The compliance with renewable energy purchase obligations (RPO) remains low across most States, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Power.

A RPO mandates power distribution companies (discoms) to buy at least some portion of their total electricity requirement from renewable energy sources.

Only four States have managed to meet and exceed their renewable purchase obligations (RPO) in the financial year 2019-20. This low compliance was flagged during the recent meeting of State Power and Renewable Energy Ministers. To plug that, the Power Ministry has proposed stricter penalties for non-compliance in the draft Electricity Act.

In June 2018, the Power Ministry had mandated a uniform RPO for all States and union territories. The RPO target for financial year 2018-19 was 17.50 per cent (with 7.25 per cent from solar and 10.25 per cent from non-solar).

“However, against this, the achievement on a pan India basis was only 10.77 per cent,” the Power Ministry had assessed.

The goal of the RPO mandate is to have at least 21 per cent (10.5 per cent non-solar and 10.5 per cent solar) of all power procured by Discoms across the country to be generated from renewable energy sources.

Prior to the June 2018 order, States were free to fix their own RPO targets. The State governments want to regain this flexibility in fixing their targets and this was emphasised during the meeting of State Power and Renewable Energy Ministers held last week, according to officials in the know.

According to the Power Ministry data, the best performing States and Union Territories are Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Tamil Nadu. The worst performing are Tripura, Chandigarh, Lakshadweep, and Manipur.