Millennium Post

Review merit order dispatch, says GAIL's CMD Tripathi

New Delhi: State gas utility GAIL India Ltd chief B C Tripathi Monday called for a review of the merit order purchases made of electricity saying the practice promotes pollution as it just looks at cheapest power and not the source of generation.

Speaking at The Energy Forum, he said there is a need to define what constitute "merit" as cost of power alone is not a sufficient factor. Under merit order rating (MOR) or merit order dispatch (MOD), sources of energy, especially electrical generation, are ranked based on ascending order of price with the cheapest getting priority.

Usually, power generated by polluting coal gets the highest priority as the cost of generation is the cheapest. Tripathi said merit order should be calculated in wholesome by considering the pollution caused by the source, efficiency, and availability of power. "There is a need to review the merit order dispatches," he said. "We need to define what constitutes merit."

The effort currently, he said, is to curb pollution at the consuming end and not at the source. "We tend to look at only tail of the pipe but not the origin," he said. Tripathi emphasised that power generated from renewable sources like solar and wind as well as biomass and natural gas should get merit order priority as they are less polluting to the environment.

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