CII Pitches for Free Access For Green EV Charging

Highlights :

  • Rooftop solar could get a big fillip if these suggestions are taken on board.
  • At SaurEnergy, we believe the time is right to consider out of the box options like allowing PM KUSUM projects to be linked to EV charging too.

Key Industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has  pitched to make Open Access almost free where EV charging stations are powered by green energy, namely solar or wind energy. The idea is already being tried out in many places worldwide.

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“The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has called for an early policy notification for facilitating the sourcing of power from green sources for charging of Electric Vehicles,” said a statement from the industry body.

Explaining its stand,  CII said that this is required at the standalone charging point level as currently, it is not feasible under the ambit of prevailing electricity regulation where a minimum of 1 MW load at the point of consumption is needed to avail power under Open Access.

Since it is very unlikely for an EV charging station to be requiring power of this magnitude (1 MW) at a single location, in the foreseeable future or 10 years, it makes sense to lower the threshold for open access for these EV stations to enable faster adoption of green power sources. The idea makes sense if only for the reason that charging EV’s with what in effect is thermal power makes almost the whole exercise pointless, or extends the likely benefits way out into the future as compared to say, charging it with power from renewable sources.

Readers will be aware that  rooftop solar at the EV station can hardly generate enough power to keep an EV station going, considering space constraints and generation limits. Thus, the stronger case perhaps is to integrate power under the PM KUSUM scheme’s component A with such supplies to EV charging stations, especially on highways, to truly make an impact and achieve multiple objectives. PM KUSUM’s component A of ground mounted solar plants upto 2 MW in size has struggled to take off due to multiple issues so far. Enabling them to supply to EV charging stations will be a game changing move to achieve viability and make it an attractive option.

The Ministry of Power did came out with a draft notification on August 16, 2021, titled “Draft Electricity (promoting renewable energy through Green Energy Open Access) Rules, 2021”, seeking comments from various stakeholders.

The draft rule provides for lowering the threshold for sourcing power from green sources to 100 KW.

Urging the ministry to finalise the rules as more than six months have passed, the industry body made it clear that this would be a key step to accelerate the EV transition.

In India, with power being a state subject, states do have the leeway to take steps on their own too, and it remains to be seen which states make an early push. At the very least, the metro’s especially Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bengaluru  need to take earlier steps as they are high consumption centres with a market that can make an impact to overall numbers.

Indeed, it is a shame that metros such as Delhi that suffer from pollution almost year round have done so little internally on their pollution problems, be it in terms of installing more solar, or treatment of its waste.

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Prasanna Singh

Prasanna has been a media professional for over 20 years. He is the Group Editor of Saur Energy International

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