Electricity Amendment Bill, 2022

The Ministry of Power (MoP), Government of India has introduced the Electricity Amendment Bill, 2022 (Bill) before the Lok Sabha. Among other things, the Bill proposes to lay down provisions for the following:

  • Payment Security Mechanism (PSM), to be provided by licensee(s) and is made mandatory (No electricity shall be scheduled or dispatched by NLDC/SLDC/RLDC unless adequate security of payment has been made).
  • A cross subsidy balancing fund in case of issuance of license to more than one distribution company (DISCOM) in an area of supply. Any surplus in the fund shall be utilized to make good deficits in cross subsidy in the same area or other area of supply.
  • Amended definition of Power System under Section 2 (50), to include energy storage system as well.
  • The Bill has also inter alia proposed amendments to the provisions pertaining to grant of license, functions of the National Load Despatch Centre provisions of Sections 40, 42, 61 (g), 62 (1) (d), 64.
  • The Bill also introduces provisions relating to issuance of Order for interim tariff by the State Electricity Regulatory Commission.
  • The provisions of penalty under Section 142 have also been amended in the Bill.

Uttar Pradesh Solar Energy Policy (Draft) 2022

  • The draft of the Uttar Pradesh Solar Energy Policy (Draft Solar Policy) has been issued by the Government of Uttar Pradesh with an aim to achieve 16000 MW of Solar Power Project capacity by 2026-27. The same would be comprising of 10000 MW Utility/Grid Scale Solar Projects/Parks, 4000 MW Rooftop Solar projects and 2000 MW Distributed Solar Projects. The Draft Solar Policy upon being notified will be valid for a period of five years or until the Government notifies a new policy, whichever is earlier.
  • The object behind the same is to ensure grid stability in a long run and round the clock power supply, the Draft Solar Policy aims to promote 'Storage Systems'. The State also aims to accelerate the deployment of Solar Power by implementing:
    • Large-scale projects
    • Small scale distributed systems
    • Establishment of ultra-mega solar parks
    • Rooftop solar PV projects
  • The power generated is proposed to be purchased by Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) through its electricity distribution companies (DISCOMs) to meet their Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) as determined by the Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC). The State will make efforts to develop Solar Power Projects for captive consumption and sale of power to third parties, both inter-State and intra-State, other than UPPCL.
  • The nodal agency for the implementation of this policy will be the Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency (UPNEDA) that will facilitate project developers and act as a single window to cater to all types of solar projects while also carrying out competitive auctions.

Letter dated August 01, 2022 issued by Ministry of Power regarding the import of coal for blending purposes

  • In order to address the increasing year-on-year demand and consumption of electricity against the inadequate coal stock in the country, the MoP vide letter dated December 7, 2021, April 28, 2022 and subsequent revisions advised State Generating Companies and Independent Power Producers (IPPS) to import coal for blending purposes to meet requirement at 10% of the total requirement in order to ensure continuous power supply in the respective states during 2022-23.
  • By way of their letter dated August 1, 2022, MoP has reviewed the stock of coal across the country and observed that coal stock position significantly varies from state to state; many states have stocks more than 50% of normative levels while others have stocks near critical levels. In view thereof, MOP has decided that States / IPPs and Ministry of Coal may decide blending percentage after assessing the availability of domestic coal supplies.
  • Therefore, Generating Companies would not need to comply with the mandatory 10% blending percentage subject to the status of domestic coal availability within the concerned States.

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