Renewable energy needs a reforms push to attain green energy targets: Study

Renewable energy needs a reforms push from the newly elected government to achieve the envisaged target of 275 Gw  by 202, a study said.

Despite marked strides in green energy propped up by policy initiatives, more reforms in the pipeline should be sped up, US-based think-tank Institute for Energy Economics & Financial Analysis (IEEFA) noted in the study.

“The promises made pre-election must now turn into action to combat air pollution, address climate risk, and accelerate much needed massive renewable capacity addition”, said Vibhuti Garg, author of the report and energy economist at IEEFA.

Garg suggested five critical areas which the government can prioritise - amending Electricity Act 2003, launch of Ujjwal Discom Assurance Yojana- UDAY II, implementing time-of-day pricing, introducing payment security mechanisms and deployment of decentralized renewable energy through promotion of schemes like solar irrigation pumps and distributed solar roof-tops.

“Further, the adoption of electric vehicles and rail electrification should be accelerated to reduce air pollution from transport in India, whilst also reducing dependence on fossil fuel imports. Better planning, improving the financial management of distribution companies, and addressing the issue of policy uncertainty can assist in building investor confidence, including attracting more investment for greater deployment of domestic renewable energy projects across the country”, Garg added.

IEEFA feels that the amendments incorporated in the Electricity Act, 2003 such as Direct Benefit Transfers (DBTs), 24x7 power supply obligations, penalties for violations of power purchase  agreements (PPAs) and penalties for the failure to meet Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPOs) are good reforms and fundamental to the electricity sector in the rapidly growing economy of India.

On UDAY scheme's sequel, IEEFA observed that it is designed to focus on reducing the losses of state-owned discoms while improving operational efficiencies. IEEFA recommends better planning, improving the financial management of distribution companies, and addressing the issue of policy uncertainty can assist in building investor confidence, including attracting more investment for greater deployment of renewable energy projects across the country.


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