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Green energy leap can help tide over power crises

According to reports, a research study by Pune-based World Institute of Sustainable Energy has said that renewable energy capacity addition plans must be revised by the Centre and the states.The authorities must take multiple measures to prioritize lending to the renewables sector and a revised realistic renewable energy resource assessment to achieve renewable energy targets set in the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC).

The power crisis in October forced state power utilities to enforce power cuts. Industries in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal went without power for eight to 16 hours. Punjab government asked foundry units to have three weekly-offs, Haryana industries suffered daily power cuts lasting 14 hours, industries and even agricultural consumers in Maharashtra had to accept ‘no power day’ once a week and Andhra Pradesh enforced three weekly-offs for all industries.The national action plan has recommended that the minimum share of renewable energy in the national grid be set at 5% in 2009-10, subsequently to be increased by 1% every year to reach 15% by 2019-20.

The World Institute of Sustainable Energy, supported by Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, New Delhi, with financial assistance from Climate Works Foundation, USA, undertook a study titled ‘Achieving 12% Green Electricity by 2017′.”In order to project the likely renewables capacity addition scenarios at pan-India/state levels, the study critically verifies the adequacy of current government planned renewables capacity addition targets over the 12th and 13th plan periods (including the planned targets under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission) and found that they are inadequate to achieve the action plan target,” aWISE statement said.

It was also found that current non-solar renewable purchase obligation targets specified by the 25 state electricity regulatory commissions taken together, would also be inadequate to meet the national purchase obligation target of 15% in 2020.”The focus of the study was to see how the national target can be achieved (not whether it can be achieved), scientifically derive the renewables capacity additions required for meeting the target and work out the impact of such power injection on the average power procurement cost. While studying the renewables potential in India, it has been noticed that there is no supply-side constraint in achieving the target,” the statement said.

The anticipated renewable energy injection envisaged under the national action plan has been calculated by applying the national purchase obligation targets to the all-India electricity demand projections given under the ’17th Electric Power Survey of India Report’ published by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), it said.The installed renewables capacity of 19,973 MW (as on March 31, 2011) and corresponding generation was factored in. Different renewables capacity addition scenarios were considered, keeping in mind the availability and commercial potential of each renewable resource in India at the national and state levels.

A progressive growth rate was considered for major renewable sources like wind and solar, while the share of other renewable sources were defined based on their historical growth rates.The share of individual renewables technologies is worked out on the basis of available potential and the normative capacity utilization factors specified by the central electricity regulatory commission under its renewables tariff regulation 2010.”After careful consideration of all facts, three scenarios were finalized namely (1) wind dominant, (2) small hydro power-biomass dominant (on compound annual growth rate basis), and (3) solar dominant.

A comparative analysis of all three scenarios was also done,” the statement said. Capacity addition required to achieve 12% renewables by 2017 and 15% by 2020 as per the three scenarios was also estimated.If the projected renewables capacity additions in scenario 1 have to be realized, the total wind power installation during 2011-20 will have to grow to 60 GW (gigawatt is equal to one billion watts). The projected annual average capacity addition for wind is around 5.25 times the past capacity addition. However, if the capacity addition in 2010/11 (2350 MW) is considered as a benchmark, a compound annual growth rate of 20% for the following years (which is realistic) can help to achieve this growth, the WISE report said.

Under this scenario, during the 12th five-year plan, India will need to install 37,680 MW of grid-connected capacities from renewables. The cumulative installed capacity of renewables is expected to be 62,103 MW at the end of the 12th Plan and 1,00,267 MW by 2020.As per the scenario 2, the total biomass and small hydro power projects installations during 2011-20 need to be raised to 7.4 GW and 5.3 GW respectively. In the 12th Plan period, on an annual average basis, 1,134 MW and 535 MW biomass and small hydro power capacity have to be set up. During the 12th five-year plan, India will have to install 35,000 MW of grid-connected capacity from renewables. The cumulative installed capacity of renewables is expected to be 59,061 MW at end of the plan and 89,355 MW by 2020.Under the solar dominant scenario 3, total solar capacity addition of 35 GW is envisaged to be realised during 2011-2020.

During the 12th Plan period, on an average annual basis, solar power capacity of 3,395 MW has to be set up if the 12% renewables target has to be met along with moderate growth of wind at an average annual capacity addition of 3,400 MW.During the 12th Five Year Plan, India will have to install 39,870 MW of grid-connected capacity from renewables. The cumulative installed capacity is expected to be 63,471 MW at the end of the 12th Plan and 1,02,755 MW by 2020, the study said.

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