Weekly News 5 - 9 February 2024
Monday, 5 February 2024 (The Economic Times) GTRI flags slow progress in payment of sops under PLI schemes
The Global Trade Research Initiative (GTRI) has highlighted the slow disbursement of incentives under the production-linked incentive (PLI) schemes, amounting to only 2.25% of the total allocation. GTRI suggests simplifying criteria to expedite disbursement, pointing out complexities in meeting various thresholds. Concerns are raised about the subjective nature of incentives and delays in claims settlement. GTRI recommends adopting simpler models, drawing parallels with the successful MEIS export scheme abolished in 2020.
Additionally, GTRI advises the government to focus PLI schemes on specific inputs rather than products with multiple manufacturers. The think tank emphasizes the need for a concentrated approach, targeting cutting-edge product groups where India lacks manufacturing capabilities. In the context of the booming smartphone sector, GTRI raises concerns about the sustainability of high production levels post-PLI incentives, drawing parallels with historical instances where policy changes led to the disappearance of local manufacturers.
Tuesday, 6 February 2024 (Financial Express) US Solar boon opens $2-bn Indian door to banned China products
US efforts to promote the expansion of India's solar industry have inadvertently led to concerns about components made with forced labour in China. A Bloomberg News investigation reveals that India's largest solar producer, Waaree Energies, has been sending millions of panels to the US containing components from a Chinese company, Longi Green Energy Technology Co., which has faced repeated denials of entry into the US market due to forced labour concerns. Despite the US Customs and Border Protection's ban on products linked to the repression of Uyghur people in China's Xinjiang region, the surge in Indian solar panel exports to the US underscores the challenge of effectively enforcing such bans.
The focus on China's Xinjiang region has created opportunities for Indian solar producers, with exports to the US soaring to almost $2 billion in the first 11 months of the previous year. However, concerns persist as even panels labelled as "Made in India" may contain materials produced with forced labour from Xinjiang. While Longi claims to have created a separate supply chain for the US market using non-Chinese sources, the complexity of global supply chains makes it challenging for Customs officials to fully enforce the ban. The Biden administration's push for alternative supply chains, or "friendshoring," aims to reduce reliance on Chinese manufacturing dominance and support countries like India in expanding their solar manufacturing capacities.
Wednesday, 7 February 2024 (mint) Bulk of caped to meet energy needs: PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that a substantial portion of the budgeted capital expenditure for fiscal year 2024-25 will be allocated to the energy sector, reflecting India's commitment to meeting growing demand and climate goals. With India's energy demand projected to double by 2045, Modi emphasized the country's role in shaping global energy trends and urged industry leaders to contribute to a prosperous and sustainable future through expertise sharing and collaboration on innovative technologies. India aims to achieve 500 gigawatts of renewable capacity by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2070, positioning itself as a leader in combating climate change.
Modi outlined plans to increase the share of gas in India's energy mix to 15% by 2030, requiring a $67 billion investment in the next five-to-six years. He highlighted India's rapid economic growth, with GDP exceeding 7.5% in the first half of the financial year, making India the world's fastest-growing economy and on the cusp of becoming the third-largest economy. The government's initiatives include boosting ethanol blending in petrol, promoting waste-to-energy projects, and launching the Pradhan Mantri Suryodaya Yojana rooftop solar scheme. India aims to become a leader in hydrogen production and export with the National Green Hydrogen Mission. Modi expressed confidence that India's green energy sector would provide opportunities for investors and industries, reinforcing the nation's commitment to sustainable energy development and climate action.
Thursday, 8 February 2024 (The Economic Times) India, Lanka Joint Panel Meet to Take Grid Connectivity Further
India and Sri Lanka are advancing discussions on grid interconnectivity and renewable energy cooperation, with an imminent meeting of their joint working committee. Technical reports are under review by officials from both countries' electricity authorities, with plans for a joint venture involving India's Power Grid Corporation. Investment decisions are pending, and joint consultants will be appointed to assess financial requirements. Additionally, Sri Lanka is exploring offshore wind energy potential and aims to generate 70% of its electricity from renewables by 2030, requiring integration of 5,000 MW more into its grid, including solar, wind, or floating solar.
The two nations are intensifying efforts for grid interconnectivity and renewable energy collaboration, with discussions progressing on technical and investment aspects. Sri Lanka's exploration of offshore wind energy and its ambitious renewable energy targets underscore the importance of these initiatives for both countries' green energy aspirations.
Friday, 9 February 2024 (Business Standard) OIL seeks foreign tech partner for first offshore foray
Oil India Limited (OIL) is gearing up for exploration and production off the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, with plans to launch roadshows in Abu Dhabi to attract foreign partners. Ranjit Rath, the chairman of OIL, revealed this initiative during the 2024 India Energy Week (IEW). International giants like ExxonMobil, Equinor, and Baker Hughes are under consideration for partnership, with OIL possessing two shallow-water blocks in the Andaman shelf, awarded in 2018.
With an allocated budget exceeding 1,500 crore, OIL is poised to commence offshore exploration by September 2024, having already secured contracts for three rigs. As one of the key players in India's oil sector alongside ONGC, OIL aims to bolster crude oil production to over 4 million metric tonnes and anticipates natural gas production to hit 5 billion cubic meters annually in the near future.