The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) issued amendment to Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (Procurement of Energy from Renewable Sources) Regulations, 2022, establishing the Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) target for fiscal years 2022-23 to 2029-30.
For solar energy, all distribution licensees, including deemed licensees, have a RPO target of 11.5% for 2022-23 under the new standards.
As for non-solar power, the Commission has set different target percentage for distribution companies (DISCOM). Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) has a non-solar RPO target of 14% for 2022-23 under the new regulations. The targets for Mangalore Electricity Supply Company (MESCOM) and Gulbarga Electricity Supply Company (GESCOM) are 15% and 11%, respectively.
The non-solar RPO objective for Hubli Electricity Supply Company (HESCOM) and Hukeri Rural Electric Co-operative Society (HRECS) is 13%.
Furthermore, captive consumers, other open access consumers, and distribution licensees, including deemed licensees, must acquire hydropower from large hydro projects with more than 25 MW capacity and have a commercial, operational date after March 8, 2019.
The hydro power obligation (HPO) will be adjusted annually depending on updated hydro project commissioning. Imported hydropower from outside India will not be considered for HPO.
The Commission has set a public hearing on May 20 for stakeholders to share their opinions.
The Ministry of Power last year released a statement outlining RPO targets, and issued policy measures to promote the hydropower sector, declaring that large hydropower projects are eligible to be classified as renewable energy sources.
According to data from Karnataka’s energy department, renewable energy accounts for 52% of the state’s power demand, followed by thermal at 34%, hydro at 12% and nuclear at 3%.
Karnataka receives sunshine all year, and efforts have been made to capture this energy and feed it back into the system. However, a lack of storage adds to the difficulties of retaining this energy and using it later.
The Karnataka government is thus working to facilitate the development of renewable energy by increasing storage capacity to meet the state's growing electricity demand, a local media reported last week. A proposal to enhance investments in developing more storage capacity is expected to be presented to the cabinet over the next few weeks.