India Renewable Energy Policy Roundup: December 2016

Here is a renewable energy policy roundup from central, state and government agencies in India for the month of December 2016.

Transmission planning is based on long-term access. With the advent of short-term transactions, transmission capacity is likely to get more congested. To avoid this situation, the CERC has proposed to increase open access charges on short-term transactions by 35 percent and on medium-term transactions by 25 percent.

With the recent demonetization, distribution companies have witnessed a rise in revenue since people were permitted to use expiring notes to pay utility bills. This could lead to banks lending to DISCOMs (utilities) at cheaper rates due to the huge cash influx.

The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) has launched a loan program to provide financing for CST projects set up under the GEF, a United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) program.

Himachal Pradesh has joined the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) program, a DISCOM turnaround program that targets debt reduction. In total 18 states and union territories have joined the program.

In its recently released Draft National Electricity Plan for 2017-2022, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has estimated peak energy demand and energy requirements to be 235,317 MW and 1,611 billion units, respectively.

The United States-India Clean Energy Finance (USICEF) initiative will initiate the flow of up to $400 million (~Rs.27.1 billion) in public and private financing for renewable power generation, including mini-grids, distributed rooftop, off-grid solar projects, and small-scale grid-connected solar projects. This initiative is expected to benefit up to 1 million households by 2020.

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