Industry

Govt. may bundle power sources for grid stability

Plan offers hope for stressed assets

In what may be good news for stranded power assets, the government plans to bundle renewable with conventional power to address the issue of grid stability.

Over 20,000 mega watts (MW) of power assets in Indian have been stranded since the last one year for various reasons, including uneconomic operations, lack of power purchase and fuel supply agreements, according to the Central Electricity Authority data.

Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis estimates that India’s thermal generation sector alone is carrying $40-60 billion in non-performing, or stranded assets, supported by the troubled banking sector.

With government’s focus on renewables, India is committed to achieve its goal of reaching 175 GW of renewable sources-based installed capacity by 2022, which includes 100 GW from solar, 60 GW from wind, 10 GW from biomass and 5 GW from small hydro power.

Further, the government has committed to increase this capacity to 450 GW by 2030 so as to achieve 40% of installed power generation capacity from non-fossil fuel sources and also by 2030, reduce emission intensity of GDP by 33-35 % from the 2005 level.

However, experts have raised serious concerns on the impact by the nature of intermittent power generated from renewable sources and its implications on the grid safety. On the other hand, over 20GW of stranded thermal power assets are lying unutilised which can provide firm power to the grid.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has announced a draft renewable-based, round-the-clock (RTC) hybrid tender by virtue of which conventional and non-conventional resources complement each other and provide sustainable power to the grid.

“This would provide relief to bankers as it would offer opportunity for stressed thermal assets also to participate and thereby reduce NPAs in excess of ₹1 lakh crore,” Kavita Sharma, head, energy, at Assocham told The Hindu.

The solution truly integrates the renewable energy in the energy mix at source itself and is a significant step to make renewable energy as core source and base load. The objective is to provide RTC power to the DISCOMs through bundling of RE power with thermal power.

“[The] scheme will also help with utilisation of untied thermal power capacity, specially since the new super critical coal-based thermal power plants have quite a high ramp rate which can be effectively utilised to provide combined renewable energy blended RTC power,” said Association of Power Producers (APP) in a statement.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 8:07:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/govt-may-bundle-power-sources-for-grid-stability/article30883414.ece

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