Dis­trib­uted gen­er­a­tion is fu­ture of so­lar

Electrical Monitor - - INTERVIEW -

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

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