Government Issues Resource Adequacy Planning Guidelines For India’s Power Sector

Representational image. Credit: Canva

The Central Government has issued Guidelines for Resource Adequacy Planning Framework for India, in consultation with Central Electricity Authority (CEA). The Guidelines, issued by the Union Ministry of Power, have been framed under Rule 16 of Electricity (Amendment) Rules, 2022 which were notified on 29th December 2022.


The guidelines will ensure that sufficient electricity is made available to power the country’s growth, by putting in place a framework for advance procurement of resources by DISCOMs to meet the electricity demand in a cost-effective manner. Guidelines provide for an institutional mechanism for Resource Adequacy ranging from the National level to the Discom level such that the availability of resources to meet the demand is ensured at each level. The new generation capacities, energy storage and other flexible resources, needed to reliably meet future demand growth at optimal cost, will be assessed well in advance.

The guidelines also suggest a share of at least 75 % of long-term contracts in a total capacity required by Discoms as per the long-term National Resource Adequacy Plan (LT-NRAP) or as specified by respective SERC. The medium–term contracts are suggested to be in the range of 10-20%, while the rest of the power demand can be met through short-term contracts. The National Load Dispatch Centre (NLDC)  will also carry out bids to procure any shortfall in the capacity required to meet the Short-term Distribution Resource Adequacy Plans (ST-DRAP), after aggregating the individual plans of DISCOMs.

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The guidelines also provide for the number of years before which the procurement process by DISCOMs must be completed for each type of generation so that the procured capacity becomes available when it is required to serve the projected load.

Commenting on the guidelines, Union Power & NRE Minister said that the guidelines are a major reform to provide consumers 24 x 7 reliable power supply at optimized electricity tariffs. “The time-bound and scientific approach to assess the electricity demand for the future and taking necessary actions to procure resources in advance to meet this demand will ensure that the practice of load shedding by DISCOMs and occurrence of electricity supply crunch periods is avoided in future”, Shri R. K. Singh added.

The Union Power & NRE Minister said that the robust resource adequacy framework will ensure the twin objective of ensuring the energy security of the nation at optimized cost as well as transitioning towards a clean and sustainable future.

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CEA will publish LT-NRAP to provide the Planning Reserve Margin (PRM) required at the national level, to reliably meet the demand. The National Load Dispatch Centre (NLDC) shall prepare a detailed annual operational plan considering the planned maintenance schedules of existing generating stations. This will be called Short-term National Resource Adequacy Plan (ST-NRAP).

Based on LT-NRAP, each DISCOM shall prepare their own plans to contract the capacity required to meet the PRM at the national level. This plan called Long-term Distribution Licensee Resource Adequacy Plan (LT-DRAP) shall be prepared for 10 years and shall be vetted by CEA while leveraging national-level optimization of resources. Similar to NLDC, all SLDCs will also prepare detailed annual operational plans called Short-term Distribution Resource Adequacy Plans (ST-DRAP), for their respective States, based on the actual availability of generating stations. These plans shall also factor in the (Renewable Purchase Obligations) RPO mandated for the obligated entities to promote RE capacity addition.

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