Target is substantially higher than this year’s 17%; uniform cut-offs for States, UTs
NEW DELHI: Twesh Mishra The Ministry of Power has mandated that 21 per cent of all power purchased by a power distribution company during FY22 will have to be generated from renewable sources.
This is much higher than the 17 per cent renewable purchase obligation (RPO) mandated for FY19.
According a June 14 order from the Ministry, the solar purchase obligation will be up from 6.75 per cent in FY19 to 10.50 per cent in FY22. The non-solar purchase obligation will be up from 10.25 per cent this fiscal to 10.50 per cent in FY22. The RPOs specified for solar and non-solar power are supposed to be adhered to uniformly by all the States and Union Territories.
The RPO are the backbone of India’s renewable energy programme. The Power Ministry order said the higher RPOs are being instituted to achieve the target of 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by March 2022.
Targets seldom met
Till now, States have been free to fix their own RPO targets subject to a minimum of 8 per cent for solar. These targets are seldom met and, according to a Greenpeace statement, as of December 2017, only six States and seven UTs were complying with the Centre’s RPO targets.
An industry watcher said that while setting the RPO target is important, it is even more imperative to ensure that the State governments meet them.
The order said the revised RPOs are in continuance of the purchase obligations trajectory defined in July 2016 for the period from FY17 to FY19.
The purchase obligations will be on the total consumption of electricity by an obliged entity, excluding the consumption to be met from hydropower sources.
State Electricity Regulatory Commissions may consider notifying the RPO for their respective States in line with the uniform trajectory defined by the Centre, the order noted.
In case adequate solar energy is not available, the Centre said, the States can meet their total RPO through more procurement of non-solar power. However, at least 85 per cent of the solar obligation has to be met.