How Effective Has India s Solar Mission Been in Reaching its Deployment Targets?

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1 How Effective Has India s Solar Mission Been in Reaching its Deployment Targets? Gireesh Shrimali, i Monterey Institute of International Studies, Monterey, CA Vijay Nekkalapudi, ii Solarsis, Hyderabad, India Abstract India launched the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) iii in Since the introduction of JNNSM, the solar deployment of India has increased more than 10-times. However, there are no ex-post evaluations of the effectiveness of JNNSM against its own targets. We present data on the performance of JNNSM until mid-2013 and develop quantitative metrics to assess the deployment effectiveness. We show that JNNSM has been moderately successful in deploying solar photovoltaic (PV). We also show that JNNSM has failed to deploy solar thermal. Finally, we present policy lessons from JNNSM that can be applied to future policy design. Keywords: Solar energy; policy; India; JNNSM Page 1 of 31

2 1. Introduction 1.1 Motivation India faces the dual challenge of sustaining its rapid economic growth while dealing with the global threat of climate change at the same time (PMI, 2010). In order to counter this dual challenge, a national action plan on climate change (NAPCC) was launched in 2008 (PMI, 2010). Under NAPCC, a total of eight missions were formulated with focus on the following areas: solar energy, energy efficiency, sustainable habitat, water, the Himalayan ecosystem, green India, sustainable agriculture, and strategic knowledge on climate change. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) was launched in 2010, with the aim of deploying grid connected solar power installed capacity of 20,000 MW by 2022 (JNNSM, 2010). This was motivated in part by the technical potential of solar energy and its implications for energy security (JNNSM, 2010): India receives on an average annual global radiation solar radiation of kwh/m2 (Figure3 in Appendix 1), which can be used to generate more than the country s current energy needs (Garud and Purohit, 2010; CERC, 2011). It has been close to three years since JNNSM was launched in During this time, India has seen a 1300% growth in solar power deployment from 10MW in 2009 to more than 1400MW by March Given that solar power is still much more expensive than conventional energy (IRENA, 2012), it is not competitive in the market place and, therefore, this growth is attributed mainly to the state policy of Gujarat as well as JNNSM (NRDC, 2012a; BTI, 2013) iv in particular, due to the subsidies included in long-term fixed tariffs guaranteed by these policies (Nelson et al., 2013). Thus, it can be argued that JNNSM has been effective in deploying solar power in India i.e., deployment that would not have happened in its absence. Page 2 of 31

3 Based on official records kept by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), JNNSM has contributed approximately 570MW of solar capacity so far (see Section 4). v However, though JNNSM has contributed to increased deployment of solar power, this does not inform us on the effectiveness of JNNSM in reaching its own targets, and a key relevant question from the perspective of researchers as well as policymakers is: How effective has JNNSM been in reaching its own deployment targets? This is the question we set out to answer in this paper and, in doing so, we hope to not only assess the effectiveness but also diagnose the reasons behind the apparent success or failure in reaching its targets. Thus, we intend to not only assess the effectiveness of the policy so far but also to inform future policy making in particular, in subsequent phases of JNNSM (JNNSM, 2010). 1.2 JNNSM Details Before we proceed further, we first examine details of the JNNSM targets. JNNSM has focused on four application segments, namely: utility grid power plants, including roof top systems; off grid solar applications; solar collectors; and solar lighting systems (Table 1). It plans to achieve the target in three phases, namely Phase 1 (until 2013), Phase 2 ( ) and Phase 3 ( ). Phase 1 was further split into two batches: Batch 1 and Batch 2. Phase 1 has been completed and Phase 2 is in progress. The focus of this paper is the grid-connected systems that include utility-scale as well as rooftop systems, with the primary focus on the former, given its size as well as the resulting policymaker focus. Page 3 of 31

4 Table 1: JNNSM targets S. No. Application Segment Target for Phase 1 ( ) Target for Phase 2 ( ) Target for Phase 3 ( ) 1 Solar collectors 7 million m2 15 million m2 20 million m2 2 Off grid applications 200MW 1000MW 2000MW 3 Utility grid power incl. roof MW MW 20000MW top systems 4 Solar lighting systems 20 million Source: JNNSM Policy Document, Towards building a Solar India (JNNSM, 2010) The utility-scale, grid-connected part of Phase 1 was implemented by National Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN), the power trading arm of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), the largest energy provider in India. Given that solar power is more expensive than conventional energy (IRENA, 2012), in order to reduce the delivered cost of solar electricity, the main idea was that NVVN would buy solar power at the corresponding levelized cost, bundle it 50-50% with power from traditional power sources (e.g., coal), and sell the bundled power to the state power utility companies. vi The solar tariff was fixed by a pay-as-you-bid scheme where the developers providing the highest discounts from a preset high tariff were selected. In the rest of the paper, we refer to this scheme as NVVN. JNNSM relies on two categories of technologies to harness solar power, namely solar PV and solar thermal. The JNNSN target was to implement about 500MW of solar PV and 500MW of solar thermal in Phase 1, with 150MW of solar PV and 500MW of solar thermal in Batch 1 and 350MW of solar PV in Batch 2 (MNRE, 2013). Further, 84MW of existing utility-scale projects were also merged into JNNSM Phase 1 under the Migration Scheme. Apart from utility-scale, grid-connected solar power projects, rooftop plants of a maximum capacity of 2MW each were selected via the Rooftop PV and Small Solar Power Page 4 of 31

5 Generation Program (RPSSGP) and were paid a fixed subsidy, called the Generation Based Incentive (GBI). A total of 98MW were allotted under this RPSSGP scheme. 1.3 Our Work As mentioned earlier, an obvious question is: How effective has JNNSM been in reaching its own deployment targets (see Table 1)? We set out to answer this question by examining the deployment effectiveness of JNNSM in Phase 1. We focus only on deployment of grid connected solar power projects in this paper. We show that JNNSM Phase 1 has been moderately successful in deploying solar PV and that it has failed in deploying solar thermal. Finally, we briefly discuss how lessons from JNNSM Phase 1 can be used for future solar policy in India, including the future phases of JNNSM as well as state level policies. 1.4 Prior Work The literature on JNNSM is somewhat scarce, and what is available mainly focuses on ex-ante analysis (e.g., Deshmukh et al., 2010; Raghavan and Harish, 2011; Shrimali and Rohra, 2012). Thus, to the best of our knowledge, there is little existing work on ex-post analysis of JNNSM, in particular from a deployment perspective. Though there is no direct comparison with our work, we briefly highlight the contribution of prior literature below. Deshmukh at al. (2010) and Raghavan and Harish (2011) mainly discuss how JNNSM can play a role in making solar power accessible in the off grid application area. Page 5 of 31

6 Deshmukh et al. (2010) demonstrate how very small percentage of the subsidy allocated for JNNSM reaches the need of the rural poor. They argue that, in order to better align itself with India s development needs, JNNSM needs to re-prioritize its focus from large scale gridconnected projects to basic solar lighting for the rural poor and gives recommendations on how it can do so. Raghavan and Harish (2011) argue that the JNNSM policy in its current form is not suitable to more immediate needs of the rural poor. They demonstrate how very small systems receive lower subsidy as a percentage in comparison to larger systems. They also prescribe recommendations in the institutional structure of dissemination of these smaller systems that could make solar energy under JNNSM more accessible to the poor. Shrimali and Rohra (2012) is a comprehensive, ex-ante analysis of JNNSM in the Indian institutional context especially, in the context of the power sector reforms. It covers, among other topics: feed-in tariffs, renewable portfolio standards, financing of solar projects, project commission and execution, technical standards, and support for research and development. It highlights the barriers to development and diffusion that have been dismantled (e.g., establishment of long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) to reduce investor risk perceptions) and those that still remain (e.g., lack of compliance of renewable portfolio standards). It identifies policy implementation challenges likely to be encountered in various application areas (e.g., lack of legislative measures to support research and development). It also discusses high level approaches based on global best practices (e.g., design of feed-in tariffs based on the German experience) to address the remaining challenges. Page 6 of 31

7 Our work differs from the above research in that we focus on large scale grid connected projects as opposed to Deshmukh et al. (2010) and Raghavan and Harish (2011). Additionally, we gauge ex-post deployment effectiveness as opposed to ex-ante policy analysis in Shrimali and Rohra (2012). NRDC (2012a) and NRDC (2012b) come closest to our work in that they examine the performance of JNNSM Phase 1, Batch 1. NRDC (2012a) focuses on solar PV, discusses JNNSM targets and incentives for grid-connected solar projects in India, and identifies remaining challenges in deployment. NRDC (2012b) focuses on solar thermal plants. It elaborates on challenges in financing these projects, given the relative immaturity of the sector, and proposes recommendations on strategies to attract investment. However, despite these similarities, there are two main differences from our work: First, these papers do not develop a theoretical framework against which the effectiveness of JNNSM can be assessed; second, these papers are focused only on Batch 1, Phase Methods In assessing the deployment effectiveness of JNNSM Phase 1, we go beyond qualitative analysis, and develop three quantitative metrics to assess the performance of JNNSM. Recall that we assess the success of JNNSM until June 2013 with respect to stated targets. The simplest metric, Metric 1, measures the basic completion percentages of projects (in terms of capacity) under JNNSM so far. Here by completed we mean commissioned i.e., projects that are in operation. For example, if 70MW of projects are commissioned so far as compared to the planned 100MW, Metric 1 would be 0.7. Page 7 of 31

8 While a basic completion percentage (i.e., Metric 1) tells us how many of the planned projects are completed so far, it does not tell us how many of the projects were completed by the due (or target) date. This is, to some extent, a more accurate metric of policy performance is against its own targets. This is captured by Metric 2, which captures the percentage of projects (in terms of capacity) completed by respective due dates. Given that Metric 2 is more stringent than Metric 1, we expect Metric 2 to be less than (or equal to) Metric 1 that is, Metric 2 is a more pessimistic assessment of policy performance. For example, if 70MW of projects are commissioned so far compared to the planned 100MW, but only 50MW were complete by the due date, Metric 2 would be 0.5. However, Metric 2 does not provide any information on the projects that were completed later than the due date. These projects were somewhat completed by the due date and, therefore it can be argued that, should be given partial credit. To capture this, we develop another metric, Metric 3, which captures elements of both Metrics 1 and 2; it essentially provides partial credit to late projects. For example, if there are N projects of equal capacity, each in-time project is given a credit equal to 1/N, whereas each delayed project is given a credit equal to (1/N) * (Number of months from beginning of program to due date/number of months from beginning of program to completion). Thus, late projects are given partial credit that diminishes with increasing delay. Given the design of this metric, we expect this metric to be in between the other two metrics i.e., Metric 2 <= Metric 3 <= Metric 1. When it comes to assessing the performance of different aspects of JNNSM, though we present Metrics 1 and 2 as suggestive indicators, we rely on Metric 3 as the final assessment, given that Page 8 of 31

9 it provides the most comprehensive measurement of completed as well as un-completed projects. Further, we use the following 5 ranges on the metrics to classify the performance: > 95% highly successful; 75-95% moderately successful; 50-75% somewhat successful; 25-50% unsuccessful; 0-25% highly unsuccessful. Though this classification is somewhat subjective, we assert that it provides a fairly good intuition on relative performance of different aspects of JNNSM. 3. Data Our primary source of data has been JNNSM policy documents from the Ministry of New and Renewable energy (MNRE) (MNRE, 2012c). Our secondary sources have included academic journals, online news articles, and reports by established agencies. However, as we also mention later, all the performance indicators (i.e., the metrics) are calculated using the official data from MNRE. Table 2 provides basic aggregate statistics on the two batches in Phase 1.vii It includes information on the Phase/Batch, original capacity target, capacity for which PPAs were signed, capacity actually commissioned so far, and the target completion date. For example, in Phase 1, Batch 1, 150MW of solar PV capacity was originally planned, with a target date of September Out of this 150MW, PPAs were signed for 140MW, and 130MW have already been completed. A comprehensive list of projects, including date of commissioning as well as tariff awarded, can be found in Appendices 2 and 3 in the Online Appendix. viii Page 9 of 31

10 Table 2 Phase 1- Batch 1 & Batch 2 Aggregate Statistics Phase 1, Batch 1 Scheme Technology Capacity planned (MW) Capacity to be commissioned as per PPA (MW) Capacity actually commissioned (MW) Target date of commissioning Balance Phase 1, Batch 1 under NVVN Solar PV September Solar Thermal March Total (Phase 1, Batch 1 under NVVN) RPSSGP Solar PV March Migration scheme Solar PV October Solar Thermal March Total Phase 1, Batch 2 Scheme Technology Capacity planned (MW) Capacity to be commissioned as per PPA (MW) Capacity actually commissioned (MW) Date of commissioning Balance Phase 1, Batch 2 under NVVN Solar PV February Source: JNNSM policy document for Phase 2. (MNRE, 2013) (JNNSM, 2012) (JNNSM, 2013b) We now provide more details on different aspects of JNNSM. We first focus on solar PV, and examine Batch 1 performance of NVVN, RPSSGP, and Migration schemes; followed by Batch 2 performance of the NVVN scheme. We then focus on solar thermal. In Batch 1, under the NVVN scheme, though the original target for solar PV was 150MW, only 140MW had signed power purchase agreements. The remaining projects, totaling 10MW, were disqualified because the winning bidders couldn t furnish the required bank guarantee. Out of this 140MW, 130MW had been commissioned so far. Out of the remaining 10MW that signed Page 10 of 31

11 PPA, a couple of projects that have either been partially completed Ritwik Projects Limited finished only 1.4MW out of allocated 5MW (JNNSM, 2013a) or have finished late Firestone Trading Limited finished its 5MW in Nov 2012 (Mahaurja, 2013) are not included in the final MNRE database (MNRE, 2013) and, therefore, not included in our calculations in Table 4. In Batch 1, under the RPSSGP scheme, the original target for solar PV was 98.5MW. Though only 8MW were complete by the due-date, approximately 89MW have been completed so far. Out of the remaining capacity, a couple of projects, 1MW each by Jay Iron & Steels Limited and Noel Media and Advertising Limited, have also been completed (JNNSM, 2013a), but are not included in the MNRE database and, therefore, not included in our calculations. In Batch 1, under the Migration scheme, the original target for solar PV was 54MW. 48MW were completed by the due-date (and so far). Among the remaining 6MW, 5MW belong to Enterprise Solutions and 1MW to Entegra Limited (JNNSM, 2013a). In Batch 2, under the NVVN scheme, though the original target for solar PV was 350MW, only 340MW had signed power purchase agreements (TheHindu, Sep 2012). The remaining project 10MW belonging to Sujana Towers Limited was disqualified because it failed to meet the technical criteria (NVVN, 2012c). So far, according to MNRE (JNNSM, 2013b), 300MW have been commissioned. A 20MW project awarded to SaiSudhir Energy Limited has been commissioned according to reliable source; however we have accounted for only 10MW based on official records (JNNSM, 2013b). Page 11 of 31

12 In Batch 1, out of planned 500MW of Solar thermal, 30MW was added through the Migration scheme and the remaining 470MW was offered through reverse bidding process through the NVVN scheme. These projects are now beyond their deadline of March 2013 and an extension has been granted without any deduction of bank guarantees or cancellations (BTI, 2013). One project that might see to completion soon is the 50MW project by Godawari Power Limited (Bloomberg, 2013). 4. Results and Discussion In a qualitative sense, the aggregate statistics in Table 2 indicate that JNNSM, Phase 1 is almost on target for solar PV. Under JNNSM, solar PV will reach a total deployment of about 570 MW by end of Batch 2. ix On the other hand, solar thermal projects have had almost no deployment so far. Thus, at a high level, it is apparent that JNNSM has been successful in deploying solar PV, while failing to meet the deployment target for solar thermal. 4.1 The Metrics We now examine the deployment effectiveness of JNNSM using the metrics developed in Section 2 (Table 4). However, before we do so, we first examine how the capacity has come online over time (Table 3). Page 12 of 31

13 Table 3: Completion dates per scheme Phase 1 batch 1 Phase 1 batch 2 Under NVVN RPSSGP Migration Under NVVN Scheme Solar PV Solar Thermal RPSSGP Solar PV Solar Thermal Solar PV Sizes of projects (MW) Minimum-5 Average-5 Maximum-5 Minimum-20 Average-67 Maximum-100 Minimum-1 Average-1 Maximum-2 Minimum-1 Average-4 Maximum-5 Minimum-10 Average-10 Maximum-10 Minimum-5 Average-14 Maximum-20 Total Capacity complet ed so far (MW) Commissioned MW (in Months) Total Price offered to NVVN x (USD /kwh) capacity `MW) Minimum Average Maximum Due date Minimum-0.21 Average Maximum Minimum-0.15 Average-0.17 Maximum Note: Due dates for solar PV projects for Batch 1 and Batch 2 were 12 and 13 months, respectively, from the date of signing the power purchase agreement. Due date for solar thermal projects were 24 months from the date of signing the power purchase agreement. For example, for solar PV in Phase 1 Batch 1 NVVN scheme, 130MW of total capacity has come online so far, with 110MW coming online by the due date (12 months), an extra 15MW coming online by 15 months, and another 5MW coming online by 18 months. Similarly, for solar PV in Phase 1 Batch 1 RPSSGP scheme, 88.8MW of total capacity has come online so far, with 8MW coming online by the due date, an extra 33.3/38.25MW by 15/18 months, and 9.25MW MW by 21 months. Page 13 of 31

14 Table 4: Success rate and completion percentages per scheme Scheme Total capacity (MW) Total Capacity completed so far (MW) Capacity completed by due date (MW) Metric 1 (%) Metric 2 (%) Metric 3 (%) Success rate Under NVVN Solar PV Solar Thermal Moderately Successful Failure Phase 1 Batch 1 RPSSGP RPSSGP Somewhat Successful Migratio n Solar PV Solar Thermal Moderately Successful Failure Phase 1 Batch 2 Under NVVN Solar PV Moderately Successful We first examine the performance of solar PV projects, followed by an assessment of solar thermal projects. Within solar PV, we first examine Batch 1 performance followed by Batch 2 performance. Within Batch 1, we examine the performance of the NVVN scheme followed by the RPSSGP scheme followed by the Migration scheme. In Batch 1, under NVVN scheme, solar PV has been moderately successful according to Metric 1, somewhat successful according to Metric 2, and moderately successful according to Metric 3. That is, a few projects were delayed, but not by much. Overall, given the proximity of Metrics 1 and 3, it is reasonable to call this performance moderately successful. In Batch 1, under RPSSGP, solar PV has been moderately successful according to Metric 1, highly unsuccessful according to Metric 2, and somewhat successful according to Metric 3. That is, Page 14 of 31

15 most of the projects were delayed, but were completed over time. Given that we use Metric 3 as our primary indicator, it is reasonable to call this performance somewhat successful. Finally, in Batch 1, under the Migration Scheme, we have data only for Metric 1, according to which it solar PV deployment is moderately successful. Thus, for Batch 1, the performance for solar PV ranges from somewhat successful (for RPSSGP) to moderately successful (for NVVN and Migration). If one were to focus simply on the NVVN scheme, given that the other two were somewhat peripheral to main focus of this paper, we can call the performance of JNNSM in Batch 1 as moderately successful for solar PV. In Batch 2, given stated targets, we have to worry about only NVVN projects. Solar PV has been moderately successful according to Metric 1, somewhat successful according to Metric 2, and moderately successful according to Metric 3. The large difference between Metrics 1 and 2 indicates that many projects were delayed beyond the due date, perhaps due to the large sizes of projects. We say this as the maximum size of plant allowed under Batch 2 was 20MW and average size was about 14MW, almost 3 times that under Batch 1. Thus we can infer that requirements for capital, land roughly 5 acres per MW (Deshmukh et. al., 2010), and skilled labor went up, pushing out the timeline for completion (NRDC, 2012a). However, the small difference between Metrics 1 and 3 indicates that the delayed projects were commissioned with small delays. Given the proximity of Metrics 1 and 3, we believe that it is reasonable to call this performance moderately successful. Page 15 of 31

16 We now examine the performance of solar thermal projects, which were allocated only in Batch 1, under NVVN as well as the Migration schemes. These projects were supposed to be commissioned by March, Given that this deadline was very recent, the only assessment that can be done is via Metric 1. According to this metric, JNNSM has completely failed to deploy solar thermal only 2.5MW of capacity was deployed by the due date, with none of capacity sanctioned under the NVVN scheme coming online. On the other hand, given the recent due date, we caution the reader against drawing long-term conclusions in particular, as indicated by Metric 3; however, the fact that almost none of the capacity is deployed is worrisome, and requires a complete re-thinking of the solar thermal policy. 4.2 Discussion Solar PV The deployment success of new technologies depends on the investment climate, and the related risks, including technology, developer, and off-take (Nilsson and Wene, 2001). The deployment success of solar PV can be mainly attributed to the following: low technology risk, low developer risk, and low off-take risk. The technology risk of solar PV is low. Solar PV plants have a simple mechanical setup, with no moving parts and no cooling mechanism (Gage and Borry, 2012). This makes the maintenance and operation of solar PV relatively easy and risk free. Further, there is considerable experience with installing solar PV not only worldwide but also in India pre-jnnsm (e.g., in Gujarat primarily via the Gujarat policy see Appendix 2C). Page 16 of 31

17 The developer risk of JNNSM projects is low and is reducing over time. In Phase 1, Batch 1, the NVVN scheme received 343 applications amounting to about 5000MW. NVVN reduced participation by non-serious players by incorporating a bid bond that penalized delays in commissioning. If the solar project developer failed to commence supply of power to NVVN by the specified date, NVVN were to en-cash the performance bank guarantee in the following way. For a delay of more than 3 months from the commissioning date, the penalty was USD 2000 per MW per day; and for delays beyond 18 months, the PPA would be cancelled (NVVN, 2010a). This ensured that only players that were confident about finishing the projects in time participated. Further, Phase 1, Batch 2 received only 152 applications amounting to 1900MW. Thus, although fewer developers vied for solar PV projects under Batch 2, the average project size was much higher, indicating that only the serious developers are staying in. The off-take risk was low. All the projects under Phase 1 have a 25 year PPA signed with NVVN. NVVN is the power trading arm of NTPC, which has a market capitalization of USD 35 Billion and net worth over USD 11.4 Billion (NVVN, 2010b). Thus, the power purchase agreement enjoys a strong credit rating and bankability (IEP, 2012). This has allowed these projects to secure funding in a quick manner. Further, we believe that JNNSM has achieved the solar PV target in a cost-effective manner due to the good solar resource in India and a reverse bidding process combined with rapidly falling solar PV module prices. The resource risk of solar PV is low. India is blessed with a very good solar resource (MNRE, 2013; MNRE, 2012a) the average capacity utilization factors of most solar PV plants in India is Page 17 of 31

18 in the 15-19% range. In particular, the state of Rajasthan, where most of these plants are located, has a high solar resource, which results in capacity utilization factors in the low 20%. This good solar resource allows the solar PV plants to achieve good performance. Phase 1 used a reverse bidding process where, starting from a tariff fixed by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), projects offering the largest discounts were selected. It experienced really low winning bids. The lowest bids were around USD 0.22/kWh in Batch 1 vs. around USD 0.30/kWh in batch 2 (MNRE, 2013). These are much below the fixed tariffs (i.e., USD 0.36/kWh and 15.39/kWh in Batch 1 and Batch 2 respectively) initially determined by CERC (MNRE, 2012a). It should be noted, however, that there were a lot of concerns regarding aggressive bidding by players. The developers have definitely benefited from rapidly falling prices of solar PV modules Figure 1) (Leibreich, 2013). Solar PV modules contributed 70-80% of the cost of the project in 2010 but less than 50% in 2012 (Figure 2) (BNEF, 2013). Thus, it is not clear whether the trend of rapidly falling PV module prices driving down system costs will be continued. Figure 1: PV module price ( ) Page 18 of 31

19 Source: Presentation on Global trends in clean energy investment by Bloomberg new energy finance CEO, (Leibreich, 2013). Note: Prices inflation indexed to US PPI Figure 2: Cost of a solar PV plant, including various components Source: Bloomberg NEF, Sustainable energy in America factbook (BNEF, 2013) Page 19 of 31

20 4.2.2 Solar Thermal Solar thermal technology offers many advantages in particular, as compared to solar PV. Solar thermal plants, especially with molten-salt storage can keep producing electricity even after sunset, thus offsetting the peak load during early evening hours (Laing and Steinmann, 2010; NRDC, 2012b). Thus solar thermal can provide better grid stability, given that it offers stable output as opposed to solar PV, which is susceptible to output variation in presence of clouds. For these reasons, Indian policy makers were very bullish on solar thermal. However, as we have shown, JNNSM has been highly unsuccessful in getting solar thermal deployed. This is despite sharing many of the elements behind the successful take-off of solar PV: low off-take, developer, and resource risks. However, there have been multiple challenges in getting solar thermal projects off ground, primarily related to technology (including construction) risk. Parabolic trough technology is the most dominant solar thermal technology with an installed capacity of barely 100MW globally (NRDC, 2012b), with very limited installations (5.5MW) in India as of March 2013 (see Appendix 3 in the Online Appendix). Further, these large projects require a lot of land, with good Direct Normal Irradiation (DNI) and access to water as well as human resources. Solar thermal plants require huge amounts of water for cooling and cleaning (BTI, 2012). Almost all of the solar thermal projects have been allocated in the desert state of Rajasthan (see Appendix3 in Online Appendix), with insufficient sources of water. Thus the projects have had to figure out how to obtain large quantities of water in a water-poor environment. This has definitely been a factor is delaying these projects. Page 20 of 31

21 Currently, the DNI values used in designing a solar thermal plant and determining the energy output are based on satellite data provided by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in the U.S. These, given that they are not on-ground measurements, contain a significant margin of error (BTI, 2012). Hence developers have had to setup measuring instruments on site to measure the exact DNI before starting construction. This has also added to the delays. Essentially, these were the very first solar thermal projects in India, and the developers did not have a good sense of how long it would take to finish construction of these very labor and resource intensive projects! This task was made more complicated by the domestic content requirements for solar thermal (JNNSM, 2010), given that these requirements may restrict the deployment of best available techologies. Further, the cost of electricity from solar thermal plants is likely to be higher, given the high capital costs. The average cost of parabolic trough technology, which is the most dominant technology (see Appendix3 in Online Appendix), is in the range USD Million/MW, much higher than the average cost of solar PV which is in the range USD Million/MW. One of the reasons for such high cost is the storage feature of CSP plants. Although storage increases the peak-power availability even after the sun sets, solar thermal becomes commercially viable only at higher capacities (NRDC, 2012b), where a high initial investment more often deters all investors other than large conglomerates. Further, a solution to the water problem -- efficient technologies, which can decrease the water requirement by 90% -- increase the cost of electricity tariff by 9% (BTI, 2012). Page 21 of 31

22 Thus, it is not clear whether solar thermal plants would attract enough investment and provide electricity in a cost effective manner. 5. Conclusions JNNSM has been a key driving factor behind solar energy deployment in India. In this paper we assess the performance of the Phase 1 against the JNNSM targets, using quantitative metrics. We show that JNNSM has been moderately successful in reaching its solar PV targets; however, we also show that JNNSM has failed in reaching its solar thermal targets. There are many lessons to be learned from this experience. In terms of what has worked, we see that JNNSM has been successful in designing a pricediscovery mechanism that, when combined with rapidly falling solar PV module prices, has brought down the delivered cost of electricity from solar PV by more than half in less than two years. JNNSM has also demonstrated that auctions can be successful, provided they are combined with bid-bonds, which penalize the bidders if they fail to deliver on schedule. Finally, JNNSM has greatly benefited from the low off take risk provided by the NVVN power purchase agreement, given that NVVN is backed by NTPC, which is in good financial condition. In terms of what has not worked has been embodied in the dismal performance of solar thermal plants. There were many reasons for this, as outlined in Section The government can avoid these in future by taking the following steps. First, the Indian government should have promoted some pilot projects for solar thermal so as to reduce the technology risk of the projects. Second, the Indian government should have ensured that the plants have adequate Page 22 of 31

23 information on DNI as well as adequate access to resources. Finally, our results suggest that JNNSM should remove the technology specific requirements, and allow developers to choose the best available technologies. Given that we are in early stages of JNNSM, by no means, JNNSM can be called successful in the long-run and challenges abound. One of the key success factors was the power purchase agreement with NVVN. However, NVVN will not be the counterparty from Phase 2 onwards. This presents a challenge to the Indian government as to how the subsidy for solar power would be provided, and options such as a viability gap funding, where developers would participate in reverse bidding on capital subsidies, are being explored (MNRE, 2013). Further, a key supporting policy combination, the renewable portfolio obligation (RPO) and renewable energy certificate (REC) market (see Appendix 2), has not taken off as expected (REConnect, 2012), primarily due to implementation issues. Despite these challenges, JNNSM has gotten off to a reasonable start and, hopefully, it will learn from its own experience going forward. Page 23 of 31

24 6. Appendices Appendix 1: Solar Resource Map of India: Figure 3: Solar resource map of India Source: Solar radiation maps, Global horizontal Irradiation, (SolarGIS, 2013) Page 24 of 31

25 Appendix 2: State RPO Requirements: A) State RPO Requirements for FY 2013 Table 5: State wise RPO requirements for financial year 2013 State Projected Demand* (Million Units) Solar RPO Target ( ) Solar RPO Target ( ) Capacity required for meeting Solar RPO Total Capacity Tied Up as on Installed capacity as on Gap to be fulfilled in Andhra Pradesh 2 Arunachal Pradesh % (MU) (MW) (MW) MW (MW) 98, % % Assam 6, % Bihar 15, % Chhattisgarh 21, % Delhi 28, % JERC (Goa & UT) 12, % Gujarat 79, % Haryana 40, % Himachal Pradesh 11 Jammu and Kashmir 8, % , % Jharkhand 6, % Karnataka 65, % Kerala 21, % Madhya Pradesh 53, % Maharashtr 150, % a 17 Manipur % Mizoram % Meghalaya 2, % Nagaland % Orissa 24, % Punjab 48, % Rajasthan 55, % Sikkim % Tamil Nadu 91, % Tripura 1, % Page 25 of 31

26 27 Uttarakhand 11, % Uttar 85, % Pradesh 29 West Bengal 41, % Source: (MNRE, 2012b) (MNRE, 2013) Total 2, , , B) State RPO Requirement from FY 13 to FY 17 Table 6: State wise RPO requirement percentage from financial year 2013 to 2017 State FY13 FY14 FY15 FY16 FY17 1 Andhra Pradesh 0.25% 0.25% 0.25% 0.25% 0.25% 2 Assam 0.15% 0.20% 0.25% 3 Bihar 0.25% 0.50% 0.75% 1.00% 1.25% 4 Chhattisgarh 0.50% 5 Delhi 0.15% 0.20% 0.25% 0.30% 0.35% 6 Gujarat 1.00% 7 Haryana 0.05% 0.10% 8 Himachal Pradesh 0.25% 0.25% 0.25% 0.25% 0.25% 9 Jammu and Kashmir 0.25% 10 Jharkhand 1.00% 11 Karnataka 0.25% 12 Kerala 0.25% 0.25% 0.25% 0.25% 0.25% 13 Madhya Pradesh 0.60% 0.80% 1.00% 14 Maharashtra 0.25% 0.50% 0.50% 0.50% 15 Manipur 0.25% 16 Mizoram 0.25% 17 Meghalaya 0.40% 18 Nagaland 0.25% 19 Orissa 0.15% 0.20% 0.25% 0.30% 20 Punjab 0.09% 0.13% 0.19% 21 Rajasthan 0.75% 1.00% 22 Tamil Nadu 0.05% 23 Tripura 0.10% 24 Uttarakhand 0.05% 25 Uttar Pradesh 1.00% 26 West Bengal 0.25% 0.30% 0.40% 0.50% 0.60% Source: JNNSM Phase 2 policy document (MNRE, 2013) Page 26 of 31

27 C) Capacities of state level solar policies either announced or already under construction. Table 7: State level solar policy announced capacities. S.No State Capacity (MW) 1 Gujarat Maharashtra Karnataka Rajasthan Odisha 50 6 Madhya Pradesh Tamilnadu Andhra Pradesh Chhattisgarh Uttar Pradesh Punjab Bihar 150 Total Source: Multiple state Solar policy documents. (APTRANSCO, 2013) (BSPHCL, 2012) (CREDA, 2012) (KRECL) (ORED, 2012) (PEDA, 2012) (MNRE, 2013) Page 27 of 31

28 7. References APTRANSCO. (2013). AP State Transmission Corporation. Retrieved from Bloomberg. (2013). Retrieved from BNEF. (2013). Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Sustainable energy in america factbook. Retrieved from BSPHCL. (2012). Bihar State power holding company limited. Retrieved from BTI. (2012). Bridge to India Concentrated Solar power. Retrieved from BTI. (2013). Bridge to India. Retrieved from CERC. (2011). Central Electricity Regulatory Commission India - Performance of solar power plants in India. Retrieved from New/PERFORMANCE%20OF%20SOLAR%20POWER%20PLANTS.pdf CREDA. (2012). Chattisgarh State renewable energy development agency. Retrieved from Deshmukh, Sant, and Gambhir. (2010). Economic and poliitcal weekly, Need to Realign Indias National Solar mission. Retrieved from Gage, B., and Borry, R. (2012). Principal Solar Institute, Concentrated Solar Thermal Vs Photovoltaic Solar. Retrieved from Garud, S., and Purohit, I. (2010). The Energy and resources institute, Making solar thermal power generation in India a reality Overview of technologies, opportunities and challenges. Retrieved from IEP. (2012). India Environmental Portal on NVVN. Retrieved from IRENA. (2012). International Renewable energy Agency. Retrieved from JNNSM. (2010). JNNSM Mission documents. Retrieved from JNNSM. (2012). Ministry of New and Renewable energy, documents, Commissioning status SPV Batch 1 Phase 1. Retrieved from JNNSM. (2013a). MNRE state wise installed capacity. Retrieved from %2F%2Fmnre.gov.in%2Ffile-manager%2FUserFiles%2FSolar%2520RPO%2FState%2520- %2520wise%2520solar%2520installed%2520capacity%2520break-up.xlsx&ei=ap6jUd6II4LBrAfz5oHYDw Page 28 of 31

29 JNNSM. (2013b). JNNSM Commissioning Batch2 Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. Retrieved from KRECL. (2012). Karnataka Renewable Energy Corporation Limited. Retrieved from %2F%2Fwww.kredl.kar.nic.in%2FRenewable%2520Energy%2520Policy%2520Karnataka%2520Draft.doc&e i=y3fquavuoyfvrqfaqodidw&usg=afqjcnfcpkblswrllcewig4qm-q2sb6iiw&sig2=vk36f Laing, & Steinmann. (2010). Economic Analysis and Life Cycle Assessment of Concrete Thermal Energy Storage for Parabolic Trough Power Plants. Retrieved from Leibreich, M. (2013). Bloomberg new energy finance, Presentation on global trends in clean energy investment. Retrieved from Mahaurja. (2013). Mahaurja report on Grid connected solar power plants commissioned in Maharasthra. Retrieved from MNRE. (2012a). Retrieved from /MNRE.pdf MNRE. (2012b). Retrieved from n/filemanager/userfiles/solar%2520rpo/expected%2520solar%2520rpo%2520requirement%2520and%2520 compliance%2520for% xlsx&ei=u_poubxjdmm3rgf4yihgdq&usg=af MNRE. (2012c). Retrieved from MNRE. (2013). Mnistry of New and Renewable Energy, Phase 2 draft policy document. Retrieved from Nelson, D., Shrimali, G., Goel, S., Konda, C., & Kumar, R. (2012). Climate Policy Initiative. Retrieved from Financing-Challenge.pdf Nilsson, H., and Wene, C.-O. (2001). United Nations framework convention on Climate Change. Retrieved from NRDC. (2012a). Council on energy, environment and water, National resources defence council (NRDC). Retrieved from NRDC. (2012b). Concentrated Solar Power: Heating up Solar thermal market under JNNSM. Retrieved from NVVN. (2010a). NVVN Power purchase agreement. Retrieved from %20Power%20Purchase%20Agreement%20(PPA)%20for%20NEW%20PROJECTS.pdf NVVN. (2010b). NVVN Guidelines for solar grid power projects. Retrieved from Page 29 of 31

30 NVVN. (2012c). NVVN Financial Report Retrieved from ORED. (2012). Ored Odisha. Retrieved from PEDA. (2012). Punjab Energy Development Agency. Retrieved from PMI. (2010). PM Council on climate change, PM of India website. Retrieved from Raghavan,and Harish. (2011). Redesigning the national solar mission of rural India. Retrieved from Economic and Political weekly: REConnect. (2012). Issues in implementing Solar REC mechanism- REConnect. Retrieved from Shrimali, and Rohra. (2012). Science Direct, India's Solar Mission: A Review. Retrieved from SolarGIS. (2013). Solar GIS, Solar radiation maps. Retrieved from TheHindu. (Sep 2012). Hindu Business Line. Retrieved from 8. Endnotes i Corresponding author: 460 Pierce Street, Monterey, CA; ii Vijay Nekkalapudi is an Independent researcher and works at Solarsis, Hyderabad. iii List of abbreviations: Direct Normal Irradiation (DNI); Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM); Ministry of New and Renewable energy (MNRE); National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC); National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC); National Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN); Power Purchase Agreement (PPA); Photovoltaic (PV); Rooftop PV and Small Solar Power Generation Program (RPSSGP) iv The JNNSM policy works independently of state level policies (BTI, 2013); however, so far, most of the solar deployment has happened under JNNSM and Gujarat state policy. v So far refers to the date this analysis was performed that is, June vi With a 50-50% bundling, for example, the eventual price of bundled electricity would be USD 0.15 /kwh, given price of solar and conventional electricity as USD 0.24 /kwh and USD 0.06 /kwh, respectively vii The completion dates for the projects data in mainly based off of various news articles and announcements. The status of these projects is already published by MNRE. As discussed, all the projects have had financial closure and will be expected to be completed by May viii The Online Appendix is a supplemental file that includes details on: technical potential by state; details on individual plants in JNNSM; and state RPO requirements. ix This includes in Batch 1: 130MW, 89MW, 54MW corresponding to NVVN, RPSSGP, and Migration, respectively; and in Batch 2: 300MW Page 30 of 31

31 x Throughout this paper, we use a conversion rate of 1 USD = 50 INR Page 31 of 31

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