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MoP Mandates 40% RPO for New Coal/Lignite-Based Thermal Plants

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Power Ministry mandates 40 perThe Ministry of Power (MoP) has mandated that new coal/lignite-based thermal plants either establish renewable energy capacity equivalent to at least 40% of the plant’s capacity or procure that much green energy under a Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO).

  • The MoP has amended the Tariff Policy 2016 under the Electricity Act 2003 to impose a 40% RPO for new coal/lignite-based thermal power plants to be installed commencing April 1, 2023.

Renewable Generation Obligation as per Revised Tariff Policy, 2016

i.According to the Tariff Policy 2016, it has been agreed that any generating company establishing a coal/lignite-based thermal generating station with the commercial operation date (COD) of the project on or after April 1, 2023, must develop renewable energy generating capacity [in megawatts (MW)] as per the following condition.

  • Need to develop a Renewable Generation Obligation (RGO) of a minimum of 40% of a coal/lignite-based thermal generating station or procure and supply renewable energy equivalent to such capacity.

ii.A coal/lignite-based thermal generating station with a COD of the project between April 1, 2023, and March 31, 2025 must meet the RGO of 40% by April 1, 2025.

  • If a coal/lignite-based thermal generating station has a COD for the project after April 1, 2025, will be required to meet the RGO of 40% by the COD.

iii.Furthermore, a captive coal/lignite-based thermal generating plant is excluded from the requirement of an RGO if it meets the RPOs as declared by the Government of India (GoI).

iv.This is significant in light of India’s ambitious objective of 500 MW of renewable energy generation by 2030.

  • As of January 31, 2023, India had 121549.52 MW of renewable energy capacity, excluding large hydro (above 25 MW), which consists of 10209.81 MW of biomass or co-generation power, 41983.18 MW of wind energy, and 63893.83 MW of solar energy.

GoI Accepts Expert Panel Report On Smart Electricity Transmission System in India

The GoI has approved the report of a task force established by the Ministry of Power (MoP) in September 2021, chaired by K. Sreekant, CMD, POWERGRID, to recommend measures to modernize the transmission sector and make it smart and future-ready.

  • The task force’s intention is to pave the path for India to have a modern and smart electricity transmission system.

The Task Force:

i.The Task Force was composed of representatives from the following organizations: State Transmission Utilities, the Central Electricity Authority, Central Transmission Utilities, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTY), the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh), the NSGM (National Smart Grid Mission) Project Management Unit (NPMU), and the Electric Power Transmission Association (EPTA).

ii.The committee’s report was accepted by the GoI following discussions presided over by Union Minister Raj Kumar Singh (R. K. Singh), MoP &Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

iii.The GoI envisions providing people with 24×7 reliable and affordable power while also meeting sustainability goals.

Recommendation made by the task force:

i.The task force has identified various technological and digital solutions that might be used to make the state transmission grids future-ready.

ii.These recommendations have been classified as follows: modernization of the existing transmission system, use of advanced technology in construction and supervision, operations and management, smart & future-ready transmission systems, and workforce upskilling.

iii.The Task Force has recommended Centralized Remote Monitoring, Operation of Substations including SCADA, Flexible AC Transmission devices (FACTs), Dynamic Line Loading system (DLL), Wide Area Measurement System (WAMS) using PMUs and data analytics, Hybrid AC / HVDC system, Predictive maintenance technique using AI/ML algorithms, HTLS Conductors, Process Bus based Protection Automation and Control GIS/Hybrid Substation, Cyber Security, Energy Storage System and Drones & Robots in construction/inspection of transmission assets.

iv.Based on the performance of global transmission utilities, the Task Force also proposed benchmarks for transmission network availability and voltage control.

v.The long-term interventions are planned to be implemented over 3-5 years, and the short- to medium-term recommendations will be implemented over 1-3 years.

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About Ministry of Power (MoP):

Union Minister – Raj Kumar Singh [R.K.Singh] (Arrah Constituency, Bihar)
Minister of State (MoS) – Krishan Pal