Bridge to India notes that while the dispatchability of solar energy is still an issue, this can be addressed through Concentrating Solar Power with solar thermal storage.
In the wake of crippling power outages in India, Bridge to India (New Delhi, India) has released an analysis stating that solar power can play a “key role” as the solution to the nation’s overburdened grid and other structural power challenges.
The two power outages on July 30th and 31st, 2012 affected over 600 million inhabitants in 20 of 28 Indian states. Exact causes are unclear, but analysts note excess demands on the central grid and the general instability of electricity supply in the nation.
“The predicament has to be answered at a more fundamental level,” notes Ratnottama Sengupta of Bridge to India’s Market Intelligence Team. “India still has 400 million people who are not grid connected.”
“As coal imports go up due to shortage of domestic supply and oil prices have already risen by more than 40% this year, India must explore its untapped wealth of renewable sources of energy to overcome its structural power challenges.”
“Solar power can play a key role in this: it is plentiful, locally available, can be harnessed by small plants in decentral locations and it is increasingly economical.”
Bridge to India notes that while the dispatchability of solar power is still an issue, this can be addressed through CSP with thermal storage, or battery storage. Sengupta also argues that in the interim distributed solar solutions can complement grid power and diesel backup systems to help make electricity supplies more secure.
The company describes a future system that will likely be based on interlinked supply and demand areas at the local and regional level, which Sengupta states will result in a more stable, flexible and inexpensive power supply.