Ministry of Power Introduces New Green Energy Open Access Rules in India
The Ministry of Power initiated the Green Energy Open Access Rules. It would be able to catalyze the transformation of large households, commercial consumers, and small-scale industries to green energy.
During the first quarter of the year,India added nearly 513 MW of new open access solar capacity. The country registered about 58% growth rate, as compared to Q4 2021. These open access solar projects were at 2 GW in the development pipeline at the end of the quarter.
The new policy is aimed at the delivery of the much-needed boost the open access industry requires at present with the high demand for renewables to meet the high energy demand across the industrial and commercial sector.
Customers will now be eligible for green energy open access as per the new norms. It would only happen if they have a sanctioned load or a contracted demand of 100 kW or more than that. However, there will be no load limitations for captive customers. The new norms is likely to enable businesses to opt for renewable energy as the minimum load was 1 MW in the early days.
Energy banking regulations will be standardized to monthly. Earlier, these were considered to be a challenging area for the majority of the open access developers. But, with the new structure, they will be able to gain access to higher flexibility for their power generators.
Green ammonia and green hydrogen projects are anticipated to get the required push with the elimination of additional surcharges and cross-subsidy surcharges. These surcharges are set to be capped at approximately 50% of the other renewables.
A central nodal agency operating and setting up a single-window green energy open access system. The nodal agency is also providing a fixed timeline of 15 days for approvals, which is anticipated to bolster and accelerate the new projects.
Mercom India also talked to various cross-section of stakeholders to get a clear picture of their perspectives of the open access market, thereby transforming in the wake of the new green energy norm.
Chief Executive Officer Srini Viswanathan at Vibrant Energy Holdings stated that the new policy would be able to democratize the right of every customer possessing more than 100 kW which was sanctioned for load to opt for 100% of their consumption.
The most significant part of the new policy is that it enables customers to offset 100% of their consumption with the help of renewable energy sources. Customers were compelled to consider specific parts of their consumption in the early days that were to be acquired from distribution networks. But, the novel concept of open access is a crucial step which would positively affect consumer behaviour.
The new rules are expected to pave the way for small commercial consumers to incline towards low-carbon, cost-effective green electricity. Open access charges would also help both consumers and developers with transparency in standby charges, long-term tariff, wheeling charges, and transmission charges. The new rules would provide a much-needed change in the energy sector in India.