Pan-India real-time power market makes its debut

The Government of India has launched a pan-India real-time market for electricity, placing the Indian electricity market amongst a league of a few countries that have real-time markets

June 3, 2020

The real-time market is an organised market platform to enable buyers and sellers across India to meet their energy requirements closer to real-time operation.

A real-time market will bring required flexibility in the market to provide balance while ensuring optimal utilization of the available surplus capacity in the system.

The system will help manage diversity in the demand pattern in the country with an organized market at a national level, improving the supply of electricity.

The real-time market would mitigate challenges in the grid due to the variable nature of renewable energy, ensuring better renewable integration.

Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Shri RK Singh on June 3 announced the launch of a pan-India real-time market for electricity. With the inauguration of the market, India joins a league of few nations with real-time power markets. The Minister added that the market through its flexibility will help manage the demand pattern within the country and make efficient use of surplus capacity in the system. The cost-effective system would enable distribution companies to cut down on excesses in their power purchase portfolio. By virtue of the market being in real-time, any last-minute requirements can be met. Furthermore, it is a more efficient alternative to the previous model of grid management that relied heavily on load shedding. 

The real-time power market is beneficial to all stakeholders involved as it allows distribution entities to make better use of transmission systems, sales of surpluses, discom opportunities, and RE generation. Consumers can enjoy the benefits of reliable power supply. Minister Singh outlined that the market would operate within the format of a double-sided closed auction during regular 30 minute periods with placing of bids occurring every 15 minutes. The real-time market would also allow for the widespread sale of discoms at competitive prices. 

The Indian power sector ranks fifth globally in terms of power generation capacity. Recent improvements in the sector’s generation, distribution and transmission capacity have seen an overall reduction in peak shortages. Under the direction of the Government of India, much of the sector’s focus post-2015-16 has been towards generating renewable energy and ensuring it represents 40 per cent of installed capacity by 2030. 

In line with this mission, the Ministry of Power and Denmark’s Ministry for Energy, Utilities, and Climate had signed an MoU to explore opportunities in forecasting, long term energy planning in wind energy. With innovative schemes by the Ministry of Power, the ever-evolving power sector can continue to create valuable opportunities for national and international stakeholders across the value chain.