Category Archives: Solar in Industries

20 RWA offices to go Solar as a pilot project in New Delhi


At least 20 resident welfare offices in the New Delhi district will soon be powered by the sun. A proposal has been approved for a pilot project under which porta cabins provided by the government to RWAs for office use will have rooftop solar panels. The initial planned solar capacity is 20 kW and is expected to be increased as more areas will be brought under the ambit of the project.

A list of 20 locations has been identified but a final list will be prepared once feasibility of each location is confirmed. “The project will be funded entirely under the ‘My Delhi, I Care’ scheme of Delhi government.

RWAs had been given porta cabins but many of them were finding it hard to function without provision for power. Some have taken up independent connections but are finding it hard to pay bills. The government then stepped in with the proposal for roof-top solar panels. This is the only district in the city with such a provision,” said Nila Mohanan, deputy commissioner, New Delhi. The project will be set up by discom Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL). Its CEO and executive director Praveer Sinha said that it would be implemented within the next two to four months.

“Each porta cabin will have a 1 kW capacity system which takes the total project up to 20 kW. Each unit will be able to run at least a fan, a tube light and a television with this much supply. If the project is successful, it will be expanded to cover more areas. The power generated through the panels will be free for the users as they will be stand alone arrangements. Each system will cost roughly Rs 1.5 lakh,” said Sinha.

Sources said that a total of Rs 1 crore has been allocated for the project though the initial expenditure would be about Rs 30 lakh. “The remaining amount will be kept aside for the expansion of this project. Roughly 50-odd locations can be covered under this system eventually,” said sources.

Meanwhile, even though Delhi’s renewable power obligation has been identified, sources said that it would take another two to three years at least for it to be implemented by the discoms.

(Source: Times Of India)



Reality Hits the fast growing Chinese Solar Manufacturing Industries


The importance of Government and Bank support in the field of Solar for the local players has been shown by Chinese Banks for their manufacturers. With the sharp decline in the prices of solar modules worldwide, the world has already seen the downgrading or in some cases even shutdowns of various big manufacturing companies of Europe and US. The result of such a downfall as people call it is because the Chinese manufacturers have come up so fast with the cheap technology of solar modules.

Chinese Solar industry that is termed to be the biggest industry and believed to be among the most profitable is finally seeing the reality which they were not realising until now. But even in scare of such market there has been a lot of support from the Chinese banks to bail them out from such severity of high debts. As said by Wayne in an article “China’s top 10 listed solar companies, though saddled with a combined debt put at $17.5 billion by investment bank Maxim Group, have emerged relatively unscathed from market woes that have driven foreign peers to the wall.”

As compared to Chinese scenario many European companies crunched to the downfall in the market as they were unable to raise the capital against the debt they had. Q-cells which are one of the largest solar cell makers in the world filed for bankruptcy in April as it was unable to clear a debt of $725 million. Even the biggest Chinese companies are also running into losses with the prices of modules going way below than expected. It was the period of 2009 till 2011 in which the solar companies took much of the debt during the downturn of market. Banks also supported such companies with debt as these companies helped to generate employment as also provided a huge boost to China’s economic growth, there banks took the responsibility of providing such companies with debts.

To make sure that these investments don’t go to waste, instead of asking the companies to clear the debt local banks rolled over mature loans each year according to Chinese solar companies and analysts. World’s largest supplier of solar panels Suntech Power Holdings has also huge debt to their name and though they are hopeful to clear it still analysts and shareholders are working out alternative ways with the banks to form an agreement to clear the debt. Even though to repay the debt companies are lowering prices but to remain in the market they will need additional capital which will be very difficult to get with current market scenario.

Apart from these there are many other big solar manufacturers who have huge debts which they are due to pay this year and if the banks decide to recall the capital instead of saving their investments it will be very difficult for companies to compete in the market. So unless there comes a big boom in the solar market all of a sudden companies are going to face real difficulties in the near future.

(Source: Wall Street Journal)


Solar energy sector speeding in Karnataka


From the time when the government introduced a solar energy policy (2011-16) solar sector is on developing ride in Karnataka.

According to a report Renewable Energy prepared by PwC, which was released at the conference on ‘Sustainable Energy Through Renewables’, organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), here on Wednesday, Karnataka is the only state to have supported solar projects under the REC (Renewable Energy Certificate) mechanism. Close to 950 Mw of project proposals have been submitted to Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd (KREDL), which are under different stages of implementation like preparation of DPR.

Marvellous progress has been made by Karnataka in solar sector. Already it is having 14 MW installed capacity,  and over 1.2 GW  in the pipeline under various schemes. The 14MW installation is done under  Arunodaya programme by Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd. Of these 3 Mwp each are in Kolar, Belgaum and Raichur and a 5 Mwp in Mandya district in Karnataka. Based on report submitted to CERC in 2010, the energy produced by the 3 MWp in Belgaum was around 3.9 million units.

In a recent bid the government has allotted projects for 80 MW (60 MW for solar PV and 20 Mw for solar thermal) at tariffs between Rs 7.94 to Rs 8.50 per unit for solar PV and  between Rs 10.94 and Rs 11.32 per unit for solar thermal projects.

Karnataka is having one of the highest potentials for renewable energy among all states in India. Renewable sources are contributing to around 24% of the state’s installed capacity. If minor changes are done in the policy framework, Karnataka may come in the top 3 states in terms of annual wind capacity additions. Investors are attracted by the large untapped wind potential and above average wind.

Estimated renewable energy potential is 28 GW. As per the report a total of 17,278 MW, has been allotted from wind, small hydro, co-generation and biomass sectors which is nearly 60 per cent of the full potential. Of this, 2,016 MW is from wind, 88.5 MW from biomass, 948.7 MW from bagasse co-generation, 646 MW small hydro and 14 Mw of solar power have been explored. Most of the sites are far from grid. There is therefore a need to develop a robust and reliable transmission system for extracting the renewable potential. This will definitely help develop Karnataka as a leader.

(Source: Business Standard)


Dairies can now be run on Solar Power


Dairy owners used to worry on the unscheduled load shedding during summer or if not that then from bad power quality of electricity supply. They then used do to run diesel generator or use labour for milking their cows and buffaloes at their farms giving them high bills.

On the USP of elimination of noise and cost saving a milking machines operated on solar power is launched. It will now be reducing the electricity bills and labour costs.

“It will be useful for small and medium dairy owners. It is priced at Rs 70,000 and is eligible for subsidy from Karnataka Milk Federation. The quantity of the subsidy varies from one milk producers’ association to the other in the state since each of them has its own norms and rules. A dairy farmer who buys this battery-operated milking machine is eligible for subsidy between Rs25,000 to Rs40,000,’’ said BG Santosh, Sales Manager, Siddon Biotech a Bangalore based company providing solutions in the field of animal nutrition care.

The viability of it comes for them more who uses diesel generator . Other advantages of it is that It is an easy to go machine as it is a trolley-mounted and it has a provision of auxiliary supply from electricity. The machine was brought in limelight during the AgriTech India 2012 in Bangalore.

(Source: DNA India)


50 MW 5 phased project in pipieline in Bihar

A US-based agency, Schanti Partners, New York will be developing 50MW project worth Rs 580 crore for a solar energy project in Kaimur district of Bihar. Initially, a 10MW unit would be setup. They have received approval letter from Bihar State Investment Promotion Board, no-objection letter from Bihar Renewable Energy Development Agency (BREDA),and the proposal is submitted to Bihar State Electricity Board (BSEB).

Intention is to have a 12.5Rs/unit PPA of 25 years with BSEB.

A fully-owned subsidiary of Schanti Partners LLC ‘Sparkle Solar Bihar I’ will be executing the project. The project will be developed in a phase of 10 MW in 5 phases. The equipment would be sourced from Sol Focus Inc. , a US solar equipment manufacturer. An official marking the importance of project said “With the setting up of this solar energy plant, Bihar will emerge as a leader in solar energy development among eastern states of India”.

The project will use the most recent version of photovoltaic technology called Concentrating Photovoltaic (CPV) system; it is the PV technology with an optical system that focuses sunlight over a large area onto each cell.

The agency would not be taking help from Bihar industrial land bank. As per the proposal, the land would be leased for 30 years term directly from the owners, in lieu of annual lease payments to them.

The financing for the project has already been secured, with a letter of intent(LOI) from the Export-Import Bank of the US. The letter of intent provides for approximately $30 million in financial support with factors depending on extent of US-made solar power equipment.

Kaimur district has robust electricity infrastructure for power evacuation, with grid connectivity and nearby electrical substations. Power lines of 33kV and 132kV and electrical substations are already in place in the district.

Allocation of 175MW of grid-connected solar power projects was granted last year by Bihar Solar Policy.

(Source: India Times)

BEST going to reduce energy bills through Solar PV


BEST undertaking has decided to deploy solar power on an experimental basis to provide electricity to its 25 bus depots across the city.

BEST bus depots have lakhs of rupees electricity bills annually, more of for western and eastern suburbs. A senior official said “Electricity is needed to light up the depot almost round the clock, to run various equipment to maintain and clean buses and at the various offices within the depots”. First 3 depots will be run on solar. “We will gradually shift to solar energy at all the depots”, the official stated. Although not officially announced but as per the sources BEST would begin with depots in the suburbs and gradually include other prominent depots like Colaba and Backbay in south Mumbai in the second phase.

BEST General Manager Om Prakash Gupta said, “We are keen on experimenting with solar power. We will invite bids from parties willing to provide the service to us. As a pilot project, we will start with three depots”. It was Mr Ravi Raja, BEST committee member who at a recent committee meeting suggested that BEST should install solar panels at the depots. He said, “In the suburbs, we purchase power from RInfra at a very high cost. If we switch to solar power, the initial investment could be costly, but we will save a lot of money in the long run.”

A discussion for inclusion of LED also took place where BEST panel Chairperson Ashok Patil suggested in its favour for obtaining 60% power saving. However, Gupta said that they were not “cost-effective” when tried over few depots

The BEST 25 depots across the city are used for parking the fleet of 4,680 buses.


Indian Solar Manufacturers facing a tough time with US Fast Start Finance policy


According to the CSE (the Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment) says that the Indian solar panel industry is being killed by the conditions placed by the US as part of its initiative on climate fast-start finance.

The Indian developers are having the opportunity of getting loans at very low interest rates from the US Exim Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation if the equipment, solar panels and cells are sourced from US companies, according to the CSE.

Mr Chandra Bhushan, deputy director (CSE) says that the result of this is that most of the orders are being bagged by US companies rather than local manufacturers, putting the domestic solar photo-voltaic industry at risk.

Mr Chandra Bhushan also spread the light about the Fast start finance, according to Mr Bhushan…

  • Fast start finance is a $30 billion fund set up under the aegis of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).
  • The fund, adopted at the Copenhagen climate meet in 2009, is meant to help developing nations deal with the impact of climate change and limit greenhouse gas emissions, says Bhushan.

Whereas the US is manipulating this and has been using this fund to promote its own solar manufacturing.

This has distorted the market completely in favour of US companies.”

  • Currently, 80 % of local manufacturers are in a state of forced closure and debt restructuring with no orders coming to them,
  • While the US manufacturers are getting orders from Indian solar power developers, according to the CSE. The Centre has been promoting solar power projects since 2010 as part the National Action Plan on Climate Change.

The Indian Government is also promoting its own manufacturing by giving subsidy to the Indian manufactured products. The good thing is that Indian govt. is not manipulating any UNCC fund for its own benefit as the US is doing.

Indian Govt must take initiative to get its Domestic manufacturing out of this trouble and for the promotion also.

Some of the initiative taken by the Indian govt. and the loophole are explained below

Under The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), which plans to install 22,000 MW of solar energy by 2022, It is mandatory that

  • All projects must buy domestically-manufactured equipment,
  •  It only specifies this in the case of crystalline PV technology,
  • This is not applicable fort thin-film PV.
  • According to the CSE researchers this has provided a loophole for the US Exim Bank and OPIC to offer low rates of interest (about 3%) and a long repayment schedule (of up to 18 years) to Indian solar project developers provided they buy thin-film panels manufactured by US companies.

If we see Quality wise the thin films are lower as compared to the crystalline one.

As far as the Indian Banks are concerned the Loans from Indian banks come with an interest rate of close to 14% or more.

This Process of higher loan has skewed the market completely in favour of thin-film panels imported from the US, despite the fact that these are less efficient than crystalline panels.

Almost 60% of panels installed in India are thin-film, while globally its only 14%. This hike in the use of Thin film is mainly due to the easily availability of loans which compromises the quality factor of the panels.

This shows that the continuous use of thin films will surely have an impact on the Clients output and the Perception regarding the Solar efficiency in India.

Might be it is possible that the people lose hope in this sector as this just the beginning in India because the quality output is on stake with the increase use of less efficient panels.

(Source: Economic Times)


Solar variable-frequency drive (VFD), able to run a 3-phase AC motor directly with panels

In Musunuru Mandal of Krishna District for the past three years A solar power unit is producing entire electricity needed for pumping water to raise three crops a year in 13 acres in Katrayanapadu village limits. System Size is 10 kilowatts having 51 solar panels of the unit with a photovoltaic produces enough power to run a 12.5 horse power (HP) motor all through the day.

This is an example of successful pilot project launched here which has come to fruition and the Schneider Electric proposes to go commercial with its solar variable-frequency drive (VFD) which can run a 3-phase AC motor directly with the power generated by the panels. When sky is overcast the motor works at lesser frequency, but still draws water.

Sunbright Energy Solutions Private Limited came up with the idea of using a VFD to use solar power. Company CEO Parvataneni Ramesh toldthat the unit has been working so well that representatives of Schneider Electric that custom built the VFD for them came here to assess the performance.

As we know that in general the PV cells produce DC current therefore only DC (direct current) motors can be used for solar power units but in this case the VFD devise allows use of the solar power for running the existing AC electric motors on fields.

The success of the unit at this village encouraged them to install yet another unit at a 22-acre sweet lime garden in Chatrai mandal. Company vice-president Vikas Jaivanth said that solar energy was clean power that is gaining tremendous importance in the fast emerging global warming scenario.He said the Central government was giving 30 per cent subsidy on such products, but producing the necessary documentation was currently highly cumbersome.

Prabhu S. Nagavi who is managing marketing (Motion and Drives)  at  Schneider Electric said that the company had put the VFDs on trial in different climatic conditions and would launch it commercial on their completion.

(Source: The Hindu)

Government forcing hard over Energy Conservation Act implementation


The poor implementation of Energy Conservation Act (ECA), 2001, which mandates use of solar water heating systems in buildings in all states has grown concerns from Centre over Odisha Government. Union ministry of urban development asked the states in April 1999 to amend building bylaws for mandatory use of solar water heating systems in “functional” buildings. According to the source there were many reminders sent to the state in this regard. One of the letters to Principal Secretary of Odisha housing and urban development departments says “Solar water heating system can help save electricity and other fossil fuels. It can also prevent load shedding during peak hours”. But till yet it is not implemented

Mr Dilip Routray, senior housing and urban development officer said “the MNRE has sought compliance report of its instruction. We have urged the urban local bodies to incorporate the norm by amending the bylaws. The compliance report would be presented at a national-level workshop later this month in New Delhi”. Task of coordinating it with the municipal corporations and municipalities in the state is with the Directorate of Town Planning. “The building bylaw is being amended and would be completed soon. We will surely abide by the Central directive,” Director, town planning, P K Patnaik said.

The Centre has engaged two consultancies which would help in implementing ECA. For its implementation in urban local bodies there are two Centre appointed consultancies. Municipal Corporations will also be guided in modifying the model regulations and bylaws. For sensitizing the stakeholders, very soon agencies will be organizing workshop on significance of solar energy in Odisha.

Meanwhile, as Bhubaneswar is among 60 cities of India identified for developing as solar cities, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation is in the process of making it so. MNRE would bear the entire cost of the Rs 37.37 lakh project. Under the project, at least 10% of the projected demand of conventional energy would be reduced through renewable energy installations. For this buildings will be categorised into residential apartments, commercial complexes, industries, individual houses, corporate establishments and government buildings. With an aim to reduce 40% of the energy demand LED street lighting has been launched at some places of the city.

(Source: Times of India)


New Forum for Indian Solar Action proposed


To expand India’s solar economy and for that to build an actionable agenda, the Industrialists and corporate executives, who attended a photovoltaic manufacturing summit in Gurgaon, Delhi, have mooted the Indian Solar Action Forum or I-SAF, which is a pan-solar industry body of professionals.

Followings are the main objectives of this Forum “I-SAF”

  1. To bring together government departments,
  2. Energy development agencies,
  3. Power utilities, manufacturers,
  4. EPCs,
  5. System integrators,
  6. Project developers,
  7. Research bodies,
  8. Quality testing centers,
  9. Academic institutions,
  10. Banks,
  11. Finance and insurance companies,
  12. Trading companies,
  13. NGOs and foreign governments through their respective embassies and trade centers.

As the first step, a group named Indian Solar Action Forum has been created on professional networking website

  • Educating the market and creating the awareness on the commercial advantages of quality solar energy Solutions among the end-users.
  • This forum would also create a large knowledge base with case studies and white papers based on solar companies’ experiences with different technological, financial and marketing solutions Apart from becoming a platform for greater interaction.

This forum will surely be beneficial for the numbers of people and the organizations in terms of the interaction as well as exposal. Technological transfers trainings, Research etc .

(Source: EAI)