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KERC Chief Shankarlinge Gowda: Power Sourcing through Open Access Market Will Be a Player in the Future

Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) Chairman Mr. Shankarlinge Gowda, IAS (retd.) today stated that trading of electricity through Open Access System will turn out to be an accepted norm in the near future.

Delivering the keynote address at a Workshop on Power Sourcing and Open Access System in Karnataka organised by Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCIC) today in Bangalore, Mr. Shankarlinge Gowda said: “Power is the key driver for the economy to grow at a healthy pace. It is forecasted that India will emerge as the 3rd largest economy in the world after US and China. In view of this backdrop, there will be a huge demand for power in the country in the coming years. To cater to this demand Open Access System probably will be a major player in the future”.

Commenting on the draft Bill on Electricity Act pending in the Parliament Mr. Shankarlinge Gowda said: “In order to develop uniform practices, Central Government need to make guidelines and States should make Laws as per those guidelines.”  He further added “the ‘cost to serve’ aspect should be taken care in the tariffs determined for different consumer categories.”

In May 2018, India ranked 4th in the Asia Pacific region out of 25 nations on an index that measures their overall power growth.

Earlier delivering the Welcome Address at the Workshop Mr. Kishore Alva, President BCIC & Joint President and Executive Director, Adani-Udupi Power Corporation Limited said: “Electricity demand in the country has increased rapidly and is expected to rise further in the years to come. In order to meet the increasing demand for electricity, massive addition to the installed generating capacity is required.”

He further said: “The Government of India’s focus on attaining ‘Power for all’ has accelerated capacity addition in the country. At the same time, the competitive intensity is increasing at both the market and supply sides.”

Mr. Ramesh Saligrama, Chairman, Energy, Environment & Water Expert Committee, BCIC said: “Power cost is one of the key components for the industry, especially the manufacturing sector.   In the competitive market, products will sustain only if we control the production cost which can be controlled primarily by capping the electricity charges. And it is here the new models of energy procurement from various sources play a major role”.

Mr. Rajesh Kumar Mediratta, Director (Business Development), Indian Energy Exchange delivering the theme setting address said: “The Exchanges have brought true competition in the sector. Thanks to option of Open Access, Discoms have started offering lower tariffs or discounts on night and day tariffs to retain 1MW+ customers. Therefore, this competition must increase.”

He emphasized that Open Access charges should be balanced to keep interest of customers to look for competitive options. He added: “In the long run, Discoms will be under pressure to keep their power systems in balance and integrate RE power in smooth manner. Banking for 6 month basis will be difficult to manage and will undergo change.” He shared that exchange prices have come down in November and December to Rs 3-3.5 and again OA consumers have started availing power through exchange.

Mr. Nitin Sabikhi, AVP, IEX delivered a key presentation and apprised the participants on how exchange products can be used by open access consumers to optimize their power portfolio. He also shared the IEX plan to introduce the new products like Green Power Market which will serve the GoI ambitious target of Renewable addition. 

Over 70 professionals actively involved in power sector participated in the workshop.