Renewables purchase obligations: CERC to make it easier for discoms

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The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has proposed to decrease the floor prices of renewable energy certificates (RECs), making it easier for the state discoms to meet their renewable energy purchase obligations (RPOs).

For solar, the proposed floor price is R1,000 per REC, substantially lower than the current rate of R3,500. For non-solar RECs, the proposed floor price has been suggested to be R1,000, down from the current R1,500. The proposed reduction in REC floor prices are in line with the fall in renewable energy costs.

REC mechanism is a market-based instrument to promote renewable energy and facilitate compliance of RPOs. It aims to address the mismatch between availability of renewable energy resources in the states and the requirement of the obligated entities to meet their RPOs. One REC is treated as equivalent to 1 Mwh of green electricity. RPO mandates that all electricity distribution licensees should purchase or produce a minimum specified quantity of their requirements from renewable energy sources. The state electricity regulatory commissions fix the minimum RPO for the states.

The forbearance prices of RECs, or the upper price limit at which the RECs can be traded, have also been proposed to be cut. Forbearance prices for solar RECs may be slashed by more than half to R2,500 from R5,800. The same for non-solar RECs may come down to R2,900 from R3,300.

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