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Renewable Energy For India

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I am starting this thread on Renewable Energy for India. There are pros and cons for topic.

To start of I am pro-Renewable Energy for India. This is major strategic initiative to kick the habit from Coal/Oil based products. Coal and Oil based products are major polluters contributing to tonnes of CO2 emission per year. India is currently producing around 70% of its energy from Coal based plants.

The current initiatives in renewable energy are a) Wind b) Jatropha biodiesel c) Solar Energy d) Ocean Tidal wave energy.

Wind is a well established technology and depends on the wind map of the country. The current estimates for Wind are around 60,000 MW on land. Offshore there is more potential.

Solar Energy is promising since India gets a lot of sunshine throughout the year. Some experts estimate that the Solar Energy Shone on India is sufficient to power its energy needs. The major stumbling blocks are solar to electric conversion are costly (though recent advances in California put it a grid parity cost, i.e. cost have come down to the same level as other conventional energy on a per unit basis).

One promising use for solar is home water heaters. This is not very expensive and people with independent homes can avail of this technology today. Lots of home have solar water heaters on their rooftops, the sun heating small tubes of water in a glass planel and hot water collected in an insulated tank. For those days that do not have sunlight an in-line heater element heats up water. So on balance, for a majority of the time people can enjoy hot water. Commercial establishments like laundries and hotels can make use of solar water heaters.

Coming to the issue of electricity from Solar there are various other alternatives that produce electricity. One instance in Seville, Spain uses reflecting mirrors to heat a liquid that runs an engine to produce electricity. This technology is being pursued by PG&E in Southern California for a 500 MW + plant. I believe that the best way to mitigate energy use is to have individual homes with Solar energy. During day time they can produce electricity returned to the grid and during night they take back from the grid. The savings could be substantial and conventional systems can augment deficit power.

India is also looking to increase its Nuclear Energy program.

Here is con argument from dis.agree

you cannot just shutdown & bring up coal based plants on a daily basis. they run for long durations and provide base load power. i am surprised you say that india has highest potential to reap solar energy. i am yet to see any decent paper on this.

while operational cost of solar power is near zero, it is highly capital intensive. there is still some distance to go from technology perspective. thin films is the most promising technology. it's efficiency is low but it compensates through lower capital needs. but even that on a levelized cost perpective is about 3-10 times expensive in western countries (at locations with good insolation levels). this however depends on discount rates used. you will not find indian banks lending at such low 5% interest rates. best you could hope for now is 10%. solar technology is still unproven & i doubt any serious bank would lend at all. you need equity but indian investors expect a much higher roi and so large scale solar projects would be financially unviable in india.

your view that oil imports benefit sheiks, while mainstream, is not free market thinking. they export oil and import other stuff. it is just a globalized economy. and that way we can argue against solar & wind energy as well. we are dependent capital intensive technology that are more expensive than fossils: usa for solar & europe for wind.

we definitely need to move away from coal, oil & gas. i am not saying this because of global warming of which i have reasons to be skeptical, but because oil production has started to decline for a few years now. gas too would follow very soon and coal possibly in next 2 decades. so, we must look at alternatives - nuclear & wind is the best short term option and in medium-long term solar.

indian government does not have that kind of money to subsidize such renewable energy. in any case, best way to get this done is to leave the markets to function freely. if state electricity boards allow/simplify sale of such power produced by independent producers directly to consumers and allow them to enter into long term contracts, i am sure we would soon see more such renewable energy generation.
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solar is perfect for india because of the heat, but the thing is to implement and make solar panels are very expensive....
Renewable energy plans are gaining steam very rapidly. Make no mistake that nations that race towards a sustainable future will be the leaders in the world. Towards this goal India must be cognizant of its needs and also of its growth potential. Very soon all nations will get together and put meaningful caps on C02 emission. The biggest culprits happen to be coal based plants. The solutions are daunting for the moment because the problems seems insurmountable. Sustained 24x7 power is cheaply produced by coal plants. But the penalties are mounting.

Countries like the US and even China to some extent are moving very aggressively to meet the challenge. Obama has given a goal of 25% renewable energy by 2025 for the US. The US can meet this goal by Wind alone, its wind map has the potential of producing 3x the current total power of the US. Wind energy in the US is the fastest growing industry and now is the largest the world. The wind energy industry installed over 2,800 megawatts (MW) of new generating capacity in the first quarter of 2009 and the U.S. is now 28,206 MW, enough to serve over 8 million homes. The biggest problem the US faces is that there is no grid infra in remote places like Montana to evacuate Wind power.

India needs to evolve a roadmap for aggressive renewable energy usage. I see only Solar in its future. The only solutions is distributed power generation as opposed to central systems. Each household and industry needs its own power supply based on Solar. Low wattage systems (including LED bulbs) which reduces the per person consumption of power is the only way forward. I see this as boost for innovation in all kinds of industry. Every appliance can be rethought along the lines of a Tata Nano. Refrigeration, fans, lights, electrical grinders/household appliances all of them. Once this figure is reduced to a bare minimum then the problems don't look too insurmountable.
The best and most effective way to adopt renewable energy is to solve day to day problems of the ordinary man/family especially for the Indian Context.

Rural India could really benefit from Solar Energy. Simple things that can enable rural farmers/family

1) Cooking with Solar Appliances

2) Rudimentary Lighting in Villages

3) Operation of the irrigation water pump - currently some states provide this as freebie.

My brother on a trekking trip in the Himalayas told me how an enterprising dweller in the area provided chai (tea) for travelers. He used a rudimentary solar reflector to heat up water piping hot to make tea. Of course it takes a while, but the volumes needed are not much. Cooking with Solar has been demonstrated in Rajastan wherein a community kitchen cooks large quantities of food using solar energy.

2) is easily available. street lights are now solar panels in some highways. If the same tech can be provided to villages that would be great. I know this is possible, since I have solar garden lights, during daytime they store the energy and operate for about 4-6 hrs in the night. All unattended with little to no maintenance, invariably covered with dust and water from the sprinkler.

3) is highly possible since these are low hp motors pumping water from some irrigation canal or well. During day time they can operate flawlessly. No need for govt to subsidize power, instead they can give farmers loans/grants for installing solar water pumps.

I am sure there are more such applications. Feel free to provide more examples.
It’s a challenge: Farooq Abdullah

On Day One of taking over the Ministry for New and Renewable Energy, the former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and chief of the National Conference, Dr Farooq Abdullah, brushed aside the perception that he was miffed with the choice of ministry allocated to him.

This ministry is a big challenge and I take this challenge head on. I am happy that I have been entrusted with the job which ultimately benefits our future generation,” he said, adding that “no profile is big or small. It is just a perception of people…This portfolio is bigger than me.”

Mr Abdullah said that his first priority would be to create awareness about the ministry. “I will go to each and every state and tell them what this ministry is all about and what help we can offer to promote non-conventional energy sources,” he said. The 72- year old minister said he would strive to harness solar energy and tap the vast potential of wind energy, particularly along the country’s coastline.
Tata Power to generate 5 MW from geothermal, solar plants in Gujarat

Gandhinagar, June 3 Tata Power Company Ltd plans to produce 5 MW of power, each from geothermal and solar power plants in Gujarat, with an investment of Rs 200 crore. It is exploring various options in this regard.

Strengthening its renewable energy portfolio, the company had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Gujarat Government during the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit (VGGIS), in January, to explore the possibility of setting up a 5-MW geothermal power plant in phase one at a suitable location in the State.

Similarly, the company had also signed another MoU for developing a 5-MW solar photo-voltaic (PV) power plant. Tata Power had proposed investments of Rs 100 crore in solar as well as geothermal projects.

These MoUs were part of the Rs 1.10 lakh crore worth of investments promised during the event for renewable power sources.

A company spokesperson told Business Line from Mumbai that post the agreements (MoUs), various options are being explored. Tata Power would be producing 25 per cent of its electricity from renewable, carbon-neutral sources by 2017. With an installed capacity of 2,300 MW, it currently produces about 16 per cent of electricity from green energy sources such as hydro and wind power. Geothermal energy is the natural heat found within the earth, where temperature increases with depth, typically by 10-50 degree Celsius/km.

In Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) technology, heat is extracted from granites located at a depth of more than 4,000 metres by circulating water through them in an engineered artificial reservoir. The heated water returns to the surface under pressure and is converted into electricity via a heat exchanger and conventional geothermal power plant.

Tata Power’s presence in solar includes Tata BP Solar India Ltd, which is a joint venture with BP Solar, one of the largest solar companies in the world.

Tata BP Solar is a market leader in solar PV technology in India with a turnover of Rs 660 crore. Nearly 75 per cent of its sales come from exports largely to Europe and the U.S. Its growth plans include expansion of its module manufacturing facility and thrust on domestic sales.
Green energy gets a leg up

At a time when green energy sources are getting a lot of importance from power producers in the country, wind farms are Turning out to be big suppliers of energy to Tamil Nadu Electricity Board.

Wind farms in Tamil Nadu added 431 Mw of power to Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) in 2008-09 as compared to 381 MW in 2007-08. A total of 6,655 million units were generated from wind and were fed to the grid during 2008-09.

Speaking at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)’s Green Power 2008, an international conference and exposition on renewable energy, inagurated in Chennai today Christodas Gandhi, chairman and managing director, Tamil Nadu Electricity Development Agency said that the total installed capacity of power generated from renewal energy sources, small hydro power in Tamil Nadu was 4,813 Mw as on April 30, 2009.

This includes energy from wind at 4,311 Mw and cogneration and bomass power at 413 Mw, which accounts for 35 per cent of the installed capacity from renewable energy source in India. This alone represents 27 per cent of TNEB’s grid capacity against 9 per cent for the country as a whole. Electricity generation from renwable enegy sources in the state was 7,532 million units in 2007-08 which was about 11 per cent of the grid consumption.

He added that the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission had recently fixed the tariff for purchasing renewable energy by TNEB. For instance, the existing tariff for wind power rose to Rs 3.30 per unit from Rs 2.90 per unit, biomass power to Rs 4.50 per unit from Rs 3.15 per unit, cogeneration bagasse-based to Rs 4.38 per unit from Rs 3.15 per unit and solar power it would be Rs 3.15 per unit, under the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s incentive scheme.

Meanwhile TEDA has taken up R&D projects, jointly with Anna University, including development of Solar Cooker based on Thermal Storage System for cooking during the nightôearly morning, design and development of energy efficient building using solar passive architecture and design and develoment of bagasse drying unit using waste heat.
Source: BS
Buy at least 5% renewable energy: CERC orders state utilities

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) today said that all power state utilities in the country will have to purchase at minimum five per cent of their grid purchase from renewable energy sources from 2009-10 onwards and 15 per cent by 2020.

In his special address at Green Power 2009, an international conference and exposition on renewable energy, organised by Confederation of Indian Industry at Chennai today Pramod Deo, chairperson and chief executive, CERC said that the regulator in carrying out of an internal action plan on global climate change.

The Cerc will determine the active minimal buy standard for renewal energy which will help bring down emission from the electrical energy sector. “While the minimum purchase standard will be fixed, from 2009-10 onwards all electrical energy utilities in the country will have to buy renewable energy. There will be one per cent increase in the purchase of renewable energy for every year for the next 10 years,” he said.

He added, currently 20 state electrical energy regulative commissions (SERCs) have already determined the percentage of energy that has to be bought from renewable sources. “While Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are currently buying 10 per cent of their grid purchase from renewable sources, Maharashtra has reached four percent target,” he said.

“A minimal renewable energy purchase obligation also has to be fixed,” he said.

Deo further revealed that the ministry of new and renewable energy is also carrying on a feasibility study for introducing renewable energy certificates. “One certificate will be equal to 1 Mw of renewable energy generated. The certificates can be traded to meet the mandatory targets of renewable energy purchase,” he said.

He added, though the certificate to all forms of renewable energy the government is thinking of introducing separate certificate for solar energy.

The certificate will be valid for one year and it can be traded through the power exchanges. “Whether trading companies will be allowed to do trading, we are currently thinking about it, he said.

The new system is likely come into place from April 2010, said Deo and it will be bought by those states which are facing deficit currently. A registry from National Load Despatch Centre would handle.

Source: BS
Karnataka Renewable Energy policy draft delayed

BANGALORE: India is being applauded for taking a bold step with its 'solar mission plan'. The state government, however, is yet to come up with its own draft renewable energy policy.

The state government had earlier promised that the draft renewable energy policy would be released on January 1, 2009. It's been six months and there is no sign of the draft.

"We have given the draft for wider consultation and that's the reason it's getting delayed," says principal secretary (energy department) K Jairaj. "The department has been getting an excellent response and we are reaching out to people for wider consultation," he said. The Centre had earlier directed all states, especially those that face power shortage, to prepare their drafts for renewable energy policy.

When reminded that the draft has been due for six months, he said: "We do not want to make it a hit and run affair." According to Jairaj, the initial plan included just the wind and hydel energy projects, when they had announced to launch it on January 1. "Later, we realised there was a great potential for solar and biomass energy as well," he said.

The government, in the next five years, is expecting an investment of around Rs 20,000 crore in the renewable energy sector.

"This being the case, we want to be cautious while finalising the draft," Jairaj said, hinting that the policy may be finalised by July-end, after which there would be a consultation meeting with stake-holders, including energy companies and NGOs, among others.
Source: EB

BANGALORE: The proposed green cess is part of the state's first renewable energy policy. This follows the Centre's direction to all states, specially power-starved ones, to put in place their renewable energy policies.

"We proposed a green cess of 5 paise per kilowatt hour (kWh) on commercial and industrial consumers and that's expected to generate about Rs 55 crore annually for renewable energy," said G Satish, conservator of forests and general manager, KREDL.

The draft policy, a copy of which is available with TOI, aims at escalating renewable energy generation from 2,400 MW to 6,600 MW by 2014. Energy conservation and efficiency will save up to 7,901 million units or 900 MW.

Sell it to the grid!

A tariff will be set for rooftop grid-connected solar kW-level projects with net metering facility -- a system by which renewable energy can be directly sold to the grid.

The `Solar Karnataka' Programme aims for 25,000 solar rooftops of 5-10 KW with net metering in the next five years and with a generation potential of 350 MU. The solar feed tariff will be Rs 13 per kWh for the first 12 years and Rs 3 from the 13th to 25th year.

Lucrative incentive

An incentive of Rs 25 lakh per MW will be given to biogas manufacturers, which will be added to the grid and sold to Escoms. There'll be a single-window clearance for all projects by the state-level empowered committee.

"An award scheme for timely commissioning and an inter-departmental review committee to monitor policy and implementation are also part of the policy," Satish explained.

Multi-crore investment

The Akshaya Shakthi Nidhi (green energy fund) will invest Rs 500 crore in renewable energy through funds generated from the green cess. The total load from the industrial sector is 11,000 MU, and a 5 paise cess will help them generate adequate funds for renewable energy development.

The consortium of Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd, Akshaya Shakti Nidhi Trust and the energy department in collaboration with the Karnataka State Finance Corporation will raise funds. Forest-land clearance will be achieved in four months and various statutory clearances within 90 days.

A system of renewable energy economic zone for all SEZs will be created whereby 10% of the SEZ land will be provided for such energy generation. For now, the plan looks ambitious and a timely solution for the fluctuating power situation in this power-starved state.

Rise of renewable energy

* 5 paise cess per kilowatt hour on commercial and industrial users

* With this, the government hope to generate at lest Rs 55 crore

* This money will be used to develop infrastructure for renewable energy sources

* Draft policy aims to increase renewable energy generation from 2,400 MW to 6,600 MW by 2014

Solar rooftops in focus

* `Solar Karnataka' Programme aims for 25,000 solar rooftops

* These will be of 5-10 KW with net metering in the next five years

* The generation potential is 350 million units

* Solar feed tariff will be Rs 13 per kWh for the first 12 years and Rs 3 from the 13th to 25th year

* Incentive of Rs 25 lakh per MW to biogas manufacturers

Behind the initiative

* Consortium of Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd, Akshaya Shakti Nidhi Trust and the energy department in collaboration with the Karnataka State Finance Corporation will raise funds
Source: ToI
Wind energy industry blows strong

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu ranks first in wind energy generation with an output of 45 per cent of the power generated throughout the country.

“The State has installed capacity of 4,138 mw out of which for the year 2008-2009 ended March, we have generated 5,537 million units,” DV Giri, Chairman of the Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association (IWTM), told The New Indian Express on the Global Wind Day on Monday. IWTMA is the Board Member of the Global Wind Energy Council.

Tamil Nadu generated 5,537 million units for the year 2008-2009. From the period 1986 to 2009, the State has generated 32,286 million units, a TNEB report says. But this statistics fade when taken into the innumerable power cuts the State is experiencing.

“If it had not been for the wind industry, the entire State would have simply plunged into darkness,” said Giri recalling two major power shutdown cases in TN (the Neyveli Lignite Corporation and the Tuticorin Thermal Power Station) when the wind energy industry came to the rescue of the State.

India ranks fifth in the global power list with states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Rajasthan in production of undoubtedly, one of the best forms of renewable energy.

Going by research, 40 years down the line, with the no coal situation, the most viable option could be wind energy. It is a double whammy resource, with no fuel cost, maintenance problems and security issue.

Moreover, it is environmentally friendly. The states which have proper policies envisaged for wind energy utilisation include Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. The Southern States have the maximum potential for using wind energy.

India has a potential of upto 45,000 mw of wind production but it has been unable to deliver it. The potential is huge and untapped, Giri said.
Source: EB
Sugar mills generate as much 'green' energy as windmills

NEW DELHI: Sugar mills in India produce 2,000 megawatt of biomass-based energy every year, as much as windmills produce, and at half the cost, a new study has found.

The sugar mills, which produce both electricity and heat through cogeneration, are already selling power to the grid and can produce up to 5,100 MW - 69 percent of the country's total cogeneration capacity - according to the study carried out by the New Delhi-based NGO Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

The study said "such alternatives to fossil fuel energy are critical for India's energy and climate security. But lack of policy and pricing issues threaten the sustainability of this green power

Sugar mills generate biomass-based 'green' energy from bagasse, a waste product that comes from sugarcane cultivation. Mills in the five major sugarcane growing states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh are now generating enough to meet the energy needs of a business centre the size of Gurgaon.

However, says the study, India has no policy framework in place to strengthen this green energy source. Sunita Narain, director, CSE, points out: "This energy source is an important win-win solution, as it brings value-addition and additional funds to agricultural resources, which in turn will give better payments to farmers and improve productivity. The question is what can be done to increase this energy source for the future."

Today, out of the 650-odd sugar mills in India, 107 have cogeneration plants. This revenue stream has managed to bail out sugar mills reeling from the falling prices of sugar, says the report. The Dhampur Sugar Mills in Uttar Pradesh, which has the largest cogeneration capacity in the country, made Rs.420 million from its cogeneration unit in 2007-08, compared to Rs.110 million from its sugar units. It sold about 177 million units of power to the state. The third largest sugar maker in India, Triveni, based in Deoband, Uttar Pradesh, is selling 16-17 MW of power to the grid.

The International Energy Agency says that the sugar sector has a potential to produce 5,100 MW of power through cogeneration, which is 69 percent of total cogeneration capacity. If the resources and technology are improved, cogeneration can produce almost 10,000 MW or 40 percent of the country's 2008 power deficit.

The report points out that bagasse generates nearly the same amount of power as the wind energy sector. Wind produces almost 2,000 MW, most of which remains unutilised most of the time.

Bagasse-based cogeneration plants also earn carbon credits as the carbon dioxide absorbed by sugarcane plants while growing up is more than the carbon dioxide produced in burning bagasse. The cogeneration plant of Triveni earned about 186,000 certified emission reductions worth over Rs.30 million between March 2004 and December 2007.

India launched its biomass power (bagasse-based cogeneration) policy in 1990. As the shortage of power grew in many sugarcane states, the policy was revised in 2006 to provide capital subsidy (Rs1.5 million per MW) and tax rebates (including 80 percent depreciation in the first year for selected equipment). The 2003 Amendment to the Electricity Act also provided the necessary framework for promoting renewable energy sources - asking states to fix a minimum limit for energy utilities to buy green energy.

However, the country still has a long way to go, the report says. In the absence of a strong policy framework, feed-in tariffs (the premium cost of green power) differ from state to state and are based on scarcity (not policy). While in some states like Tamil Nadu, the tariff is as high as Rs.7 per unit, others like Uttar Pradesh pay only Rs.3 per unit. Low feed-in tariffs have begun to hurt cogeneration, says the study.

Narain says: "The policy must incentivise the generation of power, not capital investment." The capital cost of biomass energy is roughly Rs.40-50 million per MW, which is half the cost of installing wind energy. But unlike wind, the raw material - bagasse or other agricultural residues - has competing uses and value. Narain says this price must be paid, as it helps local farmers to improve their returns and encourages production of biomass.

Narain also recommends making the renewable purchase obligation (RPO) mandatory, so that it becomes a tool to push for preferential markets for green energy. "To do this," she points out, "the policy must allow for inter-state sale so that green power-deficit states can purchase from others. In addition, we should consider how biomass-based energy can be used to feed local grids for local and decentralised distribution. Local energy supply should be given preferential tariffs so that villages that do not have power get it."
Source: ET
One of the simple ways of tapping solar happens to be solar - thermal power plants. PG&E in California has signed up with BrightSource Energy for a 500 MW solar-thermal plant. Fields of mirrors at the plant will focus sunlight on centralized towers, boiling water within the towers, creating steam and turning turbines.

Closer to home:

CHENNAI: Udangudi in Tuticorin district may be the site for a 100-megawatt solar thermal power plant. This was mooted during a meeting between Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah and Electricity Minister Arcot N. Veeraswami here on Saturday 2009/06/21.

I think a better idea would be smaller plants e.g.

A 2MW municipal solar power plant requires about 10 acres of land to serve a city of 1,000 homes — that’s acreage generally easily available at the outskirts of any city of such size in even the most developed countries. With a solar power plant in each of several hundred cities, a Gigawatt of power is delivered locally to where it is needed, in a digestible size.

By feeding power directly into the (local, medium-voltage) distribution grid, they avoid the (long-haul, high-voltage) transmission grid which is expensive to build and expand, and also avoid the expense of a substation for down-transforming transmission voltage to municipal voltage.
A thread after my own heart!

I am really fascinated by biomass power generation because of the easy availability of biomass (waste wood / rice husk / corn cobs, stover & stalk / sugarcane leaves, bagasse etc.) across the country. I believe this holds a lot of promise for India.

The economics of this mode of RE power generation are as follows:

Capital cost = Rs 6 lakhs for a 10KW unit
Per unit cost of generation ~ Rs 1.3 to 1.4 per unit as against ~ Rs 5 /unit from the grid.

In fact I am currently looking into combining biomass power generation with microenterprise development (through an organization in the US that I am a founder member of) to make rural communities in India self-sufficient in power. The idea is to pick young enterpreneurs in these communities to set up their power generation plants and sell power to other members of these communities. The capital cost of the plant will be met through a loan at low interest. Let us see if the idea has legs.

Fortunately, one of the top experts in this field is a classmate from my college days who went on to get a Phd from MIT in this field. He runs a company that makes biomass gasification plants and so I will be getting sound technical advice.

For me, the biggest benefit from such distributed power generation schemes is that it provides power to corners of the country that the government could not care less about. Even more significant is that this will allow our village communities to develop internal capacity to create enterprises and keep the people from flocking to our already overcrowded cities with crumbling infrastructure. And finally, rural India will be much closer to a carbon-neutral and environmentally-healthy existence.

Ultimately, I want to live in a way that I am completely independent of the government for power, water etc. while leaving the least footprint on this earth, so in a way I am doing this for myself.
On with a solar power mission

Slightly older but important news.

NEW DELHI: The Union Government has finalised the draft for the National Solar Mission. It aims to make India a global leader in solar energy and envisages an installed solar generation capacity of 20,000 MW by 2020, of 1,00,000 MW by 2030 and of 2,00,000 MW by 2050.

The total expected funding from the government for the 30-year period will run to Rs. 85,000 crore to Rs. 105,000 crore. The requirement during the current Five Year Plan is estimated to be Rs. 5,000 crore to Rs. 6,000 crore. It will rise to between Rs. 12,000 crore and Rs. 15,000 crore during the 12th Five Year Plan.

Implementation will be in three phases. The first phase of solar deployment (2009-2012) will aim to achieve rapid scaling-up to drive down costs. It will spur domestic manufacturing through the consolidation and expansion of on-going projects for urban, rural and off-grid applications. This will involve the promotion of commercial-scale solar utility plants, mandated installation of solar rooftop or on-site photo-voltaic applications in buildings and establishments of government and public sector undertakings. The target is 100 MW installed capacity here.

The Mission will encourage the use of solar applications to meet day-time peaking power requirement that is now met through diesel generation. Further expansion of solar lighting systems through market initiatives including micro-financing, in the rural and urban sectors, is expected to provide access to lighting for three million households by 2012.

In this phase, the Mission will make it mandatory for all functional buildings such as hospitals, hotels, guest houses and nursing homes to install solar water heaters. Residential complexes with a minimum plot area of 500 sq m will also be included.

In the second phase, to be implemented between 2012 and 2017, the Mission will focus on the commercial deployment of solar thermal power plants. This will involve storage options, and the promotion of solar lighting and heating systems on a large scale in market mode. This will be without subsidies but could include micro-financing options.

Finally, between 2017 and 2020, the target is to achieve tariff parity with conventional grid power and achieve an installed capacity of 20 gigawatts (Gw) by 2020. The installation of one million rooftop systems with an average capacity of 3 kilowatts (kW) by the same year is also envisaged.

The proposed strategy of the Mission should help achieve significant reduction in the cost of solar power and create a robust infrastructure for it.
Source: The Hindu
India’s Renewable Energy Investment Grew By 12% In 2008: Says UNEP

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has reported that India has seen a 12% increase in investment in the renewable energy sector with an investment of $3.7 billion in 2008. The largest share was asset finance at $3.2 billion which grew by 25%. The clean renewable energy includes wind, solar, biomass and small-hydro projects. The major portion of investment has been made in wind energy sector. The investment in wind energy sector grew at 17% from $2.2 billion to $2.6 billion.

The investment in small hydro projects grew about four-fold to $543 million in 2008.

The growth in biofuels fell by 80% from $251 million in 2007 to $49 million in 2008.

The venture capital and private equity remains a small piece of total clean energy investment in India, but saw a significant increase of 270% to $493 million in 2008.

In 2007, Indian companies began to explore foreign exchanges as a source of funds, raising $756 million on the Singapore Stock Exchange and London’s AIM, compared to $646 million on domestic exchanges. With the financial turmoil in 2008, both those funding avenues dried up with no money raised internationally in 2008 and only $74 million raised on Indian exchanges. Shriram EPC, an Indian wind turbine manufacturer and engineering firm, rose around $38 million in an IPO.
Source: Energy BUSINESS Review
Asian Development Bank to invest $2bn a year in clean energy

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has announced it is to double its annual spending on clean energy investments in Asia-Pacific to $2bn (£1.2bn).

The increase, which forms part of ADB's Energy Efficiency Initiative, will take effect from 2013.
In year 2008 ADB spent $1bn on clean energy.

ADB said its clean tech investments to date include wind power projects in China and India, hydro-power developments in Bhutan, China and Vietnam, and a biomass power plant in Thailand.
Source: businessGreen
Green diesel through green technology

New Delhi (PTI): A new process that converts algae and other biomass into liquid fuels with the help of a catalyst can brighten the prospect of substitute fuel production in the country.

"The technology is a process for converting algae and other biomass into liquid fuels similar to petroleum diesel which is better than the bio-diesels in quality and characteristics. The technology is a pyro-catalysis process," said T Raghavendra Rao, director of Sustainable Technologies and Environmental Projects (STEPS).

"Originally the hydrocarbon oils have been formed over a few million years from algae under the layers of the earth. Now, we are attempting to replicate the natural process using a catalytic process in a much quicker way," Mr. Rao told PTI.

The innovation was recently conferred the gold medal at the Innovators' Award established by aerospace giant Lockheed Martin Corporation under its India innovation growth programme.

The new process, according to Mr. Rao, is not cumbersome as the conventional one besides it yields more fuel that before.

In this method the algae is vapourized in a particular temperature, which is then passed through a catalyst conversion chamber, putting them into a molecular structure that is similar to hydrocarbon fuels.
A lot of research is happening on using algae as a source for bio-fuel....I saw a program in PBS where they showed algae has 100 times or more potential than corn as source of bio-fuel....and they best thing with algae is that they dont require fresh water

But still cost to manufacture when compared to fossil fuel is much much higher...someday algae can be a great source...

But not sure it is carbon neutral though....(at any rate it is much greener than fossil fuels)
Karnataka plans solar power projects

BANGALORE: The Karnataka Government plans to launch an ambitious self-sustaining solar technology programme in 3,900 villages in 39 most backward blocks to cater to the energy needs of 50 lakh people.

State-owned Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd (KREDL) this week invited bids from solar technology providers to design, finance, build, operate and maintain solar/hybrid power plants and collect user fee to provide solar energy on a sustainable basis for the requirement of village clusters.

These plants provide power either through a local mini-grid or stand-alone or make it available at a charging station, enabling residents to charge their electrical appliances. Solar power is to be provided for street-lights, household consumption, ente rtainment/educational purposes, water-lifting for irrigation, drinking water supply, purification/desalination plants, deflourination, milk pasteurisation and local cottage industrial applications.

Solar power would be metered and made available at a fee determined in advance. “Most of the targeted villages either have no electric supply or get poor voltage at present,” KREDL, Managing Director, Mr H.G. Shivanandamurthy, told PTI.

“We will play the role of facilitator in the project. Our interest is to see that the people get power at the lowest cost,” he added. - PTI
Source: The Hindu

^^ Biofuels recycle carbon in atmosphere. They absorb carbon while growing and put back the same amount to atmosphere when burnt. So, in effect there is no addition of carbon to the atmosphere. But, what I feel is biomass, wind, water based energy is in turn derived from solar energy. There could be a more efficient way of using solar energy directly instead of turning it to biomass. Pongamia, Jatropha or Neem require some energy to extract fuel. And also need considerable amount of fresh water. Hope in near future we would be able to harness solar energy directly in an efficient way.
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