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Energy Power, Renewable, Solar, solar parks
A government panel has recommended cutting the corporate tax rate to 25% from 30% for all companies. 

State run-NTPC aims to set up a 5,000 mw-Ultra Mega Solar Power Park, at Kutch in Gujarat with estimated investments of Rs 20,000 crore, a top executive at the power generation company said on Monday. 

In the current fiscal, NTPC plans to add 5,290 megawatts of capacity to its existing 54,326 mw. While coal-based power generation would continue to be the company’s primary business, it is expanding presence in alternative energy sources such as solar power, and has plans for municipal waste-fuelled power. 

“Battery storage is at an early stage, so we are looking at a different route to manage the solar power plant. We are looking at more flexibility at coal power plants by bringing down our output to 55%,” NTPC’s Chairman and Managing Director Gurdeep Singh said. “We are working on a plan to back down coal based units, so that if there is higher generation from solar units, we can push that in the grid.” 

NTPC has identified a location in Kutch to develop 5,000 mw in phases beginning this fiscal year, and the generator is also exploring Rajasthan for a second such facility. The solar park may be built entirely by NTPC or may involve other power developers. 

“We are exploring how much of the solar park output can we sell without a power purchase agreement. There is a line of thinking that if we sold some power on a merchant basis, it can give us better returns,” Singh said. 

NTPC is also keen to expand into ‘waste-to-power’ sector, given the opportunity offered by the huge municipal waste generated in the country. 

“We are trying our best to contribute to solving the problem of waste in the country. It is a business that can offer 15.5% return on equity,” he said. 

The model NTPC seeks to establish is one where the municipal corporation provides the company the waste, and then the corporation buys back the power generated by the unit. The company has already signed a pact with Surat Municipal Corporation to convert waste into electricity at a plant in Kawas. NTPC is also forming a joint venture, where it will hold 74%, with East Delhi Municipal Corporation for a similar project. 

“We estimate that we can deliver electricity from these units at Rs 7 per unit,” Singh said. 

Source : – NTPC eyes mega solar park in Kutch Gujarat

Energy Power, Renewable, Solar, solar parks
There is light at the end of the tunnel and it is lit by the power of the Sun 

India is finally catching up to rooftop solar (RTS) as a reliable source of power for industries, offices, and homes across the country. At the end of the last financial year (FY19) the total installed capacity of RTS in the country was around 4,375 MW, an impressive 72% jump over the previous year. 

The rising popularity of RTS within the Indian power sector is also an outcome of the increasing share of renewable or green energy in the country. As of the end of the last financial year, the share of renewable energy (that includes solar, wind and biomass) grew to 22% within the overall installed power capacity of 358 GW or 80 GW in total against 70 GW a year ago of which solar power accounted for 30 GW. 

The Government of India has set a target of 175 GW of installed renewable energy by 2022 of which solar alone is expected to be the single largest component at 100 GW. 

Two factors are driving a stronger adoption of solar power in India. First, the cost of solar power has been falling steeply over the last couple of years to around less than Rs 2.40 a unit, thus consistently inching closer to grid parity (as compared to thermal power produced from coal and gas) against Rs 17 a unit nearly a decade ago. A recent study by TERI and US-based think tank Climate Policy Initiative has predicted the cost of generation of solar power could fall to as low as Rs 1.9 a unit over the next decade. 
The second and perhaps a more important reason is the changing consumer behaviour that is increasingly moving towards cleaner sources of energy. New and younger consumers in India today or the ‘reflex generation’ expect utilities and other similar service providers to raise the standards not just in terms of price competitiveness but also their sustainability from an ecology point of view. 

Today, within the larger ecosystem of renewable energy sources, solar rooftops not only offer an economical and clean alternative to conventional energy sources but also delivers reliability i.e., that independence from grid-based energy sources that are prone to load-shedding and other hindrances to a consistent quality of service. Solar rooftops that is looped back into the grid also helps consumers turn into micro-generators of power and thus lower the monthly energy bill consistently. 
Not counting the potential savings by selling excess power to the grid, a typical residential rooftop solar can save up to Rs 50,000 per kw a year or around Rs 12.5 lakh with a 25-year lifetime of the installation. 

Rooftop solar has been around in India for some time now with consumers in all four major segments — commercial, industrial, residential and public sector buildings. In fact, residents in large cities like Bangalore and Delhi (and in several cities that can have severe winters) have for long used rooftop solar to heat water at a relatively lower cost. 
Despite its inherent cost and environmental benefits, adoption of rooftop solar has been low in India. There are two main reasons for this — one the lack of adequate knowledge about the benefits of rooftop solar and two, the initial cost of installation. Thanks to the changing profile of mass media, with social media playing a major role in influencing consumer behaviour, the first challenge is already being addressed effectively, albeit at a pace slower than it ought to be. However, the initial (capital) cost of rooftop solar for the end consumer is still not within the reach of a larger section of the country. The broad demographics of rooftop solar consumers highlights this better. Only 15% of the 4,375 MW of installed rooftop solar in the country are residential consumers, who are typically more conscious of the initial cost than their counterparts in the commercial, industrial and public sector groups. 

The initial cost of rooftop solar varies depends on how much of the energy one would like to generate. Consumers can calculate the cost by the following method: 

A. Calculate the approximate load (in watts) for a day 
B. Divide A. by 8 i.e. average no. of hours of sunlight in a day 
C. Multiply B. by INR 110 

For example, an 1800 watts a day usage will need solar panels that can produce 14,400 watts. The cost will be approximately Rs 15,84,000.
Rooftop solar basically comes in three formats — grid-based, off-grid and hybrid. In the grid-based system, the rooftop consumers are connected to the larger grid that is owned by the local utility. The primary source of power is from the rooftop system and the grid power source is used as a backup, should the rooftop solar fail to generate enough power (usually due to poor sunlight). Off-grid as the name suggests is a standalone system where storage batteries are needed to keep the power flow steady throughout the day. So, energy produced during the day, while is consumed, is also saved in batteries and discharged after the sun has set. One of the important and useful application of these off-grid solar systems is providing access to electricity to underserved people by installing solar based micro-grids with battery storage. Storage batteries come in various types such as Lead-Acid (Advanced Lead-Acid and Lead-Acid Carbon) Batteries, Sodium-Nickel-Chloride Batteries, Lithium-Ion Batteries, Nickel-cadmium, and nickel-metal hydride. Lead-Acid and Lithium-Ion batteries are quite common today, with the latter enjoying the advantages of long cycle life and high recharge rates. These standalone systems help in eliminating the requirement of investing in transmission infrastructure along with minimizing the transmission losses. 

Innovations in Rooftop Solar 
As solar power moves from the fringes to the mainstream, the costs of products like rooftop solar is also bound to come down. Some innovative financing schemes are also available in the market that allows customization depending on the type of user and what they can afford. The universal electrification project initiated by the government of India along with emerging innovations in rooftop solar products such as do-it-yourself solar kits is bringing more consumers closer to energy independence. The rising environmental concern that is deflecting consumers away from conventional energy sources has only made the market more conducive to rooftop solar in India. 

Source : – Rooftop solar power: A bright and clean idea on our terrace

Energy Power, Renewable, Solar
“The intention of the chief minister was not to review all PPAs across the board. There was prima facie evidence that there was mala fide, corruption and kickbacks in some of the wind projects, which had not gone through the bidding process. 
Andhra Pradesh has shown the first sign of changing its controversial stand that contracts with renewable energy companies should be renegotiated to bring down tariffs, as a top-ranking official told ET that the state was only targeting projects where corruption was evident. 

“The intention of the chief minister was not to review all PPAs across the board. There was prima facie evidence that there was mala fide, corruption and kickbacks in some of the wind projects, which had not gone through the bidding process. The committee was formed to look only into those cases,” a top-ranking bureaucrat in the state, who did not want to be identified, told ET. 
He also said the allocation and pricing of land for some projects seemed suspicious and opaque. 

“We are also reviewing large tracts of land which had been allocated on a non-transparent basis earlier at discretionary prices. This will free up land, besides, transparent allocation of land will reassure investors,” the official said. 
Suspecting malpractices by the previous regime, chief minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy set up a panel soon after he took office in May to review the signed contracts because he believed Andhra had agreed to higher tariffs than those in some other states. 

Later, the state utility threatened to terminate the contracts if tariffs were not cut, dismaying domestic and foreign investors as well as sovereign and pension funds from various countries, which have invested heavily in India’s renewable energy sector. Union power and renewable energy minister R K Singh and Japanese ambassador to India Kenji Hiramatsu have urged Reddy not to violate the sanctity of contracts as this damages the business climate. 
“We appreciate the sentiment and understand the ambassador’s concerns and of the people whom he represents,” the official said, while noting that the matter is sub judice. Developers have obtained a stay order from the Andhra Pradesh High Court on all proceedings of the committee till August 22. 
Until February 2017, wind tariffs were determined by the respective state’s power regulator after considering factors such as speed and intensity of wind. 

“The prima facie sense is that the tariff petition was not filed truthfully or some information was concealed. Perhaps the regulator could have exercised greater diligence,” the official, who is close to the state’s chief minister, said. 
Sources said the state has also been curtailing renewable energy as a fall out of the stay order. “If there has been arbitrary intervention, action will be taken. I was told some renewable power had to be backed down in the interest of grid stability,” said the official. 

Sources said the state has also been curtailing renewable energy as a fall out of the stay order. “If there has been arbitrary intervention, action will be taken. I was told some renewable power had to be backed down in the interest of grid stability,” said the official. 

Since the Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) requirement has already been met by the state, addition of more wind and solar power will ultimately depend upon the tariff, according to the official. Andhra Pradesh has a commissioned capacity of 7,257 MW of renewable energy, with solar energy at 3,279 MW and wind energy at 3,978 MW, according to renewable energy consultancy Bridge To India. 


Delhi, Energy Power, News, Renewable, Solar
Efforts are on to make Indian Railways the first Green Railways in the world in the next 10 years with steps like setting up solar energy installations on its unutilised land, electrification of tracks and moving to bio-diesel, Minister Piyush Goyal told Rajya Sabha. 

Replying to supplementaries during the Question Hour, he said there was no proposal at present to change Railway fares, after the recent hike in diesel costs due to increased excise duty in the general budget. 
The minister said the Railways had set the target of 100 per cent electrification of its tracks by 2022. 

He informed the House that Railways was reducing its diesel cost inputs by electrifying its tracks on a large scale and will also produce solar energy on its vacant land. 
“Probably 10 years from now, can we make Indian Railways the world’s first 100 per cent Green Rail,” he said announcing that this was yet another ambitious plan and efforts may take some time to fructify. 

“We are trying to see how we can expand the solar energy on all the unutilised land of the Railways across the country, as it will save the land from encroachments. We are trying to produce power from such solar installations and feed that into the grid and use that for the Railways,” he said. 

Responding to criticism by members about “grand announcements” made by the minister, Goyal said, “Unless you aspire for big goals, you cannot achieve big targets”. 
He said the Railways was fast electrifying its tracks and was regularly bringing its diesel inputs down. 

“By 2022, we are going to do full electrification of Railways,” Minister of State for Railways Angadi Suresh Channabasappa said. 
In response to another supplementary on whether the Railways intends to raise its fares, Goyal said there is no such proposal now. 

“At present, there is no proposal to change the fares,” he said. 
The minister said during 2013-14, the Railways has electrified 650 kms of track, while in 2017-18 it has electrified 4,000 plus kms and in 2018-19 Railways has electrified over 5200 kms. 

“We aspire for big targets and this year’s targets are even bigger than last year,” he said. 

He said while the Railways will move towards complete electrification, there will still be some tracks like in border areas and in narrow gauge where it will continue to use diesel. 

“We are also working towards use of bio-diesel instead of diesel on such tracks,” he said. 

But, there will still be requirement of diesel for border areas, or narrow gauge line, where “we are making an effort to move from diesel to bio-diesel or environmentally friendly materials”, Goyal said. 

Both these moves will be transformational in terms of impact of climate change that Railways contributes, he noted. 

He said when he became a minister, 50 per cent trains coming to Delhi also were running on diesel and “we are now working to a plan that every train that comes to Delhi should come through an electric traction in the very near future”. 

In his written reply, the minister said, as per the latest Indian Petroleum and Natural Gas statistics published by Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas for 2017-18, Indian Railways is the third largest consuming sector of high speed diesel (HSD) after resellers/retailers and road sector. Consumer wise data is not available in this publication. 

“Diesel fuel bill for traction has been around 20 per cent of ordinary working expenses in the year 2013-14. It is between 14 to 15 per cent from the year 2015-16 to 2018-19 (provisional figures) and there has been no significant variation in this period. 

“It is expected to remain in the same zone during 2019 -20 as per budgetary estimate,” the minister said 

Source :-

Delhi, Energy Power, Solar
The city’s much-needed push for solar energy could be just around the corner with Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) finally notifying the group net metering (GNM) and virtual net metering (VNM) framework, which will benefit thousands of RWAs, households and CGHS societies. 

delhi Solar Plant
Users will be able to benefit from a single solar plant at one location with the surplus energy being sent back to the grid and adjusted with the bill of each meter connected to it. This will, in theory, allow members of a society and consumers to reduce their monthly bills. 

After the Delhi solar policy was issued in 2016, the power watchdog had constituted a committee for developing this framework and issued draft guidelines under DERC (Net Metering for Renewable Energy) Regulations, 2014 last year. The framework has finally been notified after objections and comments were collected from the general public by January 2019. 

“The move will help in the promotion and deployment of renewable energy projects in residential and agricultural sectors benefitting lakhs of citizens and farmers. At present, we have about 630 net metering connections and this number will shoot up once we implement the order. We are in the process of making changes in the billing mechanism to implement it,” said a Tata Power-DDL spokesperson. 
BSES said consumers can apply for net metering on their website. “We had earlier launched a Solar City Initiative to bridge the gap between the consumer and the vendor. Post-installation, BSES will carry out an inspection to assess the quality and check whether it has been done according to the minimum technical requirements,” said a BSES official. 

At present, Tata Power NSE 4.30 % has around 630 net-metered connections with a capacity of 25 MW, while BSES has 1,600 with a capacity of 60 MW. According to BSES, a 100kW plant can save up to 1,27,750 units annually equalling annual savings of Rs 9.26 lakh. A 5KW plant can bring annual savings of Rs 46,300. 

The discoms said that to apply for the project, people can simply contact them after which a feasibility test would be carried out and bills assessed to find out the requirement for a household or colony. “Depending on the consumption and the bill amount, we will be able to decide on the solar panel capacity. Different CGHS societies are thriving with solar panels capacities ranging from 50kW to 200kW,” said a BSES official. 

Vendors said the amount invested in a solar panel can be recovered in the form of savings in just 5-6 years. “This is a safe estimate and the actual invested amount is recovered in close to four years. There are immense benefits to go solar as the product is a long-term investment,” said Abhishek Dabas, co-founder at Zolt Energy, a private solar-panel supplying company. 

Sanjeev Aggarwal, MD and CEO of Amplus Solar, said the risk in investment is generally low and savings can be as high as 90% of the total bill, depending on the plant size and consumption pattern. “On average, a 5kWp standard rooftop installation will cost Rs 3-4 lakh. If one opts for subsidy, they can avail 30% of the plant cost from MNRE through the state nodal agency,” he added. 

However, Pujarini Sen, a campaigner at Greenpeace India, said the notification process has taken far too long to allow people to avail subsidies for solar plants. “The important thing now is to make the consumers aware about it and facilitate it, especially at the residential level. Once popular, the load on the grid and electricity bills will reduce, benefitting both the consumer and the discoms,” she added. 

Source : – Solar power can save you Rs 46,000 in yearly bill