According to reports, power companies have told the regulator that they are not in a position to meet their renewable power obligations (RPO). In the tariff petitions for the financial year 2014-15, the discoms have requested Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission to waive off their RPO in the interest of consumers or consider carrying forward the commitment to subsequent years.
The scheme, which became a part of the tariff from FY 2012-13, makes it obligatory for discoms to source a fixed percentage—4.8%—of the total power from renewable sources. “The companies can procure renewable energy, generate it themselves, or buy renewable energy certificates (REC) from the power exchange,” said an expert.
In their tariff petitions, the discoms made it clear that they were finding it difficult to continue meeting the RPO. “We made every effort to procure renewable power through short-term tenders, but no party has come forward. We had also floated a long-term tender, which attracted six to seven bids, but DERC has not approved our petition so far. The renewable power available in Delhi is limited. To meet the requirement we will be forced to buy RECs, which will be very expensive and will have a bearing on the tariff,” said a discom official. DERC officials said they were yet to examine the demand for a waiver. “They were unable to fulfil their obligations in 2013-14 and want it to waived or carried forward to the next fiscal,” said a DERC official.
Environmentalists, meanwhile, slammed discoms and urged DERC not to accept their demand.
“It’s unfortunate that the discoms have petitioned DERC for a complete waiver. Despite a huge potential for solar-based energy, particularly rooftop generation, in Delhi, along with its economic viability with the current retail tariff, the discoms failed to tap a cleaner resource for addressing the energy crisis as well as combating climate change. By implementing rooftop solar power generation in government, industrial and commercial buildings of Delhi, the discoms will not only be able to produce more than 900MW but also meet their current and last fiscal’s RPO target,” said Abhishek Pratap, senior campaigner from Greenpeace India. There is no additional financial burden as the cost of generating electricity is well within the retail tariff of commercial and industrial customers, he added.