The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has created a compliance cell for renewable purchase obligations (RPOs).
The cell will coordinate with states, the central electricity regulatory commission (CERC) and state electricity regulatory commissions (SERCs) to ensure RPO compliance. The cell will work with these institutions to make monthly reports on RPO compliance. It will also take up non-compliance related issues with the appropriate authorities.
The formation of this compliance cell is the culmination of efforts undertaken in 2017. In October 2017, Mercom reported that the government was likely to amend laws making obligations under power purchase agreements (PPAs) statutorily binding to ensure that all power distribution companies (DISCOMs) have PPAs to cover 100 percent of their RPO requirement.
When contacted, an MNRE official told Mercom, “Earlier there were set RPOs, but nobody to oversee the enforcement. The SERCs used to assign RPOs but hardly anything more was done. Our Minister for Power, R. K. Singh realized that the non-enforcement of RPO is chronic and ailing the renewable energy sector – both solar and wind equally. To reach renewable energy targets, RPO enforcement must be of paramount importance and this cell has now been formed to take care of the same.”
RPO is the single most important policy driving renewable energy installations in India towards achieving its aggressive goal of installing 175 GW by 2022, with solar comprising 100 GW of this portfolio.
Though India has made remarkable progress over the last eight years (since the inception of the National Solar Mission in 2010), the country still needs to install 78 GW of solar over the next four years – a rate of over 19 GW per year.
Most states have specified RPO targets. However, due to the lack of enforcement of RPO regulations and the absence of penalties when obligations are not met, many of the state DISCOMs are not fully complying with their RPO targets.
In March 2017, Mercom reported that between 2010 and 2014, only 4.77 percent of RPO compliance was through REC mode. In 2017, 25 states and union territories were behind their specified solar RPO targets, for a solar RPO deficit of 2,033.94 MW (-64%).”
Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.