Discoms will have to buy all power created from municipal waste
NEW DELHI: In a move aimed at making our cities clean by way of better trash management, the government is set to make it mandatory for power distribution companies to buy 100% of electricity generated from municipal solid waste.
The power ministry has finalised a cabinet note to amend the electricity Act 2003 and incorporate this provision among others. “The proposal will come up for cabinet approval shortly,” said a government official.
The act as of now provides for purchase of electricity from only two non-renewable energy sources — wind and solar.
Currently, only 23% of municipal waste — which includes household and commercial garbage and construction debris — produced in a day is processed or properly disposed of. India generates 24 MW (mega watts) of power from such waste at four waste-to-energy plants with a capacity of 41 MW. But it has the potential to generate 500 MW.
Waste-to-energy is currently economically unviable due to high generation costs, which discour- age private players from setting up such plants.
But the government hopes the amended law will change all this. “The Centre has already committed a 20% grant for solid waste management projects under the Swachh Bharat Mission. The move mandating discoms to purchase 100% power will incentivise more developers to set up such plants,” said a government official.
The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission has recently fixed a tariff of R7.04 per unit for power derived from municipal solid waste.
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