Indian electricity distribution companies (discoms) struggling with huge debts can together expect to save up to Rs 20,000 crore per annum with better scheduling of power, thanks to an app developed by the government that provides information on sourcing cheaper electricity, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said on Wednesday.
“With 1,20,000 crore units of electricity being consumed in the country now, which will go up to 2 lakh crore units in five years, this app, at a conservative estimate, can help save 10 paise per unit…which makes for a straight saving of Rs 20,000 crore a year for distribution companies,” Goyal said here launching the ‘MERIT’ (Merit Order Dispatch of Electricity for Rejuvenation of Income and Transparency) app and portal for flexibility in coal supply for private power producers.
These have been developed by the power ministry in association with POSOCO and Central Electricity Authority.
The MERIT portal displays information regarding the merit order of electricity procured by states, such as daily state-wise marginal variable costs of all generators, daily source-wise power purchases with source-wise fixed and variable costs, energy volumes and purchase prices.
It also gives information regarding reasons for deviation from merit order, which will help state discoms to optimise their power procurement in more efficient way, leading to lower cost of power to consumers.
As a necessary complement to the apps functioning, the ministry has recently has lowered the technical minimum for coal-fired thermal power plants from 70 per cent to 55 per cent, Goyal said. This measure would support the renewable energy sector by allowing more clean energy to come into the grid.