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NTPC poised to facilitate India’s bid to achieve its ambitious National Renewable Energy Targets

The 44-page report titled "NTPC as a Force in India's Electricity Transition" showcases how the government is shifting rapidly towards a low-carbon economy

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New Delhi, May 26: The state-owned conglomerate NTPC Ltd — long associated with coal-fired power generation — is poised to facilitate India’s bid to achieve its ambitious national renewable energy targets. This, at a time overseas investors are seeking more opportunities in the country’s renewable projects.

“Despite its deep historical connection to coal-fired electricity generation technology, NTPC has recently moved to the forefront of India’s energy transition and stands to be the country’s key new energy enabler,” said a report by the US-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

The report’s release coincided with the completion of three years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government at the helm on Friday.

The 44-page report titled “NTPC as a Force in India’s Electricity Transition” showcases how the government is shifting rapidly towards a low-carbon economy — a step towards achieving the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement aim of cutting greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels.

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The company currently provides about a quarter of India’s electricity and is among the top 10 coal-fired power generators in the world. It ranks third in coal-fired capacity and seventh in generation.

The role NTPC — earlier called National Thermal Power Corporation — is now playing in transforming the energy sector in its ongoing shift away from the increasingly stranded assets of the fossil fuel industry cannot be underestimated, Tim Buckley, Director of Energy Finance Studies Australasia with the IEEFA, told IANS via email.

With economic growth at 7-8 percent annually, India is the world’s fastest-growing major economy. As a state-owned power utility, NTPC’s priority is to underpin that growth.

Whilst this responsibility has arguably required expansion of coal-fired power generation in the past, this has changed.

“With the average new solar tariff in 2017 below NTPC’s coal-fired power tariff for its existing fleet, it is clear that renewable energy offers a cheaper way to provide power,” report co-author Buckley said.

Solar prices hit a record low twice this month.

On May 10, India finalised a new auction at the Bhadla solar park in Rajasthan with the award of a power tariff at a record low Rs 2.62/kWh ($0.040/kWh), 12 percent below the previous record low Rewa solar tariff awarded only just three months ago in Madhya Pradesh.

This new record only lasted two days with the latest 500MW solar auction coming in at Rs 2.44/kWh ($0.038/kWh), down yet another seven per cent.

This tender was also for projects at the Bhadla Phase IV solar park.

“The ongoing Indian electricity transformation, which can be increasingly spearheaded by NTPC, will have global ramifications not least for the thermal coal sector which faces a technology driven structural decline,” Buckley said.

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Energy Minister Piyush Goyal’s plan to cease thermal coal imports by the end of this decade is being led by NTPC which has already stopped them this past fiscal year.

“Coal exporters that are looking to India to prop up volumes as China continues to reduce coal consumption are going to be disappointed,” he said.

The report, also authored by energy finance analyst Simon Nicholas, says overseas investors are now seeking more opportunities in Indian renewable projects.

India’s renewables boom is attracting the attention of a diverse range of leading overseas investors, including banks, utilities, pension funds and asset managers. They include Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, the Macquarie Group, Sembcorp, Enel, EDF, Engie, SoftBank and Brookfield.

The IEEFA, which conducts research and analyses on financial and economic issues related to energy and the environment, says the total renewable energy capacity additions in India matched thermal capacity additions for the first time in 2016-17.

The rate of thermal capacity additions declined 50 percent from the prior year, even as solar installations doubled in 2015 and again in 2016.

The report forecasts that this will be repeated again in 2017.

According to financial experts in India, there is a noticeable spike in solar investment by Chinese firms.

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“Chinese investments in Indian coal projects have been declining. At the same time, Chinese investments in India on solar projects are slowly increasing,” Jai Sharda, a founding partner with equity research Indian firm Equitorials, told IANS.

Greenpeace India senior campaigner Nandikesh Shivalingam says it is an opportunity for China to play a much more positive role.

“Given that India has an ambitious renewable energy target and China being the largest exporter of renewable energy equipment in the world, there would be an opportunity for China to play a much more positive role,” he said.

India’s draft “Ten Year Electricity Plan” calls for a staggering 275 GW of renewable energy by 2027, in addition to 72 GW of hydro and 15 GW of nuclear energy. (IANS)

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Manushi Chhillar from India Wins the Miss World 2017 Title

India's Manushi Chillar won the coveted Miss World 2017 pageant here, 16 years after Priyanka Chopra won the title in 2000.

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Miss World
Manushi Chhillar has been crowned as Miss World 2017. Instagram #ManushiChhillar

China, November 19: India’s Manushi Chhillar won the coveted Miss World 2017 pageant, 16 years after Priyanka Chopra won the title in 2000.

Chhillar competed against 108 contestants from various countries at a glittering event held at Sanya City Arena here.

Miss World 2016 winner Puerto Rico’s Stephanie Del Valle gave away the coveted crown to the winner.

Chhillar, who is from Haryana, had earlier this year won the Femina Miss India 2017.

Miss world
Anti Ageing was the official skin care expert for Manushi Chhillar at the Miss World 2017 pageant. Instagram #ManushiChhillar

India, England, France, Kenya and Mexico grabbed the top five spots at the peagant.

Manushi, born to doctor parents, studied in St. Thomas School in New Delhi and Bhagat Phool Singh Government Medical College for Women in Sonepat.

Her entire family including brother and sister were present and they looked excited watching Manushi grabbing top five spot.

As many as 108 beauty queens from different parts of the world participated in the prestigious pageant. (IANS)

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The major Challenge is to make the Youth of the Country Entrepreneurial and not Job Seekers : Venkaiah Naidu

"The challenge for us is to make the youth entrepreneurial, and not become job seekers," Venkaiah Naidu said pointing to the NDA government's various initiatives.

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Venkaiah Naidu
Venkaiah Naidu. Wikimedia Commons
  • At a time of tepid job growth and continuing income disparities, the major challenge is to make the youth of the country entrepreneurial and not job seekers, Vice President  Venkaiah Naidu said on Thursday.

“Disparities continue to remain in India and so there is a need for inclusive growth… there is the need to take care of the suppressed, oppressed and depressed,” Venkaiah Naidu said at the Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust’s (BYST) silver jubilee celebrations here with Britain’s Prince Charles as the chief guest.

“The challenge for us is to make the youth entrepreneurial, and not become job seekers,” Venkaiah Naidu said pointing to the NDA government’s various initiatives to encourage youth enterprises like Startup India, Standup India and the Mudra financing scheme for underprivileged sections.

Modelled on Prince Charles’ Trust for business startups, BYST, founded by Lakshmi Venkatesan, daughter of former President R. Venkatraman, is engaged in building rural entrepreneurship — “grampreneurs” — as also enterprise among under-privileged sections, which includes business mentoring. The current BYST chairman is Bajaj Group chief, Rahul Bajaj.

“Without mentoring, it would be very difficult to set up startups, with all the business, marketing and other vital issues involved in the first two-three years,” Prince Charles said in his address at the International Mentoring Summit organized by BYST to mark its 25 years.

“What amazes me are the sheer number of jobs these young entrepreneurs had created. The aim of such a project should be to create a virtual cycle of creating entrepreneurs who can then invest in the future of business,” Charles said referring to his trust.

BYST was officially launched in 1992 by Prince Charles and expanded its operations to six major regions of India.

Out of these six regions, four — Delhi, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad — run the urban programme while two regions — Haryana and Maharashtra — run the rural programme.(IANS)

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India sends Emergency Fuel Supplies to Sri Lanka

According to Indian public broadcaster Doordarshan, Modi assured all assistance from India to Sri Lanka following Siriena's request for emergency fuel supplies and petrol shipments.

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India is sending additional fuel to Sri Lanka, confirmed PMO onTwitter (representative image) Wikimedia

New Delhi, November 9, 2017 : Following reports of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) rejecting a shipment of petrol from Lanka IOC (LIOC), the Sri Lankan subsidiary of Indian Oil, India on Wednesday made emergency fuel supplies to Sri Lanka following a telephonic conversation between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena.

“In the telephone conversation with Sri Lankan President @MaithripalaS, PM @narendramodi conveyed that India is sending additional fuel to Sri Lanka and assured India’s continued support for development cooperation,” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) tweeted.

According to Indian public broadcaster Doordarshan, Modi assured all assistance from India to Sri Lanka following Siriena’s request for emergency fuel supplies and petrol shipments.

LIOC has made available 3,500 kilo litres of its own stock to CPC, Doordarshan said in a shared tweet.

A ship with an additional 21,000 kilo litres of petrol also left for Sri Lanka and additional petrol is being made available from Kochi refinery in Kerala.

Citing CPC sources, the Sunday Times said an emergency fuel supplies’ shipment that arrived at the Colombo harbour on October 17 had been tested for a second time and rejected on a quality test.

However, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said he did not agree that LIOC was responsible for the current fuel shortage in the country and said two oil shipments would be arriving in the country within two day, acording to a report in the Colombo Page.

“Apart from petrol shipment arriving on November 8, another shipment is due from India on November 9, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe informed the parliament on Tuesday responding to a question raised in the parliament regarding the fuel crisis,” the statement said.

It said that Wikremesinghe said a discussion was held with the Indian High Commissioner in this regard and the Indian ship would arrive either November 9 or 10. (IANS)