From now on you can buy only non-conventional energy and use it. You can even quote to the electricity distribution company exactly how much electricity you will buy from solar and other non-conventional sources. All electricity consumers in India including West Bengal will get this facility. The central government has issued a notification of new amendment rules in this regard to encourage and increase the use of non-conventional energy in India.
The notification of the ‘Electricity (Promoting Renewable Energy through Green Energy Open Access) Amendment Rules, 2023’ issued on January 27 said, “A customer can purchase all or part of his electricity requirement from non-conventional energy. For this, he has to contact his electricity distribution company. It should be requested in writing. The concerned distribution company will buy the non-conventional electricity and supply it to the customer according to the demand. If a customer wants, he can also request electricity generated from solar power and other non-conventional sources separately.”
At present, thermal power is the main source of electricity for India. Thermal power meets about 75 percent of the total electricity demand. The Center aims to reduce the share of thermal power from 75% to below 50% by 2030. The central government is emphasizing non-conventional energy instead of conventional fossil fuel-based electricity to combat climate change. The government aims to generate 500 GW of electricity from non-conventional sources like solar, wind, hydro by 2030. Of this, 175 GW of non-conventional power generation capacity has been built in India till December last year. The central government has implemented the new rule to ensure that the common man can easily get that unconventional energy.
But, how is it possible to provide non-conventional energy separately in the field of electricity supply?
A power sector expert replied, “It is not possible to supply thermal power and non-conventional power separately. The non-conventional power that the distribution company receives from the customers will be procured by the concerned company. That is, let’s say if 20 units of non-conventional power is required out of the total demand of 100 units. Either, those 20 units will be purchased by the distribution company from different non-conventional sources. This will increase the demand and sales of non-conventional power from now on.” However, the consumer of the state who buys non-conventional electricity, his per unit charge will increase slightly. Because that is what is said in the latest tariff order of the West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission.
However, bringing a large portion of non-conventional electricity out of the generation sector and delivering it to consumers is still a challenge. Because the transportation network required for this is not there. As a result, even though many solar power generation centers are built, in many cases the generated electricity cannot be delivered to external consumers. Solar power producers are losing enthusiasm.
That is why the Center is emphasizing on building fast power transmission networks to boost India’s non-conventional energy sector. For this, the government is preparing a plan to build a transmission line capable of delivering 530 GW of non-conventional electricity.