The government’s draft National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy is a step in the right direction for promotion of renewable energy sector on a larger scale, ratings agency Icra said. The objective of the draft policy issued yesterday, which has a target of implementing 10 GW of such hybrid capacities by 2021-22, is to promote a large grid connected wind-solar PV system for optimal and efficient utilisation of transmission infrastructure and land. It also aims at reducing the variability in renewable power generation and thus achieving better grid stability.
“The national hybrid policy, although still at draft stage now, is a step in the right direction for promotion of renewable energy sector on a larger scale,” Icra Senior Vice President Sabyasachi Majumdar said. Given that critical infrastructure such as land and evacuation network for wind or solar project accounts for about 10-12 per cent of overall project cost, hybrid projects would benefit from a reduction in capital cost to some extent due to common infrastructure and land use in place, he said. Further, the variability in generation profile is likely to be reduced to some extent by the hybridisation of wind and solar projects at same site, given that generation from both the sources is at different intervals and in complimentary seasons.
This in turn would partially address the concerns of distribution utilities over the grid stability arising due to the intermittent nature of wind or solar generation, Majumdar said. “While there are inherent advantages in hybrid projects in optimal utilisation of resources, the project economics for such projects would be critically dependent upon the tariff level which may be either feed-in tariff based or competitively bid based, as is proposed in the policy. “We feel overall regulatory clarity in terms of tariff norms for hybrid projects remains a key,” he noted. The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission is hence required to lay down generic tariff principles as well as scheduling and forecasting framework norms for such projects which would in turn provide a guidance for State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERCs) to follow, he said.