Distributed generation is future of solar
You have often strongly pointed out that state utilities are not honoring their RPO commitment. All the same, what could be a way out of this predicament? The solution of this problem is very simple:
Regulators are responsible for RPO enforcement and they should enforce it. But, normally things that appear simple are not easy and this is the case, I would like to make the following points: Unfortunately renewable energy certificates (REC) have earned a bad name unnecessarily. Normally our states are power hungry, hence without accessing cost benefit of buying REC or buying solar power they have prejudiced that why to buy only certificate without power. We as a country are very poor on following regulations, especially when it is government-to-government. Regulators are supposed to act independently as a quasi-judicial body. Fortunately, most of them are acting independently. But in few cases like RPO, it looks like it is an extended arm of the state government. Renewable energy sources like solar are intermittent. What kind of challenges does this present to the transmission infrastructure? Yes, renewable energy sources are intermittent. Although solar is less intermittent, but it is. Any intermittent energy sources makes grid unstable.
As of now when penetration is only up to 10 per cent is not a serious challenge, but in future when this penetration will increase, there would be need of intelligent and smart software to manage the same. I also see a need of storage in this space. We have been witnessing solar tariffs of below ₹ 5 per kwh. Even assuming that capital costs have gone down over the years, do you feel such tariffs are sustainable? First of all let me clarify that cost of solar equipment has not gone down much in the last year or so. In fact, in the last 3-4 months it has gone marginally up because of US dollar appreciation and heavy demand in China. So, what are the elements which are bringing solar tariffs to such low levels are: Most of these bids are from overseas companies They have deep pockets and very cheap cost of fund