DISCOMs Current Affairs - 2020
On June 1, 2020, Indian Energy Exchange launched Real Time Electricity Market (RTM). The main aim of the launch is to help discoms plan their power requirements.
Working of the market
The market will conduct 48 auction sessions during the day and the power will be delivered within one hour of closure of the bid session. The market, thus, will help distribution companies manage their power demand-supply variation. It will also help meet power supply needs in a better way.
About Real Time Electricity Market
The market aims to allow power utilities manage their demand dynamically. It will help to save huge deviation-related penalties. Also, it integrates renewables in an effective way. The market will facilitate utilities reduce their dependency on deviation framework. This will help save huge penalties.
The RTM will also help grid operators enhance renewables by facilitating the discoms manage their challenges of intermittency that are associated with renewables. The RTM will help the discoms forecast and schedule green energy. This will help India achieve its target of 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022.
India Energy Exchange
India Energy Exchange is an electronic system that is regulated by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC). It was started in 2008. The exchange has participants from various platforms that includes power producers, State Electricity Boards, power traders and open access consumers.
Central Electricity Regulatory Commission
It is a statutory body that was set up under the Electricity Act 2003. It is Quasi-Judicial Body. Quasi-Judicial body is a non-judicial body that can interpret law.
The Commission was constituted mainly to regulate the tariff on power generating companies that are controlled or owned by GoI.
Tags: DISCOMs • Electricity Act 2003 • Electricity Supply • India Energy Exchange • power distribution
On May 16, 2020, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman announced the fourth tranche of Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. The scheme allocated Rs 20 lakh crores to help people during Lock Down 4.0.
The Government of India is to bring upon policy reforms in eight sectors. This includes coal, minerals, defence production, civil aviation (air space managements, air ports, MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul)), power distribution companies in the union territories, space, atomic energy.
Commercial mining is to brought in coal sector. The mining is to be done on revenue sharing basis and make coal available at market prices. Incentives are to be provided to companies that are interested in coal gasification. This is done to reduce the coal-based pollution.
The Coal bed methane is also to be auctioned.
Rs 50,000 crore is to be spent by GoI to create evacuation infrastructure.
India being the third largest bearer of coal reserves is still importing coal. Commercialization of coal will help reduce imports.
A new regime is to be introduced where a seamless exploration-cum-mining-cum-production will take place. This is currently being undertaken by different stakeholders. Integrating the entire chain under a single collective stakeholder will certainly help improve the efficiency.
A joint auction of bauxite and coal mineral blocks is to be introduced. This will enhance aluminum industries and also will reduce aluminum electricity cost. This is because, currently the availability of coal and bauxite at the same time is challenging .
The distinction between captive and non-captive mines is being removed. This will help in transferring mining leases and also allow sale of surplus unused minerals. Hence, efficiency of mining sector shall be enhanced.
The Ministry of Minerals will come up with Mineral Index.
The Defence production is to focus on Make in India initiative. The GoI is to notify a list of weapons and platforms on which an import ban is to be imposed. This will improve indigenous production of the country. Every year, the list is to be updated. A separate budget provisioning is to be brought in for domestic capital procurement in the defence sector.
The GoI is to corporatize the Ordnance Factory Boards. This will help in better management of the boards.
The FDI limits in the defence sector is being increased from 49% to 74%.
A mechanism will be established to make sure a time bound procurement process happens in the defence sector. This will help in faster decision making. A project management unit is to be set up.
Air Space Management
Only 60% of air space is freely available. This is mainly due to defence restrictions. Due to this, India has been using longer routes rather than optimized routes. This is being eased and this will help save flying cost till Rs 1000 crores. This will help in reducing fuel, travel time.
Six more airports are to be auctioned under PPP model.
GoI intends to make India a MRO hub. Most of the aircrafts in India go abroad to get their maintenance and repair works done. Therefore, GoI has allocated Rs 2000 crores to establish these MRO zones within the country. It is to be noted that the Union Budget 2020-21 had allocated Rs 800 crores for the same and now it has been increased.
The convergence of defence sector and civil MROs are to be done. This will help in bringing down the cost of the airlines.
Power Distribution Companies in Union Territories
The Power Distribution Companies in Union Territories are to be privatized. A Tariff Policy is to be announced soon to achieve this.
Private Sectors are to be allowed as co-traveller in space journey of India. The private sectors will be allowed to use ISRO facilities. Also, the future projects such as outer space travel, planetary exploration are to be opened to private sector.
GoI will establish research reactor in PPP mode to produce medical isotopes. This will make the treatment to certain diseases such as cancer affordable. Also, facilities are to be established to make use of the irradiation technology for food preservation.
Technology-cum-Incubation Centres are to be setup that will foster synergy between research facilities and tech entrepreneurs.
Social Infrastructure Projects
The Government of India has allocated Rs 8,100 crores to boost private sector investments in the social infrastructure projects. The GoI is to enhance quantum of Viability Gap Funding (VGF) up to 30%. Usually the VGF given is 30%.
The Government of India is to focus on fast tracking investment efforts in Atma Nirbhar Bharat. Project Development Cell is to be formed in every ministry. Ranking of states is to be done to bring upon competitive federalism that will help in faster development. Incentive schemes are to be brought upon to support Make in India.
So far, 3,376 industrial parks have been set up in India in around 5 lakh hectares of land. These lands are to be mapped under the Industrial Information System. Also, the industrial parks are to be ranked in 2020-21
The information about these parks and lands are to be updated in a portal. The portal will help the investors learn about the availability of land in a particular area and will thus help to fast track development of industries.