Avaada Energy: Leading the Renewable Energy Market Dynamically.

Vineet Mittal, Chairman ,Avaada Energy

Change is an integral part of life, and the same goes for any business. A firm’s success depends on the ability to master and exploit change. This is particularly true in the renewable energy market, where frequent changes in tax laws, new duties, etc., have forced IPPs to change their strategy. And even while adapting to change, a company’s strategy must reflect a consistency of purpose

In 2020, the Renewable energy market has seen unprecedented health crises, which has disrupted the major supply chain of Solar modules and other components, followed by the extension of Safeguard Duty, which has forced IPPs to change their bidding strategy. However, a government led by Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi and Shri R.K. Singh has been very supportive. Decisive actions during lockdown like – Blanket extension for Renewable Energy Projects, must-run status for all RE projects helped us remain afloat and resume our under-construction projects as soon as the lockdown was lifted.

The government’s call for Atmanirbhar Bharat in Solar manufacturing could be a game-changer for India’s Renewable Energy market. In 2020, Govt. has launched an ambitious project – ‘One Sun One World & One Grid.’ Similarly, CERC has also operationalized the real-time market, which is expected to be a great enabler for renewable energy. In the latest development, Hon’ble PM of India – Shri Narendra Modi has inaugurated world’s largest solar park in Gujarat. All these developments reflect a better future for renewables in the upcoming year.

One of the pioneers in renewable energy, Avaada Energy, was founded to make the world a better place. Avaada Group is one of the largest producers of solar energy in India. ‘Avaada’ is derived from two words – Ayurveda (the science of life) + Vaada (promise), and thus the enterprise stands for the promise of a sustainable future.

“At AVAADA, we believe in a world with an abundance of energy generated from renewable sources. This is our dream, and we are continually striving to make this a reality,” says the team of Avaada Group. Avaada is a coming together of ideas, technology, and people to make our planet a cleaner and greener place. The company has an illustrious legacy to fall back on and a promising future to create.

Powering Lives

Since its inception in 2017, Avaada has grown rapidly and has almost 1 GW of Solar Power assets under operation. The group has built some of the largest solar projects across India. Its growth continues with an impressive pipeline of ~ 3 GW scheduled to be commissioned in the next couple of years.

“We also have plans for geographical expansion, and following that, we are under advanced stages of PPA finalization in almost a few African countries,” states Vineet Mittal, Chairman of AVAADA Group and Avaada Energy. Also, he is evaluating opportunities in South East Asia in countries like Cambodia, Vietnam, etc.

Avaada Group is committed to helping our country meet its targets of clean and affordable energy. Avaada has a healthy project pipeline, and continuous addition is the testimony of its commitment. Recently, Avaada won 350 MW – ISTS Maharashtra, 300 MW – ISTS SECI, 240 MW – ISTS Haryana. Apart from this, its 300 MW – Surendranagar, Gujarat project is in the final stage of commissioning.

Following with Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision to achieve 450 MW of solar energy capacity by 2030, Avaada targets 10 GW of solar energy capacity by 2025. “We plan to fund through a mix of debt and equity, which is being finalized presently,” describes the team of Avaada Energy.

Technology at the Helm

As technology costs fall and environmental concerns grow, opportunities will continue to increase as renewable energy is concerned. For instance, India can set up 300 GW of power generation capacity by tapping into Floating Solar technology. Floating solar helps reduce evaporation from water bodies and helps reduce algae in water bodies. Another area to watch out for is Energy Storage, which is expected to play a critical role as managing grid variability takes center stage with increased penetration of renewable assets. As prices decline, storage is expected to play a broader role in energy markets, moving from niche uses such as grid balancing to broader ones like replacing conventional power generators for reliability, providing power-quality services, and supporting renewables integration.

Talking about the key issues for IPPs at present, Vineet sheds some light on the matter in a dynamic way: Policy consistency is one of the most significant issues with the renewable energy sector. Both Central and State governments have invariably brought changes in taxation, duties, and sometimes with retrospective effect, which is a significant concern for all the IPPs. For instance, Safeguard Duty was purportedly imposed to encourage domestic manufacturing of modules. However, it had no impact. Almost two years after the announcement, no new manufacturing capacity has been added, and several developers are stuck with court cases to get the refunds.

Another area of challenge is land acquisition. The land is a critical element for the development of renewable energy projects. Most states in India have a lengthy documentation process and are typically marred with litigations. The resolution of matters results in disproportionate effort on the part of developers. Land ceiling acts in different states create another hurdle for developers in acquiring large tracts of land required for large scale solar projects.

Financial Health of DISCOMs and Payment Delays is yet another obstacle in the race. Discoms across the country are in dire financial shape, due to which there are frequent delays in payments. Payment security remains a primary concern for developers and has rightly caught the attention of Central Govt. MoP has come up with an order making it mandatory for Discoms to maintain adequate Letter of Credits for getting the supply. However, there is a structural problem with the Discom operations, which needs to be addressed through comprehensive reforms.

Avaada Energy has been a preferred destination for investors because of our professional leadership, strong project execution capabilities, and impeccable debt servicing record. We have received investments from major sovereign funds like ADB, DEG, FMO, and Proparco. “Investments by these global financial stalwarts revalidate our ability to set up high performing assets, generating maximum returns for all our stakeholders,” concludes Vineet.