Solar power tariff has touched Rs. 2.44 per unit once again. This is the lowest that they have reached as was evidenced in the recent 2000 Mega Watt auction which was conducted by the Solar Corporation of India (SECI). Acme Solar, which is considered to be one of the largest domestic solar energy developers (about 1700 MW of commissioned solar energy projects) has be able to win 600 MW with this bidding.
The Solar power tariff had previously fallen to Rs. 2.44 per unit once before during an SECI auction which was held for projects at Bhadla Solar Park in 2017. However, the climb had been significant in the following auctions. The highest bid had reached Rs. 2.94 to Rs. 3.54 per unit in an 860-MW auction, which was held across various talukas of the state of Karnataka. It was conducted by the Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd. (KREDL) in the month of February 2018. Other such auctions by the Indian states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and NTPCNSE too evidenced the winning tariffs of quite more than Rs 2.50 per unit.
The other winners at the Solar power tariff auction included Shapoorji Pallonji: they won 250 Megawatt at the bidding price of Rs. 2.52 per unit; this was along with Hero Solar, Azure Power, and Mahindra Susten: all these three companies were successful at a bid of Rs. 2.53 per unit. Whereas Azure Power was able to win 600 MW, Hero as well as Mahindra got 250-MW each. The remaining power of 50 MW went to Mahoba Solar at a price of Rs. 2.54 per unit. All the 2000-MW of projects are to be connected straight to Inter State Transmission System (ISTS).
Industry experts say that the fall is due to the developments in China. About 80 per cent of the solar energy panels as well as modules that are used in the Indian solar projects are basically imported. By May end, Chinese government had stopped approving any more solar projects and also reduced subsidies for their solar developers. China felt that the solar energy sector had been expanding a little too fast. As the local demand keeps falling, the Chinese solar manufacturers have had no choice but to export. This led to a weakening of the solar bidding prices. India accounted for 30.9 per cent of China solar exports in 2017, according to China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products.
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