The interim budget announced on 01.02.2019 has pegged renewable energy and electric vehicles as the key drivers behind reducing India’s import dependence as the government drives towards attaining energy security. Finance minister Piyush Goyal while laying down the roadmap for the country over the next 10 years, said, India will lead the world in the transport revolution through electric vehicles and energy storage devices, bringing down import dependence and ensuring energy security for our people. While the budget does not clearly spell out the policy support going forward, it has set a positive note for the sectors which found a fleeting reference in Goyal’s budget speech. Manoj Kohli, executive chairman of Softbank-led SB Energy At Softbank said that they support the Clean and Green India in Vision 2030 of the government for electric vehicles and renewable energy. We will continue to invest in the renewable energy projects floated by the central government as well as for the large scale industrial requirements of the private sector and MNCs.
Environment think-tank TERI, in partnership with STEAG Energy Services, has developed a system to provide clean energy to off-grid populations. The containerised hybrid Solar PV solution is expected to generate around 10,000 kWh (kilowatt hour) per year and will remain on display near the TERI building in India Habitat Centre, New Delhi till the World Sustainable Development Summit later this month. Keeping in view the agenda of attaining universal electricity access by 2030, and to enable access to reliable and affordable energy, STEAG Energy Services has developed the system that can provide 24-hour electricity even without grid connection. The PV solution will provide an integrated renewable energy system designed to lessen the energy burden in low-income areas, a statement said. It will provide stable power that will fulfil basic needs and improve living conditions of people in rural and far-flung areas in India and other developing nations. It can be quickly set up and put into operation on remote sites that have no grid or very poor grid availability. The panels are fitted atop the container, providing it shade and helping control the temperature inside. Around 8.5 square metres of free area is available inside the container for setting up facilities (for instance, doctor’s clinic or cold storage) that would help the community.
Tamil Nadu government on 04 February 2009, unveiled a new solar energy policy, which targets have 9,000MW of installed solar energy capacity in the state by 2023. While the state had around 2,200MW of solar energy installed capacity till 2018 end, it intends to add 6,800MW of additional capacity in the sector over the next four years. The Tamil Nadu Solar Energy Policy 2019 intends to create a framework that enables an accelerated development of solar energy in the state, which is the most urbanized and industrial in India. As per the Paris Climate Change Agreement, India has to add 100GW solar capacity by 2022. Solar energy development will provide green jobs to a significant number of the state’s workforce and solar energy development will become available, accessible and affordable to all citizens of Tamil Nadu, with the sector expected to significantly contribute to reducing carbon and water footprint of the state, the state government said as its vision for the new policy. As part of its objectives, the state will encourage and incentivize electricity consumers to set up solar energy systems and establish a ‘single window system’ for technical support, funding support and project clearance, encourage public-private partnerships and joint ventures to mobilize investments in solar energy projects, manufacturing facilities, research and technology development. It also seeks to facilitate ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in the solar energy sector.
Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on February 02, 2019 said India’s installed solar generation capacity has grown over 10 times in the last five years and so has the usage of green technologies, including e-vehicles. The Minister said while presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20 in the Lok Sabha confirms that the commitment to promote renewable energy is reflected in setting up the International Solar Alliance. This sector is now creating lakhs of new age jobs. India will lead the world in transport revolution through electric vehicles and energy storage devices bringing down import dependence and ensuring energy security for our country. When the country will not have to import fuel and gas from abroad, there will be rapid growth in sources of renewable energy. When people will start using electric vehicles, it will save foreign currency and the nation would become self reliant,” Goyal added. But climate activists said the budget has nothing for cleaning the air and polluted rivers as well as the pollution in cities. Even the latest “2018 Brown to Green” report of Climate Transparency that partners with the Indian non-profit, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), warns that India’s sectoral policies are still falling short of being consistent with the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement, but the country’s ambitious policy on renewable electricity is a promising sign. The total renewable energy installations in India reached 75 gigawatts (GW) by September 2018, representing 21 per cent of total installed capacity and generating a record high of 11.9 per cent of all electricity in the September 2018 quarter.
Setting the stage for salt pan workers to supply solar power and make some extra money, Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) has permitted Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (GUVNL) to procure 2.7 MW solar power generated by salt pan workers of Self Employed Women Association (SEWA) during off-season period in salt pan work. As many as 3,000 salt pan workers in the Kutch desert use solar-powered pumps to draw saline water for salt production. These salt pan workers use solar panels- with an aggregate capacity to produce 2.7 MW power- for six months (October to April) for salt production at a remote location. The panels remain idle in warehouses during the remaining off-season period of six months. SEWA had requested Gujarat government to devise a suitable mechanism for purchase of power generated from these solar panels during the off-season period to optimally utilise the panels for socio-economic upliftment of salt pan workers. Subsequently, Grassroot Trading Network for Women (GTNfW), a SEWA entity, also received a go-ahead from the government to set up a solar power project of the same capacity.
Surat has become the first city in the country where water supply management by Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) is being carried out using solar energy. Out of the total 6 mega watt of solar power plants, 4MW is dedicated for water supply management. Official sources said 5MW of solar power plants are already installed and a 1MW solar power plant will be commissioned on January 30 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This will increase solar power plants’ capacity to 6MW in the city. The total solar energy generation out of 4MW solar power plants meant for water supply is about 53 lakh units per annum. SMC has brought down energy cost on water distribution significantly. The waterworks and water distribution stations require more energy for supply of water. SMC is useing solar energy to power it’s motors for water distribution and raw water collection.
The Haryana government has decided to install solar energy plants on gram panchayat land through Haryana Power Generation Corporation Limited (HPGCL). A decision to this effect has been taken in the review meeting of New and Renewable Energy Department held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar here on December 19, 2018. A written communication should be sent to all gram panchayats with immediate effect that if they want to get solar energy plant installed on their land, whether barren or fertile, then they can contact and submit their option to Renewable Energy Department provided that land should be at least 10 acres, the chief minister said. Apart from this, if a Panchayat installs solar energy plant at its own resources then HPGCL will provide technical assistance, an official release said.
Industry in News
That sustainability dream is today one step closer to becoming a reality thanks to Polish physicist and businesswoman Olga Malinkiewicz. She has developed a novel inkjet processing method for perovskites — a new generation of cheaper solar cells — that makes it possible to produce solar panels under lower temperatures, thus sharply reducing costs. Indeed, perovskite technology is on track to revolutionise access to solar power for all, given its surprising physical properties, some experts say.
Solar panels coated with the mineral are light, flexible, efficient, inexpensive and come in varying hues and degrees of transparency. They can easily be fixed to almost any surface — be it laptop, car, drone, spacecraft or building — to produce electricity, including in the shade or indoors. Later, she developed an inkjet printing procedure that lowered production costs enough to make mass production economically feasible. Her discovery quickly earned her an article in the journal Nature and media attention, as well as the Photonics21 Student Innovation award in a competition organised by the European Commission. They had to assemble all their laboratory equipment from scratch, before multimillionaire Japanese investor Hideo Sawada came on board. The company now has an ultra-modern laboratory with an international team of young experts and is building an industrial-scale production site. Eventually, compact production lines could easily be installed everywhere, according to demand, to manufacture perovskite solar panels that are made to measure. Perovskite technology is bringing us closer to the goal of energy self-sufficient buildings. Plans are also afoot for the pilot production of perovskite panels in Valais, Switzerland and in Germany under the wings of the Oxford Photovoltaics venture. The potential of the technology is clearly enormous said Assaad Razzouk, the CEO of Singapore-based Sindicatum Rewable Energy, a developer and operator of clean energy projects in Asia
Scientists at IIT-Roorkee are testing a floating device that can generate electricity from flowing surface water of rivers and streams, paving the way for an alternative source of renewable energy.
Traditional hydropower plants require the construction of large-scale dams, which have significant ecological and environmental consequences.
To counter this, a team at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee is testing a prototype that harnesses energy from flowing surface water.
In traditional dams, water falling from a height is used to turn turbines. The scientists are using the velocity of the flowing river to turn a turbine, and generate power,” said Saini, a professor at IIT Roorkee. Hydro-kinetic technology has significant advantages over other types of renewable energy, researchers said. “Flowing water can generate hundred times more power than wind of same velocity,” said Saini. “The interest of government for last 3-4 years is more on solar energy, because it is a modular system that can installed in four months and sunlight is available everywhere,” said Sunil Kumar Singal, head of the Alternate Hydro Energy Centre (AHEC) at IIT Roorkee. He said the problem with solar energy at present is that on cloudy days and during the nights, hence the need alternate source, as currently energy storage systems are not efficient enough,” he said. The prototype, developed in collaboration with Delhi-based Maclec Technical Project Laboratory, has been installed in the Upper Ganga Canal in Roorkee, Uttarakhand for testing. “In this canal, water discharge is almost constant throughout the year. Thus we have near ideal conditions for the purpose of testing,” said Saini. The researchers said that while there are many types of turbines currently under development, installing them in a flowing river is a tedious task. “That is where more research is needed. Keeping that in view we have taken up this project to develop a prototype so that the installation (of such turbines) can be standardised in the flowing canals and rivers,” Saini said.
North America headquartered EDF Renewables on 05 February 2019 announced that its Indian arm has signed a long-term agreement to develop 300 Megawatt (Mw) of wind project in partnership with the UK-based SITAC Group. This agreement was the outcome of a competitive tender process launched by the Indian government under the fifth tender process of state-owned Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI). The award was granted in September 2018. The energy produced by the planned wind farms will be sold under a 25-year PPA to SECI. The development, construction, financing and asset management of the 300 Mw wind project is being undertaken by SITAC Management & Development Pvt. Ltd, the joint venture company of EDF Renewables in India and the SITAC Group dedicated to wind energy.
The interim budget has allocated Rs 3,004.90 crore for development of solar power projects next financial year (2019-20) including both grid-interactive and off-grid and decentralized categories. This is a mere 1 per cent increase over the likely expenditure of Rs 2,969 crore for solar projects this fiscal.
Under grid-interactive schemes, the budgeted allocation for solar is seen rising 15 per cent to Rs 2,479 crore in 2019-20 as compared to the current fiscal’s Revised Estimate of Rs 2,157.24 crore, a review of budget documents tabled in Parliament show. “The provision of Central Financial Assistance (CFA) will be utilized for capacity addition of 7,500 Megawatt Solar Power in 2019-20 under the grid interactive renewable power,” the Expenditure Budget document for the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) said.
Renewable energy solution provider Vikram Solar on January 02, 2019 said it has got a 140-megawatt (MW) project order from state-run power giant NTPC Ltd. “Vikram Solar claimed a 140-MW solar plant project from NTPC Limited. The location selected for the project is Bilhaur, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh,” a company statement said.
Sembcorp Industries and Cache Logistics Trust announced today, January 04, 2019 that they have signed a solar power agreement for installation and operation of rooftop solar farms at three logistics warehouses in Singapore owned by Cache. Under the agreement, Sembcorp will install, own and operate rooftop solar panels with a combined capacity of around 7.9 Megawatt atop Cache’s Commodity Hub, Pandan Logistics Hub and Cache Changi Districentre.
As COP24 in Poland dominated the headlines during December 2018, where governments and climate advocates discussed ways to mitigate future climate change, it is ISES’ objective to strengthen and support the urgent call for a renewable energy-based energy transformation by sharing the knowledge needed to achieve this revolutionary goal. In addressing this objective, ISES has developed a series of infographics to clarify commonly claimed shortcomings about renewable energy. The first installment in this series addresses renewable energy integration into the grid. Each of the eight infographics introduces a common myth regarding grid integration, then dispels the myth based on latest research findings and real-world successful experiences of the integration of renewables into existing electrical grids. Dr. Dave Renné, President of ISES said that the infographics should serve as valuable tools for stakeholders seeking to inform decision and policy makers, as well as skeptics, about the real and practical value of adding large amounts of renewable energy to the grid. Despite the characteristically variable nature of their output, renewables give us a much cleaner energy source without sacrificing the quality and reliability of our electricity supply. With these infographics, ISES has created a tool to be used in ongoing debates – be it with your local decision makers, colleagues, friends or families – on the role of renewables in our electricity supply. Sharing knowledge on the real possibilities of renewable energy will help lead the way to their large-scale incorporation into the grid!
Holding the UN climate conference COP24 in Katowice, Poland, sends a strong signal as it provides the international community with an opportunity to learn from an on-going energy transition in a traditionally fossil-fuel intensive region. At the same time, it reminds us of the imperative of a just energy transition on our pathway towards a climate-safe future. The global energy landscape is evidencing rapid and wide-ranging changes driven by an unprecedented growth of renewables. Last year, a record-breaking 168 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity was added globally, making it the sixth year in a row in which new power generations from renewables outpaced conventional sources including from coal. Renewable energy is driving an energy transformation that is creating new socio-economic opportunities for countries, regions and local communities across the world. It is also the key to address climate change, which is becoming ever more urgent. The widely cited recent Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) urges for a rapid scaling-up of renewables to avoid irreversible climate impacts.
Countries that lead this transformation will also be the ones to reap most of its benefits.
The above profound lines are by Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
European companies bought a record amount of wind power capacity last year, as energy-hungry businesses like aluminum producers and IT giants look for greener ways to drive their machinery and data centers. As wind power becomes competitive on price with conventional energy in many countries, big companies have rushed to secure renewable energy to manage costs and reduce their carbon emissions, while boosting their image with customers. New wind deals through so-called corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) were signed in Europe last year for 1.5 gigawatts (GW) of capacity, up from 1.3 GW in 2017, according to new data from industry body WindEurope. Some companies have turned their support for wind power into a marketing opportunity, with the world’s top brewer AB InBev running an advert during American Football’s Super Bowl to say its Budweiser beer is made by using 100 percent renewable energy – to a backing track of Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in The Wind”.
Algeria plans to issue several tenders for renewable energy projects this year as it seeks to meet growing demand for electricity and save gas for export, an official said on January 21, 2019. The OPEC oil producing member hopes to build solar plants to produce 22,000 megawatts (MW), or 27 percent of its electricity needs, by 2030, up from about 350 MW now. Algeria will soon invite bids from national and foreign firms to set up a solar plant with a capacity of 150 MW, a senior official at the energy ministry said.
Pakistan’s government has proposed to eliminate taxes associated with manufacturing of solar and wind energy equipment in the country, in an effort to boost the production and use of renewable power and overcome power shortages. A new government budget bill, expected to be approved in parliament within a month, would give renewable energy manufacturers and assemblers in the country a five-year exemption from the taxes.
Renewables account for over half the added electricity capacity in 2015:
But more needs to be done to achieve the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°CRead more
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CRESPAI is non-governmental body working to promote the use of clean energy and the cause of environment and climate changes. It aims to create a knowledge base and online platform to support the Industries, Professional, NGOs and/or other stakeholders in information dissemination, support and assistance. Our support includes the provision:
- To create knowledge base of energy data and statistics
- To provide insights on financial mechanisms and technological expertise;
- To facilitate capacity building programmes;
- To create a library of publications and other resources.
- To act against pollution.
- To advocate for clean energy.
- To create awareness for conservation of water and energy.
- To discourage use of fossil fuel and pollutant energy.
- To become a conduit for formulation and implementation of Government plan and programme in the field of Renewable Energy.
- To spread the words and awareness on the utilization of Green Power to reduce the adverse effect of global warming and climate change.
- To campaign for the “Green Revolution” (Clean Energy) to encompass the economy, business, rural employment and contribute towards self-reliance to meet the growing need of power.