194 MU of Solar Traded in IEX’s Green Term-Ahead Market in May

Cross-border electricity trade volume was 119 MU in May, the first month of its launch


The Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) traded 194 million units (MU) of solar in May, a 149% increase compared to the 78 MU traded in April 2021.

The Exchange traded 6,540 MU of electricity volume in May 2021 and achieved a 9% year-over-year (YoY) growth, although the COVID-19 lockdowns as well the cyclonic weather disturbances affected the overall power demand across India. In a month-over-month (MoM) comparison, trade volumes dipped 15%. In April 2021, IEX traded a record 7,707 MU of electricity, registering a 90.2% YoY growth.

Meanwhile, as per the power demand data published by the National Load Dispatch Center, the national peak demand was at 169 GW, a 2% YoY growth – while the energy consumption was at ~111 BU, an 8% YoY growth on the weak base.

Green Term-Ahead Market

The green term-ahead market (GTAM) traded its highest ever volume of 357 MU in May 2021, consisting of 194 MU in the solar segment and 164 MU in the non-solar, achieving a significant growth of 92% MoM.

However, GTAM had traded a volume of 186 MU during April 2021, including 78 MU of solar and 108 MU non-solar power, logging a significant 262% MoM growth.

In all, 43 participants participated in May 2021, with distribution utilities (DISCOMs) from West Bengal, Bihar, Haryana, Telangana, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Goa, and Gujarat, among others, as key participants. In April 2021, the number of participants was 34.

According to the IEX, GTAM has become a key facilitator for green power trade among DISCOMs, industrial consumers, and green generators offering the most competitive and viable avenue.

Day-Ahead, Term-Ahead, and Real-Time Electricity Market

The day-ahead market traded 4,364 MU volume in May 2021 at an average monthly price of ₹2.83 (~$0.039)/kWh. However, the market-clearing price saw a steep decline of 24% MoM with an average monthly price of ₹3.70 (~$0.050)/kWh in April 2021.

The term-ahead market comprising intra-day, contingency, daily & weekly contracts traded 383 MU in May 2021, a 9% increase MoM; last month, the term-ahead market had traded 349 MU.

Meanwhile, the real-time electricity market witnessed a monthly volume of 1,436 MU at an average monthly price of ₹2.53 (~$0.035)/kWh, a 28% MoM decline compared to April 2021 which saw the highest ever monthly volume of 1,473 MU.

The market recorded its highest-ever single-day volume of 74 MU on May 29 2021 since its inception in June 2020, and an 8% MoM increase; in April 2021, the highest single-day volume of 68.36 MU was recorded on April 3.

According to IEX, the market provided tremendous support to the southern and western coastal states affected by Cyclone Tauktae. It facilitated them in real-time power demand-supply balancing at competitive prices with great reliability.

The sell-bids at 2.2X of the cleared volume during the month ensured ample power and discovery of competitive prices, thereby providing optimization opportunities to the distribution utilities.

Cross Border Electricity Trade

In May 2021, cross-border electricity trade reached 119 MU volume. IEX had introduced cross-border electricity trade (CBET) on its platform last month as a step towards building an integrated South Asian regional power market.

According to IEX, Nepal has already participated actively in the day-ahead market on the Exchange, while other South Asian countries are expected to join in soon.

Renewable Energy Certificates

The REC trading session scheduled on May 26, 2021, did not take place due to a stay order from Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) in response to the petitions filed by a few Renewable Energy Associations. The next hearing on the matter on APTEL is scheduled to be held on July 14, 2021.

Rahul is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before entering the world of renewables, Rahul was head of the Gujarat bureau for The Quint. He has also worked for DNA Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad Mirror. Hailing from a banking and finance background, Rahul has also worked for JP Morgan Chase and State Bank of India. More articles from Rahul Nair.