Uttar Pradesh Proposes Solar RPO at 2% for 2019-20

The Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) has proposed amendments to its Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) Regulations. The regulations were issued in 2010 to facilitate the growth of renewable energy generating sources in the state.

The new regulations will come into force from the date of their publication in the Official Gazette of Uttar Pradesh.

The regulations issued in 2010 had RPO targets set only until FY 2012-13. As part of the amendments, the state has proposed new RPO targets for entities in the state. For financial year (FY) 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%.

For FY 2021-22, the state has specified solar RPO of 4% and non-solar RPO of 9%, for FY 2022-23, solar RPO has been set at 5% and non-solar RPO at 9%, and for FY 2023-24, its solar RPO has been set at 5% and non-solar RPO at 10%.

The commission has stated that the RPO, solar and non-solar, specified for FY 2023-24 will be the RPO target for the successive years until it is revised.

Minimum Quantum of Purchase (FY 2019-20 to FY 2023-24) (%)

As part of these new regulations, the UPERC has specified that in case an entity has completed 85% of its solar RPO target, it can complete the shortfall by purchasing excess non-solar renewable energy.

In the case of non-solar RPO, if an entity has achieved 85% of its non-solar RPO target and is facing difficulty in procuring the remaining power, it can fulfill the shortfall by purchasing excess solar power.

The UPERC has also advised all entities to file an annual return of RPO by April 30th of the next financial year. The return will have the details about the purchase of power from non-solar, solar, hydro sources to fulfill RPO along with roadmap and reasons in case the RPO isn’t met.

Recently, the UPERC ordered Uttar Pradesh’s electricity distribution companies to respond to its suo moto proceedings about meeting RPO targets.

Of late, states are taking a tough stance on RPO compliance as it is one of the major drivers of growth of the renewable energy sector. The RPO target is reflective of the potential of various renewable energy generating sources in the state: solar, wind, hydro, other renewables (biomass and others). The UPERC has also given the obligated entities a small window through which they can utilize one or the other source to meet their RPO.

The Ministry for Power has set solar RPO for FY 2019-2020 at 7.25% and non-solar RPO at 10.25%. To ensure compliance, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) also created an RPO Compliance Cell. Though RPO is the single most important policy driving renewable energy installations in India, RPO compliance has not been up to the mark. Few states and union territories strictly adhere to RPO compliance. States like Maharashtra have also taken a tough stance on RPO enforcement, and it remains to see if other states will follow.