Aside Posted on Updated on
A transparent Regulatory Framework is required for making the sector viable for its growth as well as invoking investor confidence in the sector. To meet the growing expectations of the manufacturers, investors and consumers, CERC (Central Electricity Regulatory Commission) has amended key regulations and issued orders that can lead to the betterment of the power sector. Some of the amendments done by the regulator can be summarized as follows:
•Compensatory tariffs Approved: In Feb’14 CERC allowed compensatory tariff hikes for the two major power sector players namely Tata Power’s Mundra UMPP and Adani’s 4620 MW Coal Based Power Plant located in Gujarat.
( http://www.cercind.gov.in/2013/Reports/COMREP_CGPL.pdf) In lieu of the change in regulations of Indonesian Mining (2011)http://www.indonesiamininglaw.com/tag/iup/, the two players objected of suffering high landed cost of coal and thereby leading to loss on the exchequer’s pocket. Since the tariff revision is effective from April 1, 2013, CERC has directed the concerned DISCOMs to reimburse Rs 3.29 billion to Tata Power and Rs 3.89 billion. Some of the state DISCOMs (Rajasthan,Punjab,Maharashtra) have challenged CERC’s order before the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL).Reliance also filed the petition concerning its Tilaiya UMPP in Madhya Pradesh. Adani has been allocated Lohara Coal Block for its project which covered around 75% of the coal requirement for the project but that came under the scanner of Ministry of Environment and Forest thereby leading Adani to hunt for alternate sources for fuel. This ultimately led to escalation of its levelised tariff as defined in the PPA.
•Tariff Regulations : In feb’14 CERC came with the new Tariff regulations 2014-19,http://www.cercind.gov.in/2014/regulation/reg21.pdf which put forward many changes leading to strong repulsion from the major players in the market:
o Incentives for players have been linked to Plant Load Factor(PLF) as compared to Plant availability factor(PAF) as described in the earlier regulations.
o The base RoE(The amount of net income returned as a percentage of shareholders equity. Return on equity measures a corporation’s profitability by revealing how much profit a company generates with the money shareholders have invested) has been fixed on 15.5 % but FGMO,www.srldc.org/var/ftp/FGMO/FGM%20IN%20SR.ppt has been critically linked with it leading to tough times for Generators.
o Provision of PAT(Perform, Achieve and Trade)http://www.performachievetrade.com/ has also been included in the guidelines issues.
o Heat rate norms have been made more stringent for existing as well as new power plants. The factor has been changed to 1.045 from 1.063 (Kcal/KwH)
o The normative annual PAF has been reduced to 83 % from 85 %.
Responding to CERC Tariff Regulations, NTPC moved to courts against CERC mentioning that the PLF based incentive could hit their profitability.
•IEGC Amendment: In Jan’14, CERC issued an amendment to IEGC regulations 2010, further tightening the frequency band to 49.9 Hz – 50.05 Hz from the earlier range of 49.7 Hz -50.2 Hz.http://www.cercind.gov.in/2014/regulation/noti18.pdf In addition to sandwiching the frequency range, Grid integrations has also been pushed further with the inter-connectivity of Raichur-Sholapur transmission line. In context with the change in IEGC regulations, Penalty charges related to deviation mechanism of Unscheduled Interchange (UI) has also been revised.
•Open Access Regulations: Apart from the changes concerning LTOA (Long Tern Open Access) and MTOA (Medium Term Open Access) in Interstate Transmission Regulations, 2008 , there have been proposed amendments regarding the connectivity of renewable energy projects of 5 MW – 50 MW capacity with the interactive grid.
•Power System Development Fund,http://powermin.nic.in/whats_new/pdf/Operationalization_of_Power_System_Development_Fund_Jan2014.pdf : CERC issues PSDF regulations 2014 replacing the earlier PSDF regulations 2010 and intents to push the investments in the transmission sector. The fund will be maintained through a collection of Congestion charges, deviation settlement charges and reactive energy charges. Primarily the fund will be used for capacity building in the transmission sector including installation of shunt capacitors, series compensators, VAR compensators etc.
•PoC Tariff Regulations : In Feb’14 CERC issued a draft amendment regarding the sharing of Inter-state transmission charges and losses regulations, which incorporated the PoC methodology of determining the cost and losses to be shared by the users of the ISTS(Inter State Transmission System)
•RE Tariff regulations: In Mar’14 the first amendment to the Terms and Conditions for Tariff determination from RE sources regulations were approved by CERC,http://www.cercind.gov.in/2014/whatsnew/SO354.pdf. The amendment aimed to address various issues faced by biomass plants.
•NPEX Plan Shelved : In April’14, CERC passed an order withdrawing its permission for setting up the National Power Exchange (NPEX) http://www.pfcindia.com/Content/National_Power_Exchange_Limited.aspx .Promoters of the Exchange i.e NTPC,NHPC,PFC and TCS voluntarily applied for the closure of the exchange.
In the new future, further key orders are expected that will ultimately (perhaps) helps the revival of the sector.