THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The KSEB has been deprived of the carbon credit gains secured by independent wind, solar and hydel power producers over the years as part of Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism. The state has an installed capacity of nearly 230 MW from over 40 renewable projects, which include small hydel, wind and solar. Some like Ullunkal Hydro Power Project and Iruttukonam Smal Hydro Project have secured carbon credits, called certified emission reductions (CERS) credit, from National Clean Development Mechanism Authority (NCDMA), the body that assigns carbon credits in India.
However, none of these independent power producers has shared the credits with the KSEB as mandated by rules. Each unit of credit is equivalent to one tonne of carbon dioxide reduced. Ullunkal project, for instance, had secured 51,514 CERs till 2013, after which figures are available. Iruttukonam's was almost similar, 50,955. A wind project, created by Zenith Energy Services, had secured 85,052. In August 2008 prices for CERS were $20 a tonne. But by September 2012, prices for CERS had collapsed to below $5. Now, it is further down to $2. Even at this low, it is a huge amount.
As per CERC (Terms and Conditions for Tariff Determination from renewable Energy Sources) Regulations, 2012, the benefits have to be shared between the generator and the buyer. In the first year, 100 per cent of the credit can be retained by the project developer. In the second year, the share of the beneficiaries will be 10 per cent which will be progressively increased by 10 per cent every year till it reaches 50 percent. In short, from the fifth year of the project, the credit will be shared equally between the project developer and KSEB.
The KSEBL, however, has never shown any interest in securing its share. The State Electricity Regulatory Commission had, almost a decade ago in 2008, directed KSEB to explore the opportunity to earn carbon credits derived from reduction in emissions of green house gases. “Till date, KSEB has no records of carbon credits issued to power producers functioning in the state,” a top KSEBL source said. No just the public utility, even private players too seem least bothered. The NCDMA website shows that no major power project from the state has approached the Authority seeking credits.