Policy Highlights from India’s Solar Industry and Other Renewables in June 2019

The month of June saw important policy announcements by the central as well as the state agencies. The policy highlights covered various issues like for module registration, tariffs, net metering, and distributed power.

Changes in the state level open access regulations, renewable purchase obligations, and electric vehicle regulations were also announced.

Here are some of the important policy announcement made in June 2019:

National



The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has made changes in its regulation on compulsory registration of approved models and manufacturers of solar modules and cells in India.

Earlier, if the application consisted of many models, the application fee would increase by 10% for every additional model. In the revised version of the regulations, in case the application consists of multiple models, an additional 1% will be charged for every additional model.

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) approved the new national average power purchase cost (APPC) of ₹3.60 (~$0.051)/kWh for open access for FY 2019-20, for solar and wind projects. The new average power purchase cost for FY 2019-2020 is 2% higher than the previous year.

States

The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) proposed a capital cost of ₹37.33 million (~$0.54 million)/MW for solar projects to be developed in the state.

The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) finalized the group and virtual net metering guidelines. The commission has set the minimum project capacity at 5 kW while the maximum will be 5 MW at a single location.

The Chhattisgarh State Electricity Regulatory Commission (CSERC) has issued draft regulations for grid-interactive distributed renewable sources, to enable the growth of distributed renewable energy. According to the commission, a prosumer will be responsible for the safe operation, maintenance, and rectification of any defect up to the point of net metering. The DISCOM will have the right to disconnect the renewable energy system at any time in the event of threat or damage from such a system to its distribution system, without any notice.

The Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) has proposed amendments to its Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) Regulations. For the financial year 2019-20, non-solar RPO has been set at 6% and solar RPO at 2%, for FY 2020-21, the non-solar RPO has been set at 8% and solar RPO at 3%.

The Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) has issued draft open access regulations, 2019. These regulations will apply to consumers for open access connected to the intra-state transmission system and the DISCOMs in the state.

The Uttarakhand Electricity Regulatory Commission (UERC) has issued benchmark tariffs and capital costs for solar power projects in the state. The benchmark costs have been set at ₹40 million ($576,000)/MW for solar PV projects.

The Tamil Nadu State Load Dispatch Centre (TNSLDC) and Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory (TNERC) have announced rules for the forecasting, scheduling, and deviation settlement mechanism for wind and solar generation. It will apply to all wind, and solar energy generators (excluding rooftop photovoltaic solar power projects).

The Madhya Pradesh Power Management Company Limited (MPPMCL) proposed the tariff for electric vehicle and electric rickshaw charging infrastructure in the state for FY 2019-20. For low tension (LT) consumers, the existing monthly fixed charge for EV charging installations is ₹100 ($1.44) per kVA or ₹125 ($1.80) per kW of billing demand, and the per unit tariff is ₹6 ($0.086).  Similarly, for high tension consumers, the existing monthly fixed charge for EV charging installations is ₹120 ($1.73) per kVA of the billing demand, and the per unit tariff is ₹5.90 ($0.072).

The Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission has set the tariff at ₹4 ($0.06)/kWh and ₹100 ($1.44) as the fixed monthly charge on electricity bill for the EV charging stations in Chandigarh.

Image credit: Tiia Monto [CC BY-SA 4.0]