Elec­tric­ity dis­tri­bu­tion is the most crit­i­cal link in the elec­tric­ity mar­ket cater­ing di­rectly to the end con­sumers and with the rev­enue flow of the sec­tor orig­i­nat­ing here. How­ever, elec­tric­ity dis­tri­bu­tion re­mains the weak­est link in the In­dian power se

Power Watch India - - COVER STORY -

re­sponse (ADR) power dis­tri­bu­tion pro­ject for com­mer­cial and in­dus­trial fa­cil­i­ties. This al­lows the util­ity to man­age elec­tric­ity sup­ply in peak de­mand con­di­tions as well as in any other grid emer­gency sit­u­a­tion. Go­ing for­ward, with a se­ri­ous need to cur­tail dis­tri­bu­tion losses, more such capex on IT and smart grid ini­tia­tives is likely to hap­pen by dis­coms in var­i­ous states. Given the fact that such capex schemes are also el­i­gi­ble for schemes such as In­te­grated Power De­vel­op­ment Scheme (cov­ered for ur­ban ar­eas as well by all dis­coms in­clud­ing pri­vate owned) where max­i­mum 75 per cent of the scheme cost fund­ing is avail­able through Cen­tral Govern­ment grant.

Kindly tell us which prom­i­nent cities have suc­cess­fully adopted net me­ter­ing. What ac­cord­ing to you are the key chal­lenges in mak­ing net me­ter­ing a mass ini­tia­tive?

Net me­ter­ing al­lows con­sumers hav­ing roof-top so­lar power sys­tems for cap­tive con­sump­tion to feed ex­cess elec­tric­ity into the grid, thereby en­abling con­sumers to lower their en­ergy bills. This is be­ing pro­moted for wider adop­tion in In­dia with state gov­ern­ments and reg­u­la­tors in sev­eral ma­jor states in­clud­ing Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gu­jarat, Haryana, Maharashtra, Kar­nataka, Ker­ala, Pun­jab, Ra­jasthan, Ut­tar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu com­ing out with poli­cies and reg­u­la­tions on adop­tion of net me­ter­ing by con­sumers in the last 12-18 month pe­riod. Also, the Govern­ment of In­dia has set a tar­get to achieve cu­mu­la­tive so­lar power ca­pac­ity of 100 GW by FY 2022 com­pris­ing 60 GW of grid in­ter­ac­tive ca­pac­ity and 40 GW of roof-top so­lar power ca­pac­ity.

How­ever, im­ple­men­ta­tion of net me­ter­ing by the dis­coms has re­mained slow so far. Chal­lenges would arise in mak­ing this a mass ini­tia­tive es­sen­tially due to pos­si­ble re­sis­tance by the dis­coms for al­low­ing cross-sub­si­dis­ing con­sumers (mainly in­dus­trial and com­mer­cial, for whom so­lar roof-top en­ergy gen­er­a­tion has be­come cost com­pet­i­tive against the pre­vail­ing grid tar­iff). This is fun­da­men­tally driven by a sharp drop in PV mod­ule price lev­els as well as tech­ni­cal is­sues

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