THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: KSEB Limited has told the Electricity Regulatory Commission that it would not be able to meet the new renewable energy targets set for it by the commission. According to the power utility, total additional capital investment required for adding about 189.6 MW of non-solar and about 504 MW of solar, the watts required to meet the new ‘renewable purchase obligations’ target, is about Rs 4400 crore. If passed on to consumers, it will spike the power bill considerably. Further, there will be issues while attempting to integrate renewable energy into the main power grid.
The latest regulations of the ERC stipulate that the share of renewable energy in the power sold annually by KSEBL should be 7.5 per cent during the ongoing fiscal, and 9.75 per cent during 2018-19. Renewable energy is split into two components: solar and non-solar (wind, biogas, and mini hydel). For 2017-18, this fiscal, the share of solar in the total sales should be 1.50 per cent, and that of non-solar, 6 per cent (a total of 7.5 per cent).
“Considering all the existing and ongoing small hydel and wind projects, the state is still short of 690 MU to achieve the new renewable purchase obligations (RPO) target for non-solar power,” a top KSEBL source said. In other words, this will require an additional capacity of 189.6 MW from small hydel and wind. Taking a capital cost of Rs 7 crore per MW, this will mean an additional investment of Rs 1327 crore.
To meet the solar RPO, KSEB Ltd has been planning to install about 504 MW solar plants including the 200 MW Kasargod solar park, by 2018-19. At an average capital cost of Rs 5.3 crore per MW, this will require an additional investment of Rs 2673 crore. According to KSEBL officials, the unstable nature of renewable energy will also pose problems while integrating it with the power grid. “The infirm nature of solar and wind, the huge influx of intermittent generation, and unpredictable variation may severely affect the stability of the grid,” a top official said.