Rajasthan Sets Solar RPO for FY 2019-20 at 6%, Retroactively Revises 2018-19 Target

The Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission (RERC) has issued fifth amendment to its regulations for renewable energy obligation (RPO).

In the new amended regulations, the commission has revised the renewable purchase obligation for financial year 2018-19 to 4.75 percent from the earlier 6.75 percent. According to the RERC, revised RPO for FY 2018-19 will be applied retroactively from April 1, 2018.

The Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission also recently revised the state renewable purchase obligation (RPO) for entities in the state for the financial year (FY) 2013-14 retroactively.

“This is a negative development for the solar industry. RPO is the single most important policy driver pushing states to install solar but if states can retroactively change RPO targets, the solar market in the future cannot take these targets seriously. Not to mention, these retroactive changes to RPO goals will make it even harder to achieve the central government’s goal of 100 GW of solar by 2022,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.

In the new regulations, the state has specified a non-solar RPO of 8.60 percent for FY 2018-19, 9 percent for FY 2019-20, 9.40 percent for FY 2020-21, 9.80 percent for FY 2021-22, 10.10 percent for FY 2022-23 and 10.50 percent for FY 2023-24.

The commission has specified a solar RPO of 4.75 percent for FY 2018-19, 6 percent for FY 2019-20, 7.25 percent for FY 2020-21, 8.50 percent for FY 2021-22, 9.50 percent for FY 2022-23 and 10.50 percent for FY 2023-24.

Rajasthan Sets Solar RPO for FY 2019-20 at 6%, Retroactively Revises 2018-19 Target

According to the state commission, if there is a shortfall of about 20 percent in meeting solar RPO, it can be met by procuring additional non-solar energy after meeting the non-solar RPO or the other way around.

The status of target versus achievement of RPO in the past years has also been presented:

Rajasthan Sets Solar RPO for FY 2019-20 at 6%, Retroactively Revises 2018-19 Target

“Looking at Rajasthan’s historical RPO achievement figures, the state has missed its solar RPO goals every year and by a substantial margin. Considering Rajasthan’s attractive solar insolation, the consistent RPO target missing is even more concerning. The concern is that more and more states will start changing RPOs retroactively,” added Prabhu.

In the first week of 2019, the state commission issued regulations for connectivity and net metering of rooftop and small solar grid interactive systems in the state.

Following this, the commission also issued second amendments to the terms and conditions for the determination of tariff for renewable energy sources (wind and solar).

Moreover, Rajasthan recently issued draft amendments to the 2017 regulations on deviation settlement mechanism for grid-connected power.

In October 2018, the commission had released a staff paper on projects registered under renewable energy certificate mechanism in the state. It had proposed that DISCOMs should purchase the renewable power generated from such projects at the lowest pooled cost notified by the RERC since 2010, that is ₹2.67 (~$0.035)/kWh.

Image credit: RRECL

Saumy Prateek 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.