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Power Minister R K Singh voiced alarm on Tuesday over mounting dues owed by renewable energy (RE) producers that have yet to be paid by discoms (distribution companies), stating that no investment will be made in the industry if investors discover that power bills are not being paid.
On the mounting dues of RE producers from discoms, the minister told reporters on the sidelines of the National Energy Conservation Day Function, “It is concerning because the amount is only Rs 15,000 crore or Rs 16,000 crore. However, it equates to 11 months of their invoicing.”
The overall overdue amount of discoms towards renewable energy (RE) producers was at Rs 19,013 crore as of October 31, 2021, accounting for 20% of the total amount of overdue of Rs 93,906 crore, as per the latest status report of the power minister, which was finalized on November 29, 2021.
Discoms’ overdue to RE producers were Rs 14,741 crore in January of the current year.
According to the report, the aggregate of Rs 19,013 crore owed to RE producers is 11.8 times their average monthly invoicing.
With Rs 6,279 crore of overdue, Andhra Pradesh utilities owes the most capital to RE producers, heeded by Tamil Nadu with Rs 3,215 crore and Telangana with Rs 2,159 crore.
Citing renewable energy producers to be salient in the context of India’s COP26 objective of 500GW RE by 2030, Singh expressed his concern over increasing overdue and stated,
“No investment will come if they find that power is not paid for. This compels us to take more strict measures to ensure that energy bills are paid on time. If we don’t do that, no investment would come for RE…how will I achieve 500GW (RE by 2030) But I can’t have a rule just for RE.”
As a result, the power ministry is developing a strong payment security framework for power providers to ensure that energy bills are paid on time.