An expensive affair
background research. Its emphasis is on resource survey, site selection, developing a roadmap based on pilot and demonstration/ scale development/commercial deployment route.”Before announcing the feed-in tariffs, the priority for the Chinese government was developing support manufacturing industry —mirrors, heliostat, receiver, storage and transfer medium, receiver tubes, and many other components and sub-components. Many private companies set up pilot projects with support from the government. China also offers cheap loans to its developers.
And while China has decided to first prepare the groundwork for the technology, India believes announcing new projects is the logical way forward. This explains why the Centre has not tried to revive the exising projects and has instead announced two new projects. Kumar said at the csp Focus India 2014 conference in New Delhi that “the tender for engineering, procurement and construction contract for only two pilot projects, both to be owned by seci, of 50 MW each... would be out later in the year”. However, the tenders for the two projects that are proposed to come up in Charanka Solar Park, Gujarat, and Jaisalmer,Rajasthan are yet to be announced.
Tarun Kapoor, joint secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, says, “The levelised cost of energy for the pilot projects is aimed at 6.25 per unit of power generated.” He adds that if the cost per energy becomes less than 8 per unit, the market would be flooded with new installations.
Building projects in air
Instead of announcing additional projects, the government should focus on improving data. Delhi non-profit Centre for Science and Environment says that the Centre for Wind Energy Technology (cwet) should measure the dni for two years for each solar radiation resource assessment (srra) stations and then compare it with five years of satellite data to evaluate dni for a particular location. This would allow the policy-makers to tweak the projects for different states.
The non-profit also says that till the time csp projects become lucrative, the ministry should promote solar thermal applications
2015-16 Best works when the plant is generating 100 MW or more power
Easier to store thermal heat in it It is convenient to introduce solar thermal technology in existing fossil fuel-based plants Besides producing electricity, it can be used for heating water in households and industries for industries and create a steady demand for thermal applications.
Additionally,the Centre must encourage local manufacturing of reflective mirror, Is portable and should be used for rooftop and decentralised installations Battery for storing power is the most expensive part of the installations PV systems can generate power separately apart from the existing energy systems, but there would not be any cost savings
Can be used only for producing electricity structures and thermal storage with the objective of not just reducing the input cost but translating India into a manufacturing hub. Players should also move towards hybridisation at thermal plants that are already using coal,gas or biomass.
The Centre should also work towards putting the existing projects on track by penalising defaulters.For repeated defaulters, the government should encash the bank guarantees. It should also re-auction the projects that have not started.
Solar thermal has tremendous potential along with many applications. It is more efficient to use the heat of the sun directly instead of converting the heat into electricity and then using for heating purposes. Especially for a country like India which favours centralised solutions for generating electricity, csp makes more sense than PV. Unfortunately, in the rush to embrace csp,the country missed many steps. India should first focus on solar thermal applications and make sure that every household, commercial establishment and institution has a solar water heater.This will develop the manufacturing sector.
It should also focus on popularising hybrid power plants by introducing csp at thermal plants that use fossil fuel. These steps will not only make the technology popular, but also economical, which, say experts, is one of the primary reasons for its failure in the country.