With significant contribution to India’s capacity and generation profile and the environmental imperative to reduce dependence on thermal power procurement, Renewable Energy (RE) is an increasingly important aspect of the Indian electricity system. The continued low-price discovery for RE, especially wind and solar power underscores their competitiveness when contrasted with new coal generation facilities and hence are set to play the mainstay as part of the country’s capacity addition strategy. The major challenge that now remains is of reliable and cost-effective grid integration, which requires addressing challenges related to least cost resource planning, transmission planning & pricing, flexibility requirements, and tariff design. Significant research is needed to address these challenges leveraging on accelerated technology adoption, mainstreaming viable business cases and to provide appropriate price signals and regulatory frameworks which compensate agencies for risks incurred. State-of-the-art modelling to build evidence, scaling innovative solutions which benefit consumers and evolving market design, incentives and penalties towards phase-wise, accelerated development are critical to this approach. In this context, Prayas continues to critically engage on various policy and regulatory aspects of RE in the form of Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO), net-metering, competitive bidding, forecasting and scheduling (F&S), facilitating market based procurement of renewable energy by DISCOMs and C&I consumers through power exchanges, Solar/Wind parks, solar feeders for agriculture incl. in the KUSUM program amongst others. Increasingly, RE will have to confront the mainstream sectoral challenges, especially the poor financial health of DISCOMs, poor supply quality and weak grids, and the differing priorities and capacities of the central and state governments on various sectoral issues and future pathways. We will conduct research and engage with various States and at the Central level to inform innovative and balanced policy and regulatory approaches which can help sustain the growth of RE on its own economic proposition.
A key element towards accelerated RE adoption is investment in storage, especially battery based storage for different applications. However, there is limited experience with storage projects in India. We will contribute towards policy and regulatory aspects of storage incl. appropriate competitive bidding frameworks, contractual and tariff structures, regulatory frameworks, operational/safety protocols and state wise storage targets, especially given the scale of storage requirements.