Renewable energy push takes a hit on random back-down instructions by discoms

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s aggressive renewable energy push that aims to ramp up the share of green power in the country’s electricity supply mix from the current seven per cent to nearly 20 per cent by 2022, is getting stonewalled across a number of states.

State-owned power distribution utilities (discoms) in states such as Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu are reported to be curtailing solar and wind power generation, as well as randomly issuing backing down instructions — asking generators to unplug from the grid. Discoms in Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan are also reported to be delaying payments to generators of wind and solar power by 6-12 months, putting the cash flows of most of the smaller renewable firms under severe stress.

The results are showing up in the form of mounting number of petitions before the central and state power regulators. In the last 24 months, there were at least 19 petitions by more than half a dozen players — including ReNew Wind Energy, CLP Wind Farms, Orange DND Wind Power, Ostro Renewables, Clean Wind Power (Devgarh), Mytrah Vayu, Tanot Wind Power — alleging that states such as Rajasthan are frequently backing down renewable energy generation on a frequent basis during the peak season citing grid security as the reasons, resulting in generation losses of upwards of Rs 100 crore for these firms on a cumulative basis. “The situation of state utilities forcing solar and wind units to back down continues to date,” an executive of one of the affected companies told The Indian Express.

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