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Duty on China imports, GST slow down India’s solar additions: UN report

The 86-page report — Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018 — released by UN Environment, the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre and Bloomberg New Energy Finance blames Indian policies for slowing down the speed to tap solar power.



UN Environment head Erik Solheim

New Delhi, April 5 : India’s imposition of duty on Chinese solar cells and modules shipped and levy of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on panels have significantly slowed down solar capacity additions last year, a UN report said on Thursday.

It says developing economies, comprising India, China and Brazil, committed $177 billion to renewables last year, up 20 per cent, compared to $103 billion for developed countries, down 19 per cent.

This was the largest tilt in favour of developing countries yet seen. It was only in 2015 that the developing world first invested more in green energy than developed economies.

A record 157 gigawatts (GW) of renewable power, excluding large hydro, were commissioned across the globe in 2017, up from 143GW in 2016 and far out-stripping the 70GW of net fossil fuel generating capacity added last year.

The 86-page report — Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018 — released by UN Environment, the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre and Bloomberg New Energy Finance blames Indian policies for slowing down the speed to tap solar power.

It says the solar activity was held back by an unexpected rise in PV module prices in local currency terms, due to a sudden reduction in the oversupply of imported Chinese units, exacerbated by the imposition of a 7.5 per cent import duty on modules and a local GST on panels.

There was also a slowing in the pace of solar auctions around India.

In the medium term, PV installations look set to increase sharply, as India seeks to hit its ambitious target of 100GW of solar by 2022.

However, that acceleration did not materialise in 2017.

The report says the ‘big three’ of China, India and Brazil accounted for just over half of global investment in renewables, excluding large hydro, last year, with China alone representing 45 per cent, up from 35 per cent a year earlier.

However, the report says India’s investment oscillating in the $6-14 billion range since 2010 but still not reaching the sort of levels that would be required for that country to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious goals for 2022.

India came fourth in the world rankings by country for renewable energy investment last year, at $10.9 billion, down 20 per cent.

Solar took the biggest share, at $6.7 billion, with wind at $4 billion. These lead sectors were up three per cent and down 41 per cent in dollar terms respectively.

Venture capital and private equity investment in renewable energy fell by exactly a third in the world in 2017 to $1.8 billion, just a sixth of its 2008 peak of more than $10 billion.

However, India beat Europe into second place for the second time in three years.

India’s venture capital and private equity investment rose 27 per cent to $457 million, or 26 per cent of the total, while Europe’s fell 26 per cent to $287 million, a 16 per cent share.

India’s investment grew strongly because it secured three of the five largest deals.

Two of those were wind companies raising funds to expand in India, a fiercely competitive market with huge growth potential that is attracting many foreign investors.

The largest deal was secured by Greenko Energy, an independent power producer based in Hyderabad, which raised $155 million in PE expansion capital from GIC, the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore, and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

The pair had already invested $230 million in the company in 2016.

Another Indian independent power producer, Hero Future Energies, raised $125 million in PE expansion capital from the International Finance Corporation and the IFC Global Infrastructure Fund.

The third large Indian deal was secured by Clean Max Enviro Energy Solutions, which claims to be India’s biggest rooftop solar developer, having installed 100MW since the company was founded in 2011.

“The extraordinary surge in solar investment, around the world, shows how much can be achieved when we commit to growth without harming the environment,” UN Environment head Erik Solheim said in a statement.

(Vishal Gulati can be contacted at [email protected])

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Weak rupee, global cues depress equity indices; capital goods stocks fall




Mumbai, July 19: Depreciation in the Indian rupee coupled with decline in the global markets subdued the key Indian equity indices on Thursday.

According to market observers, heavy selling pressure was witnessed in capital goods, healthcare and IT stocks.

At 3.30 p.m., the wider Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange provisionally closed at 10,957.10 points, lower by 23.35 points and 0.21 per cent from the previous close of 10,980.45 points.

The barometer 30-scrip BSE Sensex, which had opened at 36,509.08 points, closed at 36,351.23 points — lower by 22.21 points or 0.06 per cent — from its previous session’s close of 36,373.44 points.

It touched an intra-day high of 36,515.58 points and a low of 36,279.33 points. The BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,738 declines against 831 advances.

The top gainers on the Sensex were Vedanta, Yes Bank, ITC, Bharti Airtel and Adani Ports whereas Kotak Mahindra bank, Larsen and Toubro, Hero MotoCorp, Tata Steel, Coal India were the top losers.


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Domestic political uncertainty subdues equity indices



Mumbai, July 18: Domestic political uncertainty in the wake of a no-confidence motion against the central government dragged the equity indices lower on Wednesday.

According to market observers, profit booking in mid-and-small-cap stocks also subdued the equity indices.

Index-wise, the broader Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed at 10,980.45 points — lower by 27.60 points or 0.25 per cent — from its previous close.

The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex), which opened at 36,722.41 points, closed at 36,373.44 points — lower by 146.52 points or 0.40 per cent — from its previous session’s close of 36,519.96 points.

The barometer index fell after it touched a fresh all-time high of 36,747.87 points. The index had dipped to a low of 36,320.92 points during the intra-day trade.

On Tuesday — the previous trade session — both the indices had made gains on the back of a slide in global crude oil prices along with expectations of fund infusion into public sector banks.


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Government increases sugarcane FRP to Rs 275




New Delhi, July 18: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday approved a Rs 20 per quintal increase in the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) for sugarcane to Rs 275 for the 2018-19 season starting October.

“The cost of sugar production is estimated to be only Rs 155 per quintal against which we have decided to give FRP of Rs 275 per quintal. This is 77.42 per cent higher than the cost of production,” Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters here after the cabinet meeting.

The FRP is the minimum price legally guaranteed to farmers for sugarcane.

As per the estimates issued by industry body Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), total sugar production in season 2018-19 starting October is expected to be 35-35.5 million tonnes.

Prasad said that the total remuneration for sugarcane to farmers for the year 2018-19 is estimated to be Rs 83,000 crore.


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