As the power sector struggles to deal with with stressed generation assets worth Rs 1.74 lakh crore, power ministry secretary AK Bhalla has said that there is an urgent need to critically look at the developments in the regulatory environment in the last 15 years since the liberalisation of the sector with the introduction of the Electricity Act in 2003. Private power producers have claimed that their receivables due to various regulatory delays have swelled to more than Rs 8,000 crore.
Bhalla was speaking the launch of IIT Kanpur’s Centre for Energy Regulation (CER), aimed to strengthen policy and regulatory institutions in the power sector. “We still have a domination of a government controlled generation sectors which are on a different footing vis a vis the private sector in generation, which is a challenge before the regulator,” Bhalla said. Discoms are also largely state-held, except a few metros and industrial townships where the private model has become successful, he added.
Dr Anoop Singh, project leader, CER, told FE that the institution would adopt innovative approach to engage with stakeholders in the power sector, and develop a regulatory database to enable regulators in taking more informed decisions.
The secretary also lamented the minuscule portion of electricity currently being traded at the exchanges, and pointed at the need to introduce derivatives and other trading tools to make the market more vibrant.