India extends deadlines for wind energy projects

On 17 April, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) issued an order to grant a deadline extension for renewable energy projects equivalent to the period of lockdown plus 30 days additional blanket extension without the need for the developers to provide any evidence to provide a buffer period of ‘normalisation’ after lockdown. The ministry also said that all implementing agencies of the MNRE will treat lockdown due to COVID-19 as force majeure.
On 20 March, the MNRE announced that there will be an extension in scheduled commissioning dates for renewable energy projects. However, at that time the renewable energy implementing agencies of the MNRE required developers to provide evidence and documents in support of their respective claims of supply chain disruptions caused by coronavirus. Thus, GWEC Market Intelligence believes such change is significant as removing the need to provide case by case evidence and documentation to the MNRE will simplify the application process and allow already stressed developers to focus on recovery of project execution once their regular activities are resumed.    
According to local consultancy MEC Intelligence that presented at GWEC’s Webcast on Wind: India Wind Energy Market Outlook & Impact of COVID-19 on 28 April, nearly 1.8 GW of projects scheduled for Q1- Q2 2020 or are already under-construction are expected to be delayed, and 0.7- 1.1 GW of wind projects with a commercial operation date scheduled for Q4 2020 are expected to move to 2021. Considering other risks caused by COVID-19, such as the delay in PPA agreements and the decline in new tendering activity, the consultancy estimated only 8.7-9.8 GW wind capacity is likely to be added in 2020-2022, which is below their low case scenario made before COVID-19 outbreak in India.