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Pragmatic, progressive and enforceable RPO mechanism need of the hour:Anil Sardana, Managing Director, Tata Power

Interview with Mr Anil Sardana, Managing Director, Tata Power

What are the future priorities of Tata Power India in the field of renewable energy?

Tata Power has aggressive plans in generating power from “clean power sources” which will include a mix of hydro, solar, wind, geothermal and waste gas generation. The company is the leading private wind generation company with an installed capacity of 375 MW spread across four states. At the same time, we are very much active in the solar, geothermal, hydro and waste gases based power plants in the country.

Amid concerns of dwindling reserves of fossil fuels and climate change, do you see renewables rising to the occasion to bridge the energy gap in future?

Yes, we do see renewable energy projects gaining importance in the near future. However, a pragmatic, progressive and enforceable RPO mechanism is not only the need of the hour, but will also be consistent with the spirit and vision of the Electricity Act, 2003 and subsequent policy measures including the NEP, NTP, Integrated Energy Policy, NAPCC etc. Given the limitation on the conventional sources of energy, a long-term view needs to be taken to ensure energy security through development of appropriate indigenous alternatives. A prudent and practical RPO mechanism would serve the objective well to develop these technologies as commercially viable alternatives. It would also be consistent with India’s stand on managing emissions post the Kyoto period and its success would be a critical tool to help the country negotiate any post Kyoto commitments on carbon. The achievement of the stated goal of 15 per cent renewable energy by 2020 would largely depend on the effectiveness of RPO and remunerative Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) regime.

A progressive and supportive state policy on renewables provides a clear roadmap /vision but its effectiveness is subject to the applicable regulations in the state. A state policy and the supporting regulatory framework complement each other in pursuing the promotional agenda, particularly when a capital-intensive new technology needs to be supported.

The RE evolution in India – across the globe – has been consistent with the framing of FITs and enabling mechanisms like must run, deemed generation, banking etc. The vision provided by the National Policy in terms of long-term RPO, its acceptance by the Forum of Regulators and state-level regulatory commitments on not only progressive RPO compliance but also intra-renewable targets, provide a medium to long-term visibility on renewable asset planning. State Regulatory may need to device a more effective way of RPO implementation, even in utilities having government control.

Where do you see the renewable energy market heading over the next decade in India and TATA Power’s role in it?

Tata Power today is a significant player in renewable energy space and in the next 5-7 years will aim for the following:

* 20-25 per cent of our total generation capacity from renewables. Also, we would like to explore overseas opportunities in renewable energy in select geographies to strengthen the footprint in renewable energy segment.

* Be a leading player in wind and solar energy in the country.

* Be a significant player in hydro and geothermal energy space – both in India and overseas.

Energy efficiency is seen as one of the key components as far as energy security is concerned. Where do you think Tata power stands in creating energy efficiency standards?

Tata Power strives to make a difference and remain committed to the issues of resource conservation, energy efficiency, environment protection & enrichment and development of local communities in and around its areas of operation.

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