India eases open access rules in a bid to promote clean energy


To promote renewable generation, purchase and consumption, India’s federal government this week notified the Green Open Access Rules for further easing the access rules for green energy.

The move will give consumers who wish to use clean energy in their businesses and households faster access and pay lower costs.

According to the new rules, the approval process must be completed within 15 days, or else consumers will receive automatic approval and a green certificate.

The guidelines limit the increase of cross-subsidy surcharges, which will incentivize consumers to go green while simultaneously addressing the challenges that have hampered the spread of open access in India, said India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

The tariff for green energy will be determined separately by the Appropriate Commission, instead of the power regulators at the central and state levels, the MNRE stated in a press release. The tariffs will consist of the average pooled power purchase cost of renewable energy, wheeling and transmission charges, and cross-subsidy charges.

The MNRE has also lowered the transaction barrier from 1 MW to 100 kW, allowing smaller consumers to purchase green electricity through open access.

India has recently adopted a series of legislative amendments to stimulate the use of renewable energy and provide the groundwork for the country’s energy transition, including requiring distribution companies to honor power purchase agreements inked with electricity producers and settle any debts within six weeks.

However, the country’s solar sector is currently facing challenges, with module price inflation, manufacturing incentives, and geopolitical events disrupting the industry, raising average tariffs and lowering returns on solar investments.

Furthermore, due to the poor uptake of rooftop solar, India is expected to fall far short of its 2022 solar target of 100 GW of installed solar power, according to a report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and JMK Research.

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