VRC Webinar, 8th Sept 2016

Its been quite sometime since I have written on this blog page. I am currently busy understanding and enjoying the UK culture and integrating myself in this society. One of the ways is to volunteer & learn and I am doing that with The Higher Ground Foundation; developing a financial tool to monitor & validate climate change initiatives. 


So what does The Higher Ground Foundation do?  Higher Ground Foundation is developing the Vulnerability Reduction Credit, or VRC™ that quantifies climate vulnerability reduction based on impact costs. The VRC allows for comparing and prioritizing adaptation measures across project options and sectors.

To know more you are welcome to attend one of the free webinars on  Vulnerability Reduction Credits being organized by The Higher Ground Foundation  on 8th September 2016 at 9.30pm India time /  5pm UK time.


Webinar on the Vulnerability Reduction Credit Standard Framework

Higher Ground Foundation is developing the Vulnerability Reduction Credit, or VRC™. Adaptation projects that met rigorous registration standards would generate VRCs, serving as an instrument to finance, verify and control effective adaptation measures.  A key next step in the creation of a formal system of VRCs is release of a Standard Framework that outlines the Standards under which VRCs may be issued.
Join the interactive webinar on September 8 to introduce the concepts and issues, and elicit feedback, so that we can ensure that our first release carefully addresses the interests and perspectives of different stakeholders, and interpretations of different ways of understanding:
–  principles,
–  processes,
–  project baselines and other inputs required for vulnerability reduction credit assessment, registration, and credit issuances.
An even more interactive “technical sandbox” follows the formal sessions.
Join on Thursday, September 8 at 5 pm GMT (9:00 am San Francisco, 12:00 pm Washington DC, 7:00 pm Nairobi, 9.30 pm India ).
Please use the following link to register: http://higherground.clickmeeting.com/689597559/register
If you have any questions, feel free to email info@thehighergroundfoundation.org.



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Brexit and UK’s Renewable Energy-II

Continuing from the previous part “https://bharatvasandani.wordpress.com/2016/05/29/brexit-and-renewable-energy-i/” here are some more thoughts to further understand the impact of Brexit on UK’s renewable energy sector:

Experts point out that much of the UK’s success in renewable energy has come with the regulatory [one of the most ambitious climate change policies] and financial support of the EU.

A Brexit would mean an end of funding support from EU for renewable energy projects and maybe without the push and pressure, UK could backslide on its carbon emissions goals. Unless they see a strong support from the UK government after Brexit, a Brexit may drive away the investors-atleast in the short term.

Statistics say that UK has received 24% of the The European Investment Bank’s (EIB) total investing of more than 7 billion euros into renewable energy since 2007. A Brexit could mean to a much lesser disbursement for projects in UK. A point to note is that non-EU countries have received only 12% of the disbursed funds.

The UK could presumably lose access to the EU’s eighth Framework Programme that funds innovation and research, Horizon 2020, which runs until 2020. A significant portion of these funds are dedicated to energy innovation and the UK is one of the larger recipients.

Many academic institutions and companies that currently benefit from the programme could see their funding evaporate negatively impacting R&D of new clean energy technologies.

Though the UK government has its own policy on climate change; it is not particularly focused on renewable energy only and without the pressure from EU, the industry may also see a lag from the government to achieve the targets due to budget constraints or weakening of the policy by a new government.

This thought comes from the fact that pro-Brexit supporters have blamed EU for rising electricity costs, closure of cola plants and energy taxes. The expectations are that post Brexit, support for renewable energy in UK will whittle down leading to less encouraging government policies.

The fear is that with Brexit UK will loose momentum on low carbon approach especially when following the Paris meet, low carbon has emerged as one of the key drivers of new economy.

Brexit would be bad for what has been achieved in Paris COP21

Experts point out that UK could adopt one of the following models following Brexit:

The Norwegian Model

  • Continue in the single market, including for energy
  • Requires acceptance of free movement of people and budgetary contributions
  • All trade rules, including anti-dumping measures,
  • Continue to apply Some veto powers on EU expansion

The Swiss Model

  • Trade continues via a network of bilateral agreements for different goods
  • Bilateral deals require participants to adhere to EU rules
  • No influence on EU policy
  • Create option to pick and choose areas of trade cooperation
  • Switzerland is part of the Schengen group of countries

Joining the European Free Trade Area

  • Free trade of goods but not people or services into the EU
  • No budget contribution required


  • The UK could leave trade to be defined by WTO rules
  • All trade agreements would be independent of EU
  • No free movement of people
  • No right of access for service providers
  • No budget obligation

Turkish and South Korean Models

  • Turkey is part of the customs union but not the free trade area
  • Turkey has many bilateral trade agreements, no free movement of people
  • South Korea not part of customs union or free trade area
  • South Korea has a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU,European subsidiaries required to access single market






Click to access SBFUK22.pdf





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Brexit and UK’s Renewable Energy; I

With less than a month to go for the 23rd June referendum on British membership of the EU, experts have looked at the impact on each industry if “Leave” gains majority.

Having been recently introduced to the British economy, its way of working and the views of the people, I am still not an expert on this subject.

On one end is the EU’s  Renewable Energy Directive (RED) that the UK follows and which is one of the drivers of renewable energy in the UK. RED establishes an overall policy for the production and promotion of energy from renewable sources in the EU. It requires the EU to fulfill at least 20% of its total energy needs with renewables by 2020 – to be achieved through the attainment of individual national targets. All EU countries also need to ensure that at least 10% of their transport fuels come from renewable sources by 2020.

In 2014, the EU also decided on a further package of green targets covering the period to 2030. But instead ended up agreeing to a target for cutting carbon emissions across the continent by atleast 40% from 1990 levels by 2030. That 2030 target is divided up through a process of ‘burden-sharing’ into targets for each member state – but each country has the freedom to choose how it goes about meeting the targets.

The RED is one of the reasons why the UK Government has backed the rapid expansion of renewable power sources. In 2010, just 7 % of UK electricity came from renewable sources; but that has risen to more than 23% now. According to DECC, the country is on track to reach 30 % by 2020.

At the same time, currently the renewable energy industry in UK is at an all-time low. The UK routinely topped the annual league table for attractiveness to clean energy companies, run by Ernst & Young (EY), in the mid-2000s. For the first time in May 2016, however, it has slid to 13th in the global rankings.

The E&Y report says that investors in renewable energy are being put off the UK by political posturing hostile to renewables and green efforts and the slashing of government support for clean power supplies, in favor of potentially more expensive alternatives such as shale gas and nuclear power. Renewable energy investment and thousands of jobs, is likely to be lost by the UK.

Taking into account the long gestation period of renewable energy power plants, I believe UK would already approved/planned for projects to meet the 2020 targets.

Leaving the EU, would mean that the industry will be driven mostly by UK’s Climate Change Act which established a framework to develop an economically credible emissions reduction path. The act commits the UK to reducing emissions by at least 80% in 2050 from 1990 levels. The Act also required the Government to set legally binding ‘carbon budgets’. A carbon budget is a cap on the amount of greenhouse gases emitted in the UK over a five-year period.

Another driver for renewable energy in the country could be the INDC from UK resulting from the Dec 2015 Paris COP21 Meet. But the INDC targets/roadmap will ideally be included Climate Change Act with amendments; if needed.

But this may mean more focus on the carbon emissions rather than on renewables.






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Opportunities in UK Power Sector

Hello Friends,

Wishing you all Merry Christmas, a Happy & Safe 2016 and Happy Holidays.

It’s been quite a while that I have written for my blog. The last few months have been busy with a lot of changes happening. Earlier I made a shift back into the financial sector with Axience Consulting where I worked on an equity/debt information memorandum report for a 50MW solar project in India.

Post that, I have shifted base to London. The settling down process has taken couple of months.

In between I have managed to meet people from UK’s cleantech sector.  One being a company that is looking to bring “waste to diesel” and “water treatment” technology in India. The second being a company that has recently helped an Indian cleantech company raise funds in UK and keen to partner with high potential startups/SMEs from India.

Recently I attended an Investor Briefing “Investing in Energy and Water Infrastructure” in London; conducted by Forbury Investment Network and Rush Events and hosted by Ingenious.

The Investor Briefing  focus was the infrastructure in UK’s energy and water sector. One key area of clean technology that continues to develop without being derailed by changes to subsidy levels or major policy is infrastructure.  For both water and energy, the drive for efficiency improvements, the changes to the sources of power generation and the demand for extending the existing network to service new housing all mean that the existing network for water and energy (electricity and gas) are being expanded, upgraded, technologically enhanced, made more smart and adapted to meet the new requirements.

Infrastructure is an attractive area for investment due to its fundamental need and reliability resulting in secure income flows, sizeable projects  and known risk profiles making it attractive for project finance and its positive social, environmental and economic profile.

The UK power sector which was mostly consisted of large power stations, transmission systems and distribution systems has been witnessing changes.  There are increasing number of smaller power stations and more renewable energy power generation [The share of renewable energy in electricity generation by fuel in UK  has increased from 11.3% in 2012 to 25.3% in 2014]. The system now does not resemble “waterfall” with electricity flowing from the large power stations in one direction towards customers. Instead the electricity flows are more unpredictable.

The industry is witnessing new trends with new ways of addressing the need for network capacity :

  1. Storage
  2. Demand Side Response and innovative tariffs
  3. Use of local generation

The National Grid’s System Operability Framework 2015 is looking into

  1. Development of new system services
  2. Increased co-ordination between transmission and distribution networks
  3. Increased flexibility from generating plant

The new way of life has given rise to challenges/opportunities for investment:

  1. New emerging business models such as Storage providers , Demand management as part of energy service contract  and Third party aggregators
  2. Innovation projects developing into business as usual solutions. Some of these can be Active Network Management, Power electronics for distribution and Superconducting cables


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SunEdison acquires Continuum’s Wind

SunEdison has recently announced that the company has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Mumbai-based Continuum Wind Energy. The assets to be acquired include 242 MW of operating wind assets in Maharastra and Gujarat as well as 170 MW of assets under construction.

Sun Edison has not disclosed the deal value in any official communication, but sources close to the transaction said Continuum Wind Energy has been valued at Rs 3,720-3,900 crore ($620-650 million), inclusive of its debt.

The equity value alone has been pegged at around Rs 1,920 crore ($320 million).

So the transaction value comes to Rs. 1920/412 MW = Rs.4.66 crores/MW



Source: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2015-06-17/news/63540460_1_sunedison-sun-edison-pashupathy-gopalan



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Financial Modeling / Financial Analysis of Cleantech Projects

Dear Readers,

If anyone is looking for help to do financial modeling/financial analysis of any cleantech projects; I will be happy to pitch in.

The fees will be a cup of coffee or a mug of beer or a glass of wine.


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Acquisition Price / MW in India’s Renewable Energy Sector-II

Continuing the trend to analyse the valuation of renewable energy assets in India, we look at another recent transaction in the market.

Simran Wind Project Ltd (SWPL), a subsidiary of the Techno Electric & Engineering Company Ltd, has sold 44.45 MW Wind Power Assets situated in the State of Tamil Nadu at price of R215 Cr.

So the price works out to be Rs.4.83 crores/MW; could be effective value including debt

Part I: https://bharatvasandani.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/acquisition-price-mw-in-indias-renewable-energy-sector/

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Acquisition Price / MW in India’s Renewable Energy Sector

Recently Indian renewable energy industry saw two major M&A transactions.

1. Sembcorp Industries (Sembcorp) acquired a 60% stake in Green Infra, a renewable energy company in India with a wind and solar portfolio, for Rs.10.6 billion. The asset portfolio of Green Infra at the time of acquisition was 516 MW of operational assets; more than 180 MW of under development projects with a vision to have 700MW on-the-ground by mid/late 2015 [most of these projects being under construction already]

Thus on a MW scale the acquisition works out to be 2.05 crores INR per MW [1060/516] if we consider only operational assets.

The acquisition seems more attractive with 700 MW; 1.51 crores INR per MW.

2. Another transaction was of Rajalakshmi Group purchasing 63MW of wind power from Hinduja Group flagship Ashok Leyland at Rs 170 crore.

Here the acquisition cost per MW works out to be 2.70 crores INR

To make a detailed comparison, we may need more information on the operating assets of both the acquiree companies- PPA of each project, age of assets, operational expenses, debt,etc. Unfortunately not much information is available.

Ideally one would have a different cost/MW for already operational asset [further divided by age, revenue, debt and cash flow numbers] and a different cost/MW for under-construction.

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Industrial Power Tariff or Maharashtra Discom or Common Man?

In my previous blog, we did look at the higher industrial power tariff that industries in Maharashtra are facing. To revist: https://bharatvasandani.wordpress.com/2015/02/26/industries-facing-power-issues-in-maharashtra/

While the State Government has agreed to study the prospect of lowering industrial tariff, ICRA has come out with its analysis of tariff petitions for FY 2015-16 filed by distribution utilities in 11 major states.

While discoms in states such as Bihar, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand have proposed tariff revision in the range of 15% to 26%, those in other states such as Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Telangana have proposed modest tariff revision in the range of 3% to 8%. Maharashtra proposed tariff revision is 8%

In the analysis, ICRA has pointed out that the revenue gap projected by the distribution utilities for FY 2015-16 is quite significant in most of the states and the reasons for the same include:
a) increase in cost of power procurement and other O&M expenses as proposed for
FY2016 and
b) impact of additional cost estimate arising from final true-up of cost incurred in the previous periods (FY12-14) based on the availability of audited accounts.

Average energy demand growth in industrial segment for FY2015-16 over the sales approved by SERCs in FY2014-15 is projected at 9% based on aggregate estimates by the utilities in 10 states which have filed tariff petitions for FY2015-16. While projected demand growth in industrial segment for FY2015-16 is higher than the CAGR growth of 6.5% between FY 2008 till FY2013, utilities in few states have projected a much higher growth for FY2015-16 which is mainly supported by the increased energy availability (resulting into reduction in load shedding) as well as the favourable expectations on economic growth.

During the period from FY2012 to FY2014, the power purchase cost for utilities across most states has increased at a CAGR of 6-8%, on account
[a] higher mix of power procurement from short term sources due to shortfall in supply from long term sources
[b] increasing fuel costs due to dependence on costlier imported fuel (coal and natural gas) and
[c] higher fixed costs for thermal IPPs commissioned over the last 1-2 year period.

For FY2016, the proposed increase in power purchase cost per unit varies across the states depending upon the fuel source mix of power.

It remains to be seen what the Maharashtra State Government can do in such a scenario to sort both the industrial power tariff challenges and the need to keep the discoms financially viable in 2015-16.

I hope they do not burden the common man with more higher tariffs to compensate for industrial incentive.

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Railway Budget 2015-16 and Sustainability

Dear Readers, I know I am little late with my analysis of India’s latest railway budget w.r.t sustainability and renewable energy. Apologies for this delay caused due to hectic work schedule.

The Indian Railway minister Mr.Suresh Prabhu has come up with measures to make Indian Railways environment-friendly through promotion of solar power and taking up energy efficient steps.

1. Setting up 1,000 mw solar plants on railway/private land and railway buildings in the next five years
2. Audit for energy saving
3. Additional water conservation measures
4. Use of energy efficient LED lights
5. Turning diesel units into a dual fuel mode using CNG
6. eco friendly toilets

These are highly applauding measures and it will be very helpful if all these measures are implemented in the right manner to achieve the desired results.

1000 MW of solar plants is a good and big number but I don’t know how this number was derived without a study of railway land /rooftops,etc across the country. Maybe this is what the energy audit will do [Reminds me of a company; with more than 10 million sq ft space, I met few days back that wanted to install solar on its rooftop to decrease its electricity costs. I did try to educate them that just installing solar is a piecemeal approach that will not any greater savings. What is needed is a complete audit to understand both- decrease in energy consumption and switching to green energy].

With the railways looking to turn bottom line positive, the only worry will be the huge capex cost of solar and other renewable energy technologies to be implemented. The budget says that the railways will use the viability gap funding. Is it necessary for railways to use its money in setting up power plants which is not the core area of the company? It makes more sense to outsource the needs.
My suggestion will be to go for opex model where a third party invests in the technology and railway will only buy mix of renewable energy and conventional power at a cheaper rate than their current tariff.

Another solution could be the net-metering on railway rooftops in States that have net-metering policy.

I would also suggest a look at smaller off-grid wind turbines for railways since many stations are located in areas that enjoy good wind speed. A feasibility study can be done across identified locations.

As a complementary step to Swach Bharat, the Railways should look at using the waste in waste-2-energy plants. But this again should be outsourced where waste collection, separation and supply to the plant can be done by railway employees and be paid for by the waste-2-energy power plant developer.

Overall there exists a lot of opportunities in Indian Railways to initiate sustainability measures. The results [defining results not only in terms of reduction in emissions but also in positive trend in the bottom line] will depend on effective technical and financial implementation.

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