The government may now hold renewable energy auctions only for round-the-clock and hybrid projects, a move seen reducing the problem of intermittent supply and making clean power more competitive against traditional thermal plants.
“We may not do plain solar and plain wind tenders in the future. It is our plan to do only RTC and hybrid tenders. Like we have proved with the RTC tender, in the future it will be a business case for everyone (industry),” an official of the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) told ET.
Power supply from solar and wind projects is inherently intermittent because both sources are not available all the time—while sunlight is available only for a few hours with varying intensity, wind velocity keeps changing.
Green energy developers in India have been supplying whatever power they generate right away to the grid, and since most have not invested in storage facility, the supply is intermittent. Continuous supply requires setting up of storage batteries, which may also increase the tariff.
Last week, MNRE auctioned a first-of-its-kind 400 MW RTC tender, where the levelised winning tariff emerged at Rs 3.60 per unit. Thermal power sector executives said this could be a serious threat to the dominance of coal-based power generation in the country.