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
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