Government addressing legal obligations issue in renewable energy
Posted on Aug 05 2014 | IANS
New Delhi, Aug 5 : The ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) is trying to address various issues affecting renewable energy, including the lack of compliance and enforcement of renewable power obligations (RPO) by state distribution companies (discoms).
"There have been concerns about renewable power obligations not being met or not being enforced. There are concerns about domestic manufacturing not being able to scale up. We are trying to address these various issues," Minister of State for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal said Tuesday inaugurating a conference here on renewable sources.
RPO specifies what will be the percentage of green energy in the overall consumption by discoms and by power generators.
Arguing that enforcement of RPO by State electricity regulators - SERCs - was critical renewable energy capacity addition in the country, MNRE has been asking the state electricity regulatory commissions (SERCs) to consider exercising their statutory authority and issue directions to discoms for ensuring RPO compliance.
While prescribing RPO, the state regulator has to consider what impact it will have on retail tariff for common consumers.
Goyal said the government is trying to balance all interests in the renewable energy sector ensuring finally that the consumer gets quality power at affordable price.
Various efforts are underway to boost the renewable sector, the minister said.
"I hope that within the five-year term of this government, we will put India right on top of the world map of renewable energy," Goyal said.
The country's current renewable installed capacity is 31,000 MW, comprising wind (21,000 MW), solar (2,000 MW) and small hydro projects (3,000 MW).
Goyal also said there would be no budget restriction on research and development activities.
"I have said that any amount of people who need to go and study abroad, do some joint research abroad and get ideas for improving our labs, absolutely there will be no restriction," Goyal said.
"The science and technology initiatives of the government and initiatives of all those working in new and renewable energy space are complimentary in nature," he added.