Multinational professional services network Ernst & Young Global Limited, in collaboration with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), has released a report entitled “Accelerating post-pandemic economic recovery with clean energy infrastructure and jobs in India”, which highlights concrete policy recommendations for balancing economic recovery and climate neutrality goals in the post COVID stimulus efforts by Government of India.
The report emphasises the need for new energy infrastructure to boost economic recovery and self-reliance without reversing the trends of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission, air pollution and other climate change related shocks in the post COVID economic recovery era.
The EY – FICCI report has identified over 600 ‘shovel-ready’ low carbon investment opportunities in the pipeline with tremendous potential for post-pandemic economic recovery and job creation in India.
Somesh Kumar, Partner and National Leader, Power & Utilities, EY India, says, “Over 600 ‘shovel-ready’ low carbon investment project pipeline identified by us has the potential to accelerate ~INR 2 Lakh crore of equity and ~INR 4 Lakh crore of project finance debt but more importantly support close to ~15 lakh fresh jobs in the immediate future. Further, the stimulus measures recommended can help advance the clean energy project pipeline and help frame the next leg of post-pandemic stimulus action.”
He further adds that policy makers need to reflect on the urgency of the challenges posed by COVID-19 and leverage on the existing clean energy programs for quick economic recovery. Also, labour intensive ‘shovel ready’ low carbon infrastructure projects having strong interactions with the hard-hit construction industry must be at the focus of the post COVID green stimulus efforts.
The EY – FICCI report throws light on what is at stake in terms of the economic development, capital mobilisation, self-reliance, jobs and environment in the following critical thematic areas of clean energy infrastructure, while specifying their project pipeline and impact as well as stimulus action efforts:
Utility scale Renewable Energy (RE) power generation: Stimulus action: Clarity on waiver of inter-state transmission charges and losses on supply of solar and wind power beyond June 2023; set up a mechanism to rediscover tariffs for stranded projects without power purchase agreement (PPA); establish a robust coordination mechanism between Central off-takers and State governments toward firming up long term power procurement plans. Project pipeline and impact: 332 projects; 84 GW of pipeline capacity; 4,109 MT avoided CO2 emissions.
Rooftop solar PV deployment: Stimulus action: Boost demand for rooftop solar deployment in the institutional sectors, especially rural health centres and schools; promote net metering in all categories of consumers up to 1 MW of sanctioned load; promote third party owned business models for accelerated RTPV capacity addition in the domestic category. Project pipeline and impact: 166 projects; 18 GW of pipeline capacity; 622 MT avoided CO2 emissions
Decentralized RE power generation: Stimulus action: Generation based incentives for decentralized grid connected solar PV systems co-located with crops on agriculturally productive land parcels; Dedicated financing facility for improving farmer access to low cost debt funds and boosting commercial viability of 1-2 MW scale ground mounted Solar PV projects on CAPEX mode. Project pipeline and impact: 44 projects; 14.5 GW of pipeline capacity; 550 MT avoided CO2 emissions.
Original RE equipment manufacturing: Stimulus action: Boost demand for high efficiency solar PV modules and Advanced Chemistry Cells (ACC) battery solutions; formulate and target new Production Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes toward coal dependent states. Project pipeline and impact: 12 projects; 40,000 fresh jobs.
EV charging infrastructure: Stimulus action: National / state level policy frameworks to promote and incentivise electric utility investment in EV charging infrastructure; restructure markets to create alternate revenue streams for EV charge point operators and investors. Project pipeline and impact: 4,180 stations; 13,263 fresh jobs.