India has set up ambitious targets of meeting 15% of its Energy Needs from Renewable Sources up from around 5.5-6% in 2010.WIth India’s Electricity Capacity expected to rise to 450 GW from around 165 GW,this would imply that around 67.5 GW of Electricity Capacity would be needed up from around 16 GW.This would mean around 5 GW of Capacity addition every year in the next decade which is a very tall order.20 GW could be met by Solar Energy according to the Jawaharlal Nehru Solar Mission (JNNSM).Most of the rest would have to met by Wind Energy.Biomass Energy has high costs and reliability problems which mini hydro potential is only 1 GW.Note this is just the capacity I am talking about,for meeting the electricity generation,capacity additions would have to be greater as Solar Energy and Wind Energy have only 20-30% Load Factor compared to 60-80% for Fossil Fuel Energy Sources.Nuclear Energy can contribute another 20 GW.
Renewable Energy in India is growing at a rapid pace increasing its share of the total capacity from 2% in 2003 to around 10% in 2010.However the share of electricity generation is still quite low at 3% due to the lower capacity load factors of Green Energy Sources compared to Fossil Fuel Sources.The Total Installed Capacity of Renewable Energy in India is around 16 GW with Wind Energy taking the Lion’s share at almost 70% followed by Small Hydro at 15% and Biomass Energy at 12%.Solar Energy in India till now has a capacity of just 6 MW which is estimated to grow to 22 GW by 2022 making Solar Energy one of the Biggest Growth Opportunities in the Field of Indian Energy.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) has planned $2 Billion in Annual Green Investments in power hungry countries of Asia.For this the multilateral institution has sold multi-currency bonds in Japan to populate its Renewable Energy Fund.Note Green Energy is a capital intensive business and requires large amounts of low cost capital which is difficult to get in developing emerging markets of Asia.ADB is meeting this intermediary gap of funneling low interest capital from developed markets like Japan to capital deficient countries like India.Note ADB is already financing Asia’s largest solar photovoltaic plant in Thailand.
Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) Policy is starting in India tomorrow which will allow Green Energy Generators to earn additional tariff.Note the REC Mechanism is also present in different forms in Italy,USA and Australia and has proven a good incentive to promoter Renewable Energy in those countries.India’s Electricity Regulator (CERC) has been actively implementing different orders to boost Green Energy Generation.CERC had earlier mandated a 6% Renewable Energy Percentage from Alternative Energy which would go upto 15% by 2020.The REC Policy will help in achieving those targets by providing a pseud market linked mechanism to inentivize Green Power Producers.
Who will Benefit
Renewable Energy Companies and Green Utilities are set to benefit the most from this Policy.Suzlon has already welcomed the policy saying that Financing will ease for Renewable Energy Projects.Orient Green Power,the largest Green Focused Utility will also be a big beneficiary.Local Indian Wind Turbine Companies should also benefit from the Scheme.It also provides companies outside the JNNSM to get decent returns from solar generation as the REC band for Solar REC has been set between Rs 12-17/Kwh.India need to increase Renewable Energy Capacity by at least 50 GW in the next 10 year to meet the 15% CERC Target
Giant Chinese Utilities Datang and Huaneng are doing roadshows for the IPOs of their Renewable Energy Arms which would raise more than Billion Dollars Each.Note Green Utilities have become a separate Green Investment Class with lots of Asian and European Utilities already doing an IPO of their Green Subsidiaries or are in the process of doing so.However 2010 has been a bad year for Green Energy Stocks and Green Utilities have been no different.While First Wind Holdings a pure play USA Wind Farm Developer failed to get listed despite lowering its Issue Price,Indian Orient Green Power and Italian Enel Green Power have performed miserably even after listing at a much lowered stock price.Despite the negative sentiment towards Green Utilities mainly due to the Headwinds being faced by Wind Industry in 2010,Green Utilities are one of the safest ways to invest in the Alternative Energy Sector given the nascent highly volatile nature of the industry.
Siemens has planned to increase its Environmental Revenues to Euro 40 Billions by 2014 which is quite a big jump considering the large base.GE is its biggest competitor which is also rapidly increasing investment and research into Renewable Energy.Areva,ABB,Samsung,LG,Hyundai,Toshiba,Sharp,Panasonic,Mitsubishi are other industrial giants looking to rapidly increase revenue from Clean Technology.Siemens has a definite technological and incumbent advantages however the competition is quite formidable.Siemens has made important wins recently in the field of high speed railways,new generation high voltage DC electricity transmission,offshore wind etc.But it lacks size and scale in the fields of nuclear and solar energy and has little presence in the area of Energy Storage as well.While Siemens has bought Soliel in the Solar Thermal field,it lacks a Solar PV product portfolio.Siemens however remains a good long term safe green investment in a volatile cleantech sector.
Solar Energy Future Growth has been vastly underestimated by policy makers and analysts but private companies are recognized the huge potential.India’s JNNSM Policy which is meant to jumpstart India’s Solar Energy has drawn huge interest from both domestic and foreign companies.The number of Solar Companies in India are growing at a rapid pace attracted by the huge opportunity.While starting troubles like project financing of debt etc are present,the long term growth potential of Solar Energy in India is tremendous.Global Industrial Giants like GE,Siemens have already established or in the process of investing huge sums of money to capitalize on this Green Trend.Now French Giant Areva has joined them.Note Areva is the global leader in nuclear equipment technology and is not known for its prowess in Solar and Wind Energy.However the company is making a play in Solar Thermal Technology where it hopes to use its existing skills and knowledge.Areva had acquired US startup Ausra which had fallen on hard times earlier.However Areva has not won too many Solar Thermal Projects in the recent past.However things may change starting with India