NEW DELHI: Ministry of new and renewable energy has asked state utilities to issue solar and wind energy tenders, instead of depending on central utilities for meeting their renewable energy needs.
The ministry has noted that most states are falling behind their renewable purchase obligation (RPO) targets, or the share of clean energy in their electricity purchase. Against a target of 17% share as RPO during 2018-19, countrywide achievement during April-September this year has been around 10.6%.
“Finally, it is the state which is procuring power, so it’s better that they issue tenders on their own. States are better aware of what tariffs they can afford to purchase renewable energy,” an official told ET on condition of anonymity.
Some states including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu have been actively issuing tenders, while most others are falling behind the RPO targets, the official said. In a recent communication to state authorities, MNRE secretary Anand Kumar said states are not doing enough to meet their RPOs.
“It has been observed that states have not come forward with the initiatives and bidding plans for renewable energy capacity addition, and have instead relied upon bids by central PSUs like Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI),” Kumar said. ET has reviewed a copy of the letter. Kumar further asked state officials to plan their bidding trajectory for 2018-19, which will pace up renewable energy capacity addition in the country.
“This will also help the state in adding generation capacity at financially competitive rates as compared to the marginal cost of power from fossil fuel-based thermal power capacity addition,” Kumar said. The capacity bid by states will be additional to the bids likely to be issued by central PSUs, Kumar said.
Industry experts say while states have been issuing solar tenders, MNRE is looking to keep the tender trajectory moving swiftly, which will help achieve the country’s renewable energy goals. India looks to add 227 GW renewable energy capacity by 2022.