Dr Pramod Deo, Chairman, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), informs R Srinivasan about how states can achieve the renewable purchase obligation targets.
The organisation wants states to achieve 10 per cent level of renewable purchase obligation (RPOs) by 2015. How can states like Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar (unlike Tamil Nadu and Karnataka which have already achieved over 10 per cent) achieve it? The forum of regulators has carried out a study which shows that the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) target of 10 per cent RPOs by 2015 is achievable. The study has also suggested graded RPO levels for different states from FY 2010-2015 after assessing the incremental impact on power purchase cost in each state. The states with higher achievement of RPOs (eg, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka) have been given moderate targets (say an increase in RPOs at less than one per cent per year) while others where the present level of achievement is low (eg, MP, Punjab and Delhi, etc) have been given higher targets (say an increase in RPOs at more than one per cent).
What is the status of: A) month-ahead contracts on exchanges B) Source-specific tariffs for purchase of RE, ie, RPOs, and C) CERC guidelines for utilities that resort to load-shedding even though electricity is available at cheap prices on power exchanges. (A) The Bombay High Court recently passed a judgment on the jurisdiction of CERC and the forward markets commission over such contracts. Any decision in this regard will have to be based on this judicial pronouncement unless it is challenged, stayed or set aside.
(B) The tariff policy has been amended to provide for solar-specific RPOs. Separate RPOs for solar is necessary in the present context in view of the substantial difference in the price of solar as against the price of power from other RE sources. For RE technologies other than solar, there could be a uniform RPO.
(C) The state commission is the appropriate authority to intervene to dissuade discoms from resorting to unscheduled load-shedding. Load-shedding protocol should be approved under Section 23 of the act after exploring all possible avenues of power procurement and discoms should follow the protocol, failing which they should be liable for action under Section 142 of the Act.
What is the status of the evening market (4-5 pm) proposed by CERC to help utilities balance their portfolios for the next day and power exchanges to create liquid and competitive markets?The order on evening markets on power exchange is expected shortly.
What are the disadvantages (apart from confusing market participants) of two benchmark reference prices and lack of serious bidding in the morning market? Some stakeholders expressed apprehensions that it might lead to speculative trades. Others feel that discoms, especially government owned discoms and state load dispatch centres (SLDCs) are not prepared. The commission's order will address all such issues.
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