India Mulls Penalties To Curb Renewable Energy Curtailment

In yet another move aimed at giving relief to the renewable energy project developers, the Indian government is looking to implement additional measures to to ensure utilities acquire electricity from renewable energy projects.

Speaking at an event recently, India’s minister for power, coal and renewable energy Piyush Goyal announced that the government is looking at penalties for states and utilities that do not implement the ‘must-run’ condition for wind and solar power projects.

Several renewable energy project developers have approached the minister claiming that they are being asked not to generate at full capacity by state utilities, Goyal stated. States like Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, among the leading states in solar and wind energy installed capacity, have been in the news recently for issuing such orders.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy issued an advisory asking central as well as state regulatory bodies to ensure that solar power project developers do not suffer due to absence of transmission capacity.

The Ministry stated that several solar power project developers have approached it complaining that some state utilities have asked them to reduce power generation. The utilities claim that there is lack of adequate transmission capacity in the grid.

The Ministry advisory states that solar power projects have a ‘must run’ status and if there is lack of transmission capacity the thermal power projects should be asked to reduce generation which will, in turn, lead to low consumption of coal. The Ministry has asked the regulators to ensure that solar power project developers are paid even if they are advised to reduce power generation.

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