csp13/12/2017

The GST has led to 10-12 per cent rise in overall cost of solar projects, the All India Solar Industries Association (AISIA) has said, while petitioning the government against the rise in tax incidence on solar power equipment under the new regime.

This will, in turn, result in increase in the cost of power, AISIA general secretary Gyanesh Chaudhary said in letters to Revenue Secretary and other senior government officials.

While solar power generating systems are charged 5 per cent tax, procurement and supply of equipment like module mounting structures, trackers, inverters, transformers and cables are being charged the GST at varying rates.

The equipments are charged GST as applicable on individual items rather than treating them as a part of solar power generating system, Chaudhary wrote.

The association said solar module were exempt from all duties in the pre-GST regime but since July 1 they are being charged 5 per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Inverters, cables and transformers were levied by 2 per cent central sales tax and excise was exempt but post GST they are charged 5-8 per cent tax. Similarly, the tax incidence on services and civil work has risen to 18 per cent from 15 per cent and 6 per cent respectively previously.

"Currently, the power developers cannot avail the benefit of GST for the electricity produced leading to a detrimental effect towards achieving the 100 GW target of National Solar Mission," he wrote.

Under the current GST regime, "solar power cost will see upward escalation", the association said, while urging the government to remove the ambiguity.

It suggested re-introduction of MNRE-certification or self-certification supported by an undertaking that such equipment is required for the setting up of a solar power generating system.

Since solar power generating systems are already charged to 5 per cent GST, there should be no GST on such equipments which are part and parcel of the generating system, it said.

"We strongly feel that an urgent intervention is required in order to keep the cost of solar power low and incentivise renewable energy deployment," Chaudhary said.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017 17:16

CleanMax Solar receives ₹100 crore from IFC

13/12/2017

IFC, the private equity investment arm of World Bank, has invested about ₹100 crore ($15 million) in Mumbai-based CleanMaxSolar. This is IFC’s first investment in the rooftop solar space globally.

CleanMax Solar puts up plants at its own cost and sells the power directly to customers. In June, CleanMax had announced a $100-million equity investment by PE firm Warburg Pincus, for an undisclosed stake in the company.

The IFC investment is part of that $100-million deal. Both Warburg Pincus and IFC would now have a significant minority stake in CleanMax Solar. IFC believes that distributed generation will play an important role in meeting India’s energy needs.

CleanMax’s customers include companies from the Tata, Mahindra and TVS groups, Mindtree, Adobe India, United Breweries and SKF India.

images 8913/12/2017

Seven of the nine locations finalized by the power department to set up windmills belong to tribesmen in Attapadi region of Palakkad district. After maintaining a silence for several years, the state government recently cleared a proposal for exploring wind power in the region with a specific clause that KSEB should ensure flawless, profit sharing between tribal people and the central government agency that sets up the power generation units.

A government order in this regard stated that central government's NHPC Ltd had submitted a detailed project report for setting up an 8MW wind farm project at Agali panchayat.

According to the power generation model approved by the state government, KSEB should directly pay the profit incentive to tribesmen, whose land is being used for the project. The board should pay 5% share of the gross revenue in their bank accounts. The price of power that KSEB is purchasing from NHPC would be given to them after deducting the profit share of these tribesmen.

The proposed project sites were jointly inspected by NHPC, Anert, revenue department, KSEL and scheduled tribe development department. The oorukoottam's (traditional tribal council) consent was also obtained for the initiative.

The attempts by previous LDF government to allow private players to set up windmill units in tribal land had backfired, following allegations of cheating. Though the UDF government later tried to put in place a profit-sharing formula between tribesmen and private companies, it did not work out.

"Anert has confirmed that micro siting has been completed for the projects. The proposed sites fall in zone-II wind speed site as per national institute of wind energy," the government order on the detailed project guidelines stated. It is reported that around five acres of land would be required for installing 1MW capacity windmills.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017 17:12

Dumping duty on solar panels sees hard lobbying

f3d2a86f8fbb83d258a552f73faf97f7cc985de913/12/2017

The Directorate General of Safeguards & Anti-Dumping (DGS&AD) held the first oral hearing on Tuesday to investigate allegations of dumping imported solar cells and modules. While all parties exchanged the data on imports and the harm caused by imports at the meeting, most solar project developers operating in India took a stand against any anti-dumping duty.

The domestic solar panel manufacturing industry, in its petition, had submitted that around 80 per cent of the market had been cornered by imports. The domestic industry, through the Indian Solar Manufacturers’ Association (ISMA), has taken the position that as imports harm the indigenous sector, a retrospective duty should be imposed on the importers.

This was, however, challenged by some solar power project developers with the argument that silicon wafers required to make solar cells were also being imported, mainly from China, and hence the domestic sector was dependent on imports.

“Imports are not to be blamed for the health of certain companies in the industry,” an executive of a US solar company operating in India said during the discussion.

A day before the hearing, Kolkata-based Vikram Solar circulated a video message through WhatsApp, urging "that any future duties like safeguard or antidumping duty should be borne by the power project developers." The video message argued that the prices of solar have come down and any escalation should not be borne by the consumer.

The prices of panels have crashed to 32 cents per kWh from 50 cents per kWh in three years, owing to global over-capacity and almost ‘dumping’ by China, as alleged by domestic solar panel makers time and again. The tariff for solar power project has fallen to Rs 2.44/unit — an 80 per cent fall in six years.

In an emailed statement, the ISMA said: “We got an opportunity to present the case and the oral hearing was made out very judiciously and astutely chaired by the Designated Authority following judicial protocol. The representatives of the embassies of the China, Taiwan, Malaysia and other stakeholders also got the opportunity to make their case and the case was registered orally in front of the designated judicial representative.”

The ISMA said the affected parties would present their submissions in writing by December 19, and thereafter the petitioners (ISMA) would give a response to these submissions by January 2. The confirmation of the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties could not be secured.

download 3513/12/2017

A Jain temple on the outskirts of Mumbai is shining light on a new path of environmental conservation that could serve as an example to other pilgrimage spots. The prominent Manas Mandir derasar in Shahapur has installed solar rooftop panels that will reduce pollution and save 40% of its annual cost of electricity.

Manas Mandir is set amid a large 100 acre campus in Shahapur along the Mumbai-Nashik highway. Nearly six lakh devotees arrive from all parts of the country each year, so the trustees run a large kitchen and dharamshala for their benefit. The temple requires 250kW power to fulfil its requirements.

"This solar project is one of the largest rooftop projects around Mumbai. It will account for a third of their annual energy requirement, saving lakhs of rupees in electricity bills," said Rajesh Mammen of Excelsior Engineering, the firm that has executed the task.

He said, "We have installed a 100kW solar power project on two rooftops, 70kW on the bhojanalay terrace and the remainder atop the yatri niwas. The system has the capacity to generate approximately 1.35-1.5 lakh units, generating an annual saving of Rs 15 lakh in electricity costs. It is aligned to the existing MSEB electric apparatus so its remaining requirement is easily met."

Temple trustee Minesh Shah said, "We were not motivated by thrift alone. Our move to adopt solar energy is consonant with Jain principles of protecting the environment by using natural resources. It will reduce pollution. Moreover other institutions may be inspired to replicate the effort."

The first phase began generating solar power in November. "In the second phase next year, we hope to fully switch our 250 kW requirements to this system, altogether eschewing the need for MSEB electricity. Once we receive a net metering licence the excess power goes back to the grid and brings additional savings," said Shah.

Since the panels became functional last month, several devotees are flocking to ask questions. "They are pleasantly surprised to see that with the advent of newer technology, solar energy can be harvested to operate all electrical appliances. Older systems only allowed users to operate basic appliances like lights and fans,'' said Mammen.

The derasar invested Rs 40 lakh towards installation. "But it is a good investment because after all we ourselves are the customers. In any case banks offer such low rate of interest on fixed deposits these days so it is hardly fruitful to keep funds stowed away," Shah said.

The solar modules are easy to maintain as well, they only need to be cleaned with rubber wipers during the morning and evening hours, Mammen said.

13/12/2017

The GST has led to 10-12 per cent rise in overall cost of solar projects, the All India Solar Industries Association (AISIA) has said, while petitioning the government against the rise in tax incidence on solar power equipment under the new regime.

This will, in turn, result in increase in the cost of power, AISIA general secretary Gyanesh Chaudhary said in letters to Revenue Secretary and other senior government officials.

While solar power generating systems are charged 5 per cent tax, procurement and supply of equipment like module mounting structures, trackers, inverters, transformers and cables are being charged the GST at varying rates.

The equipments are charged GST as applicable on individual items rather than treating them as a part of solar power generating system, Chaudhary wrote.

The association said solar module were exempt from all duties in the pre-GST regime but since July 1 they are being charged 5 per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Inverters, cables and transformers were levied by 2 per cent central sales tax and excise was exempt but post GST they are charged 5-8 per cent tax. Similarly, the tax incidence on services and civil work has risen to 18 per cent from 15 per cent and 6 per cent respectively previously.

"Currently, the power developers cannot avail the benefit of GST for the electricity produced leading to a detrimental effect towards achieving the 100 GW target of National Solar Mission," he wrote.

Under the current GST regime, "solar power cost will see upward escalation", the association said, while urging the government to remove the ambiguity.

It suggested re-introduction of MNRE-certification or self-certification supported by an undertaking that such equipment is required for the setting up of a solar power generating system.

Since solar power generating systems are already charged to 5 per cent GST, there should be no GST on such equipments which are part and parcel of the generating system, it said.

"We strongly feel that an urgent intervention is required in order to keep the cost of solar power low and incentivise renewable energy deployment," Chaudhary said.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017 17:07

CleanMax Solar receives ₹100 crore from IFC

13/12/2017

IFC, the private equity investment arm of World Bank, has invested about ₹100 crore ($15 million) in Mumbai-based CleanMaxSolar. This is IFC’s first investment in the rooftop solar space globally.

CleanMax Solar puts up plants at its own cost and sells the power directly to customers. In June, CleanMax had announced a $100-million equity investment by PE firm Warburg Pincus, for an undisclosed stake in the company.

The IFC investment is part of that $100-million deal. Both Warburg Pincus and IFC would now have a significant minority stake in CleanMax Solar. IFC believes that distributed generation will play an important role in meeting India’s energy needs.

CleanMax’s customers include companies from the Tata, Mahindra and TVS groups, Mindtree, Adobe India, United Breweries and SKF India.

13/12/2017

Seven of the nine locations finalized by the power department to set up windmills belong to tribesmen in Attapadi region of Palakkad district. After maintaining a silence for several years, the state government recently cleared a proposal for exploring wind power in the region with a specific clause that KSEB should ensure flawless, profit sharing between tribal people and the central government agency that sets up the power generation units.

A government order in this regard stated that central government's NHPC Ltd had submitted a detailed project report for setting up an 8MW wind farm project at Agali panchayat.

According to the power generation model approved by the state government, KSEB should directly pay the profit incentive to tribesmen, whose land is being used for the project. The board should pay 5% share of the gross revenue in their bank accounts. The price of power that KSEB is purchasing from NHPC would be given to them after deducting the profit share of these tribesmen.

The proposed project sites were jointly inspected by NHPC, Anert, revenue department, KSEL and scheduled tribe development department. The oorukoottam's (traditional tribal council) consent was also obtained for the initiative.

The attempts by previous LDF government to allow private players to set up windmill units in tribal land had backfired, following allegations of cheating. Though the UDF government later tried to put in place a profit-sharing formula between tribesmen and private companies, it did not work out.

"Anert has confirmed that micro siting has been completed for the projects. The proposed sites fall in zone-II wind speed site as per national institute of wind energy," the government order on the detailed project guidelines stated. It is reported that around five acres of land would be required for installing 1MW capacity windmills.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017 17:05

Dumping duty on solar panels sees hard lobbying

13/12/2017

The Directorate General of Safeguards & Anti-Dumping (DGS&AD) held the first oral hearing on Tuesday to investigate allegations of dumping imported solar cells and modules. While all parties exchanged the data on imports and the harm caused by imports at the meeting, most solar project developers operating in India took a stand against any anti-dumping duty.

The domestic solar panel manufacturing industry, in its petition, had submitted that around 80 per cent of the market had been cornered by imports. The domestic industry, through the Indian Solar Manufacturers’ Association (ISMA), has taken the position that as imports harm the indigenous sector, a retrospective duty should be imposed on the importers.

This was, however, challenged by some solar power project developers with the argument that silicon wafers required to make solar cells were also being imported, mainly from China, and hence the domestic sector was dependent on imports.

“Imports are not to be blamed for the health of certain companies in the industry,” an executive of a US solar company operating in India said during the discussion.

A day before the hearing, Kolkata-based Vikram Solar circulated a video message through WhatsApp, urging "that any future duties like safeguard or antidumping duty should be borne by the power project developers." The video message argued that the prices of solar have come down and any escalation should not be borne by the consumer.

The prices of panels have crashed to 32 cents per kWh from 50 cents per kWh in three years, owing to global over-capacity and almost ‘dumping’ by China, as alleged by domestic solar panel makers time and again. The tariff for solar power project has fallen to Rs 2.44/unit — an 80 per cent fall in six years.

In an emailed statement, the ISMA said: “We got an opportunity to present the case and the oral hearing was made out very judiciously and astutely chaired by the Designated Authority following judicial protocol. The representatives of the embassies of the China, Taiwan, Malaysia and other stakeholders also got the opportunity to make their case and the case was registered orally in front of the designated judicial representative.”

The ISMA said the affected parties would present their submissions in writing by December 19, and thereafter the petitioners (ISMA) would give a response to these submissions by January 2. The confirmation of the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties could not be secured.

13/12/2017

A Jain temple on the outskirts of Mumbai is shining light on a new path of environmental conservation that could serve as an example to other pilgrimage spots. The prominent Manas Mandir derasar in Shahapur has installed solar rooftop panels that will reduce pollution and save 40% of its annual cost of electricity.

Manas Mandir is set amid a large 100 acre campus in Shahapur along the Mumbai-Nashik highway. Nearly six lakh devotees arrive from all parts of the country each year, so the trustees run a large kitchen and dharamshala for their benefit. The temple requires 250kW power to fulfil its requirements.

"This solar project is one of the largest rooftop projects around Mumbai. It will account for a third of their annual energy requirement, saving lakhs of rupees in electricity bills," said Rajesh Mammen of Excelsior Engineering, the firm that has executed the task.

He said, "We have installed a 100kW solar power project on two rooftops, 70kW on the bhojanalay terrace and the remainder atop the yatri niwas. The system has the capacity to generate approximately 1.35-1.5 lakh units, generating an annual saving of Rs 15 lakh in electricity costs. It is aligned to the existing MSEB electric apparatus so its remaining requirement is easily met."

Temple trustee Minesh Shah said, "We were not motivated by thrift alone. Our move to adopt solar energy is consonant with Jain principles of protecting the environment by using natural resources. It will reduce pollution. Moreover other institutions may be inspired to replicate the effort."

The first phase began generating solar power in November. "In the second phase next year, we hope to fully switch our 250 kW requirements to this system, altogether eschewing the need for MSEB electricity. Once we receive a net metering licence the excess power goes back to the grid and brings additional savings," said Shah.

Since the panels became functional last month, several devotees are flocking to ask questions. "They are pleasantly surprised to see that with the advent of newer technology, solar energy can be harvested to operate all electrical appliances. Older systems only allowed users to operate basic appliances like lights and fans,'' said Mammen.

The derasar invested Rs 40 lakh towards installation. "But it is a good investment because after all we ourselves are the customers. In any case banks offer such low rate of interest on fixed deposits these days so it is hardly fruitful to keep funds stowed away," Shah said.

The solar modules are easy to maintain as well, they only need to be cleaned with rubber wipers during the morning and evening hours, Mammen said.

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