Renewable Energy India

A multi disciplinary integrated approach characterizes renewable energy India schemes and plans.

By launching the National Action Plan on Climate Change in June 2008, India has embarked on an ambitious program to meet the challenges of climate change and energy security.

Currently India’s energy is generated mostly from fossil fuels like coal and oil, which are depleting rapidly and cause pollution. These are non renewable energy resources.

While India is blessed with abundant sun light - being the primary renewable energy source - throughout the country for the greater part of the year, harnessing it for the generation of energy has not been cost effective till now.

This challenge is being addressed now through different programs.

The pride of place has been given to Solar Energy for the generation of power from among the different types of renewable energy sources.

The mission is named “Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission” after India’s first Prime Minister, a visionary of modern India and the mission is to develop “Solar India”.

But among the various other challenges that India faces is the non availability of electricity in several rural areas of the country.

Renewable energy India plans to solve these challenges through two objectives:

  • Long term energy security and
  • Growth in an ecologically sustainable manner, as also

3 major initiatives :

  • Creating Large Volumes which will allow large scale domestic manufacture
  • Announcing a long term policy to purchase power
  • Supporting R & D to reduce material consumption and improve efficiency and develop new materials and storage methods.

The implementation of the Mission will proceed on the basis of the technology advancements and cost reduction, which will be necessary for rapid scale up and to achieve the target of 20,000 megawatts.

It has set clear targets for achieving them such as the deployment of financial outlays, developing the required human resources pool, creating the R & D facilities, norms for availing renewable energy credit, setting up renewable energy companies, institutions for imparting renewable energy training, renewable energy education etc.

The solar mission will be implemented in 3 phases :

Renewable Energy India Planning in brief:

  1. Grid Solar Power including Roof Top : 1100 MW in phase I (2010-13) so as to reach an output of 4000 MW by 2013 (phase II - 2013-17) and finally achieving the target of 20,000 MW by 2022 (phase III-2017-22).
  2. Off grid Solar Applications including rural Solar Lights : 200 MW, 1000 MW and 2000 MW in the 3 phases.
  3. Solar Collectors : 7 million Sq. Meters, 15 million Sq. Meters and 20 million Sq. Meters in the 3 phases.

The key thrust for achieving these targets will be through a mandatory Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) for power utilities with specific Solar Components whether for Solar PV (photovoltaic) or thermal.

The Solar Purchase Obligation will gradually be increased while the tariff fixed for Solar power purchase will be reduced over time.

Some highlights of the Solar Power Purchase policy:

  1. 1,000 MW solar power (connected to 33 KV or more grid) to be purchased by NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN)
  2. Tariff as fixed by Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) with annual tariff review by CERC
  3. NVVN to bundle equivalent MW capacity of thermal power
  4. Utilities can meet their RPO by purchase of solar power
  5. Power purchase agreement will be for a period of 25 years
  6. Solar specific RPO starts at 0.25% in the 1st phase and will go up to 3% by 2022.

Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) will provide soft refinance facility through banks and non banking financial institutions for the projects.

Renewable Energy India R & D Plan : Technical

The mission will be technology neutral so as to achieve technological innovation and market conditions to determine the winners.

Hence the focus will be on:

  • Improvement of existing materials, devices and applications and reducing the cost of the balance of the systems
  • Addressing issues related to integration and optimization for establishing new applications
  • Developing cost effective storage technologies which will address both variability and storage constraints and
  • A Solar Research Council to be set up to oversee strategies for ongoing projects -- availability of research capabilities and resources and possibilities of international collaboration.
  • Renewable Energy India R & D Plan : Human Resources

  • 1000 young scientists and engineers to get trained on different solar energy technologies as a part of long term R&D and HRD plan
  • 100 fellowships to be offered every year to support research students /groups
  • Short term course for existing engineers and M. Sc degree holders to make them certified solar installers
  • MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy) is working with Ministry of Labour to introduce solar energy related course and teaching material for ITI (industrial training institute) students.
  • For off grid solar applications the plan is to create 200 MW capacity in the first phase with the focus on Solar Lights, Rural Power Supply, Replacement of Diesel, Telecom Towers, Solar Water Heaters, Solar Cooking for institutional use etc. Support and encouragement for demand driven viable business models will be provided with multiple channels for rapid up scaling.

    The comprehensive and integrated approach on climate change consists of other national missions like green India, national water mission, national mission for enhanced energy efficiency, national Mission for sustainable agriculture etc

    Source : Govt. of India, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy

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