Coronavirus outbreak is being treated as a “Force Majeure” event by Indian Government. The Ministry Of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE), on March 20, had announced that “delay on account of disruption of the supply chains due to spread of coronavirus in China or any other country” would be seen as a force majeure event.
A force majeure means extraordinary events or circumstance beyond human control.
Project developers will not have to pay any penalty for missing commissioning deadlines, if they can prove that consignments got delayed by global restrictions in freight movements stemming from Covid-19.
Restarting the supply chain for materials and mobilizing manpower will be a time-consuming affair once the world gets back on its feet, and a blanket extension of 6 months for all under-construction renewable energy projects will go a long way in protecting the industry from the adverse impact of this pandemic.
Renewable energy plants are supplying power even in situations where conventional power plants like coal and natural gas may not be able to operate due to logistics constraints.
Although it is a different story that the daily power demand in the country has fallen by a sharp 21% since March 16 with electricity requirement on March 25 being only 2,777 million units (MU), as all the country is under lockdown. Power usage on March 16 was 3,507 MU.
Reference- The Financial Express, Economic Times, Mercom India, MNRE PR