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GERC Specifies Renewable Purchase Obligation For FY 2023 To 2025

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The Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) has released the Procurement of Energy from Renewable Sources (Third Amendment), Regulations, 2022, which specifies renewable purchase obligation (RPO) objectives. The RPO percentage for fiscal years 2022-23, 2023-24, and 2024-25 is set as 17%, 18.7%, and 20.7%, respectively.

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Earlier, the commission published the draft regulations and asked for stakeholders’ comments and suggestions.

Stakeholders proposed taking into account the existing state of the industry and allowing for sufficient flexibility in order to meet the RPO. To achieve consistency, definitions of ‘renewable energy,’ ‘renewable energy projects,’ ‘renewable energy with storage,’ and ‘renewable hybrid energy project’ should be included.

This was required because the Commission was including biofuel as a renewable energy source in major hydropower projects.

Energy Storage Systems will not be recognized as a green energy generating source, said Commission in regard to considering energy generation from storage.

Commission further added that it merely serves as an energy storage device, releasing stored electricity when needed. As a result, according to the Electricity Act of 2003, the energy storage device is not a generator.

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However, wind or solar installations that include energy storage technologies will be regarded as renewable energy.

Green hydrogen and green ammonia were also suggested as renewable sources to meet RPO in accordance with the Ministry of Power’s Green Hydrogen Policy, and the Commission stated that if the electricity used to make hydrogen and ammonia is renewable, it counts for RPO fulfillment.

Wind, solar, bagasse, biomass, biogas, geothermal, MSW, tidal, and big hydropower projects, according to the Commission, are recognized as hybrid projects. The energy produced by such projects is eligible for RPO accomplishment.

According to the Commission, hydropower imported from outside of India will not be deemed for satisfying the hydropower purchase obligations (HPO). It is permissible for obligated organizations to use electricity from solar-wind energy-fed pumped hydro storage in order to fulfill solar and non-solar RPO and HPO.

Additionally, because it takes around 18 months for any solar project to be commissioned, several stakeholders advised retaining the RPO percentage at 17% for FY 2022-23 and 18.35% instead of 19.85% for FY 2023-24.

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Furthermore, there are several obstacles in the availability of land, infrastructure, evacuation, and a significant rise in the prices of input material, resulting in delays that might jeopardize fulfilling the present RPO objectives.

The Commission judged the stakeholders’ aforementioned claims about the time to commission the projects and other issues to be valid. As a result, the Commission established RPO percentages of 17%, 18.7%, and 20.7% for fiscal years 2022-23, 2023-24, and 2024-25, respectively.

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