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A clarion call to harness renewable energy sources in India

According to reports, a two-day workshop on ‘Advances in distributed generation in micro-grid, net metering and renewable integration’ began here on Friday.

The event was organised by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). On the occasion, R Nagaraja, chairman, IEEE Power & Energy Society, Bangalore chapter, said net-metering policies aim to create incentives for private investment in distributed generation (DG) technologies by providing value electricity generation, lower project-related risks and more market penetration.

According to a white paper published by the IEEE-PES Bangalore Chapter, the distributed generation in the country has been used by consumers to keep the lights on whenever the utility grid suffers a disturbance.

The back-up generation that represents the bulk of DG installations in the country utilises the resources such as captive diesel engine which is a cause for environmental concern.
Micro-grid admits community-level integration of renewable energy resources, thus opening up new vistas to resolve grid-related issues faced by the developers of renewable energy, wind energy in particular.

In the rural context, the micro-grid plays a role in both grid-connected and off-grid applications. The off-grid applications have the potential to mitigate energy shortage through agricultural pumping and electrification where grid extension is uneconomical.

“With the cost reduction of solar and successful pilot implementation of solar micro-grid in Madhya Pradesh, there emerge opportunities to design and develop low cost, next generation hybrid systems for more than 400 million Indians who have no access to grid electricity,’’ it said.

There is need to consider the potential of a cluster-based approach.

“With this approach, groups of villages can be interconnected with renewable energy sources (wind, solar or bio-mass or with combinations) and any excess power would be exported to the grid. This will facilitate in promoting rural industries,’’ the white paper released at the event said.

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