• According to ICRA, India’s domestic solar capacity is expected to add about 5.5 gigawatt (GW) during the financial year 2020-21 due to the execution headwinds amid lockdown restrictions post-COVID pandemic. The ratings agency said that the domestic solar capacity addition in FY20 remained lower by 15% than its previous estimate of about 7.5 GW as a result of various disruptions caused by the pandemic in the fourth quarter in the fiscal year.
  • Power demand slump has narrowed to 2.6% in the beginning of July from 9.6% in June, showing improvement in commercial and industrial activities in the country. The peak power demand had declined by about 25% in April and 8.82% in May this year due to lower commercial and industrial demand during the COVID-19 induced lockdown. Experts have expressed hope that power demand would reach normal levels by August this year.
  • The auction process of commercial coal mining witnessed a “very good start” and the response has been the best in domestic coal history, Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi said. A total of 1,140 entities, including international players, participated in the technical session after the launch of sale of blocks, and 26 companies bought tender documents and 10 firms – domestic and foreign – evinced interest in the visit of mines, he added.
  • As directed by the Railway Board, a Business Development Unit (BDU) has been formed in Southern Railway to increase focus on freight business. Similar units at the divisional levels are also being set up.
  • The central government has proposed a major push to domestic manufacturing of renewable energy equipment in the country that would completely eliminate the need for imports. As part of the plan, an accelerated manufacturing plan is being operationalised that is incentivising setting up of solar cell manufacturing capacity of 4,000 MW that would allow project developers to restrict import of this product completely.