The Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) has ordered its electricity distribution company to respond to its suo moto proceedings about meeting renewable purchase obligation (RPO) targets as per regulations.
The respondents involved electricity distribution companies in the state; Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL), Madhyanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Limited, Purvanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Limited, Paschimanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Limited, Dakshinanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Limited, Kanpur Electricity Supply Company Limited, Noida Power Company Limited (NPCL), and the Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency (UPNEDA).
The commission had directed the UPPCL and the NPCL to submit their roadmap plans in achieving their RPO shortfalls early this year.
For UPPCL, the commission has asked for the roadmap up to FY 2020-21 and FY 2021-22, while NPCL submitted that it would achieve its FY 2017-18 shortfall by March 2019. The commission has directed NPCL to submit reports every quarter to the commission. The commission noted the cumulative shortfall (Upto November 2018-2019) for solar to be 3,993.69 MU while for non-solar it was 4,259.52 MU.
The commission also noted that there was no submission of long-term RPO growth trajectory made either by UPPCL or NPCL for FY2019-20 and FY 2021-22, as stipulated by the Ministry of Power.
In UPPCL’s case, the commission’s order has also pointed out that there was no mention of the non-solar power to be purchased in the submissions from FY 2019-20 onwards. Considering this, it has directed UPPCL to submit a plan of achieving the shortfall made in the previous years in three weeks.
The Ministry for Power set solar RPO for FY 2019-2020 at 7.25 percent and non-solar RPO at 10.25 percent. 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 taken a tough stance on RPO enforcement, and it remains to see if other states will follow.
Soumik is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, Soumik was a correspondent for UNI, New Delhi covering the Northeast region for seven years. He has also worked as an Asia Correspondent for Washington DC-based Hundred Reporters. He has contributed as a freelancer to several national and international digital publications with a focus on data-based investigative stories on environmental corruption, hydro power projects, energy transition and the circular economy. Soumik is an Economics graduate from Scottish Church College, Calcutta University.