The electricity distribution companies (discoms) of West Bengal and Gujarat are those that can be trusted to pay their dues to electricity suppliers on time, a research report of think-tank Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) has said. The CPI, a network of over 70 experts and analysts, works to improve energy and land use practices across the world. It is, for instance, the programme manager for US-India Clean Energy Finance. The CPI study went into the ‘offtaker risk’ for renewable energy projects, or the risk of the company that puts up a wind or solar project not paying back its loans to banks because the offtaker — the discom — did not pay its dues. The idea was to come up with a ‘payment security mechanism’ (PSM), which is basically a fund that will pay the discom’s dues if it fails to do so. This would enhance the credit rating of the discom, and in turn lower interest rates for projects from which the discoms would buy electricity.
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