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Bihar Seeks Exemption On Renewable Energy Certificates Shortfall

Bihar State Power Holding Company (BSPHCL) has filed a petition before Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission (BERC) to exempt the state Discoms from the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) to compensate the shortfall of Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO). However, BERC has sought additional information from BSPHCL and has also asked it to submit a revised petition. Apparently BSPHCL had not submitted the reason for the non-purchase of RECs in the petition. It had also filed the petition under Regulation 7.1 of BERC (Renewable Purchase Obligation, Its Compliance and Implementation of REC Framework) (3 rd Amendment) Regulations, 2018 for the exemption. But the instant regulations do not have any provision for exemption of RPO- only the carrying forward of purchase of REC in case of its non-availability in the market.

Renewable Energy Purchase Obligation In Bihar

BERC has fixed a long term RPO trajectory for the state. The state Discoms have to meet the RPO of 11.5%, 14.25% and 17% for FY 20, FY 21 and FY 22 respectively. Below is the breakup of the RPO from solar and non-solar that they need to meet.

RPO: FY 2019-20

For FY 20, Bihar state Discoms: North Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited (NBPDCL) and South Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited (SBPDCL) failed to achieve their Solar RPO target whereas they surpassed the Non-Solar RPO target. As per the current tariff order, NBPDCL achieved 24.52% Solar RPO and 108.73% Non-Solar RPO. SBDCL, on the other hand, achieved 26.28% Solar RPO and 118.67% Non-Solar RPO. Had the Discoms met 85% of the Solar RPO, the existing gap could have been reduced from the excess non-solar RPO and the remaining target could have been achieved from the purchase of RECs.

RPO: FY 2020-21

For the current Financial year, the projected Solar RPO compliances for SBPDCL and NBPDCL are 55.53% and 56.55% respectively. The corresponding non-solar RPO compliances are 129.80% and 135.89% respectively. In order to meet their solar purchase obligation, the Discoms will have to purchase the balance RECs. For SBPDCL the expenditure on  RECs will be around INR 24 Cr and for NBPDCL, INR 20 Cr.

The commission has directed the petitioner to step up its efforts for procuring more solar energy. BERC has recently approved the petitioner to procure 450 MW of solar power from SECI and NTPC.

The next hearing in the case will be on 9th June 2020.

Note: A REC is issued to a Discom upon purchase of 1 MWh of renewable energy. Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) determines the floor (base) and forbearance (maximum) price of RECs. This year CERC has proposed the forbearance price to be INR 1000/MWh and zero floor price.

Featured Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Post Author: Ankur Kumar Jha

Founder SolarDae || MBA Power Management || B.E (Mechanical)

Ankur analyses mainstream media coverage of renewable energy in general and solar in particular; he tracks the ongoing development of regulations and policies and incorporates them in his opinion. He can be reached at +91-8860726731 for any assistance in rooftop solar and utility-scale projects.

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