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Key highlights and achievements of Renewable Energy in India-2010

According to the MNRE,2700 MW Grid Connected Renewable Power Capacity  was added in the year 2010.

Some of the key highlights and achievements of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy for the year 2010 are as follows:

Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission

One of the eight National Missions outlined in National Action Plan on Climate Change, the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) specifically focuses on solar energy and its role in minimizing future emissions. The Government has launched JNNSM in January, 2010 with a target of 20,000 MW grid solar power (based on solar thermal power generating systems and solar photovoltaic (SPV) technologies), 2000 MW of off-grid capacity including 20 million solar lighting systems and 20 million sq.m. solar thermal collector area by 2022. The Mission will be implemented in three phases. The first phase will be of three years (upto March, 2013), the second till March 2017 and the third phase will continue till March, 2022.

 Government has also approved the implementation of the first phase of the Mission (upto March, 2013) and the target to set up 1,100 MW grid connected solar plants including 100 MW of roof-top and small solar plants and 200 MW capacity equivalent off-grid solar applications and 7 million sq.m. solar thermal collector area in the first phase of the Mission, till 2012-13.

During 2010-11 the Ministry has selected grid solar power projects of 800 MW capacity. Six major R&D projects in solar thermal and photovoltaic technologies have been sanctioned. National Centre for Photovoltaic Research and Education has been set up at IIT-Bombay.

 Off-grid Renewable Energy for lighting/ captive power & thermal applications

 A new policy framework has been put in place for rapid up-scaling of off-grid programmes in an inclusive mode. The programmes are now being implemented through multiple channel partners including renewable energy service providing companies, financial institutions including microfinance institutions, financial integrator, system integrators, industry and programme administrators. In order to sustain satisfactory performance and generation of output in the envisaged energy forms, a flexible funding approach has been adopted with bouquet of instruments including support in the form of capital subsidy, interest subsidy, viability gap funding etc. This apart, Ministry provides full financial support for undertaking pilot and demonstration projects through manufacturers and other organizations for demonstrating new and innovative applications of renewable energy systems.

 The greatest potential area of off-grid relates to solar technologies. These include solar water heating systems, home lighting systems comprising solar lanterns, solar cooking systems, solar pumps and small power generating systems. Under the Solar Mission, it has been proposed to cover 2000 MW equivalent by 2022 which includes all the above, except solar water heating systems for which there is a separate target of 20 million sq. meters. Within the off-grid component, there is a separate target of covering 20 million rural households with solar lights. This includes coverage under the Remote Village Electrification Programme where largely solar lighting is provided to villages where grid is unlikely to go and which is almost entirely funded by Central grants. In addition, in other areas, where grid is available but power supply is of erratic nature, solar lighting is financed through loans given through rural banks. These are very ambitious targets.

The Remote Village Electrification (RVE) programme aims at providing basic lighting/electricity facilities through renewable energy sources in those unelectrified remote census villages and remote unelectrified hamlets of electrified census villages where grid connectivity is either not feasible or cost effective. During March –December 2010, 300 villages have been electrified and 341 projects for electrification have been sanctioned. Households in around 7000 remote villages and hamlets have so far been provided home-lighting systems under this programme.

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, 60,000 family type biogas plants have been installed upto 31.12.2010. With this the cumulative installation of 4.31 million family type biogas plants, about 35% of the estimated potential has been realized so far. Apart from setting up family type biogas plants, the Ministry started a new initiative from the year 2008-09 for demonstration of Integrated Technology package in entrepreneurial mode on medium size (200-1000 cum/day) mixed feed Biogas-Fertilizer Plants (BGFP) for generation, purification/enrichment, bottling and piped distribution of biogas. Ten such projects with aggregate capacity of 7700 cum/ day capacity have been sanctioned and are at different stages of implementation.

In order to utilize the micro hydel resources in remote hilly areas, the Ministry has been implementing a revised scheme for watermills and micro hydel projects upto 100 kW capacity. During the year, over 300 watermills have been setup/upgraded for mechanical/electrical outputs. In addition, over 2000 water mills and 60 micro hydel projects for meeting the mechanical and electrical needs of rural communities are at different stages of commissioning.

Solar water heating is a well established technology and has been in promotion in country for last many years. It is an important way of reducing electricity demand by replacing geysers in domestic houses. A total of about 3.8 million sq.m. of collector area for water heating has been installed so far as against an estimated techno-economic potential of 40 million sq.m. of collector area in various sectors. During the year, over 0.6 million sq.m. of collector area was installed. The major potential exists in the domestic sector though a significant potential also exists in commercial & industrial sectors. The new financial incentives introduced in the off-grid scheme announced under JNNSM will help taping this potential.

Solar concentrating systems, comprising automatically tracked of parabolic dishes, have been found to be useful for generating steam to cook food for hundreds and thousands of people in community kitchens especially at religious places such as Shirdi, Mount Abu, Tirupati etc. The world’s largest system is functioning at Shirdi for cooking food for 20,000 people/day. These systems have found good applications for air conditioning and laundry also and a few demonstration plants have recently been installed. A total of around 80 concentrating systems of different capacities covering 25,000 sq.m. of dish area are functioning in the country, largely for cooking purpose. During 2010, 15 such systems were sanctioned covering a dish area of around 3000 sq.m.

A new scheme on ‘Development of Solar or Green Cities’ has been launched to encourage and assist the Urban Local Bodies in assessing their present energy consumption status, set clear targets for upto 10% reduction in projected demand, and prepare action plans to generate energy through renewable energy sources and conserve energy utilized in delivering urban services. A mission approach is being attempted in this area of sustainable habitats.

 Over 20 MW power generation projects from waste were set up during the year. In view of the availability of large quantities of food and kitchen wastes at places of community cooking/large kitchens and eating joints, a project for biogas production from such wastes was under implementation. These include energy recovery and power generation from industrial and commercial wastes, & effluents, and cogeneration. Industrial waste-to-energy projects with a total capacity of about 8 MWeq were completed during the year. In addition, about 30 MWeq projects are under installation.

 Biomass gasifiers for thermal applications with a total capacity of about 20 MWeq have been installed in various industries such as bakeries, die-casting and food processing units. In addition, biomass gasifier systems with a total capacity of about 10 MWeq are under installation in various industries for thermal/electrical applications.

Grid-Interactive Power from Renewables

Over 2700 MW grid connected renewable power capacity was added during the year. It includes power from wind, biomass, small hydro and solar resources. Over 2000 MW wind capacity was added. Biomass power/ bagasse cogeneration capacity addition of over 400 MW was achieved. The cumulative biomass power/ bagasse cogeneration based power capacity has reached 2,550 MW. Cumulatively, 700 small hydropower projects aggregating to 2,850 MW have been set up in various parts of the country, of these over 300 MW capacity was added during the year 2010. Over 10 MW capacity grid connected solar power generation systems were set up during the year.

 In January 2010, CERC issued a notification on ‘Terms and Conditions for recognition and issuance of Renewable Energy Certificate for Renewable Energy Generation’. Renewable Energy Certificate seeks to address the mismatch between availability of renewable sources and the requirement of the obligated entities to meet their renewable purchase obligation. The National Load Dispatch Centre (NLDC) has been appointed as Central Agency for implementation of RECs. This Central Agency has prepared detailed procedures for registration, accreditation, issuance, and redemption of RECs.

 Special Projects

Electrification / illumination of all border Villages of Arunachal Pradesh

The Ministry is implementing a project for electrification/ illumination of the 1058 villages in border districts of Arunachal Pradesh. The implementation of the project started from 1st January, 2009 and will be completed by 31st March, 2012. The total cost of project is Rs.275.58 crore. Already 523 villages have been illuminated by SPV systems and 203 villages electrified from small/ micro hydel projects. A Steering Committee under the Chairmanship of Secretary, MNRE is monitoring implementation of the project.

Ladakh Renewable Energy Initiative

The Ministry has started implementation of a project entitled ‘Ladakh Renewable Energy Initiative’ to minimise dependence on diesel in the Ladakh region and meet power requirement through local renewable sources. The approach is to meet power requirements through small/ micro hydel and solar photovoltaic power projects/ systems and use solar thermal systems for water heating/ space heating/ cooking requirements. The project is being implemented in a time bound mode of three and a half years with a total cost of Rs.473 crore. The project envisages setting up of 30 small/ mini hydel projects with an aggregate capacity of 23.8 MW, SPV power plants in 70 villages, 120 health centers, education institutions/ schools etc. and 10 locations in defence establishments. The project also envisages installed of over 20,000 Solar thermal systems.

Biomass Gasification for meeting Rural Electricity Demand

 Rice husk-based power-generating units in the villages of West Champaran district in Bihar have been lighting up around 500-700 households spread over 20 villages in the district, and changing the profile of the cluster altogether. The West Champaran experiment is supported by the Ministry and implemented by Husk Power Systems (HPS), an NGO. The technology employed is simple: It uses the husk-based gasifier technology to provide electricity using 32 kWe ‘mini power plants’ that deliver power on a ‘pay-for-use’ basis to households in the rice-producing belt of India. The price paid to procure electricity generated by these mini power plants is very low – Rs 2 per day per household, located within a radius of 1.5 km. The charges are such it results in a reduction in the consumption of kerosene by as much as two-thirds. Power is supplied from 5 pm till midnight each day. During the daytime, it provides power to 6-7 pumps for irrigating fields. Success of Bihar initiative has resulted in HPS planning to set up 20 more plants of 32 kWe generating capacity in Samastipur and Lakhisarai, besides more villages in West Champaran. Similar projects are being conceived of in eastern UP and parts of West Bengal.

 Ministry of New and Renewable energy has now plans to take up the rice husk based electricity systems on a `Mission Mode’. The potential is enormous and even some of the large rice mills can feed power to the grid as well as distribute locally. More than 5,000 to 10,000 industries can be benefited in the next 2-3 years. These systems could result into diesel saving would be to the tune of 200-250 million litres annually.

 Renewable power plants at tail-end of grid

In the larger perspective of grid power, this is a new area being experimented with in India. For solar PV, a total of 100 MW capacity is being set up with smaller plants of 100 KW to 2 MW, which are connected to grid through 11 kV feeder. It is expected that small plants would reduce the transmission losses by 5-7% with respect to large capacity plants of 50-100 MW size and improve both voltage and frequency at the tail end. It would also help in further transmission of electricity of electricity downwards. The same approach is being planned for biomass based power plants of upto 2 MW capacity too as the logistics of fuel management would become much more manageable and more environment-friendly.

 Human Resource Development

 Ministry has initiated a series of activities for meeting ever increasing human resource requirement in renewable energy area. These include award of Renewable Energy Fellowships for post graduate, M.Tech, doctoral degree and at the post doctoral levels; institution of Renewable Energy Chair at academic institutions, incorporating renewable energy in the main course curriculum of various engineering branches and mechanic trades; support to educational institutions for undertaking degree/diploma programmes in renewable energy; training programmes on different aspects of technology to renewable energy professionals working in State Nodal Agencies/Government/ Utilities, research & development institutions, NGOs, community based organizations, banking and financial institutions etc; organization of training-cum-study tours; and also developing of training modules for various category of professionals. The national renewable energy fellowship scheme has been augmented to provide fellowship to 400 students/researchers every year. To provide financial assistance to educational and research institutions to set-up infrastructural facilities such as laboratory, library and other teaching aids. In addition, Ministry has planned National Solar Energy Fellows Programme under which 10 eminent scientists will be awarded fellowship of Rs.1 million per annum, in addition to contingent and research grant. This apart, Renewable Energy Chair is planned to be instituted at 15 premier institutions. As such Ministry has launched a comprehensive programme to address human resources needs of different level of professionals and stakeholders.

 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.

By October 2010, India had 534 registered CDM projects, which is around 22% of worldwide registered projects. With 347 projects, renewables constitute around 65% of Indian CDM registered projects. Within renewables, wind has the maximum number of projects with 119 projects followed by hydro 68 and solar only 3. Of these 3 solar projects 2 are photovoltaic and 1 is solar thermal (cooking) project. In addition, there was a CDM project pipeline of around 1200 projects, of which around 750 projects were from renewables.

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