Webinar Insights: “RE power procurements models by C&I segment in India”

Global Corporate PPA’s have grown from 4.14 GW in 2016 to a whopping 23.7GW in 2020. In 2019 and 2020, Indian Corporate PPAs accounted for nearly 6-7% of the total Global Corporate PPA share. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), India was the second largest growth market for corporate renewable PPAs after the US in 2019. While the growth has been stellar, inconsistencies in regulations and policies among in the country is a major hurdle.

With the intent to get some insights on the ongoing as well as the anticipated developments in this segment, JMK Research organized a webinar on “RE power procurement models by C&I segment in India” on 28 May 2021. The eminent panelists for this session were:

  • Mr. Yasif Eqbal, Regional Manager – Solis
  • Mr. Ramnath Vaidyanathan, GM & Head, Environmental Sustainability- Godrej Industries 
  • Mr. ShriPrakash Rai, Head – C&I Business – Amp Energy
  • Mr. Kiran Kumar Perka, Head – Energy Trading – Fourth Partner Energy
  • Mr. Deepan Prakash D, Sustainability & Innovation Leader, Decathalon

Mr. Yasif Eqbal noted that net metering is not a popular choice among states and this trend is also visible in developed countries, and will not be a future trend. To mitigate this, Solis is developing solutions intelligent control solutions to limit the feed-in power to the grid, while balancing the PV plant generation and consumption. Mr. Eqbal also iterated that the Indian market has a huge potential for battery storage deployment.

Mr. Kiran Kumar Perka proceeded by laying out the procurement models used by customers, followed by a brief analysis of the current market trends and emerging technologies. Along with the currently adopted business models, Mr. Perka shed some light on emerging business models such as the Virtual Power Purchase Agreement(VPPA), in which the RE power is sold to a 3rd party, while the beneficiary receives its RE attributes in the form of I-RECs. He also noted that while battery storage is not commercially viable in the current scenario, it will play a crucial role in the future for corporates to stabilize the intermittency of RE sources and help them optimize costs. While talking about regulatory hurdles faced by developers, inconsistencies in policies from state to state is a major hurdle.

Mr. Ramnath Vaidyanath began by highlighting that the changes in the renewable sector are too rapid, which has become a key barrier for end consumers. He also highlighted that while Godrej was able to achieve about 50% of its energy coming from RE sources in 2020 and have set a target to increase this share to 70% by 2025, achieving 100% RE is currently not possible because of the uncertain nature of the regulatory ecosystem in India. There is a lack of alignment between the Central, State governments, and discoms creating a major regulatory hurdle. A sustainable solution to this, according to Mr. Ram, is to include Discoms as a part of the decision-making and to implement evolutionary policies rather than implementing incremental updates.

Mr. Deepan Prakash highlighted Decathlon’s journey towards becoming a 100% RE organization in its retail operations, followed by the strategies used to achieve the same. He also shared new innovative models used by Decathlon to procure RE, for example for its stores which are in malls, as onsite generation is not possible and direct open-access procurement of power is also not possible. Mr. Deepan also iterated that regulatory volatility is a major hurdle for RE procurement and that COVID, while has delayed their plans, has given them a breathing space to come up with new solutions. He also mentioned that they are looking at rooftop solar battery storage and public EV charging as a possible solution in the near future.

Mr. ShriPrakash Rai conveyed his thoughts on the overall C&I segment and highlighted that as the segment is developed, onsite and offsite installations need to go hand-in-hand with each other rather than be pitted against each other. He further concurred with Mr. Ram’s opinion of including Discoms in the regulation development process. While talking about achieving RE100 targets for corporates, he mentioned that Inter-state power transmission can become a viable method of procuring power from states having renewable resources in abundance, followed by VPPA which is currently being treated as a derivative contract and is not permitted to being implemented.

Click here for webinar recording.