The India Energy Hour

The energy landscape in India has been undergoing a significant transformation over the past decade. The introduction of electricity and gas exchanges has played a pivotal role in reshaping the way energy is traded, managed, and consumed in the country. In this blog, we delve into the intriguing conversation between Shreya Jai and Rajesh K Mediratta, exploring the journey of these exchanges, the need for such platforms, and their impact on India’s energy market.

The Need for Electricity Exchanges

Shreya Jai’s conversation with Rajesh K Mediratta began with a fundamental question: Why do we need electricity trading platforms in a country where long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) exist? Rajesh K Mediratta offered valuable insights into the necessity of electricity exchanges in India.

*Market Structure Similarities: Rajesh pointed out that electricity markets around the world are structured similarly, emphasizing long-term PPAs initially, followed by a transition towards short-term transactions. In India, however, long-term PPAs have dominated the market for nearly a decade, accounting for approximately 90% of transactions.

Benefits of Exchanges: Despite the dominance of long-term contracts, electricity exchanges offer several benefits. They provide ease of doing business, eliminating the need for cumbersome negotiations and contract signings. Exchanges also bring transparency, competitiveness, and security of payment to the market.

Geographic Diversity: India’s diverse geography and resource distribution further justify the need for exchanges. Various regions experience different weather conditions and energy demands, leading to significant fluctuations in supply and demand. Exchanges facilitate the efficient flow of power between regions, ensuring a stable energy supply.

Infrastructure and Regulation: India boasts strong infrastructure and regulations to support energy trading. Transmission capacity has been augmented to prevent congestion issues, and favorable regulatory policies encourage competition and consumer choice.

Challenges and Opportunities

While the Indian electricity market has made significant progress, it faces certain challenges. One notable challenge is the limited participation of corporates in energy trading. A surge in open access occurred between 2009 and 2015, but it was followed by state-imposed barriers, such as increased surcharges and non-tariff conditions. To expand the market, policies should enable distribution companies to procure power for shorter durations, preventing them from bearing the burden of surcharges for extended periods.

However, there are positive developments on the horizon. The introduction of real-time markets and the potential launch of long-term delivery-based contracts and derivatives indicate a promising future. The ancillary market is being explored to address grid security issues, and retail competition could be the next major reform, granting consumers the freedom to choose their energy providers and offset their carbon footprints.

Virtual Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) are another innovative approach. They enable corporations to underwrite generators’ power prices, ensuring green attributes while meeting their energy and sustainability goals.

The Role of Gas Exchanges

Switching gears, Shreya Jai addressed the relatively new concept of gas exchanges in India. She raised valid concerns about the scarcity of domestic resources, making it essential to understand the role of gas exchanges in such a context.

Rajesh K Mediratta offered a comprehensive perspective on the gas exchange landscape:

Gas Market Diversity: The Indian gas market comprises domestic production and regasified LNG, with approximately 50% of the demand met by each source. Domestic gas production includes both regulated and open pricing segments.

Trading Opportunities: Despite challenges, 40% of domestic gas production operates under open pricing mechanisms, creating trading opportunities. Moreover, 30% of regasified LNG is available in the spot market, allowing for price discovery.

Buyer Sensitivity: Different consumer segments, such as fertilizer, CGD (City Gas Distribution), power, petrochemicals, and others, exhibit varying sensitivities to gas prices. Gas exchanges accommodate this diversity, offering market participants the flexibility to optimize their energy procurement.


The journey of electricity and gas exchanges in India represents a significant step toward modernizing the country’s energy sector. These platforms have brought transparency, efficiency, and competitiveness to the market, benefitting both consumers and producers.

While challenges remain, the potential for growth and innovation is vast. With the introduction of real-time markets, long-term contracts, and derivatives, India’s energy trading landscape is poised for further evolution. As the nation continues its transition to a sustainable energy future, these exchanges will play an increasingly vital role in shaping the trajectory of India’s energy market.

(Access the complete interview by tuning in to the TIEH podcast available on our website and other major podcast platforms.)

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