Dis­coms will have to buy all power cre­ated from mu­nic­i­pal waste

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Moushumi Das Gupta moushumi.gupta@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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.

CON­TIN­UED ON P7

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