FOR THE FIRST TIME, INDIA BECOMES A NET EXPORTER OF ELECTRICITY, SAYS POWER MINISTRY:

As per an article in the Times of India, the power ministry on 29th March, 2017 declared that India has now become a net exporter of power. Power export of about 5,498 million units was seen from April ’16 – February ’17 and this value was 4% higher than the power India imported from Bhutan. New electricity lines to neighboring countries such as Nepal, Myanmar and Bangladesh will only aid in the sale of electricity from the country.

This is an interesting prospect for India since it has always been a power deficit country. Though there are many villages as mentioned in the  Economic Times article within India which do not receive electricity all day round, India has been able to gain the status of being a net exporter. This is mostly because of the poor financial health of DISCOMS in the country.

 

TN lifts ban on inter state open access

According to an article in Times of India (refer), Tamil Nadu has allowed consumers and generators in the state to procure and sell power from/to outside states.

The directive comes in continuation to commitment given by Hon’ble CM of TN –  that there would be no scheduled power cuts in the state and also grated “must-run” status to all windmills.

A statement from Raj Bhawan reads –

“In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of Section 11 of the Electricity Act, 2003 (Central Act 36 of 2003), the Governor of Tamil Nadu hereby rescinds the Energy Department Notification No. II(2)/EGY/104(c)/2009, published at page 1 of Part II—Section 2 of the Tamil Nadu Government Gazette, Extraordinary, dated the February 17, 2009,”

Following this directive it can be expected that power business in Tamil Nadu becomes more competitive with time.

Buying power from Exchanges economically viable for Captive Plants

According to an article in Business Standard, captive power plants have resorted to buying power from power exchanges than generating by themselves. This behavioural change  of power procurement has been attributed to two main reasons :

1. Unavailability of domestic coal.

2. Low spot market prices discovered at exchanges owing to fall in demand.

Energy intensive industries – Cement, fertilizer etc. dependent on captive power production, have been using these low prices to their advantage.

The article has quoted a case of RSWM company of LNJ Bhilwara Group. The company generates power at an average cost of 4.2 Rs per unit (including coal cost and transmission losses). Due to present fall in spot market electricity prices, the company has been buying power at a cheaper rate of around Rs. 3 per unit. The company has also increased monthly power procurement from exchanges this fiscal.

As per IEX, the greater participation from captive consumers at exchanges has triggered higher volumes, greater competition and robust price discovery in short-term power market.

Maharashtra hikes cross subsidy surcharge

Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission on 29th October 2013, rolled out an order which raises the cross subsidy surcharge (CSS) to a level which can be detrimental for the growth of power market in the state. This is MERC’s second revision to CSS charges in a single year. Such an increase in CSS is against Electricity Act 2003 and National Tariff Policy.

Recently, the Hon’ble Ministry of Power has also emphasized in an amendment to Electricity Act 2003 (refer) that respective  State commissions have the responsibility to specify a road-map for time bound reduction of cross subsidies. This move by the commission defeats the very purpose of open-access in power markets of India.

The exorbitant rise in CSS is well illustrated by a graphical analysis :

Fig: Graphical analysis of CSS hike

The order can be assessed here.

A relevant media article can be assessed : Business Standard.

 

 

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