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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
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Energy Power, News, Solar
Global power solutions company ABB has reached an agreement to sell its solar inverter business to Italian company FIMER.
Completion is expected in the first quarter of 2020 and will be subject to certain conditions, including the completion of a carve-out and prior consultation with employee representative bodies.

As a result of the sale, ABB expects to take an after-tax non-operational charge of approximately $430m (€378m) in the second quarter of 2019 with the half-year results of 2019 being impacted accordingly.

Around 75% of the charge comprises cash outflows ABB will pay to FIMER from the deal closing date through 2025.

In addition, ABB expects up to $40m of carve-out related separation costs starting in the second half of 2019.

ABB’s solar inverter business has approximately 800 employees in more than 30 countries, with manufacturing and research and development sites in Italy, India and Finland.

ABB electrification business president Tarak Mehta said: “The divestment is in line with our strategy of ongoing systematic portfolio management to strengthen competitiveness, focus on quality of revenue and higher growth segments.”

The sale to FIMER also includes the solar inverter business Power-One, which ABB acquired in 2013.

The Power-One business, which provides products, systems, and services for different types of solar installations, achieved revenues of $290m in 2018. FIMER will honour all existing warranties and ABB will compensate FIMER for taking the business and its liabilities over.

 Mehta added: “The combination of the portfolios under FIMER will support further sales growth.

“Through our intelligent low- and medium-voltage offering, ABB will continue to integrate solar power into a range of smart solutions including smart buildings, energy storage and electric vehicle charging.”

FIMER chief executive Filippo Carzaniga said: “We will continue the excellent job carried out by ABB in recent years, combining precious resources, knowledge and expertise in Italy and worldwide.

 “With a strengthened portfolio, we are better placed to shape the future of this increasingly strategic business.”

Source : – ABB sells solar inverter business
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Solar
NEW DELHI: India will double the target for energy to be generated from solar parks by 2020, a top government official said, as roof-top installations progress slower than anticipated and U.S. company SunEdison’s projects are threatened by its bankruptcy. The solar parks are sought after by companies because the Indian government acquires land for the installations and sets up transmission lines, major attractions in a country notorious for red tape and public opposition to land transfers.
Debt-heavy SunEdison was one of the first companies to be drawn into the programme to encourage solar use, bidding aggressively to win a 500 megawatt (MW) project in Andhra Pradesh state in India’s south last November. But after its bankruptcy, SunEdison has been forced to initiate stake-sale talks with companies like Adani Group and Finland’s Fortum Oyj for funds, according to sources. “We are adding 25 more solar parks to create a buffer for exigencies like SunEdison,” Upendra Tripathy, secretary at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, told Reuters on Monday. “Solar parks are a hit with companies. A lot of them are interested.” Tripathy declined to name any companies. But the new generation target of 40,000 megawatts for solar parks was likely to be approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet in two months, he said in an interview in his office.

Pashupathy Gopalan, president of SunEdison Asia Pacific – which focuses mainly on India – did not immediately respond to calls for comment. He has previously said the company would stick to its India growth plans.  Analysts said it was doubtful any rival would pick up the Andhra Pradesh project at the aggressive power prices promised by SunEdison. Once the fastest growing renewable energy developer in the United States, SunEdison beat out 29 other bidders for the solar park with a record-low tariff of 4.63 rupees per kilowatt-hour. Japan’s Softbank Corp, Taiwan’s Foxconn and India’s Bharti Enterprises have pledged to invest a total of about $20 billion in India’s renewable sector.
Global solar giants like First Solar Inc, Trina Solar Ltd and Fortum are also expanding their presence. Modi wants India’s solar capacity to jump nearly 30 times from 2014/15’s levels to 100 gigawatts by 2020. Last month India secured a loan of more than $1 billion from the World Bank for its ambitious solar programme. Total investment needed for the solar goal is around $89 billion, according the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. India wants renewable energy, excluding hydro-electricity, to contribute 8 percent of the energy mix by 2022, up from 5.7 percent early this year.

Source :
The Economic Times, 18/07/2016

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/energy/power/government-doubles-down-on-solar-parks-after-sunedison-setback/articleshow/53264363.cms
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Energy Power, Solar
Solar energy capacity in India could nearly double to 18 gigawatt (GW) this calendar year as large projects get commissioned, despite the short-term hurdles of power curtailment and weak tendering in some states, according to sector experts and power producers.

India had a total of 9 GW of solar capacity, including rooftop projects, as of December. During 2016, the country added about 4 GW of solar capacity—the fastest pace till date. A large number of projects are expected to be completed in the current year.

During 2017, the solar sector is likely to add close to 9 GW of capacity—taking its overall capacity to 18 GW and the country into the league of nations such as China, the US and Japan in terms of solar capacity, according to consultancy Mercom Capital Group Llc.

A total of about 14.2 GW of solar projects are currently under development and tenders for about 6.3 GW are still to be auctioned, Mercom Capital said in a 4 January report.

Mumbai: Solar energy capacity in India could nearly double to 18 gigawatt (GW) this calendar year as large projects get commissioned, despite the short-term hurdles of power curtailment and weak tendering in some states, according to sector experts and power producers.

India had a total of 9 GW of solar capacity, including rooftop projects, as of December. During 2016, the country added about 4 GW of solar capacity—the fastest pace till date. A large number of projects are expected to be completed in the current year.

During 2017, the solar sector is likely to add close to 9 GW of capacity—taking its overall capacity to 18 GW and the country into the league of nations such as China, the US and Japan in terms of solar capacity, according to consultancy Mercom Capital Group Llc.

A total of about 14.2 GW of solar projects are currently under development and tenders for about 6.3 GW are still to be auctioned, Mercom Capital said in a 4 January report.

Bridge to India, a renewable energy-focused consultancy, expects India’s solar market to grow by 90% in 2017 and reach about 18 GW in total capacity. It expects the country to add a total of 8.8 GW of solar capacity in 2017, including about 1.1 GW of rooftop solar installations.

The sector is beginning to see the actual effects of the ambitious target adopted by the government, said Vinay Rustagi, managing director, Bridge to India Energy Pvt. Ltd. “The large capacity addition this year is purely a case of how timelines work for these projects. Because the government was formed in 2014 and they announced the new target in 2015 and the bulk of the large tenders started coming out toward the end of 2015. So these are the projects which will start getting implemented and commissioned in 2017.” Rustagi, however, said the expected capacity addition is much lower than the government’s own target of 12GW for fiscal 2017 and 15GW for fiscal 2018 and also lower than what the tendering pipeline suggests.

India has a target of setting up 100 GW of solar and 60 GW of wind energy capacity by 2022. The growing energy sector requires $250 billion in investments to reach this target

A cause of worry for the sector has been several instances of state power distribution utilities (discoms) unplugging their generating capacity from the grid and delaying both payments and the signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs) with renewable power producers.

To add to this, project auctions have slowed over the past three months. According to industry statistics, government agencies auctioned only about 1,300 megawatt (MW) of the planned tenders for 3,700 MW during the September-December period.

“There is a very clear laid-out path in terms of achieving the 100 GW of solar capacity. There were a spate of tenders, which came up in earlier part of last year until September, then there was a lull for two-three months, but tenders have picked up again and there are a lot of bids currently lined up. We are very confident that this growth will continue,” said Ravi Seth, chief financial officer, ReNew Power Ventures Pvt. Ltd, one of the largest renewable energy producers.

Incomplete infrastructure at solar parks in India has been hurting the development of some large-scale solar projects. A sharp fall in solar module prices, however, has helped renewable energy producers, who have won solar projects at aggressive tariffs. Despite these hurdles, a large number of overseas investors including pension funds and infrastructure-focused funds have committed sizeable investments in the sector.

On Thursday, World Bank arm International Finance Corp. said it bought an equity stake worth $125 million in Hero Future Energies, the renewable energy arm of Hero Group. “There are significant headwinds in terms of transmission and evacuation issues that could threaten the pace of growth,” said Raj Prabhu, chief executive and co-founder of Mercom Capital.

Source: Livemint, 06/01/2017

http://www.livemint.com/Industry/DaBUAGSAWbD4ObK5XxyxzJ/Indias-solar-capacity-may-double-to-18-GW-this-year.html
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