Tough penalty for flouting green power obligations

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The power ministry may impose stricter penalties on state utilities that refuse to comply with renewable power purchase obligations, power minister Piyush Goyal said on Sunday. Goyal though said he was talking to the utilities and that he hoped he would be able to bring them on board.

The Centre aims to set up 1.75 lakh MW of renewable energy capacity by 2030. any of these utilities have been flouting renewable power purchase obligations. As a result, there is no demand for solar and wind capacities. At present, solar power purchase obligation averages out to 1.25% of the total power bought by all utilities.

This is targeted to touch 3% by 2022, requiring a total installed capacity of 34,152 MW.

“I am working with utilities to solve the issue and we believe this is a temporary problem of understanding by the utilities,” Goyal told reporters on the sidelines of the MCC Chamber of Commerce & Industry annual session. “I am sure we will be able to explain to them and get them on board.

However, if they don’t come on board, we have a renewable power purchase obligation that they have to fulfil or we will have to invoke stricter penalties on them.”

According to people close to the development, the Centre may consider blocking funds to errant states from schemes such as the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana for rural electrification and Power System Development Fund.

“Look at the success of the Modi government, people have understood that if they don’t declare money they will have problems. In renewable power, too, we will make sure that states do fulfil their purchase obligations,” the minister said.“We have good laws at present juncture, regulators work independently and I am sure I will be able to persuade states. I will not have to go in for any regulatory measures. I have succeeded so far, and I have no reason to believe Iwon’t succeed in the future,” he added.

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