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Solar power plant technology available at Rs 3.5 crore/MW: GERMI

According to reports, successful research and development carried out by Gujarat Energy Research and Management Institute (GERMI) has brought down the fixed cost of setting up of a solar power plant to just Rs 3.5 crore per megawatt.

“About seven year ago, the fixed cost attached with a 1 MW solar power plant was about Rs 15 crore, which we have brought down to Rs 7 crore. GERMI’s R&D efforts have successfully brought down the cost further to Rs 3.5 crore by using graphite and silicone in solar cells. The laboratory experiments are successful and now we are trying it for industrial scale,” Dr. T. Harinarayana, Director, GERMI, said at the ongoing Sixth CII Energy Expo and “India Energy Conclave” here.

Dr. Rahool Panandiker, Partner & Director, Boston Consulting Group, said the domestic power situation in India could become more severe as the demand-supply mismatch in coal is projected to increase from 137 million tons in 2012 to 326 million tons by 2030. “So we need to increase LNG imports by ten times in order to meet the power sector needs.”

Dr Harinarayana said India has a landmass 10 times that of Germany but had a solar power generation capacity of only 1.3 gigawatt (GW), vis-à-vis 31 GW of installed capacity in the European nation. “To use this resource of energy, we need to bring down the cost of solar energy and to serve this purpose, we should be more focused on research & development activities.”

N. Srivastava, Managing Director, Uttar Gujarat Vij Company Ltd, said the transmission and distribution losses in some of the Indian states remained very high at 30% in some cases, which makes it difficult to keep the electricity rate at a reasonable level. However, as implemented by Gujarat, these states could now have an open access policy for large consumers, which enables them to source power with rates ranging from Rs 3.50 per unit to Rs 3.90.

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