India’s Power sector represents “One Nation, One Grid, One Frequency”

No.PR-255 September 12, 2020 New Delhi India’s Power sector represents “One Nation, One Grid, One Frequency” India has already attained the status of “One Nation, One Grid, One Frequency”. There are now no constraints in inter-regional transfer of power, said Mr. Sanjiv Nandan Sahai, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Power, Government of India in the webinar organized by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry on “Innovations in Renewable Energy”. A Liquidity Scheme for the Power Sector with an outlay of Rs 1,20,000 Cr has been started under the Aatma-Nirbhar Bharat Scheme to prevent any crisis of confidence in this sector. For this, an amount of Rs 68,000 Cr has been sanctioned and out of this, Rs 25,000 Cr has already been disbursed, said Sahai. Shri Sahai, while deliberating on the Amendments to the Electricity Acts said that The Consumer/Prosumer is at the heart of renewable energy power generation. Towards this end, amendments are being considered to the Electricity legislations which will recognize the right of the consumer to get good quality power at reasonable rates. For the renewable energy sector, the “prosumers” will be allowed to set up roof-top solar units up to their sanctioned loads. Shri Sahai mentioned the Long-term PPAs lie at the heart of all renewable energy contracts. Of late the DISCOMS, which are themselves financially stressed, look for escape routes when they see the renewable energy prices falling every day. The Ministry of Power is in the process of making amendments to the Electricity legislations so as to overcome the developing situation. In this exercise, views of PHD chamber can also contribute to the scheme of thoughts for such amendments, added Shri Sahai The Secretary urged PHD Chamber to submit an effective representation and interact with him for an exchange of ideas since “Cross-fertilization of ideas makes for better policy formulation”, which will contribute towards making robust amendments. With the extension of electrification to all households, the average cost of power to DISCOMS has gone up. This has created further financial stress for the DISCOMS especially when they see the renewable energy prices falling almost with every tender, said Mr. Sahai However, the Ministry of Power is all for honoring the PPAs. For this, they are considering the amendments to the Electricity Act, etc like, setting up a Contracts Enforcing Authority, mandating a Letter of Credit to back every PPA, and introducing an “Arms-Length Distance” between the Regulator and the Government, among others, added Mr. Sahai. Shri Sahai highlighted that eleven Renewable energy Management Centers have been set up all over the country to ensure seamless generation, transmission, and distribution of renewable power. The Day of the Time Tariff systems has also taken off and are being made full use of. The government is in the process of privatizing all the DISCOMS in the Union Territories. The first such case will be finalized by December this year, added Mr. Sahai. Mr. Anil Shrivastava, IAS, Principal Consultant & Mission Director, National Mission for Transformative Mobility & Battery Storage, NITI Aayog highlighted that RE is the future, EV, battery, and grid storage systems are disruptors. He mentioned that India should focus on manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries, in the future vehicles will generate their own energy, NITI has a Mission on Hydrogen and is focusing on Hydrogen for India Dr. Amit Jain, Senior Energy Specialist, World Bank said that for India, decentralized power generation is the only sustainable solution for achieving RE goals. Solar Rooftop is critical to achieving the target of 100 GW solar power by 2022, in which India is not able to perform better. Mr. Saurabh Kumar, Executive Vice Chairperson, EESL Group discussed that storage, ancillary services, and demand response are all very necessary in the field of renewable energy. He said that focus on a decentralized model of renewable energy is required and also focus is necessary on the concept of convergence. We can work on unused govt lands on which power plants can be made and can be connected to the grid. Power plants are needed to strengthen rural infrastructure. We are also working on monetizing carbon assets. Ms. Surbhi Goyal, Senior Energy Specialist, World Bank discussed that West Bengal is focusing on Sustainable RE production keeping the interest of all stakeholder in mind, they are supporting solar production in snowbound areas like Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal is encouraging battery storage, pump storage, they are working with Ministry of power for the development of power markets, Virtual power plants are the future. Mr. Amal Sinha, CEO, BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd while giving an industry outlook of the power sector mentioned that there is greater flexibility required in each power value chain. We should also explore the consumer management side a little more. There is a bi-directional flow of power with a distributed network. The key is to provide flexibility through storage and we need regulatory support if we need to invest in storage. Talking about the demand side he said that flexibility is also important and if government policies are such that are aligned with the regulatory system, it would be better. He also discussed the innovations and projects undertaken by BSES for adopting new technologies, especially in solar and blockchain technology. Mr. Prantik Jana, Sr. Manager, GE Power mentioned that need to stabilize the change in the short circuit power and we need a technology that can stabilize the grid and increase the share of renewable, we need a stabilizer or condenser. Mr. Deepak Amitabh, CMD, PTC India Ltd discussed that Infrastructural innovation has been at the forefront even in the Ministry of Power be it for green corridors, small home solutions, etc. Talking about renewable energy, Mr. Amitabh said it has undergone a lot of changes and has contributed a lot to satiate energy demand and we have a growing requirement of energy as we have a lot of consumers in this sector. He highlighted that we have to make India a nation attracting investments, talent, and technology. Transform India with a motto to re-invest and re-design. We have to try and see that be it conventional or non-conventional, we have to make it affordable. Innovations have to be in the field of the technological, structural, and infrastructural sectors. Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director General, TERI talking about opportunities in the power sector shared that all electricity generation capacity in the future would be based on solar. There are great opportunities for round the clock electricity. There are going to be opportunities and potential for solar panels in the future with vast bulk panels that are imported and can help the financial side. Opportunities in the field of technologies would be a lot in the future- depending on what innovation we see in electrolysis; it would be crucial for the type of technology being used. Mr. Palash Srivastava, Acting CEO, IIFCL Projects Ltd talking about various initiatives and projects untaken by IIFCL for renewable energy mentioned that the credit enhancement facility has worked well and has helped bring a lot of benefits to the customers. Mr. J. N. Swain, IAS, MD, SECI appealed to NBFCs to come forward and fund RE projects. Pension funds can also contribute to long term financing. It’s only a matter of time that PPAs are signed as soon as PSAs are finalized. Mr. Dong Ik Lee, Director General, AIIB discussed the initiatives of AIIB mentioned that renewable energy, transportation, and Asian capital markets are some of our focus areas. We try to support secondary and capital markets and we are into projects in the financing sector. Mr. R. R. Jha, Executive Director), Power Finance Corporation Ltd discussed various projects of PFC in recent years for the promotion of renewable energy. Mr. A.K. Gupta, MD, Jaipur Vidyut Vittran Nigam Ltd mentioned that Rajasthan has already brought out a solar policy. We are also taking forward schemes like Kusum Yojana and we are going to going to provide solar and standalone pumps and we are also working on solarizing pumps which will help us achieve our goals in energy. There is also a need for storage power plants and we are encouraging solar power plans at rooftops. Mr. Hugo Spowers, Founder, Riversimple gave a brief background about Riversimple, its mission, and objections. He said that Mobility as a Service models are more cost & customer friendly and improve efficiency. For maximum benefit, all operational costs should be internalized. And that is the reason we design cars for max recovery value. Mr. Martin Smedstad Foss, Distinguished Scientist, IFE discussed the initiatives undertaken by IFE in helping in the research on the production of solar power and wind power. Mr. Sanjay Gupta, GM, IRCON International Ltd mentioned that need to come up with policies for PSUs to be able to achieve the expected growth and target and work on power plants for solar and do something about transmission as it is a big challenge. Mr. Mendo Kundevski, Principal – ENEA Consulting mentioned that we need to work on power and gas and our focus is on renewable power. Giving a global outlook, he said that the India-Australia relationship is such that great projects and tie-ups can happen as Australia is a reliable partner for energy needs. Mr. Sanjeev Jain, Chief Engineer, Chhattisgarh Renewable Energy Development Agency apprised that Chattisgarh Govt has taken various proactive steps in promoting RE like installing 1500 mini-grids in remote areas, 15000 solar pumps for citizens, and 65000 solar pumps for irrigation. Improving efficiency in the industry through the scheme for replacement of motors. Mr. Sturle H. Pedersen, CEO, Greenstat Hydrogen, Norway talking about changes and transitions discussed the need for dramatic changes in distribution and storage. We also need to work on reducing consumer costs and make it more affordable. He said that hydrogen plays a key role in the energy chain. It would become competitive with other carbon alternatives. Govt has a goal for the sector of renewable energy to reach, and that would change the whole landscape to a great extent. Dr. D K Aggarwal, President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in his presidential remarks said that the small pause in industrial activity due to COVID did disrupt the economic activities but at the same time turned opportunities by providing some time to introspect and deliberate on innovations and new models of producing and integrating Renewable Energy in our energy mix. Dr. Aggarwal while appreciating the Government for undertaking proactive reform measures in the Power and Renewable Energy Sector said that the Ministries of Power and New and Renewable Energy have been doing remarkably well and the Government of India as also the State Governments are doing their best to work towards achieving these goals but challenges remain. Renewable generation is intermittent and difficult to control. Problems can arise, such as random changes in voltage on distribution feeders, issues with fault detection, and unwanted generation capacity which all affect the reliability and sustainability of the grid said Dr. Aggarwal, To improve the grid integration, one has to improve planning and accounting for renewables (rather, for all generation), factoring in their burden on the rest of the grid such as transmission congestion, added Dr. Aggarwal Constant innovations in technology, business models, and financing options for RE projects are essential for sustainable integration of RE and to overcome the challenges of high costs involved, added Dr. Aggarwal Dr. Aggarwal highlighted the recent innovation in the RE sector which is the use of Green Hydrogen, which we believe can be a game-changer in the future. It is the most promising and upcoming resource and is a clean-burning fuel that can be used for long-term energy storage and to help decarbonize transport, heating, and industrial processes such as steel and cement making added Dr. Aggarwal. Mr. Sanjay Aggarwal, Senior Vice President, PHD Chamber of Commerce, and Industry lauded the Government for taking proactive action in the wake of disruptions caused due to COVID for the benefit of Renewable energy. Given the transformative vision of producing 175 GW of renewable energy in the country by 2022 and the challenges associated with RE financing innovative financial products like Green Bonds, PE Funds & Pension Funds and Masala Bonds, etc. are the need of the hour. LC’s needs to be made mandatory, the major risk will be significantly decreased, said Mr. Aggarwal Mr. Aggarwal highlighted that it is important that the government should act as a facilitator and introduce innovative financing instruments as also create a conducive environment that minimizes the associated risk factors. He mentioned that the RE Projects tend to have high upfront costs and low ongoing operating costs, making access to long term funding for such projects a necessity. Mr. Sanjay Aggarwal discussed that without long-term financing, investment decisions are biased toward conventional technologies that can be financially viable with shorter-term loans. Considering the importance of the sector and the need for mobilizing capital by the private sector, RBI has categorized the renewable energy sector as a priority sector lending, also Green banks have emerged as an innovative tool for accelerating clean energy financing globally. Such dedicated financial institutions have proved to be a successful mechanism for leveraging the limited public finance to mobilize the required private capital into the sector, added Mr. Aggarwal. Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Chair, Power, RE & AE Committee, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry apprised about the innovation in renewable energy; renewable energy in today’s status and the way forward. Talking about recent goals set by the Government for renewable energy, he discussed the challenges and opportunities to achieve these goals. Renewable Energy has risen on the back of environmental concerns and has garnered a lot of attention in the past few years. It is being backed by government support and making good business sense being driven by innovation and technology. India desired to achieve renewable energy in the area of decarbonization, decentralization, deployment solutions for the ecosystem, cost-effectiveness, and for achieving a clean green Atmanirbhar Bharat, said, Mr. Gupta. Mr. Vardaan Aggarwal, Co-chairman, Power RE & AE Committee, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that considering the clarion call of our Hon’ble PM for Atma Nirbharta in the Power & RE sector, focus on Innovations in Renewable Energy Sector becomes inevitable. These innovations may be in RE Technology, Business Models, or Financing of RE projects. By using Blockchain, Internet of Energy (IoE), AI, our engineers will be able to do efficient Energy management. Blockchain technology intends to unite all energy stakeholders under a single decentralized network, added Mr. Aggarwal. The webinar was moderated by Dr. Yogesh Srivastav, Principal Director, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and was also attended by Mr. Saurabh Sanyal, Secretary-General, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry along with other industry stalwarts Pan-India. The webinar was sponsored by REC Ltd, SBI, PTC India Ltd, IRCON International and supported by EESL Group, AIIB, and Austrade. Ends Media Division PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry