Indian renewables enshrined as ‘essential’ activity during national lockdown

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Email
Image credit: Belectric

Indian renewables will be allowed to remain operational to a degree as one of the core sectors of a country embracing shutdown measures to contain the COVID-19 emergency.

Earlier this week, the government of the world’s second most populous country sent a letter ordering state-level, local and police representatives to treat green energy plants as an “essential service”, following the declaration of a total lockdown on 25 March 2020.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Unlock unlimited access for 12 whole months of distinctive global analysis

Photovoltaics International is now included.

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Unlimited digital access to the PV Tech Power journal catalogue
  • Unlimited digital access to the Photovoltaics International journal catalogue
  • Access to more than 1,000 technical papers
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

The directive from India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) says the shutdown measures – which will force the confinement of one-billion-plus people for an initial 21 days – create a need to ensure “uninterrupted” power supply, from sources including renewables.

As such, authorities at all levels will have to allow a “minimum manpower” of industry staff, associated workforce and field engineers to reach renewable plants. A “minimum staff” will be permitted to work at associated offices, with special passes granting the right to move around.

The dispensation will extend to vehicles and equipment including energy storage batteries, electrical devices and maintenance tools. Restrictions on public gatherings will be waived where the operation and maintenance of renewable plants requires it, the order states.

‘Essential’ RES campaign builds as COVID-19 nears 500,000 cases

India’s move to enshrine renewable energy as an essential activity emerges as mass confinement plans kick in across the globe. As of 24 March 2020, an estimated third of the world’s population is reportedly under lockdown measures of some form or another.

As confirmed COVID-19 cases start nearing the global 500,000 mark, the calls for renewables to be deemed essential – and thus spared from a total lockdown – are intensifying. From California to Spain and Australia, green energy associations are lobbying governments to move in this direction.

As for India, its decision this week marks the latest in a series meant to protect its renewable sector from the disruption brought about by the virus. Over the weekend, the country confirmed the pandemic will be accepted as a ‘force majeure’ event, paving the way for deadline reprieves.

The fast-spiralling health emergency adds another obstacle to India’s renewable ambitions. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, analysts had warned that the country’s plans to take installed green energy capacity to 175GW by 2022 – up from 82.58GW last September – could be set for failure.

According to local operators approached by PV Tech last month, the COVID-19 fallout could be significant for solar. Some warned a 3GW fleet of industry projects risks missing construction deadlines as component delays worsen, exposing developers to financial penalties.

See here to read the Indian government's letter in full

PV Tech has set up a tracker to map out how the COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting solar supply chains worldwide. You can read the latest updates here.

If you have a COVID-19 statement to share or a story on how the pandemic is disrupting a solar business anywhere in the world, do get in touch at [email protected] or [email protected].

8 October 2024
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
PV Tech has been running an annual PV CellTech Conference since 2016. PV CellTech USA, on 8-9 October 2024 is our second PV CellTech conference dedicated to the U.S. manufacturing sector. The event in 2023 was a sell out success and 2024 will once again gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing in the U.S. out to 2030 and beyond.
26 November 2024
Málaga, Spain
Understanding PV module supply to the European market in 2025. PV ModuleTech Europe 2024 is a two-day conference that tackles these challenges directly, with an agenda that addresses all aspects of module supplier selection; product availability, technology offerings, traceability of supply-chain, factory auditing, module testing and reliability, and company bankability.
11 March 2025
Frankfurt, Germany
The conference will gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing out to 2030 and beyond.

Read Next

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
May 22, 2024
London, UK
Upcoming Webinars
May 29, 2024
11am (EDT) / 5pm (CEST)
Solar Media Events
June 4, 2024
London, UK
Upcoming Webinars
June 11, 2024
3:00 PM (BST) / 4:00 PM (CEST)