The US Remains the Market to Beat for Corporate Renewable Purchases

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This year is on track to be another record-setter for corporate renewables purchases, and while the U.S. is still the engine driving the market’s growth, China is now on the horizon.

So far in 2019 companies have signed deals for 8.6 gigawatts of clean energy globally, according to the latest numbers from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. That outpaces last year when, at this time, companies had signed agreements for 7.2 gigawatts of wind and solar. Corporations purchased over 13 gigawatts in total last year.

The U.S. made up the majority of last year’s deals, accounting for 8.5 gigawatts of the global total. That trend holds this year, with companies in the U.S. signing up for nearly 6 gigawatts, or 70 percent of deals worldwide.

Texas accounts for 40 percent of U.S. activity this year, thanks to its rich wind and solar resources and deregulated electricity market. While wind has dominated the corporate renewables market in years past, solar is beginning to catch up, as Greentech Media has covered.

Of the various types of corporate deals, virtual power purchase agreements remain the default choice for many customers, allowing them to circumvent utilities and the green tariff programs they offer. BloombergNEF analyst Kyle Harrison said the U.S. has reached “triple digits when it comes to virtual PPAs.”

“There’s more of a blueprint for signing them,” said Harrison. “There’s [also] a lot of advisory companies in the market that are very experienced at holding company’s hands through these deals.”

Virtual PPAs also allow corporations to dodge the “animosity” that’s pervaded the utility-customer relationship in some regions, where companies are looking to buy more renewables than the utility can manage.

Harrison pointed to conflicts in Nevada, where NV Energy opposed retail choice, and in Virginia, where Dominion has faced corporate pressure to move towards a more renewable-heavy energy mix and recently proposed a green tariff program that would undercut competitive service providers.

“That animosity has led to a little bit of apprehension on the buyer’s side,” said Harrison.

The view from China

Despite those tensions, the U.S. market for corporations is significantly more flexible than other national markets.

“A lot of the markets in Asia, like China and Japan, are so rigid when it comes to options for buying clean energy from a corporate standpoint,” said Harrison. “It’s very limiting.”

By contrast, U.S. corporations can freely pursue virtual power purchase agreements in any of the U.S.’s deregulated markets. In regulated markets, Harrison said, over 15 utilities offer green tariffs. Many offer more than one.

The U.S. also dominates the RE100 list, a group of corporations committed to 100 percent renewables. Though Japan has 20 companies on that list, Harrison said many of them have pushed renewables commitments out to mid-century because of a lack of options.

“Companies are acknowledging that right now in the short-term there’s no easy way for them to buy clean energy in their domestic market,” said Harrison. “They’re going to take a wait and see approach.”

That should soon change, at least in China. The country is working to implement two new policies that have the potential to markedly increase corporate-led renewables deployment.

First, companies will have to meet a renewable portfolio standard — similar to initiatives being announced by U.S. utilities, said Harrison — and get a certain portion of their electricity from renewables.

The Chinese government is also piloting a 1.5 gigawatt “prosumer” program across 26 cities, which encourages onsite renewables. What companies don’t use they can export to the grid.

While Harrison recognizes those initiatives aren’t necessarily “going to transform the market,” in comparison to the U.S.’s big-time deals, they could significantly grow activity in China. They should also push policymakers to widen buying opportunities so companies can meet the targets.

But, Harrison said, “it still remains to be seen how much of a true gamechanger it will be.”

Source:: The US Remains the Market to Beat for Corporate Renewable Purchases


Netflix makes biggest India investment yet with ‘Sacred Games 2’

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By Lata Jha Netflix has spent ₹100 crore on the series, the most any streaming service has spent on creating original content in India, according to industry experts.The highest investment on an Indian web show, previously, would be in the range of ₹3-4 crore (per episode) for around 12 episodes

Source:: Netflix makes biggest India investment yet with ‘Sacred Games 2’


RIL to hive off oil-to-chemicals business into separate company in five years: RIL’s PMS Prasad

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By ET Energy World

Saudi Aramco’s decision to invest in Reliance Industries’ oil-to-chemicals business is the first step towards a strategic partnership which will entail carving out the business into an independent company and growing it, says RIL’s executive director, PMS Prasad. The deal will ensure crude supplies for RIL’s refinery and help Aramco tap demand in India.

How is the deal structured?

The oil-to-chemicals (O2C) business, which includes refining, petrochemical and our 51% stake in fuel retail joint venture (with BP), will be carved out into a division where Aramco will have an economic interest. It will be ring-fenced, with its own board, key management personnel and accounts; any deals with the rest of RIL will be on an arm’s length. The instruments that we will issue to Aramco for their investment will comply with Securities and Exchange Board of India and other regulatory norms. What will be the instrument and its terms will be decided between both parties. Aramco will pay RIL $15 billion. If the O2C board will have five members, two seats will be given to Aramco. Read More

The post RIL to hive off oil-to-chemicals business into separate company in five years: RIL’s PMS Prasad appeared first on EnergyInfraPost.

Source:: RIL to hive off oil-to-chemicals business into separate company in five years: RIL’s PMS Prasad


Govt planning mega renewable energy projects like UMPPs

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By ET Energy World

The government is planning large renewable energy projects like the coal-based ultra-mega power project s (UMPPs) through the publicprivate-partnership route.

The renewable power projects may include any renewable source of generation or a combination of them. The plants are likely to be 1,800 MW in capacity, which can be spread over three areas of 600 MW each, and the power purchase agreements (PPAs) will be for 25 years, a senior government official said.

Industry insiders, however, are skeptical about the idea of such ultra-mega renewable power projects as recent auctions of solar power contracts received tepid response. A tender by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for 1,200 MW solar power purchase received bids from SoftBank-backed SB Energy and Chennai-based GRT Jewellers.

Though SECI guarantees payments, the tariff ceiling is fixed at Rs 2.65 per unit. An NTPC tender for 1200 MW, too, received poor response, forcing the company to extend the deadline. Read More

The post Govt planning mega renewable energy projects like UMPPs appeared first on EnergyInfraPost.

Source:: Govt planning mega renewable energy projects like UMPPs


Stable Growth Ahead for China’s PV Industry in Second Half of 2017

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China’s solar PV industry maintained rapid growth during 1Q17. Insiders said that the sustained and steady growth could be expected to continue during the second half of this year, on the heels of increasingly improved technologies and an acceleration of the transformation already underway across the industry.

Source:: Stable Growth Ahead for China’s PV Industry in Second Half of 2017