Week In India: Indu Shekhar Chaturvedi Takes Charge; 90,000 Crore For DISCOMs; New Solar Tariff Frameworks And More

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Indian RE Industry Welcomes Indu Shekhar Chaturvedi As New MNRE Secretary

Indu Shekhar Chaturvedi (IAS) assumed charge as new Secretary, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy. After formally taking over, Chaturvedi met senior officers of the Ministry and took stock of the work and issues before the Ministry.Before this appointment, Chaturvedi was serving as Additional Chief Secretary and Additional Secretary (Climate Change Department ) of the Ministry of Climate Change Department, Environment & Forest, Government of Jharkhand.Chaturvedi is a 1987 Batch IAS officer and belongs to Jharkhand cadre and succeeded Anand Kumar in the Ministry who earlier took charge as Secretary, Ministry of Culture.He is B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from IIT- Kanpur and holds a P.G. in International Development from Harvard University (USA).He has worked in the Government of Jharkhand and Government of India at various positions including field and policy level. He has also worked as Joint Secretary or equivalent in PMO, D/o Economic Affairs, Ministry Of Finance. 

Government Announces Rs 90,000 Crore Liquidity Injection For DISCOMs

During the press conference which was recently held, Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman said in her opening remarks that the Prime Minister has himself ensured that inputs obtained from widespread consultation form a part of the economic package in the fight against COVID-19.Power Finance Corporation and Rural Electrification Corporation will infuse liquidity in the DISCOMS to the extent of Rs 90000 crores in two equal installments.Further, CPSE GENCOs will give a rebate to DISCOMS on the condition that the same is passed on to the final consumers as a relief towards their fixed charges.It has also stated that Revenues of Power Distribution Companies (DISCOMs) have plummeted and Loans to be given against State guarantees for the exclusive purpose of discharging liabilities of Discoms to Gencos.To provide relief to the business, additional working capital finance of 20% of the outstanding credit as on 29 February 2020, in the form of a Term Loan at a concessional rate of interest will be provided.The government will support them with Rs. 4,000 Cr. to Credit Guarantee Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE). Besides, General Financial Rules (GFR) of the Government will be amended to disallow global tender inquiries in the procurement of Goods and Services of the value of less than Rs 200 crores.

MPERC Goes Virtual For May 2020 Hearing Schedule

Madhya Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission(MPERC) has issued an Order stating the Schedule of Hearing of May 2020.The order states that the hearing scheduled during the months of March & April 2020 has been postponed due to lockdown on account of the COVID – 19 outbreak. To take up those cases, the Commission has decided to hold the hearing through Video-conferencing.The hearings shall be held using “Webex ” as a video conference platform. The hearing shall commence today as per the time slots allocated.Detailed Guidelines regarding the virtual courtroom to be followed for the hearing will be uploaded separately on the official website of the Commission.There were 13 cases listed for the hearing.

Amid COVID-19 Electricity Volume Decline By 25% YoY In April 2020: IEX

The Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) in its monthly Power Market Update announced that the electricity market at IEX saw a trade of 4052 MU recording only 6.6% YoY decline, while the national peak demand at 133GW declined 25% YoY in April’20. This was mainly due to contraction in commercial and industrial demand in lieu of the COVID 19 related preventive lockdown says IEX.The day-ahead market volume was at 3692 MU while the term-ahead volume was at 360 MU. The termahead segment recorded a significant 8% YoY growth due to increased preference for TAM contracts amongst Southern, Western and Northern utilities.Power procurement by distribution utilities from southern, western and northern states such as Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Punjab amongst others increased by over 10% in April owing to ample power availability and very attractive prices.

CERC Permits PGCIL To Construct Transmission Systems for Solar Energy Zones in Rajasthan

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has passed an order for granting regulatory approval to the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) for the execution of the transmission system for solar energy zones (SEZ) in Rajasthan.CERC directed that PGCIL shall ensure that the transmission system is taken up for implementation matching with the progress of generation projects also it should upload the elements of the scheme on the website for stakeholder’s comments and discuss the same in RPC meetings before taking up these elements for execution.For the fulfillment of this ambitious target of 175 GW renewable capacity, the PGCIL has planned development of transmission capacity for 66.5 GW Renewable Energy through potential Solar Energy Zones (SEZs) and potential Wind Energy Zones (WEZs) in 7 nos.

GERC Issues Tariff Framework For Procurement of Solar Power By Distribution Licensees

The Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) issued tariff framework for procurement of power by distribution licensees and others from Solar Energy Projects and other commercial issues for the State of GujaratThe Commission had issued the previous generic Tariff Order on 17th August 2015, for procurement of power by Distribution Licensees from Solar power projects in Gujarat. The Control Period of GERC Solar power Tariff Order 2015 expired on 31 March 2018. This Order details the tariff framework for the prospective period as well as the intervening period.It is clarified in the recent order that the intent of the Act, Policies, and Regulations is also to prefer competitive bidding for renewable energy in the future to maintain reasonable and competitive tariff. It is, therefore, in the interest of the consumers that such solar energy is procured by the licensees at the most competitive rates. As regards Additional Rs. 0.20 per unit is not cost-competitive.the Commission retains the approach for tariff determination as under: “The power generated from the small scale Solar Power Projects having size 0.5 MW or above but below 5 MW, the procurement price of energy shall be at the rate of tariff discovered under the competitive bidding process and adopted by the Commission in the different period of 6 months of the year plus additional 20 paisa per kWh thereon for the projects located outside the solar park.

CERC Proposes New Forbearance and Withdrawal Of Floor Price for the RECs

Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), has issued a proposal regarding the Determination of Forbearance and Floor Price for the REC framework states “It as necessary given the current situation of demand-supply of the REC market”.The commission stated that while determining the floor price and forbearance price shall be guided inter- alia by the following principles: (a)Variation in cost of generation of different renewable energy technologies falling under the solar and non-solar category, across States in the country; (b)Variation in the Pooled Cost of Purchase across States in the country; (c) Expected electricity generation from renewable energy sources including:- i. expected renewable energy capacity under preferential tariff ii. expected renewable energy capacity under the mechanism of certificates; (d) Renewable Purchase obligation targets set by State Commissions.In the period, January 2019 to March 2020, tariff discovered through competitive bidding was Rs. 2.74/kWh and that for wind projects was Rs. 2.85/kWh. Accordingly, CERC has proposed to reduce prices. Forbearance price is reduced up to Rs. 1000/MWh for both solar and non-solar RECs. Further, CERC states that to promote the sale of RECs, the floor price is no longer required. 

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