Grid Integration of renewables in India: an analysis of forecasting, scheduling and deviation settlement regulations

The 175 GW renewable generation capacity target for 2022 has fundamental implications for electricity grid planning and operations. Renewable energy generation, especially from wind and solar power, is variable in nature, given its dependency on the weather. Maintaining continuous balance in demand and supply and constant frequency is important for the reliable and secure operation of the grid. Deviation in frequency can occur due to instantaneous differences between generation and demand, which grid operators apprehend would worsen due to higher penetration of renewables. This coupled with some pre-existing problems of the relatively weak Indian grid makes reliable and effective grid integration of renewables even more challenging. Hence, policy-regulatory officials and grid operators are very concerned that such a steep and rapid increase in ‘infirm’ or ‘non-dispatchable’ renewables will affect the electricity grid and make grid operation far more complex and difficult to deal with. This report is an attempt to understand the concerns of grid operators when it comes to integrating high levels of variable renewables. The focus is on forecasting and scheduling of renewable power, one of the key starting points to minimise grid imbalance and aid effective integration. It also examines the various supporting initiatives adopted by ERCs and policy makers towards easing grid integration. We conclude by outlining potential suggestions and ideas for easing the challenges of grid integration.