The Indian Cabinet approved a new tariff policy aimed at the promotion of renewable energy, improved regulation and accelerated rollout of investments in the sector.Power Minister, Piyush Goyal stated that the national power tariff policy would be amended to achieve four overarching goals, namely, uninterrupted power supply for all citizens all year round, efficiency to ensure affordable tariffs and creating an environment that will attract investment.
Goyal said Cabinet will go about devising a roadmap, with the input of state governments and regulators working toward a plan to ensure energy security.
Following a Cabinet meeting held in New Delhi yesterday, a government source stated: “Union Cabinet today approved a new power tariff policy which will promote clean energy, support Swachh Bharat programme [a national campaign to clean India’s streets and public infrastructure], better regulations for discoms and encourage faster roll out of investments in the sector.”
The Indian Government aims to add 1,75,000 MW renewable energy including 1,00,000 MW solar energy to the grid by 2022.
Speaking at a workshop on grid connected rooftop solar projects last year, Goyl said: “We are committed to making this 1,00,000 MW happen in solar, including 40,000 MW rooftop and the rest of the programmes to make it a 1,75,000 MW by 2022. It is on mission mode. Today, the world is seeing a potential game changer in the programme that India has set out.”
New clean energy tech - microgrids
According to the Indian Express, micro-grid technology will also aid the government’s aims of feeding electricity back into the grid, when the grid reaches more rural locations.
To improve the efficiency with which power in generated, power plants will be allowed to expand up to 100 per cent of their capacity at their existing locations.
Goyal added: “The tariff policy promotes optimum utilisation of land and other resources like water, railways, human resource, etc. Expansion of existing power projects to the extent of 100 per cent generation capacity is being allowed to use the existing resources in an optimum way which will result in reduction in overall cost of power to the consumers.”
Under the amended tariff structure, it will also be compulsory for customers to use smart meters. The new policy states: “Smart metering not only facilitates substantial reduction in power losses and power theft, but also allows improved energy accounting. Smart metering also allows “Time of Day” metering and net-metering for the roof-top solar PV installations."