The idea is to address the biggest issue with large scale uptake of clean energy – intermittency. Solar and wind energy are not accessible throughout the day sternly limiting their use in modern grids
January 03, 2020. By News Bureau
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has announced that it has recommended a draft policy for the supply of Round-The-Clock (RTC) power to discoms which would be a mix of renewable energy and electricity generated in coal-based plants.
The idea is to address the biggest issue with large scale uptake of clean energy – intermittency. Solar and wind energy are not accessible throughout the day sternly limiting their use in modern grids.
"The main objective of the scheme is to provide RTC power to the DISCOMs through bundling of RE power with thermal power and to scale up renewable capacity additions. It will also facilitate fulfilment of renewable purchase obligation (RPO) requirement of the obligated entities," the ministry said inviting comments from stakeholders on the key provisions of the new scheme.
To address the issues of intermittency, limited hours of supply and low capacity utilization of transmission infrastructure, the ministry has come up with the process of reverse bundling, wherein high cost thermal power is being allowed to be bundled with cheaper renewable energy.
As per the draft, a generator has to supply power such that at least 51 per cent of the annual energy supplied corresponds to RE and the balance is drawn from thermal sources. The generator will supply RE power complemented with thermal power, in RTC manner, keeping at least 80 per cent availability on an annual basis.
"RE power may include solar, wind, small hydro, or a combination thereof, with or without any Energy Storage System (ESS). The option of selecting the type and mix of RE sources and the usage of ESS shall be with the generator," the ministry said.
A compound single tariff for RE, accompanied with thermal energy will be quoted by the bidders at the delivery point which shall be at the central transmission utility (CTU) interconnection point.
The basis of selection of the successful bidder for renewable and thermal energy will be through a transparent bidding process and the bids will be invited for RE power combined with one single thermal fuel source -- coal. The ministry has proposed that the tariff will be quoted by the bidders as a composite single tariff for bundled energy and will act as a bidding parameter.
MNRE has pursued remarks from the stakeholders by 16 January including the power ministry, Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), NTPC, Central Electricity Authority, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission, Powergrid Corporation and the industry bodies of the renewable energy sector apart from state governments and their discoms.
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