Rural Electrification in India – Achievements, Challenges and Opportunities

Rural Electrification in India

28th April 2018 would be remembered as a landmark moment in India’s history. 72 years after achieving independence from colonial rule, India finally achieved energy independence on this date with every village in the country getting electrified. Shri Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India announced this historic moment using his official twitter handle, shortly after the last un-electrified village in the country located in remote corner in Manipur state in India was officially connected to the electricity grid. It is by no means a simple feat if one considers the statistics of where we were seven decades back. After…

Floating Solar Power Plants – A promising technology that needs time to evolve

floating solar power plant

The Government of India recently announced an ambitious plan to develop 10 GW Gigawatt (GW) of floating solar capacity in the country over the next three years till 2020-21. Soon after, the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), India’s central public sector undertaking responsible for implementing renewable energy schemes in the country floated an expression of interest (EoI) from project developers to develop 10 GW of floating solar capacity. The objective of this EOI was to understand the feasibility of developing large scale floating solar PV capacities across the country. While the industry has praised the intent of the government…

BIPV to act as a substantial enabler to adoption of solar energy

solar installations

Building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) are photovoltaic materials that are used to replace conventional building materials in parts of the building such as the roof, skylights, or facades to generate electricity out of sunlight. In addition to power generation, BIPV retains properties of conventional building materials like insulation, heat absorption and cooling qualities. As solar energy moves into the mainstream, there has been a noticeable shift form perceiving solar as primarily a retrofit option to a building’s energy profile. With majority of new building construction today being designed with sustainable energy footprint in mind, BIPV systems offer an ideal solution. BIPV…

Hybrid Diesel Gensets – A Cost Effective Power Back-Up Solution for Industrial Users

Diesel Gensets remain the preferred back-up power solution for industrial users worldwide. Although alternate back-up solutions have emerged in the past few years, diesel gensets remain the top-choice for industrial customers due to their time tested durability, reliability and performance. Technological advancements in diesel engine technology over the years have also helped this industry retain its superior edge in the face of competition. Although diesel gensets remain a popular choice, off-late it has been facing a few challenges. Thses include rising fuel costs, growth of renewables, government regulation and increased environmental activism that propose a complete shift to renewable energy….

Emerging technologies for renewable energy storage and grid integration

Electrical power generation

Electrical power generation is changing dramatically across the world with greater emphasis on electricity generation through renewable sources like solar and wind thereby progressively lessening usage of fossil fuels. However, most renewable energy sources are intermittent in nature, which presents a considerable challenge in load balance maintenance, grid stability and reliability. One of the main limitations of solar power is that there is no control over when and in what quantity the system will be producing energy. Production can be predicted to a degree from the analysis of weather patterns at the project location, but it is impossible for solar…

Driving Solar Sustainability Requires Pragmatic Approach

Off grid Solar Power Packs

Solar, a source which has the potential to generate approx. 748 GW of power, using 3% wasteland in India, has been growing at a phenomenal rate. From a meagre 461 MW in 2011 solar power installations increased to 19,538 MW in Feb 2018, growing more than 40 fold in less than 7 years. With the increase in capacity additions the tariffs were affected by an inverse effect, falling from Rs 15/KWh in 2009 to Rs 2.44 /KWh in 2017, drawing attention of domestic as well as international players to leverage profits from this promising sector. Though the reduction in prices…

Understanding solar tracking systems for PV power plants

Solar module tracking systems

Solar module tracking systems are motorized mechanical racking systems that orient a solar array towards the sun. A tracker optimizes the angle at which panels receive solar radiation thereby maximizing electricity production of a solar plant. The angle at which the sun’s rays meet the surface of the solar panel determines how well the panel can convert the incoming light into electricity. This is known as the “angle of incidence”. The narrower the angle of incidence, the more energy a photovoltaic panel can produce. Solar trackers help to minimize this angle by working to orient panels so that light strikes perpendicular…

Conservation & Efficient Use of Energy for Sustainability

Efficient Use of Energy for Sustainability

The global demand for electricity witnessed a growth of 3.1% in 2017, with major requirements seen in China and India. In 2017 the Indian economy grew just below 7% while the demand for electricity rose at 12% outpacing GDP growth. It is forecasted that by the end of 2035, India’s demand for energy will grow faster than most major world economies and shall outpace China’s energy needs by the end of this period. Some research experts cite that India’s gas demand shall expand by 162%, followed by that of oil at 121% and coal 105%. The demand for renewables shall…

Are hybrid projects the future of renewables in India?

Hybrid power projects

The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India recently unveiled a draft solar-wind hybrid policy document for the renewable sector in India. It is a welcome step by the Government as it paves the way for a formal discussion on the subject amongst various stakeholders. At a macro level, the broad objective of this policy is to drive investments into the renewable space in India, optimize utilisation of current assets and align the renewable industry in India in-line with global trends which are slowly making a shift towards hybrid renewable energy projects at a slow pace. In…

Indian Economy: Shaping for the Future

Indian Economy: Shaping for the Future

The year 2018 began with signs of recovery for the Indian economy. The industrial output in Q4 of 2017 as well as in the last three months of 2017 remained over 7% and manufacturing saw a healthy 8% increase in productivity during Jan 2018. The trend is expected to continue as the World Bank and IMF expect the Indian economy to grow between 7%-7.6% outperforming all the major economies of the world and leaving China behind at 6.6%. The growth hints that the teething effects of structural reforms in the face of Demonetisation and GST have normalized and businesses have…