India’s 175 GW Renewable Energy Target on Track Despite COVID-19 Outbreak: MNRE Secretary

The country will receive raw materials for building renewable energy capacity of 6-7 GW, which are currently stuck in Chinese ports, in another month, Sinha said in a web conference organized by RE consultancy firm Bridge to India

April 10, 2020. By News Bureau

The government has no plans to reduce its target of achieving 175 GW of renewable energy capacity in the country by 2022 in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak and the national lockdown.

“We are not going to slow down right now,” Amitesh Kumar Sinha, joint secretary of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) said on Thursday.

The country will receive raw materials for building renewable energy capacity of 6-7 GW, which are currently stuck in Chinese ports, in another month, Sinha said in a web conference organized by RE consultancy firm Bridge to India.

He also said renewable energy auctions conducted by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) are currently receiving good responses.

Industry players expressed optimism about the long-term outlook of the sector.

“This (Covid-19 outbreak) is a black swan event; it's not the end of the world,” said Sanjeev Aggarwal, founder and CEO of Amplus Solar.

Ravinder Singh, chief business developer at Tata Solar, said one quarter of stagnancy would be the best case scenario for the industry while three quarters of impact would be the worst case outlook. “There isn't going to be a long-term impact,” he said.

Honey Raza, sales head at China-based solar inverter manufacturer Ginlong Solis voiced concerns over logistics of raw materials and foreign exchange rates, adding that he expects a four-to-six-month recovery period.

MNRE said it wants all generators running to their full capacity. The only exception on this matter would be due to issues of grid safety, it said. The government has granted renewable energy stations a "must-run" status during the lockdown.

The ministry has also prolonged the deadline for the approved list of models and manufacturers (ALMMs) by six months to provide some relief to RE firms that are under duress due to the Covid-19 crisis. The earlier deadline was March 31.

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