Transmission and Distribution

October 19, 2016

India looks to make movement of Renewable Energy through its Transmission system free

Transmission free in India? The Indian power sector has seen some peculiar situations in the last one year with many states turning power surplus for the […]
February 25, 2012

Solar Craze in India as Coal Equipment Supplier and Jeweler acquire Photovoltaic Companies

India's Solar PowerIndustry is starting to see some M&A with both domestic and foreign companies buying smaller firms. While the biggest M&A story is that of Tata Power acquiring the stake in Tata BP Solar, other firms without any grounding in the energy industry are too getting in. Now a Coal Equipment and EPC company Tecpro is getting into the solar energy business by acquiring a small solar lighting and heating company Eversun.Tecpro Systemsis primarily focused on the Power Sector Space.It is a leader in the ash handling and material handling systems and is currently diversifying into becoming a turnkey provider in this segment.Like other infrastructure players it has seen amazing growth in the last 3 years at around 70%+.The growth has been fantastic both on the topline and the bottomline.The 2300 crore Order book provides some comfort over the next year’s revenues or so.The Power Sector in India particularly the Thermal Power Plants are expected to see an explosive growth period.Steel and Cement sectors are also growing strongly.With Tecpro Systems focusing on these 3 segments,it should be able to maintain a good growth trajectory in the future years as well
February 25, 2012

Small Solar Developers getting acquired in India as Sector starts Maturing

The Indian Solar Power Industry is starting to see some Solar M&A activity pick up as the sector starts maturing. The Indian Solar Energy Industry starting picking up pace in 2009 with the advent of the first phase of the solar federal subsidy which envisaged putting up 20 GW by 2022 (a figure which I think is too low btw) . A large number of companies entered the fray many of which were small . These companies hoped to profit from selling the licenses rather than being serious players. Many of these companies could not do so as the reverse auction process was quite competitive. A large number of companies also got started to take advantage of individual state subsidies from governments in Gujarat.
June 28, 2011

Indian Lender Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) to invest $600 millon to set up 300-400 MW Hydro,Biomass capacity

REC is looking to invest more than $600 million to set up 300-400 MW capacity in India and is already talking to the Himachal Pradesh government to set up plants there.REC has said that it is looking for power plants with a PLF of more than 50% which automatically rules out wind and solar energy.Its interesting that REC is concentrating on small hydro and biomass power capacity unlike other PSUs which are mainly concentrating on solar energy.India needs massive amounts of investment in renewable energy in order to meet its 15% Renewable Energy Obligation by 2020 from 5% at present.Its instrumental for the large government companies to invest heavily into clean sources of energy.Power Finance Corporation Green Energy has been set up by PFC to become one of the biggest lenders in Green Energy and now REC has also decided to directly invest in Green.More such initiatives will have to be taken to increase the cleantech energy capacity.
June 23, 2011

Solar Industry Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) List – Rising as Industry Consolidates

Solar Industry Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) have picked up pace in recent times with a number of companies in distress with supply exceeding demand as Italy suddenly changed its solar subsidy policy in April 2011.With high inventory levels and prices crashing only the biggest and best solar panel manufacturers are managing to thrive.Note the Solar PV Industry has not seen too much M&A unlike the Solar Thermal Industry which has always been a hot area for M&A activity as giant industrial groups like Siemens,Areva,Alstom and GE have bought startups to improve their technology offerings.With the Solar PV industry having crossed more than $50 billion mark in 2010,more and more MNC conglomerates have now starting buying solar companies at cheap valuations.Here is a list of the recent buyouts,stake buys and mergers in the Solar PV Industry that have taken place recently.
May 10, 2011

Power Finance Corporation (PFC) Analysis – Follow-on Public Offering Buy/Sell Recommendation Not Bad but Not Great Either

Power Finance Corporation (PFC) will raise ~$1 billion through a follow-on-public offer (FPO) which is the first divestment by the Government for FY12.Note the government of India has set a target to raise $9 billion through divestment of public sector (PSU) companies stocks.PTC India Financial Services another company operating in the same segment offering finance to power generation companies came out with an IPO.Despite advantages of growth,a good business model in India’s booming Energy Sector,the valuation of the company had been kept too high leading to 20-30% losses from the IPO price.However PFC does not have a high valuation trading for around 9-10x P/E which is comparable to the competitors like REC.However the valuation is not very low also keeping in mind the rising interest rate environment which is making life tough for the Indian Banks and financial intermediaries.Power Finance Corporation has substantial advantages of growth,a good business model in India’s booming Electricity Sector where the List of Power Companies are growing exponentially.The valuation of the company also has been kept at a reasonable level at a discount of around 5% from the prevailing stock market price.The growth of the company has been impressive but a rising interest rate environment,competition from other power finance government providers like IFCI,IDFC,REC makes the issue neutral.It is always possible to buy the stock later or buy competitors in the same space like REC.The stock is a good buy for the long term given the fundamentals,good business sector,however current short term macro problems does not make it a great buy currently.
April 11, 2011

Electricity in South Africa a Mess – 25% Price Hike Each Year, Electricty Blackouts, Renewable Energy focus as 90% Coal Dependence

South Africa the most economically developed country in the African continent is also is one of the most dependent countries on Coal Energy.Almost 90% of the country's requirements of Electrcity comes from GHG emitting dirty Thermal Power Plants.Sasol which is a leading energy provider in South Africa is the global leader in Coal to Liquid and Coal to Gas Technologies.In fact most of the Fuel Production in South Africa comes from Sasol plants built long time ago to take advantage of the country's mineral rices and avoid the oil embargo placed on the country during apartheid.The country's electricity situation is massively mismanaged with Eskom a monopoly producer and supplier of electricity hardly adding any capacity.This is due to low prices of electricity which now is being added suddenly at 25% each year.This comes after huge shortages slowing down the economy. South Africa has also come up with new Energy Plan which will largely replace Coal Energy by Nuclear and Renewable Sources of Energy.Note South Africa had been in talks to establish a massive solar plants with funding from China which would have used Suntech Solar Panels.There were also rumors of Yingli suppling solar equipment to the country.
April 4, 2011

Clean Technology Market in India attracts Finland Companies ABB,Moventas,ENSTO,Kone,The Switch

India is going to be the biggest Markets for Clean Technology in the world in the lines of China which has already become the largest investor in Green Industry with over $50 billion in public and private investment.India is investing heavily in solar and wind energy and its only a matter of time before other Green Sectors like Electric Vehicles,Energy Efficiency and Smart Grids receive massive investments as well.Finnish Firms with strengths in Electricity Distribution,Wind Energy,Automation are setting their sights on the Indian market which requires large infusions of Technology and Investment.
April 4, 2011

Terra Firma buys Italian Solar Plant Owner Rete Rinnovabile cheaply for over $900 Million – Third Huge Renewable Energy Asset Acquisition

Terra Firma,the multi billion pound Private Equity firm has continued its Renewable Energy Asset Buying Spree spending a monstrous 641 millino Euros to buy Rete Rinnovabile a solar plant owner and operator in Italy.The acquired company is a susdiary of Italian market grid operator Terna and owns around 150 MW solar capacity in Italy which witnessed a massive solar boom in 2010.The acquisition values 1 MW at 4.5 Euros which would be considered not an expensive price given the large returns available for Italian solar power assets which gets a generous government mandated feed in tariff.The solar power plants are well located near distribution end points which is not a surprise since the company was a subsidiary of the grid power operator.
April 4, 2011

Smart Grid in India – Impossible Dream as Badly Managed,Loss Making State Electricity Distribution Waste 30% of Power

Smart Grid as a Clean Technology Industry is gaining traction in the West and countries like China,South Korea .Smart Grid has become important to increase energy […]
March 14, 2011

India's Biomass Potential,Installed Biomass Capacity by States and CERC Biomass Electricity Subsidies

India's Biomass Electricity Capacity at 2 GW (including cogeneration) is around 4% of the world's total Biomass Power Capacity of around 50 GW.US is the leader in Biomass Capacity with around 20% of the world's biomass potential.India has set ambitious plans for expanding the biomass power capacity in the next 10 years.India's Ministry of Renewable Energy has set a very high target of multiplying the power capacity by 10 times in the next 10 years.India's Total Biomass Potential with existing Technology is around 25 GW of which around 8% has been realized till date.India produce s 500 million tonnes of biomass per year, 120-150 million tonnes is surplus
March 13, 2011

Disadvantages of Wind Power – A Rebuttal as the Selfish Delay Wind Farms to Death

Wind Power has come under attack in the USA focused around the Cape Wind Project off the eastern shore.The project which was conceived over 10 years ago has not managed to still build the Wind Farm due to countless number of lawsuits filed for myriad reasons most of which are quite groundless.However some of the reasons have some solid facts behind the opposition to Wind Energy.Note Wind Energy unlike other forms of fossil fuel energy should have much less opposition however it is not so.Unlike Coal,Gas and Oil Energy it does not lead to increase in Greenhouse Gas Emissions and contribute to pollution.It does not lead to deaths of hundreds of miners each year nor has the danger of a catastrophic nuclear meltdown leading to death and disability of thousands.It also does not have the drawback of massive ocean pollution leading to an ecological disaster.However there are still protests against building of Wind Power Capacity and this article examines them in details.At the outset let me mention that advantages of Wind Power far outweighs the Disadvantages.
March 3, 2011

Power Transmission for Renewable Energy in India to be Funded by Coal Tax

India may uses the planned $500 million to $1 Billion in Coal Taxes it expects to generate every year to build transmission lines for renewable energy.Note one of the main impediments for renewable energy is the lack of transmission capability on part of utilities to move clean energy from remote areas to urban demand centres.USA faces an acute problem in this regard and faces a massive debate on how to fund the power grid from windy areas to cities.India too faces a problem in this regard as renewable energy plants mainly wind and solar are to built in remote locations.Note India's Power Grid is very inadequate as large parts of the country lack electricity due to lack of distribution networks.