According to reports, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has said it would facilitate the installation of 45,000 square metres of solar collectors — panels that generate heat from the sun’s rays — by March 2017.
(Only last month the Ministry had indicated a target of 15,000 sq m by 2016. Yet, the estimated reduction in carbon di-oxide reduction has been kept unchanged at 39,200 tonnes.)
The Ministry has identified five user industries which require low and medium temperature heat (60 to 250 degrees) for a demonstration of ‘concentrating solar technology’. These are dairy, textiles processing, hospitals, chemical processing and miscellaneous institutions that require low temperature process heat.
“The industrial sector is the second largest energy user in India after the residential sector,” says an advertisement of MNRE, which calls for consultants for preparing feasibility reports and detailed project reports to “help the beneficiaries take decisions on the installation of systems at their places.”
The Ministry estimates that about a fifth of India’s energy consumption is accounted for by industries that need low and medium heat. The heat requirement is met by burning conventional fuels such as coal, furnace oil, natural gas and electricity.
“Use of solar concentrator technology integrated with system process heat demand can help replace/reduce conventional fuels which, in turn, will help reduce GHG emissions,” MNRE says.