Threat to DISCOMs in order to surplus Solar power Systems in India

Solar power in India is a fast growing industry. After harnessing this left-out energy resource, our country is now ‘Energy surplus’ in some states. Moreover, with state and central Government exempting taxes and duty’s on solar products, the power production is only going to rise in future. More and more consumers are opting for Solar Rooftop PV systems, becoming less dependent on Distribution Companies. As a result, this surplus solar power production is making DISCOMs worry about their energy sales.

State’s power Distribution Companies are seeing this solar reform as a threat to their market revenues. High production of Solar rooftop energy means less grid units will be sold. DISCOMs also have to buy any excess energy that consumer’s rooftop system generates. DISCOMs are the one who are responsible for grid maintenance of power transmission lines. Reasons like these are making DISCOMs more unmotivated to invest resources in grid maintenance. Moreover, this makes power grids and transmission lines more vulnerable to failures in future.

Other concerns over surplus Solar Energy:

Many states including Haryana, Punjab and Tamil Nadu are already  power abundant. At this point, adding more solar power on grid would make conventional energy power plants unfeasible to use. Running conventional plants (thermal and nuclear) at below optimal capacity is almost non-viable to use. As a consequence, making it more expensive to run the grid during mid-day (peak power demand time).

Keeping in mind these issues, DISCOMs are now trying to stall down this flourishing solar sector growth with help of state regulators. One such example of this is when Maharashtra Government issued taxes on solar units generated for self use. Government released Maharashtra Electricity Duty Act in 2016 which shows bill classifications of consumers with respective electricity duty applied on them.

Clearly levying duty on solar power generated for self use is neither ethical nor a feasible solution for this problem. Halting growth of the solar sector which is presumably a significant employment generator is not going to profit country’s current employment condition. A solution for this problem is still not in sight.

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