The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has intensified the deployment of various renewable energy technologies in the country for grid connected power generation and to improve energy access in rural areas.
In the recent competitive solar tariff bidding, the tariff quoted are 50% less than they were when the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission was launched just two years ago.
Renewable power is now being extensively propagated and used to provide energy access to the remote, inaccessible and difficult areas of the country. During 2011 around 965 villages have been covered with solar lights and 30 villages have been covered with biomass gasifiers.
The Ministry has undertaken an intensive exercise during the year to review its programmes through various working groups set up for preparation of the 12th Plan. The Ministry is envisaging a capacity addition of about 30,000 MW from renewable during the 12th Plan.
Major Achievements in 2011
The Year 2011 has seen a significant growth with a number of new initiatives in the renewable energy sector. The wind energy sector picked up momentum again by adding over 2800 MW capacity resulting in grid-connected renewable power capacity crossed the 22,000 MW milestone which is about 11% of the total power generation capacity of the country. During the year grid-connected solar power plants crossing the 100 MW milestone. In fact, SPV power plants of over 180 MW were set up in the country. Over 1000 remote villages were electrified through renewable energy systems during this year. Over 50 MW off-grid installations were completed. Another initiative of the Ministry was to launch a comprehensive project to popularize renewable energy systems in the Ladakh
Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission
The Mission aims at adding 20,000 MW solar power capacity in the country by 2022. Implementation of the Phase – I of the Mission started during the year. One of the target areas is promotion of grid-connected solar power in a big way with the objective to bring cost of solar power generation to grid parity levels. In this year 180 MW of grid-connected solar power projects have been commissioned in the country and this figure will cross 400 MW by the end of this financial year. Projects totaling 350 MW have been allotted in batch-II of phase–I in December,2011 through competitive bidding. The tariff quoted are amongst lowest tariffs anywhere in the World with an average Rs.8.77 per kWh and a bid lowest of Rs.7.49 per kWh. If compared with the tariffs of over Rs.18 per kWh at the start of the Mission, this is a reduction of more than 50%.
The Ministry is giving special focus on research in solar energy. 36 R&D projects in solar thermal and photovoltaic technologies are under implementation. A Centre for Solar Thermal Research has been set up at IIT Rajasthan, Jodhpur. Under R&D Projects sponsored to industries in public-private partnership mode, a 30 ton Solar air conditioning system using concentrating solar power parabolic troughs and triple effect vapor absorption machine has been developed and demonstrated at Solar Energy Centre, MNRE. It is a stand-alone system for day time use and can take care of intermittent clouds through small storage.
The system once tested for its satisfactory performance, could be useful for offices and institutions working during day time when solar radiation is also available. In another project, a State of the Art fully automatically tracked paraboloid dish of 90 sq. m. area has also been developed and demonstrated at Solar Energy Centre. The dish is expected to find good opportunity in industries for processed heat applications as it is installed on a pillar and the space below dish could be utilized for other purposes.
Grid Connected Renewable Power
A capacity addition of 3815 MW have been achieved during 2011 from various renewable energy sources. This includes 2827 MW from wind power, 310 MW from small hydro, 498 MW from biomass and 180 MW from solar energy. With this, the total installed capacity from renewable has reached 22,447 MW.
Wind energy is the fastest growing renewable energy option today. A total capacity of 15,880 MW of wind power has been installed in the country. The progress during the current year has been very good. A capacity of around 2827 MW has been installed during the year. It is expected that it will touch around 3500 MW upto March,2012. It would be a significant improvement as compared to figures of 1485, 1565 and 2350 MW in 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11 respectively. As per the recommendations of Working Group for 12th Plan, a target of 15,000 MW has been proposed for 12th Plan.
The Small hydro power programme in India is now by and large private investment driven. 24 States have announced their policies to invite private sector to set up SHP projects. Since SHP projects have reasonably good economic viability, a number of financial institutions and banks are ready to finance these projects. Accordingly, a major part of capacity addition and exploitation of SHP potential in future is expected from private sector projects. With a capacity addition of 310 MW during 2011, the total installed capacity from SHP projects is 3210 MW. The Ministry is also focusing on developing micro hydel projects and watermills for electrification of remote areas. As per the recommendations of Working Group for 12th Plan, a target of 2,100 MW has been proposed for 12th Plan.
The Biomass Power and Bagasse Co-generation Programme is implemented with the main objective of promoting technologies for optimum use of country’s biomass resources for grid power generation and maximizing power generation from bagasse produced in sugar mills. During 2011 a capacity of 498 MW have been added. The cumulative biomass power/bagasse cogeneration based power capacity has reached 3056 MW. During the year the Ministry has continued the existing scheme with two modification related to (a) Cogeneration projects through Build, Own, Operate, Transfer (BOOT) model in cooperative sugar mill (b) Boiler upgradation of cogeneration projects in cooperative sugar mills. A target of 2600 MW is proposed for the 12th Plan period.
Off – Grid Renewable Energy applications
Energy Access: Renewable power is now being extensively propagated and used to provide energy access to the remote, inaccessible and difficult areas of the country. Lakhs of solar lights, solar water heating systems ,biogas plants have been installed in the country and so far over 9000 remote villages have been illuminated through solar photovoltaic systems and biomass gasifiers
Biomass Gasifier: During the year, the Ministry has promoted multifaceted Biomass Gasifier with a view to utilize locally available surplus biomass resources such as rice husk, corn cab & stalks, arhar stalks, cotton stalks, small wood chips, other agro-residues available in surplus to meet the unmet demand of electricity for villages for lighting, water pumping and micro enterprises. In addition, it is promoting small biomass gasifier and combustion based power plants up to 2 MW capacities connected at the tail end of grid and captive power and thermal applications in rice mills and other industries. The Ministry is focusing on promoting rice husk based gasifier projects for decentralized and distributed power generation to provide unmet demand of electricity in villages.
During 2011, about 70 remote villages/hamlets of Bihar in District East Champaran, West Champaran, Muzaffarpur and Sitamarhi benefited by installation of about 25 rice husk based gasifier systems for distributed power generation based on a sustainable model. In addition, about 120 rice husk gasifier systems are under installation in various villages of Bihar. In addition, about 30 rice mills have installed rice husk gasifier systems retrofitted with existing diesel generating sets saving about 13 lakh liters of diesel annually and installation are underway in about 60 rice mills in different States. During the year, biomass gasifier based tail end grid connected projects of 1.20 MW in Gujarat and 500 kW in Tamil Nadu have been successfully installed.
Biogas : The National Biogas and Manure Management Programme of the Ministry mainly caters to setting up of family type biogas plants for meeting the cooking energy needs in rural areas of the country. During the year, about 45000 family type biogas plants have been installed. With this the cumulative installation of 4.44 million family type biogas plants, about 35.70% of the estimated potential has been realized so far. Apart from setting up family type biogas plants, the Ministry started a new initiative for demonstration of Integrated Technology package in entrepreneurial mode on medium size mixed feed Biogas-Fertilizer Plants (BGFP) for generation, purification/enrichment, bottling and piped distribution of biogas. 21 such projects with aggregate capacity of 37016 cum/day have been sanctioned, out of which 2 BGFP projects have been commissioned. Under Biogas based Distributed/Grid Power Generation Programme (BPGP) so far 158 projects have been commissioned with a total installed capacity of about 2 MW.
Remote Village Electrification: The Ministry is implementing Remote Village Electrification Programme for providing financial support for lighting/basic electrification through various renewable sources, to those remote unelectrified census villages and unelectrified hamlets of electrified census villages where grid extension is found not feasible by the State Governments and hence are not covered under the Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyutikaran Yojna. The programme is implemented in States by the State notified implementing agencies. During the current year, 836 remote villages and hamlets have been completed.
Electrification/illumination of border Villages of Arunachal Pradesh: Implementation of the project for electrification/ illumination of border Villages of Arunachal Pradesh further progressed and out of 1058 villages, 726 villages have been illuminated / electrified. These include, 523 villages, where all households have been provided with solar home lighting systems and balance villages are given electricity from small / micro hydel projects. Further, work in 107 new micro/ small hydro projects is in progress. The project is being monitored by a Steering committee and is targeted to be completed by March, 2012.
Ladakh Renewable Energy Initiative: The Ministry has initiated the implementation of a Rs. 473 crore Special Project for the Ladakh region for large scale use of renewable energy systems in order to provide energy access and minimize use of diesel in the most difficult part of the country and thereby open the doors for coverage of other similar areas. Solar PV lights and solar water heating systems have been intensively promoted in the last one year and 28 villages and 78 institutions in the district stand covered through solar power plants with over 90% house hold coverage. 930 households are using solar water heaters even at sub-zero temperature for their hot water needs. Over 1800 green houses have also been constructed for growing vegetables.
Human Resource Development: In view of rapid growth of renewable energy sector in the country, Ministry has initiated the process to institutionalize the renewable energy education in the country to enable the existing educational institutions to introduce courses related to renewable energy in their regular curriculum. With this initiation, solar street lights, solar hot water systems and small hydro have already been incorporated in the two-year ITI syllabus. Course material for this has been developed and faculty of it is now being trained. In addition, State Renewable Energy Agencies are being supported to organize short-term training programmes for installation, operation and maintenance and repair of renewable energy systems in such places where intensive RE programme are being implemented. Renewable Energy Chairs have been established in IIT Roorkee and IIT Kharagpur.
National Solar Science Fellowship Programme has been launched and process for selection for the National Solar Science Fellows initiated. These efforts, while generating pool of trained manpower at all levels, will also create a system, under which the ensuing requirement of qualified and trained personnel will be met in future. Solar Energy Centre of the Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs has been providing training to participants from different developing countries.
Renewable Energy and Climate Change:
Renewable energy is central to climate change mitigation efforts. Broad estimates indicate that mitigation from existing renewable energy portfolio is equivalent to around 4-5% of total energy related emissions in the country. Further, the vast market potential and well-developed industrial, financing and business infrastructure, has made India a favorable destination for Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects, with renewable energy projects having the major share. National renewable energy plans offer ample opportunity for CDM projects and technological innovations.
India had 727 registered CDM projects, which is around 21% of worldwide registered projects. With 520 projects, renewable constitute around 72% Indian CDM registered projects. Within renewable, wind has the maximum number of 225 projects followed by hydro 82 and 6 for solar energy.