The Electricity Act of 2003 was amended to impose the renewable purchase obligation of 40% for the new coal or lignite-based thermal plants. The Ministry of Power has mandated that new coal or lignite-based thermal plants either install renewable energy capacity equivalent to at least 40% of the thermal plant’s capacity or procure that much supply of green energy under a renewable purchase obligation, with effect from April 1, 2023.
An RGO of 40% must be met by April 1, 2025, for any coal- or lignite-based thermal generating station with a COD of the project between April 1, 2023, and March 31, 2025. After April 1, 2025, any additional coal- or lignite-based thermal power plants with the COD of the project must comply with an RGO of 40% by the Commercial Operation Date. Additionally, it noted that a captive coal or lignite-based thermal generating station would be excluded from the RGO requirement if it met the renewable procurement obligations specified by the central government.
As of January 31, 2023, India had 1,21,549.52 MW of renewable energy capacity, excluding large hydro (above 25MW). This comprises 10,209.81 MW of biomass or co-generation power, 41,983.18 MW of wind energy, and 63,893.83 MW of solar energy. Given India’s ambitious goal of generating 500 GW of renewable energy by 2030, this assumes significance.