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Inadequate capacity clouds solar power renewable purchase obligations

According to reports, most electricity distribution utilities will fail to meet their obligation to supply a minimum amount of solar power as there are very few plants that supply such electricity. Utilities are bound by a renewable purchase obligation (RPO) which mandates that a part of the electricity they supply should be sourced from renewable plants. As against the projected demand for 1,000 mw of solar power generation, India has less than 50 mw of capacity operational.

According to industry sources, India will barely have the desired solar power installations by March but it would be too late for the distribution companies to procure solar power to meet the entire year’s obligation.

The state electricity regulatory commissions (SERCs) have directed the distribution companies to meet separate solar RPO as per the tariff policy at least at 0.25% of total consumption of electricity in their respective areas in 2011-12 and 2012-13. SERCs of states like Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar have set even bigger targets of distributing 0.50% of solar power. However, none of the state utilities are equipped to meet the solar RPO.

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