GUVNL (Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited)-affiliated 4 distributing companies failed to meet the purchase target for renewable energy in the year 2015-2016 on the account of low supply of power from wind as well as other renewable energy sources. Under the RPO (Renewable Purchase Obligation), the distribution company is expected to purchase electricity from the renewable energy at a certain minimum percentage of the overall consumption of the consumers.
The Renewable Purchase Obligation target for the year 2015-2016 was around 9 percent – that is around 7 percent from wind, around 1.5 percent from solar and about 0.5 percent from various other sources like mini hydro projects and biomass. As against this stipulated benchmark of 9 percent, GUVNL may procure just 7.65 percent from the renewable energy sources in the year 2015- 2016. This got translated to a shortfall of around 980 million units in the year 2015-2016.
An apex electricity company, that is GUVNL, has now approached GERC (Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission) with a petition asking for a revision of the 4 discoms UGVCL (Uttar Gujarat –Vij Company Limited), MGVCL (Madhya Gujarat –Vij Company Limited), DGVCL (Dakshin Gujarat-Vij Company Limited and then PGVCL (Paschim Gujarat – Vij Company Ltd), and let it to adjust the purchase of excess solar power against shortfall in the non-solar category.
As guided by this state power regulator, GUVNL has now invited some suggestions and objections from pretty much every stakeholder pertaining to the compliance of the RPO by the obligated entities. It is rather surprising that Gujarat is unable to meet RPO despite having big generation capacity of renewable power project that includes 4,350 MWs of non-solar as well as 1109 MWs of solar energy capacity, as stated by Mr. KK Bajaj who happens to be a city-based energy expert.
As per Mr. Bajaj, the purchase of this excess solar power of close to 303 MUs by GUVNL will be putting up increased burden of nearly INR 303 Crores on the people or end consumers as solar power is now costlier by at least INR 10 per unit than wind power. This condition of the RPO compliance is not just encouraging across the nation as close to 25 states did not fulfill RPO for the year 2015- 2016 and this includes Gujarat.
In one of the recent press releases, the Ministry of Renewable Energy stated that as the path towards the fulfillment of Government’s goal is for setting up the 40 GW rooftop solar power plants by the end of year 2022, SECI is now planning to actually launch the tender of 1K MW capacity in order to develop the grid that linked rooftop solar capacity for pretty much all central government ministries and also the other departments. This goes on to say how much this nation is focusing on renewable power.