Dr Rahul Walawalkar Becomes Member of CERC’s Central Advisory Committee

Power sector regulator Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has appointed Dr. Rahul Walawalkar, President of India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) to be a part of the Central Advisory Committee (CAC).

April 07, 2021. By Manu Tayal

Power sector regulator Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has appointed Dr. Rahul Walawalkar, President of India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) to be a part of the Central Advisory Committee (CAC).

As a part of the CAC, Dr. Walawalkar will advise the Commission on major questions of policy, matters relating to quality, continuity, and extent of service provided by licensees, protection of consumer interest, and overall standards of performance by utilities.

Speaking on the development, Dr. Rahul Walawalkar, President of India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA), said, “IESA has been closely working with CERC for the past few years and has given recommendations in the past to bring necessary amendments in the present regulatory framework to include storage as part of these regulations. We are happy to see such developments in IEGC grid code regulations, connectivity regulations, etc. However, there are proven, and immediate steps needed to be taken up in terms of opening opportunity for storage as part of ancillary services, behind-the-meter applications, grid security needs, etc.”

Now, IESA will be able to add value in shaping the Indian regulatory structure involving energy storage, e-mobility, and charging infrastructure and put reliable power sector needs in front of the commission successfully, he added.

As part of the new role, IESA will support CERC with key policy and regulatory aspects as given below:

  • Give suggestions towards necessary amendments in the current CERC regulations and guidelines and including suitable clauses related to storage and EV part of Indian regulations.
  • Lend necessary support in calculating/arriving tariff parameters for storage projects (Independent Grid Asset Standalone Project/ RE Hybrid Project).
  • Detailed work on CERC regulations wherein storage clauses can be defined/included.
  • Necessary provisions in creating a market for storage as part of ancillary services which has been long pending and needs immediate action. Suitable changes in current regulations. Lend support in evaluating the techno-commercial viability of flexible operation of a thermal generation fleet against the investments in energy storage solutions to deliver similar services.
  • Advocacy towards the need for setting up energy storage targets in India. Previous experience in India has shown that government target setting, and economic liberalization can lead to rapid growth in a market, as was the case with the uptake of RLED and mobile telephone technology.
  • Separate tariff for renewable energy with storage assets as these hybrid assets could also be used to provide a firm and dispatchable renewable power and serve the peak load demand. (Unfortunately, a few announcements of such hybrid projects have not resulted in any deployment).
  • Evaluate the use of energy storage for deferring upgrade of transmission assets to reduce renewable generation curtailment or meeting load growth.
  • Formulate a regulatory framework to monetize the value of firming/smoothing of solar power, ramp rate control, peak shifting, demand response, etc.
  • Suitable amendments to encourage RE+ storage supported EV charging stations. Special Tariff category for such units/projects.
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