New Delhi: The Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021, which is aimed at enabling consumers to choose an electricity service provider from a bunch of available choices, is likely to be introduced and pushed for passage in the Monsoon Session of Parliament which is scheduled to begin in July, said Power Minister RK Singh on Thursday. Addressing the India Energy Transmission Summit 2022 organised by FICCI, Singh said that everybody (all ministries, stakeholder) are on board for the amendments to the Electricity Act.
He said, "We (power ministry) should be able to take it forward to the Parliament in the Monsoon Session."
The Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2021 provides for de-licensing of the distribution business to promote competition, appointment of a member from law background in every commission, strengthening of the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL), and prescribes rights and duties of consumers.
Singh also proposed that there will be separate Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) for wind energy for boosting this clean source. Under the RPO, bulk purchasers like discoms, open access consumers and capacitive users are required to buy a certain proportion of renewable energy. They can also buy RECs from renewable energy producers to meet the RPO norms.
Singh also stated that the ministry has finalised the plan to set up 30,000 MW of hydro power projects in Arunachal Pradesh and work on five hydro projects in J&K has also been started. He hinted at more incentives for production of green hydrogen in the country.
Singh said that if the vision for green hydrogen, electric vehicles and turning all industries to green energy is realised, then India can achieve 700 GW of Renewable Energy (RE) capacity by 2030, higher than the targeted 500 GW.
Talking about the steps taken by the government to ease the financial burden on discoms, Singh said that the government has waved off surcharge for discoms to enable them to make timely payment of installments of their dues. "If discoms fail to pay installments on time, their electricity access will be curtailed. Short-term access of electricity purchase will completely be curtailed. Long-term access of electricity will be reduced by 10 percent every month," he stated.
He assured the industry players that bids for the renewable energy projects will keep coming and asked them to be ready to be part of this energy transition in the country.
Power secretary Alok Kumar emphasised on bringing down the import dependency of the country through energy transition. The government has planned to continue grid expansion project in a big way, the Power Secretary said, adding that coal is going to be the backbone of energy generation for the next 20 years or so.
He informed that the Power Ministry is working on bundling of renewable energy with thermal power in the PPA (Power Purchase Agreement). "We cannot go with long duration PPA model. We should plan for PPA for maximum 12-15 years period. It is need of the hour to bring in framework for short-term PPA for renewable energy as well," he stated.
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