Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (GUVNL) affiliated four distribution companies (discoms) fell short of purchasing required renewable energy in 2015-16 on account of low supply of power from wind and other renewable energy sources. Under the Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO), a distribution company is mandated to buy electricity from renewable energy at a defined minimum percentage of the total consumption of its consumers. The RPO target for 2015-16 was 9% (7% from wind, 1.5% from solar and 0.5% from other sources such as biomass and mini hydro projects). As against the stipulated target of 9%, GUVNL could procure only 7.66% from renewable energy sources in 2015-16. This translated into a shortfall of 980 million units (MUs) in 2015-16.
The apex electricity company GUVNL has approached Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) with a petition requesting revision of RPO for its four discoms — Uttar Gujarat Vij Company Ltd (UGVCL), Madhya Gujarat Vij Company Ltd (MGVCL), Dakshin Gujarat Vij Company Ltd (DGVCL) and Paschim Gujarat Vij Company Ltd (MGVCL)– and allow it to adjust purchase of excess (303 MUs) solar power against the shortfall in non-solar category. As directed by the state power regulator, GUVNL has invited suggestions or objections from all stakeholders pertaining to the compliance of RPO by obligated entities. “It is surprising that Gujarat is not able to meet RPO in spite of having huge generation capacity of renewable power projects, which include 4,348 MWs of non-solar and 1,108 MWs of solar energy capacity,” said KK Bajaj, a city-based energy expert.
According to him, the purchase of excess solar power of 303 MUs by GUVNL would put burden of Rs 303 crore on consumers as solar power is costlier by Rs. 10 per unit than the wind power. “The situation of RPO compliance is not encouraging all over India as nearly 25 states failed to fulfill RPO for 2015-16 including Gujarat,” he added.