The Bask Research Foundation states that “the fear of DISCOMs on losing out on big consumers is a mislaid because of endorsing rooftop solutions as the renewable energy doesn’t even contribute 1% of the total power consumption of the state”.
As per the news, RERC (Rajasthan Energy Regulatory Commission) has not conducted any study to determine the possible losses of DISCOMs before proposing the laws which left the sector in dilemma. The RERC has extended the date of hearing industry’s feedback on proposed guidelines to March 3, 2021.
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The research agency suggests that “A scenario analysis may be done for different degrees of penetration of solar rooftops over a period of three or five years”. Further advising that “even if the DISCOMs incur losses because of sales migrations, the ultimate impact on their balance sheets would be negligible while the benefits of the green energy are too large”.
The current mechanism of power planning and procurement does not value solar rooftop systems which include contribution to reducing peak demand, avoidance of transmission and its infrastructure, demand-side management etc.
The entire scenario brings in the picture the need for “ground-mounted” solar projects which will contribute to the reduction of carbons but, the problem occurs in the procurement of land and water from local bodies. Moreover, these projects require infrastructure and transmission lines that are underutilized.
The agency has suggested that distribute solar needs to value its benefits to the DISCOMs and lower environmental impact and therefore, continue to receive suitable incentives for sustainable growth. To achieve the goal the agency has strongly urged to conduct a study for evaluation of feeders with high penetration of solar rooftops to quantify cost and solar benefits. The draft proposed by RERC “Grid Incentive Distributed Renewable Energy Generating Systems Regulations,2020” it has proposed to eliminate net metering delivering to the projects of the capacity over 1 kilowatt.