Key Government Policy Announcements for India’s Renewable Sector in September 2018

Here is a roundup of key policy announcements made by central government and state agencies in the renewable energy sector in the month of September 2018.

Central Agencies

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has published regulations for ISTS (Inter-State Transmission System) implementation in the official gazette. These regulations are expected to help in the timely development of ISTS in India. ISTS is of utmost importance for the growth of solar and wind as all areas do not have the same solar potential or land availability.

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has issued an order stating that the enactment of GST laws is covered as Change in Law under Article 12 of the power purchase agreements (PPAs). The CERC issued the order while responding to separate petitions filed by Prayatna Developers Private Limited and Azure Power.

The Ministry of Power has issued a revised proposal for amendments to the Electricity Act 2003. The revised proposal is open for comments up to October 22, 2018. In the revised proposal, the Ministry of Power has included ample provisions for renewable energy generation and distribution. The act will be called the Electricity (Amendment) Act 2018. It will apply to the entire country except Jammu and Kashmir.

States

The Authority of Advance Ruling (AAR) for the state of Uttarakhand has ruled that the supply of solar inverter, controller, battery, and solar panels fall under the definition of ‘solar power generating system’ and therefore the applicable rate of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on supply of these items will be five percent and treated as ‘composite supply’.

The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) has fixed ₹3.97 (~$0.0549)/kWh as the pooled cost of power purchase that the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) will pay to the generators of non-conventional energy sources (NCES).

The Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA) has issued the Draft Solar Energy Policy for the year 2018. The policy aims to establish an ecosystem that translates the country’s solar energy vision into enabling policy systems and processes and create a single window system for technical support, funding support, and project clearance.

The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has rejected the proposal made by Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) to approve the levy of additional surcharge (wheeling charges) for rooftop solar projects in the state. The MERC was reviewing a petition filed by MSEDCL.

The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has announced open access charges for consumers in the state. These charges are applicable from September 1, 2018. MERC fixed the open access charges in response to a petition filed by Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co.

The Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) for the state of Goa and union territories has issued Electricity Supply Code Regulations for 2018, detailing the obligations of distribution licensees (DISCOMs) and consumers toward each other. The code also specifies a set of practices that must be adopted by the DISCOMs to provide efficient, cost-effective, and consumer friendly service to the consumers.

Nitin is a staff reporter at Mercomindia.com and writes on renewable energy and related sectors. Prior to Mercom, Nitin has worked for CNN IBN, India News, Agricultural Spectrum and Bureaucracy Today. He received his bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Communication from Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University and Master’s degree in International Relations from Jindal School of International Affairs. More articles from Nitin Kabeer