The government is looking at increasing renewable purchase obligation (RPO) targets from 3 per cent to 10 per cent so as to meet the one lakh MW solar capacity by 2022.Under the RPO, distribution companies (discoms) are mandated to purchase a certain amount of their power from renewable sources.The current tariff policy mentions separate percentages of RPO for solar and non-solar sources.
“If we have to achieve the target of 1,00,000 MW of green power, we will have to increase the RPO targets to 8-10 per cent by 2022”, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Joint Secretary Tarun Kapoor said.The revision in the current RPO targets has to take place in the new tariff policy, he said.The power ministry was requested to look into it after which it prepared a proposal that is pending Cabinet approval.
“Some state electricity regulators have currently fixed an RPO above 1 per cent, but some have not even reached that level as yet. Regulators, if they wish to, can increase the RPO target without even waiting for the tariff policy.But if they wait for it then it may come in the next month”, Kapoor said.He further said in the national plan for climate change, India has talked about 15 per cent target of renewable energy by 2020.
“This was said in 2010 that in 10 years we would have 15 per cent of energy from all renewable sources.Right now some states have given RPO target (solar, non-solar combine) of 5-7 per cent, so that they will have to increase to 15 per cent by 2022”, Kapoor said.It is yet to be ascertained how much of this will be contributed by solar.“For other sectors there is no separate percentage prescribed as for solar. If we try to match with 1,00,000 MW then it has to be 8-10 per cent. This also depends on how the conventional sector progresses.
“If our conventional production is less, then the percentage of solar could be 10 per cent or else to achieve the target it has to be at least 8 per cent”, he added.The recently announced UDAY package that aims to alleviate the discoms’ debts also includes a rule that they will now have to comply with the RPO, outstanding since April 2012, within a period to be decided in consultation with the power ministry.