August 6, 2020 Read More →

RTC contract adds ‘golden chapter’ to Indian renewables story

EQ International:

In May, India claimed to have reached a historic milestone in renewable energy. The central government awarded a contract for the supply of 400 megawatts of solar and wind energy. Unlike other such contracts, this was the first-ever ‘round-the-clock’ supply contract.

Round-the-clock (RTC) supply overcomes the natural limitations of renewable sources like solar and wind, which produce power only when there’s enough sunshine and wind. Without RTC supply of renewable power, electricity supply companies still have to rely on coal-fired thermal power, which becomes one of the biggest impediments to a transition out of fossil fuels. Because batteries and energy storage is too expensive, no country has been able to achieve RTC renewable power supply.

Announcing India’s RTC contract, renewable energy minister RK Singh wrote in a post on Twitter that India had added a ‘golden chapter’ to its renewables story, and made a ‘new beginning’ towards schedulable power from ‘100 percent renewable energy’. 

While the amendments took away the discoms’ ability to demand power on a round-the-clock basis, they also made it compulsory for them to buy power from the power generators whenever they supplied it.

Significantly, the power supplier was now required to supply power not round-the-clock, but at any time as long as the total supply totalled to at least 80 percent of the capacity utilisation factor or CUF – 400 mw in this case – in a year, and minimum 70 percent in a month.

This means that instead of supplying round-the-clock, the power could be concentrated over a few hours only, said Vibhuti Garg, energy economist at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. “It doesn’t mean that electricity will be supplied 24 hours a day,” Garg said. “It is not actually round-the-clock supply.”

[Anand Gupta]

More: Is India’s first round-the-clock renewable energy contract really what it claims to be?

Posted in: IEEFA In the News

Comments are closed.