As 2022 comes to a close, industry veteran and CEO and Managing Director of the renewable energy company, Jakson Green, Bikesh Ogra, tells  businessline how he reads the current state of affairs in the industry. Excerpts:

Q

What were the positives and negatives for the RE industry in 2022? 

It was a mixed bag. Sharp increase in solar module prices and duty barriers for solar cells and modules proved to be a double-edged sword, strengthening domestic production at the expense of impeding the addition of new capacity. There are over 20 GW of renewable energy projects with PPAs signed across open access and auctions that are awaiting clarity on PSAs and module prices to draw down capital from investors and begin construction.  

Wind capacity expansion was modest, but the elimination of reverse auctions for wind gave the wind sector a boost of optimism. 

Q

What are your major demands of the government? 

We expect a more robust and broad-based implementation of policies and legislation. More awareness of how the policies are being put into practice on the ground is required of policymakers at both the Central and State levels. As 2023 is a pre-election year, we consider a slowdown across quarters, but we are hopeful that it will not be significant enough to impact growth momentum. 

We urge for a single, comprehensive Central government policy on green hydrogen —a single law, like the US’ Inflation Reduction Act, 2022. A single law is better than adopting numerous piecemeal regulations and confusing the industry.  

Also, we hope to see more funding for emerging green energy transition sectors. We will become more competitive globally if the budget makes a sizable allocation for the green hydrogen. 

Q

How is the RE industry placed in terms of “ease of doing business”? 

While much is being done, there is scope for improvement. For example, the ‘open access’ rules are open to diverse interpretations between Centre and State, making simple transactions intensely complex. Similarly, the recent rulings on the Great Indian Bustard issue which did not ease business in sensitive areas across States such as Rajasthan—home to 20-30 per cent of annual solar installations. Much more needs to be done to ensure there’s real “ease of doing business” in the RE sector. 

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