CleanTech/ Renewable Energy, Other

Ministry wants competitive bidding for renewable energy procurement

According to reports, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy wants to make procurement of electricity from renewable sources also through competitive bidding process, just as in the case of conventional power. The Ministry has come up with “guidelines and standard bidding documents for tariff-based competitive bidding process for grid connected renewable energy power projects” and has recommended them to the Ministry of Power for notification.

“Unless explicitly specified in these guidelines, the provisions of these guidelines shall be binding on the procurer,” it says, defining ‘procurer’ to mean electricity distribution companies. Any deviation from the guidelines would have to be got approved by the respective state electricity regulatory commission. Since the procurement of power from solar sources is already under competitive bidding, the major implication of these guidelines is on the wind industry, which has opposed these guidelines.

The Indian wind industry is already in trouble. Two major incentives — generation-based incentive and accelerated depreciation — have been withdrawn from the beginning of the year. In the windiest state of the country, Tamil Nadu, the industry is further suffering from non-settlement of dues by the state’s distribution company, TANGEDCO, and non availability of the grid during windy periods. As a result, the wind power addition in 2012-13 is likely to be about half of last year’s 3,170 MW.

The Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association has sent a petition to MNRE seeking removal of the applicability of the guidelines to the wind industry, Secretary of the Association D.V. Giri told Business Line. “This is not the time to bring in competitive bidding for the wind industry,” Giri said.

The Tamilnadu Spinning Mills Association, whose members own about 3,000 MW of wind power capacity, has also opposed the guidelines. “Wind is infirm and there is no certainty of supply. As such, wind power tariff cannot be determined on competitive bidding basis,” Dr K .Venkatachalam, Advisor to the association, said.



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