the studies said.

·  However, the studies found that two-thirds of rural and two-fifths of urban households face outages at least once a day.

·  Households in Delhi, Kerala, and Gujarat receive more than 23 hours of daily supply, while households in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Haryana, Assam, and Bihar face the longest power outages.

·  India is yet to achieve access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, it said.

·  To achieve this Sustainable Development Goal, in addition to identifying and electrifying the remaining 2.4 per cent households, CEEW studies recommend focusing on sustaining electricity use in an affordable manner.




India seeks to cut reliance on coal power generation

·  India aims to sharply lower its dependence on coal in its electricity generation mix, as part of a broader plan to raise power output from cleaner sources and cut emissions.

·  Non-fossil fuel sources will account for as much as 60pc of our generation capacity by 2030, power minister Raj Kumar Singh said yesterday. Non-thermal sources, such as nuclear, hydropower and renewables, currently make up 38.5pc of installed capacity, he said.

·  Delhi made an international commitment five years ago that as much as 40pc of its overall generation capacity would be based on cleaner energy sources by 2030, a goal which the country is set to achieve as early as this year. This would give policymakers more bandwidth to keep a lid on the growth of the coal-fired fleet in the country.

·  The growth in India's renewable energy capacity is expected to outpace the expansion of its coal-power stations in the coming decade, in line with plans to cut its dependence on the thermal fuel. The government intends to add capacity from renewable energy sources, especially solar. Even state-controlled utility NTPC has laid out ambitious plans for growth of its green energy portfolio.

·  The country aims to raise its renewable energy capacity to 450GW by 2030, the minister said. This is higher than the 435GW estimated earlier this year by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), which is part of India's power ministry. India is already working in the shorter term to expand its total renewable energy capacity to 175GW by 2022. It currently stands at around 89GW, accounting for 24pc of installed capacity. This compares with 205.95GW of coal-based capacity, which is around 55pc of the country's current generation capability.

·  The push for renewables also includes setting up local manufacturing lines for solar panels, modules and other equipment. The government will support the local manufacturing industry by providing incentives, Singh said. Companies setting up hubs for local manufacturing of advanced technology would be given additional benefits. At the same time, imports of renewable energy equipment would be discouraged through tax and other administrative measures.

·  The growth in renewable energy will be supported by a steady rise in the country's power demand, the minister said. This would also support the growth of the domestic manufacturing industry.

·  Retiring coal-based plants will be replaced by renewable energy capacity. The CEA has identified 34 coal-based power stations with a combined capacity of 5.14GW that can be retired, according to its latest assessment. The minister said about 29 plants would be retired.

·  A total of 164 coal-based units with a combined capacity of 14.12GW have been made redundant in the last 18 years, Singh told parliament last month.

·  Electricity generation

·  The plans come as coal continues to be a vital part of India's electricity mix, accounting for about 75pc of actual generation. The country's total generation, including coal-fired output, rose from a year ago after declining for six straight months.

·  India's coal-fired generation rose by 6.82TWh from a year earlier to 78.91TWh in September, according to provisional data from the CEA.

·  The rise was supported by a gradual recovery in industrial activity that had been hamstrung by the country's Covid-19 lockdown, which was partially lifted in June. The last month's year-on-year increase in generation was also partly attributed to the low base of comparison with September 2019, when heavy rainfall lifted hydropower generation.




Uttar Pradesh won’t fix power sector: Stalling Varanasi discom privatisation makes this clear

·  Uttar Pradesh is one of India’s top five or six worst-performing states when it comes to the power sector—its losses doubled to Rs 6,497 crore between FY17 and FY19—and the gap between the cost of buying electricity and selling it rose from 33 paise per unit to 60 paise in the same period. And, despite promising to reduce its ATC losses to 14.86% by FY20 as part of the Uday bailout package less than five years ago, its losses were more than double at 30.3% for April-December 2019. As a result of this, its share in India’s total state electricity board losses rose from 7.4% in FY17 to 10.4% in FY19.

·  Given this performance—and Uttar Pradesh is not the only state doing a bad job—it is hardly surprising that the state’s distribution companies (discoms) are finding their outstanding loans piling up. While a sum of around Rs 120,000 crore is to be lent—by government-owned PFC and REC—to various discoms across the country, and Uttar Pradesh was to get around a sixth of this, it was hoped that this would result in genuine reforms this time around; indeed, Union power minister RK Singh has promised this from time to time. So, it comes as a shock that, as this newspaper reported on Wednesday, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to put off its plan to privatise the Varanasi discom in the face of protests by the staffers of the Purvanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (PVVNL); interestingly, this comes even as the central power ministry is trying to fast-track discom privatisation by issuing draft standard bidding guidelines. At 38%, PVVNL has the highest ATC losses of all the state’s five discoms.

·  On the face of it, the process is still on, and a final call will be taken after three months. But, given that the government has assured workers that no decision would be taken without taking them into confidence, it is unlikely that any privatisation can now take place; more so since the workers have seen that pressure tactics work. If the central government genuinely wants reforms—as opposed to just giving the discoms more money to burn—it has to ensure there is a meaningful penalty for errant states. The only way to do this is to enter into a tripartite agreement with the states and SEBs that allow RBI to deduct the states’ balances with it—the central government deposits the states’ share of taxes in an RBI account—whenever discoms fail to make a payment to suppliers; once states realise they have a lot to lose and that another bailout won’t be around the corner, they will automatically fall in line. Whether they privatise discoms or raise tariffs or cut theft is up to each state. So far, government policy has been about carrots, it needs to be about sticks now.




Renewable(7 News Items)

RenewSys Expands Manufacturing Capacity at Facility in Bengaluru

·  RenewSys India has announced an increase in the manufacturing capacity of its Encapsulant (EVA & POE) lines to 3 GW (from its current 1.65 GW). Similarly, the Backsheet capacity is being expanded to 4 GW (from the existing 3 GW).

·  The firm stated that these investments being made by RenewSys have been encouraged by the growing domestic solar PV industry and are based on government’s policies to promote local manufacturing (#Vocalforlocal) through various initiatives under the Aatmanirbhar Bharath Abhiyaan.

·  Avinash Hiranandani, Global CEO & Managing Director, RenewSys India said, “the Indian solar industry is growing at a steady pace. To be competitive, however, we need indigenous manufacturing to keep up with global advances in technology in both the PV module and PV component manufacturing areas.

·  The Encapsulant and Backsheet components of a module have a significant role in the performance and life of solar modules. Our investments in technology, R&D and capacity expansion will help India and RenewSys maintain the foothold we have established as a key player in the global market.”

·  The firm started that currently it is India’s largest producer of indigenously formulated Encapsulants and Backsheets and is among the top five manufacturers worldwide. Established in 2012, the RenewSys Bengaluru facility has supplied nearly 9 GW of Encapsulants and Backsheets the world over. It houses state of the art equipment and is home to several innovations and firsts including India’s first commercially launched, UL certified POE and India’s first Backsheet patent.

·  RenewSys Bengaluru also boasts of India’s 1st and only dedicated Encapsulant and Backsheet testing facility that is NABL accredited (#DrPV). It provides on-demand access to Project Developers and Module Manufacturers across the country.

·  RenewSys claims it is the 1st integrated manufacturer of Solar PV Modules and its key components – Encapsulants, Backsheets, Solar PV Cells. It is the ‘Renewable Energy’ arm of the Enpee Group of companies.




Indian Oil Powers up Rooftop Solar Plant at Northern Regional Office

·  The Indian Oil Corporation has announced that its northern regional office in the national capital has commissioned a 50 kW rooftop solar power plant.

·  The Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) has announced that its northern regional office in the national capital has commissioned a 50-kilowatt (kW) rooftop solar power plant to electrify the building.

·  “The solar plant has 150 solar panels of 335 watts each and will generate approximately 50,400 units of electricity annually,” the state-owned petroleum major said in a statement.

·  IOC will save nearly Rs 5.59 lakh every year due to the on-grid rooftop solar power plant. “The investment in the solar plant would be returned in just 3.7 years,” the statement said.

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·  The 50-KW on-grid rooftop solar power plant at the Indian Oil northern regional office at Green Park was inaugurated by IOC Director (Marketing) Gurmeet Singh. Speaking on the occasion, Singh said, “Sustainable development is not just a mere slogan for Indian Oil but it is deeply imbibed in the ethos of the corporation.”

·  “IOC”, he said, “has always been committed to a sustainable business strategy, and initiatives such as the rooftop solar plant will help continue its growth