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Aligning With The Nation’s Vision Of AtmaNirbharta, At Avaada, We Aim To Make India Energy Independent By Focusing On Green Energy Security: Vineet Mittal, Chairman, Avaada Group

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Vineet Mittal - Chairman, Avaada Group

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CONVERSATION HIGHLIGHTS:

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  • In this year itself, we have commissioned more than 2 GW and have also raised India’s largest AAA-rated green bond of Rs. 1440 crores.
  • By 2030 when we reach 30 GW we will mitigate ~47.0325 million tonnes of CO2 emission impacting 1 million lives.
  • Avaada Group has diversified into green hydrogen and green ammonia, targeting a large capacity by 2030, which will meet demand in domestic and foreign markets.

How has the year 2022 been so far at Avaada Group? What have been some key developments?

The year 2022, indeed has been a wonderful year for us. Avaada Group has diversified into green hydrogen and green ammonia, targeting a large capacity by 2030, which will meet demand in domestic and foreign markets. The Group is also poised for a new business segment involving electrolyzer manufacturing, and solar manufacturing.

From a mere renewable player through solar power, we have entered new segments viz. Green Hydrogen, Green Ammonia, Solar Module Manufacturing, and Electrolysers to support the energy transition in India.

In this year itself, we have commissioned more than 2 GW and have also raised India’s largest AAA-rated green bond of Rs. 1440 crores.

In addition, we also signed an MoU with the Rajasthan Government of Rs. 40,000 crores for the Green Ammonia plant. It is a significant step towards India’s 2070 net-zero target. It will also provide direct employment opportunities to about 3,500 people and indirect jobs to over 10,500 people.

This year is not only great for Avaada Group, but also for India. I am really proud to experience that now we are actually in a race to fight climate change and win sustainability. Such accomplishments at a global and national level show India’s dedication to meeting its goal and we are glad that after years of debates and discussions, the world has agreed on a call to switch to sustainable fuels, and now it is undergoing a transition to use clean, low-carbon sources of energy at an unprecedented pace and scale. I am looking forward.

What is your outlook on Avaada’s open-access solar segment? How recent Green Energy Open Access policy could boost open access verticals in India?

Avaada Energy, a renewable energy arm of Avaada Group is one of the largest renewable energy IPPs in India and has been leading the Indian Market in the Open Access Segment with a market share of 22.3% (ref: JMK Annual Report for FY22). We cater to various corporates & industries in meeting their sustainability goals vis-à-vis competitive tariffs which in turn help in planning their power cost for a longer period.


The regulatory framework for open access is highly conducive & resilient, also backed by the conducive ecosystem facilitated and promoted by GOI, which is becoming a boon for the sector leading to self-reliance. In view of the favorable policy framework, our outlook is highly encouraging and developed various open-access projects serving C&I consumers to the tune of 100+.

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Open access projects are helping RE100 companies in meeting their sustainability goals & increasing their contribution towards decarbonization and larger energy penetration & deployment. In view of the same, open-access solar remains a high priority & focus area for us and we believe that with a continued conducive environment for open access, this segment has very high potential.

For the same path, Green Energy Open Access Policy is indeed a very progressive step to scale up renewable energy deployment in the country, especially to consumers between load/demand of 100 KW to 1 MW. Only through such consistent and progressive pieces of policies, we will be able to accelerate RE deployment to meet the 500 GW RE target announced during COP-26 by the Hon’ble Prime Minister as he puts India firmly on global RE leadership. It will expand the market and will drive open access reforms further.

For C&I consumers wanting renewable energy for sustainability, this will ease the process and allow greater accessibility. Renewable is an intermittent source of energy and hence assured banking is a supportive gesture. This is a starting step for a larger national open access market and will set the tone for virtual PPAs and CfD mechanisms. A common application format for the Green Energy Open Access is stated to be prepared by Central Nodal Agency in consultation with the Forum of Regulators for all such applications under this policy.

What is your view on India’s ‘Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022’? How this amendment could be beneficial for India’s solar sector?

The Electricity Amendment Bill 2022 has focussed on open, non-discriminatory competition, which is a welcome move. However, whether this supports the transition towards clean energy is something that will only be known sometime down the line. As the Bill requires the State Electricity Commissions to fix the Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPOs) of players such as the distribution companies within the new range to be prescribed by the Central Government, it is apparent that the Bill seeks to support renewable energy. Penalties have also been announced if there is no compliance with RPOs.

But if cheaper power from other sources is available, the new discoms may not opt for renewables. It is to be seen whether the threat of penalties and the RPO mandate are enough to ensure that discoms prioritize renewable energy to help the country meet its national objectives.

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How recently passed ‘The Energy Conversion (Amendment) Bill, 2022’, could open up new markets like carbon trading, energy-efficient building, etc? Has Avaada Group registered any of its projects in the carbon credit registry, to get carbon credit revenues?

The Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill 2022 has made enabling provisions for the Obligation to use non-fossil sources of energy, Carbon trading, Energy conservation code for buildings, Standards for vehicles and vessels, etc. The bill will promote the deployment of
non-fossil fuels and carbon trading. Increased obligation on states to increase their share of non-fossil fuels in their energy mix is expected to push the demand for solar, renewable energy and clean energy.

Carbon trading will further incentivize corporates to earn more revenues and thereby decarbonize their operations. With India establishing a carbon credit market, it shall become one of the larger participants in the global market for compliance carbon credit worth € 238 Billion, with an annual trading volume estimated at 10.7 billion Giga tons (GT).

Avaada Group has a few projects registered under the globally recognized voluntary carbon credit mechanisms and generates carbon credits. By 2030 when we reach 30 GW we will mitigate ~47.0325 million tonnes of CO2 emission impacting 1 million lives.

Avaada’s one of the world’s largest solar power plant at a single location by any IPP in India at Bikaner, Rajasthan

What is the vision of Avaada Group, in terms of Green Hydrogen & Green Ammonia markets? Recent progress in Green Hydrogen & Green Ammonia verticals?

Green hydrogen is the next oil. It can replace fossil fuels across sectors such as mobility, manufacturing, power generation and even heavy trucking. There are many practical examples in India itself of how green hydrogen can be a game-changer. For example, Toyota has launched its hydrogen-based transport, which is much better than electric vehicles. Hydrogen finds use in various processes such as refining crude oil in refineries, in the furnace for steel production as well as fertilizers and methanol production.

The global demand for green hydrogen is expected to reach about 210 million tonnes by 2030 from the current ~75 million tonnes. India’s consumption of green hydrogen is 6 million tonnes, which is set to rise to 20 million tonnes by 2050. Undoubtedly, the growth potential exists across both national and international markets.

As it gets future-ready, Avaada Group has diversified into green hydrogen and green ammonia, targeting a large capacity by 2030, which will meet demand in domestic and foreign markets. The Group is also poised for a new business segment involving electrolyzer manufacturing and solar manufacturing.

We have commenced execution of one million-tonne plant in collaboration with the Government of Rajasthan, which will be commissioned by 2025-26. Taking all these elements into account, we firmly believe both green hydrogen and green ammonia have
the potential to lower the overall carbon trail of many industries, which will help safeguard humanity and, in turn, our precious planet.

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So, in our existing IPP business, we have planned a capacity addition target of 11 GW company by 2025 and 30 GW by 2030. Apart from bids from Central and State power procurement agencies, there will be an increased focus on C&I Market. We are also investing in new solutions involving solar, wind, pumped storage hydro plants, electrolyzers, etc. With solar power and other renewable energy sources and our collective efforts, I believe we can build a transition to a renewable energy future and offer affordable renewable power to markets that have historically been underserved.

In addition, we are exploring opportunities in emerging areas like solar manufacturing, green hydrogen/ ammonia, and electrolyzer. We had submitted a bid for PLI for solar manufacturing and expected a favorable decision by Govt. on total allocation. Future technologies like storage, green hydrogen, fuel efficiency, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), and energy conservation can pave the way for a vibrant future. The next few years will see a heightened focus on green energy and carbon net zero. This decade presents us with the opportunity to contribute to achieving net zero significantly.

The good part about Hydrogen is that the demand and supply centers complement each other in terms of consumption and resource availability. Countries like India, Australia, the Middle East, North Africa, etc., have significant potential to generate low-cost Green Hydrogen, while E.U., Japan, Korea and the U.S. have massive demand.

Thus, trade potential is substantial. I believe that from the trade perspective, the definition of green Hydrogen must be kept simple wherein if the green electrons (by way of grid renewable electricity or direct PPA with renewable energy projects including utilizing energy generated in the same month as the electrolyzer in operation) is utilized to produce a molecule of Hydrogen, the same may be considered as green Hydrogen.

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