Power Market Coupling in India: Challenges and Opportunities

Guy Spier

Hatched by Guy Spier

Apr 09, 2024

3 min read


Power Market Coupling in India: Challenges and Opportunities


The proposed introduction of market coupling in India has garnered significant attention and raised important questions about its feasibility and potential benefits. Market coupling refers to the integration of different power markets to optimize the flow of electricity across borders. However, experts argue that implementing market coupling in India may not be as straightforward as it seems. In this article, we will explore the challenges associated with power market coupling in India and discuss potential solutions to overcome them.

Fixed-Price and Long-Term PPAs:

One of the major obstacles to power market coupling in India is the prevalence of fixed-price and long-term Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) outside the market. According to Eninrac, a leading energy consultancy and advisory firm, approximately 90 percent of power in India is bound by these agreements. This means that a significant portion of the country's power generation is already allocated, leaving limited room for market coupling to effectively optimize the flow of electricity.

Poor Credit Rating and Foreign Influence:

Another issue that hampers the implementation of market coupling in India is the country's poor credit rating. Guy Spier, an investor, raised this concern, questioning why India continues to rely on foreign players for sovereign ratings. This dependency on agencies based in former colonial powers like London and New York raises questions about the impartiality and suitability of these ratings for India's unique circumstances. Developing homegrown agencies, such as CareEdge Group, to issue sovereign ratings could help address this issue and provide a more accurate assessment of India's creditworthiness.

Lack of Regulatory Framework and Infrastructure:

The absence of a robust regulatory framework and adequate infrastructure poses significant challenges to power market coupling in India. Market coupling requires harmonization of regulations and policies across different regions and countries to ensure seamless integration. India's diverse energy landscape, with varying regulations and infrastructure across states, makes it difficult to establish a unified market coupling framework. Additionally, the limited interconnection capacity between regions further complicates the optimization of electricity flow.

Potential Solutions and Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Foster Renewable Energy Integration: Promoting the integration of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, can help mitigate the challenges of power market coupling in India. By encouraging the development of renewable energy projects and incentivizing their participation in the market, India can create a more flexible and dynamic power system that facilitates market coupling.
  • 2. Strengthen Domestic Rating Agencies: To address concerns regarding India's credit rating, the government should empower domestic rating agencies to provide sovereign ratings. This would reduce reliance on foreign agencies and ensure a more accurate assessment of India's creditworthiness, taking into account the country's unique economic and social factors.
  • 3. Improve Interconnection Infrastructure: Enhancing interconnection capacity between different regions in India is crucial for effective power market coupling. Investments in transmission infrastructure and grid modernization can facilitate the efficient exchange of electricity and enable market coupling to deliver its intended benefits. Collaboration between central and state governments, along with private sector participation, can help expedite these infrastructure improvements.


While power market coupling in India may face numerous challenges, it also presents significant opportunities for optimizing electricity flow and fostering a more efficient and sustainable power system. By addressing the barriers discussed in this article and implementing the actionable advice provided, India can overcome these challenges and unlock the potential benefits of market coupling. A comprehensive approach, involving regulatory reforms, infrastructure investments, and stakeholder collaboration, is essential to successfully implement power market coupling in India and drive the country towards a greener and more resilient energy future.

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