Forecasting, scheduling, and balancing are the foundation for higher penetration renewable electricity systems. Together, they constitute the core processes through which variable renewable generation—wind, solar, and run-of-river hydroelectric—is transmitted over the electricity grid and delivered to consumers. Although forecasting, scheduling, and balancing are often thought to be largely within the sphere of electricity system operations, they also have important regulatory dimensions.
In India, rapid growth in renewable electricity generation has required the recent development of regulatory frameworks that govern renewable energy forecasting, scheduling, and balancing. These frameworks will need to continue to evolve to meet emerging challenges associated with meeting India’s 2022 renewable energy goals.
Many emerging regulatory challenges in India have parallels in the United States, due, in part, to the federalist tradition in both countries. U.S. experience in integrating renewable energy could provide valuable insights for India, and vice versa.
This primer provides a U.S. perspective on priority areas for improving the forecasting, scheduling, and balancing of renewable energy in India. Based on a review of regulatory documents and practices, it identifies four priority areas:
- Enabling economic dispatch through policy and regulatory frameworks that enable least-cost dispatch of all generation, including variable renewable generation, as a strategy for economically managing renewable energy curtailment;
- Enabling greater regional coordination by way of open access regulations and cooperative arrangements that reduce barriers to trade in renewable generation among states and enable greater coordination in dispatch among states;
- Increasing resource flexibility with new incentive designs that increase the flexibility of coal generation units and loads; and
- Clarifying roles, responsibilities, and authority in India’s evolving national electricity system.