Power Ministry issues draft rules for green hydrogen purchase

The Power Ministry has proposed a draft “Electricity (Promoting Renewable Energy Through Green Energy Open Access) Rules, 2021”, which is meant for the purchase and consumption of green energy including that from waste-to-energy plants.

The draft rules have subheads like renewable purchase obligation (RPO), green energy open access, nodal agencies, procedure for the grant of green energy open access, banking and cross-subsidy surcharge.

According to the draft a uniform renewable purchase obligation (RPO) has been proposed on the distribution licensees, open access consumers, and captive power consumers while allowing them to meet the commitment by purchasing green hydrogen.

It draft makes consumers with 100 kilowatt(kW) load, covering MSMEs and commercial complexes, eligible to take power through green energy open access.

Currently, most state commissions allow open access to large consumers buying one megawatt and above. The draft rules on promoting renewable energy through Green Energy Open Access provides that any entity may purchase renewable energy through its own generation, open market, placing requisition with discoms, green hydrogen, and renewable energy certificates.

“The quantum of green hydrogen will be computed by considering the equivalence to the green hydrogen produced from one megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity from the renewable sources or its multiple,” the rules said. Green hydrogen is the hydrogen produced using electricity from renewable sources.

These draft rules come a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the launch of the National Hydrogen Mission (NHM) in his Independence Day speech.

The ministry also proposes to remove restrictions on consumers who want to generate their own green energy. Presently, customers are prohibited to produce through captive generation more than the connected load.

The interested entities can purchase green energy by placing a requisition with their distribution licensee, which shall procure such quantity of green energy and supply it. “The tariff for green energy shall be determined by the appropriate commission, which may comprise of the average pooled power purchase cost of the renewable energy, cross-subsidy charges (if any) and service charges covering all prudent costs of the distribution licensee for providing the green energy,” the draft said.

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