RPO a failure, Greenpeace calls for revision of renewable energy policy on the basis of energy equity principles

By Editor


 Greentech Lead India: Of the 29 states in India, 22 failed to meet their Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) targets, which lead to loss more than 25 percent electricity that was expected to be generated from renewable energy sources in 2012, says Greenpeace.

Greenpeace report on RPO titled, “Powering Ahead on Renewables: Leaders and Laggards”, calls for revision of RPO mechanism based on equity principle.

Tamil Nadu and Karnataka along with Meghalaya, Nagaland and Uttarakhand constitute the Top five high-performing states in meeting their respective RPO targets. Karnataka achieved 122 percent of its target and was fourth among the seven states that achieved its RPO target.

RPO framework in its present form has failed to deliver its mandate and many powerful states including National capital Delhi. The Ministry of Power needs to make it mandatory with a provision of penal measures to ensure the implementation of RPOs directive, the report said.

Among the worst-performing states who failed to meet their already low RPO targets are Delhi, Maharashtra, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Despite a good potential for solar, the National Capital fared amongst the worst with not even one percent achievement.

Regulators failed to penalize or implement the directives of RPO in Delhi and in other key states like Maharashtra and Punjab, which fell short by about 50 percent.

Manish Ram, energy campaigner, Greenpeace India said, “This report is an indictment of the whole policy framework around renewables and the dismissive attitude of the government towards it. RPO mechanism could have been a tool to bridge the demand-supply gap in the energy sector across the country. But the toothless mechanism combined with non-ambitious targets has failed to give any impetus to renewables in India.”

According to Ram, Karnataka displayed astuteness by adopting the energy of the future and becoming a driving force in its support while Delhi as the national capital has set the trend in the reverse direction.

The report highlights inconsistency between national renewable energy targets set by National Action Plan on Climate Change and the RPO targets fixed by state electricity regulators. The overall cumulative targets set by various state regulators is 5.44 percent, whereas the national target is set at 7 percent resulting in a deficit of 1.56 percent, which translates into nearly 14,268 million units of electricity from renewable energy projects.

To improve the share of renewable energy in electricity grid for its distribution and supply and fight the pricing perception barrier, higher amount of renewable energy should be taken on priority basis from renewable-rich states and open up proper inter-state transmission.

Greenpeace suggest that India’s international position on energy equity needs to be translated within the country as well. Rich states need to take higher responsibility on clean energy development to create space for poor states. There is a perception block that renewable energy is costly and not viable and hence cannot power India’s ambitions.

“To meet its growth objectives, provide energy to all and reduce energy inequity, India needs to reform its energy sector and prioritize renewable,” added Ram.

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