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Government mulls stronger norms for renewable purchase obligations

According to reports, the government is looking at bringing in stronger provisions through possible amendments in the Electricity Act to ensure that entities comply with renewable purchase obligations (RPO).

Under the RPO framework, entities such as distribution companies (discoms) procuring electricity are required to get certain percentage from green energy sources.

Regarding compliance with RPO, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has written to the Ministry of Power.

“What we have requested is that the Electricity Act itself should mention about RPO… Or there (should) be some other alternative, so that it becomes binding. Also the enforcement provision should be more stronger,” Tarun Kapoor, Joint Secretary at MNRE, said today.

To ensure stricter compliance with RPO, possible amendments could be made to the Electricity Act, he added.

At present, State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs) have the mandate to fix the minimum percentage of RPO.

The idea of RPO is to promote the use of renewable energy in the country.

In case entities are unable to procure the required amount of electricity under RPO they can buy Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to meet the target.

One REC is equivalent to 1 MWh (megawatt hour) of energy generated from renewable sources.

However, the trading volumes of RECs witnessed a significant decline in January on the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX). The decline in volumes was around 67 per cent in January as compared to December last year.

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