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Electricity Rules 2021 promulgated for Transmission System Planning; GNA introduced

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The Ministry of Power reviewed the existing transmission planning framework based on long-term access (LTA) which resulted in the promulgation of the Electricity (Transmission System Planning, Development and Recovery of Inter-State Transmission Charges) Rules 2021 on October 3, 2021.

  • These rules saw the introduction of General Network Access (GNA), to ease the inter state transmission system & which will ease the power generating companies to get an easier access to the electricity transmission network across the country or inter-state.
  • Also, for the first time, these rules have enabled the transmission capacity to be sold, shared or purchased by the states and generators as per their requirements.

Reasons behind the formation of these rules:

i.To streamline the process of planning, development and recovery of investment in the transmission system

ii.To specify how the existing LTA will be transitioned into GNA.

  • At present, generating companies apply for LTA based on their supply tie-ups, after which, incremental transmission capacity is added.

iii.Encouraging investments in the generation and transmission sectors.

How will it ease transmission access for generating stations?

i.Power plants will not have to specify their target beneficiaries.

ii.Empower state power distribution and transmission companies to determine their transmission requirements and build them.

iii.States will be able to purchase electricity from short term and medium term contracts and optimize their power purchase costs.

Roles of various agencies involved in the transmission planning process as specified in rules:

i.The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) will prepare a short-term plan every year on a rolling basis for the next 5 years and a perspective plan every alternative year on a rolling basis for the next 10 years.

ii.The Central Transmission Utility (CTU) will prepare an implementation plan for inter-State transmission system every year on rolling basis for up to next 5 years.

iii.The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) will draft detailed regulations on GNA in interstate transmission system.

Point to be noted:

The rules prescribe that excess drawal or injection over the GNA capacity sanctioned will be charged at rates which are at least 25% higher. This will ensure that the entities do not under-declare their GNA capacity.

Other reforms by Ministry of Power:

i.The Ministry had separated CTU from POWERGRID to provide transparency in the bids for transmission and reduced the lock-in period for transmission projects in order to attract investments and more competition.

ii.It also issued the Right of Consumer rules, which empower consumers and rules laying down the ceiling for late payment surcharge.

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Union Minister for Power, R K Singh inaugurated ‘Aiming for Sustainable Habitat: New Initiatives in Building Energy Efficiency 2021’, which is a set of 6 new initiatives aimed at improving energy efficiency in the building sector.

About Ministry of Power:

Union Minister– Raj Kumar Singh (Constituency- Arrah, Bihar)
Minister of State (MoS)– Krishan Pal Gurjar (Constituency- Faridabad, Haryana)