Cancellation of 40K-cr solar bids irks investors

Cancellation of 40K-cr solar bids irks investors
Highlights

Scrapping of bids adds on to the existing issues of solar sector, like uncertainty over safeguard duty on imported solar components, introduction of GST

New Delhi: Auctions for around 8,000 MW solar capacities worth Rs 40,000 crore were cancelled in 2018-19, leaving developers and investors high and dry, according to an industry source.

Solar project developers continued to face uncertainties in 2018-19 as central and state government agencies as well as a private distribution company cancelled bids for 8,000 MW.

"Bids were invited by government (s) as well as private distribution firms to procure around 8,000 MW solar power last fiscal from newly developed capacities. But auctions were cancelled later on," the source said. It is as high as about 8,250 MW solar capacity added in 2018.

The scrapping of bids has hit India's ambitious target of achieving 1,00,000 MW of solar capacity by 2022. The country has achieved 26,025.97 MW solar capacity till February this year.

Initially, India was targeting 20,000 MW solar power by 2022. In 2015, this target was raised to 1,00,000 MW within the same time line. Now experts are finding this target unachievable.

India could add only about 8,250 MW of solar capacity in 2018, which was 15.5 per cent less than 9,775 MW added in 2017, the source said. In 2018-19, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh state agencies cancelled 1,200 MW and 1,000 MW of bids, respectively.

Central government's Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) cancelled 2,400 MW out of 3,300 MW of Interstate Transmission System (ISTS) connected solar auction. Subsequently, SECI scrapped 3,000 MW of manufacturing linked bid.

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