Power tariff hike in Delhi unreasonable and short sighted, government must hold public hearing: Greenpeace

Renewable energy can safeguard the consumers from recurring power tariff hikes, renewable energy

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Press release - May 6, 2013
6 May, 2013, New Delhi: Greenpeace today termed Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (DERC) hike in power tariff as short sighted and unsustainable. Demanding a public hearing on the power tariff, Abhishek Paratap, Senior Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace India said, “The hike, though marginal will have an impact on the common people. DERC cannot take a decision on the basis of Accounting Rate of Return (ARR) of DISCOMs only; it also needs to consider the views of the consumers as they are the ones who eventually pay the price. Financial statement of the DISCOMs [1] for the last year clearly shows that they are making profits on the tariff set last year. Since then the tariffs have been increased twice on the pretext of rising fuel cost. The government is not looking at sustainable alternatives like solar and has been dependent on coal and coal power plants in other states for its energy needs.”

Delhi fared the worst in a recent Greenpeace report [2] that assessed the renewable energy targets met by Indian states under the renewable purchase obligation (RPO) mechanism. Despite a huge potential on solar, the government has done nothing to promote and include renewable in its electricity mix.

The argument given by critics is that renewable is expensive. However, price of renewables is reducing as in the case of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Himachal, where electricity tariff will go down by 2020 because of high percentage of renewables in the electricity supply. In case of Delhi even if the Delhi government increases the share of renewable to 25 per cent the price will only increase by 14 to 22 paise in the next 8 years.

"Had Delhi invested in renewable energy infrastructure and had asked the DISCOMs to purchase more renewable energy, it would have cushioned people from constantly rising coal prices. The price of renewable energy is going down, so why are DERC and state government not enforcing regulation to procure more renewable in electricity supply. This obviously shows that the government is protecting private interests," added Pratap.

Notes to the editor:

1) Greenpeace sourced the financial statements of the DISCOMs through an RTI

2) Greenpeace report- http://www.greenpeace.org/india/Global/india/report/2013/powering-ahead-with-renewables.pdf

For more information, please contact:

Shashwat Raj, Senior Media Officer, GreenpeaceIndia, 0968686 1974,

Abhishek Pratap, Senior Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace India, 09845610749,