Month in a Minute: Top Headlines from Indian Renewable Sector in April 2024

The solar sector secured $8.1 billion in corporate funding through 41 transactions in the first quarter (Q1) of 2024, marking a 4% decrease from the $8.4 billion raised in 42 deals during the same period in 2023. However, there was a 47% increase in funding compared to Q4 2023, which saw $5.5 billion raised in 37 deals. The numbers were revealed in Mercom Capital Group’s newly released Q1 2024 Solar Funding and M&A Report. In Q1 2024, global venture capital funding for the solar sector amounted to $406 million across 13 deals, an 81% decrease year-over-year from the $2.1 billion raised in 18 deals.

Germany installed 3.7 GW of solar power capacity in Q1 of 2024, a 19% year-over-year (YoY) growth from 3.2 GW. The data was published in a recent report by the German Federal Network Agency Bundesnetzagentur. The installations for January were 1.47 GW, February (1.14 GW), and March (1.1 GW). Germany targets to install 215 GW of solar capacity by 2030, with 22 GW of capacity additions every year. To reach the 215 GW target, the monthly installation needs to be 1,587 MW, as noted by Bundesnetzagentur at the end of Q1 2024.

AdaniConneX, a data center solutions provider and a joint venture between Adani Enterprises and EdgeConneX, has established sustainability-linked financing to raise $1.44 billion to fund its renewable-powered data centers and enable digital infrastructure growth in the country. The company said the upcoming data center facilities would leverage technologies and renewable energy solutions to minimize the ecological footprint while optimizing operational efficiency.

Public infrastructure finance company REC Limited has availed a green loan of ¥60.5 billion (~$387.6 million) from SACE, an Italian export credit agency, to finance a slew of green projects in India. This maiden green loan transaction in India also marks a first-of-its-kind successful collaboration between the two companies. The green loan saw participation from Asian, European, and American banks such as Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Bank of America, Citibank, and KfW-IpexBank with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation as Mandated Lead Arrangers.

The global energy storage sector witnessed a 432% increase YoY in corporate funding, totaling $11.7 billion across 29 transactions, from $2.2 billion in 27 deals. The findings were published in Mercom Capital’s recently released Q1 2024 Funding and M&A Report for Storage and Grid. Compared to Q4 2023, funding surged by 216%, surpassing the $3.7 billion raised in 26 deals. Raj Prabhu, CEO and Co-Founder of Mercom Capital Group, said, “Two significant debt deals skewed the numbers higher this quarter. Yet, when we exclude these transactions, the figures are similar to Q1 2023.”

Tata Power Solar Systems will partner with the Indian Bank to bolster the adoption of affordable rooftop solar in the residential segment by making low-interest loans available to consumers. Under the partnership, financing solutions will be offered for installations up to 3 kW under the Pradhan Mantri Surya Ghar Muft Bijli Yojana and installations with capacities from 3 kW to 10 kW under the regular program. Residential consumers can avail loans up to ₹200,000 ($2,401) at a 7% annual rate of interest.

China installed 45.74 GW of solar power capacity in Q1 of 2024, a 35.8% YoY growth, according to the National Energy Administration. The country also installed 15.5 GW of wind, 6.39 GW of thermal, and 1.81 GW of hydroelectric capacity. The country’s cumulative solar installations stood at 660 GW at the end of the quarter. As of the end of March, the country’s total installed power generation capacity reached about 2.99 TW. Solar power made up 660 GW, wind 456.6 GW, hydroelectric 423.4 GW, thermal power stood at 1.39 TW, while nuclear power accounted for 57 GW.

The Ministry of Heavy Industries’ tender to select manufacturers for Advanced Chemistry Cells under the Production Linked Incentive program has garnered bids seven times more than the 10 GWh capacity to be awarded. The bidders are ACME Cleantech Solutions, Amara Raja Advanced Cell Technologies, Anvi Power Industries (Gensol Group), JSW Neo Energy, Reliance Industries, Lucas TVS, and Waaree Energies for a cumulative capacity of 70 GWh. The budget for the capacity tendered is ₹36.2 billion (~$435.63 million).

BluWheelz, a tech-enabled logistics firm with an electric vehicle fleet, received $1 million in a bridge funding round led by Venture Catalysts, an integrated incubator. The other participants in the investment round included FAAD, LetsVenture, and Chakra Growth Fund. The company expects to utilize the funds to expand its EV-fleet offerings for logistics across India. Operating in 18 cities and providing logistic companies with fleet management services, including 2-wheelers, 3-wheelers, and 4-wheelers, BluWheelz plans to integrate 6-wheelers, pioneering EV fleet as a service in India.

Telangana-based solar cell and module manufacturer Premier Energies has filed the draft red herring prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Board of India to raise over ₹15 billion (~$179.91 million) through an initial public offering (IPO). The IPO would consist of a fresh issue of equity shares with a face value of ₹1 (~$0.012) aggregating up to ₹15 billion (~$179.91 million) and an offer for sale of up to 28.2 million shares by the selling shareholders. Premier Energies proposes to utilize the net proceeds of the fresh issue to invest ₹11.68 billion (~$140.09 million) in its subsidiary for part-financing the establishment of a 4 GW Solar TOPCon cell and 4 GW solar TOPCon module manufacturing facility and the rest towards general corporate purposes.

Ecozen, a Pune-based startup focused on clean technology solutions for agriculture, has raised $30 million in a new funding round to accelerate its growth and global expansion. The investment includes equity from existing investors like Nuveen as well as new debt financing from the InCred Credit Fund and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation. The capital will allow Ecozen to scale up production of its solar-powered systems for agricultural irrigation and cold chain solutions, the company said in a press release.

Auctioned solar capacity in India surged to over 25 GW in Q1 of 2024 from 820 MW in Q1 2023, primarily due to the new bidding guidelines mandating that auctions be conducted within 110 days of bid submission dates.According to Mercom India Research data, solar auctions increased by 229% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) from 7.62 GW and 2,957% YoY.Solar tenders floated by various agencies during Q1 2024 rose 122% YoY to over 30.7 GW and 92.2% QoQ.

Global cumulative wind power capacity surpassed the 1 TW mark in 2023, achieving a year-over-year (YoY) growth of 13%, according to the Global Wind Energy Council’s Global Wind Report 2024. Onshore wind witnessed 106 GW of capacity added to the grid in 2023, achieving a 54% YoY growth. For the first time, more than 100 GW of new onshore wind capacity was installed globally in a single year. China and the U.S. remained the world’s two largest markets for onshore wind additions, followed by Brazil, Germany, and India. The top five markets comprised 82% of global new installations in 2023, collectively 9% higher than the previous year.

Public infrastructure finance company REC Limited recorded its highest-ever loan approvals totaling ₹3.58 trillion (~$43.02 billion) in the financial year (FY) 2023-24, a YoY increase of 33.66%, and disbursements reaching ₹1.61 trillion (~$19.34 billion), reflecting a 66.72% growth. A significant portion of the total approved loans, amounting to ₹1.37 trillion (~$16.46 billion), accounted for the renewable energy sector, showcasing a substantial YoY growth of 538.79%.

JSW Energy, a private sector power producer, has completed a ₹50 billion (~$600 million) qualified institutions placement (QIP), attracting strong interest from marquee global and domestic institutional investors.The QIP, marking the first-ever equity raise by the company since its listing in 2010, was oversubscribed over 3.2 times, it said in a statement. It claimed it was also the largest primary equity raise in the Indian power sector in the last decade and among the top three largest ever in the history of the Indian power sector.

India added 3.2 GW of new solar open access capacity in 2023, the most in any calendar year to date, with the top five states accounting for 84.2% of the new installed capacity. The installations surged 5.7% YoY from 3 GW in 2022, according to the recently released 2023 Q4 and Annual Mercom India Solar Open Access Market Report. Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Rajasthan were the leading states, accounting for 27.9%, 16.4%, 16.2%, 15.6%, and 8.1%, respectively.

Government-owned lender Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency approved loans amounting to ₹373.54 billion (~$4.48 billion) and disbursed ₹250.89 billion (~$3.01 billion) in loans during FY 2023-24. The approved and disbursed amounts were the highest-ever annual figures recorded by the lender. The loan approvals were up 14.63% YoY from ₹325.87 billion (~$3.91 billion), and the disbursements increased by 15.94% from ₹216.39 billion (~$2.59 billion) at the end of FY 2022-23.

Electric vehicle (EV) sales in India reached a record 486,669 units in Q1 of 2024, a jump of over 40% YoY against the 347,676 units sold in the same period of 2023. The EV market consistently exceeded the 100,000-unit threshold each month during the quarter, and March witnessed the highest-ever monthly sales figure of 204,337 units. EVs account for 7.9% of overall automobile sales, which totaled 6,157,070 units in Q1 2024, according to data released by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways through its Vahan Dashboard. India now has over 3.95 million registered EVs.

Luminous Power Technologies inaugurated a 250 MW solar module manufacturing facility in Rudrapur, Uttarakhand. The fully automated 10-acre plant built with an initial investment of ₹1.2 billion (~$14.4 million) is expandable up to 1 GW capacity, the company said. Luminous aims to double its growth in three years. The facility will produce polycrystalline, monocrystalline, N-type, and TOPCon solar panels with adaptability ranging from 5BB to 16BB configurations for residential, commercial, and agricultural needs.


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