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    Green energy open access rules to spur demand for renewable energy: RK Singh



    No load limit for captive consumers; nodal agency will provide open access in 15 days

    Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister RK Singh on Tuesday exhorted the industry to come out with clean energy transition plans as the government notified the green energy open access rules. Industries account for almost 50 per cent of India’s power consumption.

    The Government on Monday notified the Electricity (Promoting Renewable Energy Through Green Energy Open Access) Rules, 2022, which allows consumers with a sanctioned load of 100 kilowatt (kW) to purchase power directly from renewable energy (RE) producers. There will be no load limitation for captive consumers.

    “Now I call upon the industry and industry associations to start announcing transition to green. Most large industries have expressed an interest in going green. Open Access will make it possible,” Singh told reporters here.

    Open access

    The Minister pointed out that government has done away with hurdles that impacted the availability of RE for both, householder and industry.

    Emphasising on the efforts made by the Ministry to make open access more consumer friendly, Singh said that earlier if an industry player wanted to set up capacity or procure capacity or enter into PPAs to purchase RE, open access was a hurdle. Now open access will be provided in 15 days, or else it will be deemed to be provided.

    “Another hurdle was an inflated surcharge and additional surcharge making itexpensive. We have said that additional surcharge will not be levied and surcharge will be equal to the common level of surcharge in the state, and it will not be more than the surcharge prescribed in Tariff Policy, which is 20 per cent. They cannot increase surcharge also by more than 50 per cent in 12 years,” Singh noted.

    Elaborating on the features, the Minister said now it is not necessary that a consumer has to set up a capacity itself. One can ask the developer to set up capacity or it can hold a bid for the lowest tariff. After open access rules, all captive power plants (CPPs) can gradually shift to green energy, because RE will be cheaper. Also for captives, no surcharge will be levied.

    The rules provide certainty on open access charges to be levied on green energy open access consumers which includes transmission charges, wheeling charges, cross-subsidy surcharge and standby charges. The tariff for green energy will be determined separately by the Appropriate Commission, which shall comprise the average pooled power purchase cost of the RE, cross-subsidy charges, if any, and service charges covering the prudent cost of Discom for providing green energy.

    When asked about apprehension of Discoms on Open Access, Singh said, “We are here for consumers. We do not represent any vested interest of either the Discom or any other. They are intermediaries. We shall do whatever is necessary to bring down the price of power for the consumer. If an intermediary is inefficient then they will have to suffer the price for that inefficiency. We will go for systems which provide power at the least cost. Besides, energy transition is necessary.”

    RE industry welcomes

    Welcoming the notification, SunSource Energy Managing Director Kushagra Nandan said it is a shot in the arm for the green power demand in the commercial and industrial (C&I) segment.

    “C&I segment accounts for about 50 per cent of electricity consumption in India. By lowering the threshold for Open Access from the existing 1 MW to 100KW, the government has opened the door for this market to multiply multi-fold in the coming few years,” he added.

    Notifying a Central Nodal Agency for setting up and operating a single-window green energy open access system for RE is likely to lead to a simplified and smooth centralised approval process for the developers. It is also likely to open up the market in many more States, Nandan said.

    Published on June 07, 2022

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