The Intersection of Electricity Market Coupling and Rising Volumes in India's Power Sector

Guy Spier

Hatched by Guy Spier

Jan 18, 2024

4 min read


The Intersection of Electricity Market Coupling and Rising Volumes in India's Power Sector


The Indian electricity sector is undergoing significant transformations, driven by the need for a cleaner and more sustainable energy future. Two key developments in this sector have caught the attention of industry experts and stakeholders - electricity market coupling and the rising volumes in power trading. In this article, we will explore the concept of market coupling, its recent introduction in India, and its potential implications. We will also delve into the increasing volumes of short-term trading and the role it plays in facilitating the adoption of renewable energy sources. By examining these two aspects together, we can gain valuable insights into the future of India's power sector.

Electricity Market Coupling in India:

The concept of electricity market coupling has been introduced by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) in India. Market coupling provisions were included in the Power Market Regulations, 2021 (PMR 2021), sparking both excitement and skepticism among industry experts. Market coupling aims to create an integrated power market that enables efficient cross-border trading and optimizes the utilization of generation resources. By harmonizing electricity markets across different regions, market coupling can potentially lead to cost savings, improved reliability, and increased renewable energy integration. However, its successful implementation in India requires careful consideration of various factors, including market design, regulatory frameworks, and stakeholder engagement.

Rising Volumes in Power Trading:

Simultaneously, India is witnessing a surge in the volumes of short-term power trading. This trend is driven by the growing share of renewable energy in the country's power generation and the increasing adoption of innovative market products. The introduction of the green term-ahead market (GTAM), green day-ahead market (GDAM), real-time market (RTM), and market-based ancillary services has facilitated greater flexibility and efficiency in the power sector. These developments are expected to support the large-scale addition of renewable energy capacity while reducing integration costs. The volume of short-term transactions has been steadily increasing, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.8% between 2017-18 and 2022-23. Power exchanges, trading licensees, deviation settlement mechanism transactions, and bilateral transactions between discoms all contribute to this growing volume.

Connecting Market Coupling and Rising Volumes:

The intersection of electricity market coupling and rising volumes in power trading reveals interesting possibilities for India's power sector. Market coupling can potentially enhance the efficiency of short-term trading by expanding the pool of available resources and enabling cross-border transactions. This, in turn, can further stimulate the growth of renewable energy sources and promote the integration of clean power into the grid. By aligning market coupling with the increasing volumes of short-term trading, India can create a robust and dynamic power market ecosystem that fosters competition, enhances grid stability, and accelerates the transition towards a greener energy landscape.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Foster Collaborations: To maximize the benefits of market coupling and rising volumes in power trading, it is crucial for stakeholders to collaborate and exchange best practices. This can involve knowledge-sharing between Indian and international experts, fostering partnerships among market participants, and engaging with regulators to ensure effective implementation.
  • 2. Enhance Market Design: To optimize the potential of market coupling and rising volumes, India should focus on refining its market design. This includes streamlining regulatory frameworks, promoting transparency and liquidity in power exchanges, and adopting innovative market products that facilitate renewable energy integration.
  • 3. Invest in Grid Infrastructure: As the power sector evolves, it is essential to invest in robust grid infrastructure that can support the increased volumes of renewable energy transactions. This involves modernizing transmission networks, implementing advanced grid management systems, and deploying smart grid technologies to ensure grid reliability and stability.


The introduction of electricity market coupling and the rising volumes in power trading mark significant milestones in India's energy transition journey. These developments have the potential to reshape the power market ecosystem, accelerate renewable energy adoption, and drive the country closer to its decarbonization and net-zero targets. By leveraging the synergies between market coupling and rising volumes, India can unlock new opportunities for clean energy growth, improve grid efficiency, and pave the way for a sustainable and resilient power sector. Through collaborations, enhanced market design, and strategic investments in grid infrastructure, India can navigate this transformative phase and emerge as a global leader in the clean energy transition.

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