Monthly Archives: October 2010

Delhi gears up to host global renewable energy meet

A three-day Delhi international renewable energy conference 2010 (Direc 2010 ) will begin on October 27. The theme of the conference is ‘upscaling and mainstreaming renewables for energy security, climate change and economic development.’ “Direc would see representation of more than 50 countries and over 600 exhibitors. This is going to be India’s largest ever B2B exhibition on renewable energies, Deepak Gupta, secretary, ministry of new and renewable energy, said.

Finland’s solution for India’s power woes

The ministry of renewable energy resources headed by Farooq Abdullah is taking a close look at various proposals made by a Finish delegation led by Paavo Vayrynen, Minister for foreign trade and development.

The Finish minister said his country aims to explore opportunities in India’s rapidly growing economy while strengthening its position as leading know-how provider in renewable energy technologies.

“India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change has laid out a target of generating 15 per cent of total power from renewable sources by 2020, starting with 5 per cent in 2010. Finnish wind and solar power technology providers with advanced technologies are significant players worldwide. In Finland, renewables contribute one quarter of the country’s total energy consumption and account for more than one quarter of its power generation,” he said.

Furthermore, the national goal is to increase the share of renewable energy use from the current level of 25 percent to 38 percent by 2020.

“Being one of the leading countries in energy efficiency and use of renewable energy in the world, Finland can offer a broad range of expertise to support of India’s growth and development, especially in production and use of energy,” Paavo Vayrynen said.

Leading Finnish clean technology companies Ensto, Kemira, Outotec, The Switch, Vacon & WinWinD are showcasing their solutions for renewable energy production at Delhi International Renewable Energy Conference on 27-29 October 2010.

Senior officials from the Finish companies claimed that India’s total loss of power of over 35 per cent can be cut be cut down by 20 per cent if normal power transmission lines are replaced by insulated power cables. “This would make thefts by hooks difficult if not impossible,” they claimed.

According to the experts, India can work on having more power supply grids. “If you have a grid within the company where the supply is needed or if it can take care of the needs of a village through solar or wind energy directly, then the power losses can be cut by at least 20 per cent. The distance between the grids needs to be minimised to achieve maximum utilisation of power generation,” they said.

Increasing demand has boosted technology development and strengthened the position of Finnish technology in the global market.

Since energy is the lifeline for progress, it is imperative for a booming economy like India to shift to renewable sources of energy.

India ranks sixth in the world in total energy consumption and is set to accelerate the development of the sector in order to provide energy security to all.

“The rapidly growing wind energy market in Asia is one the reasons for the establishment of Winwind Power Energy Private Limited (WPEPL) in India, as a 100 per cent  subsidiary of Winwind Oy. We have made significant investments in the high end test laboratory to substantiate the quality of turbines and blades before the products are dispatched to customers,” Narayan Kumar, vice president of Winwind Power Energy Private Limited, said.
“Finnish wind power solution providers with most advanced technologies are significant players in worldwide and Finnish proficiency can be found in nearly half of the over 1 MW sized wind power plants globally,” Santtu Hulkkonen, executive director of Cleantech Finland, said.

Azure to set up 15 MW solar power plant in Gujarat

Ahmedabad : Leading independent power producer Azure Power today announced an investment of 40 million dollars in Gujarat for developing a state of the art solar power plant.

The investment is led by OverseasPrivate InvestmentCorporation (OPIC), an agency of United States that helps US businesses invest overseas and promotes economic development in new and emerging markets. Other investors in the project include IFC, a member of WorldBank group, Helion Advisors, a venture capital firm based in Bangalore, and Foundation Capital, a venture capital firm based in Menlo Park, California.

Azure Power has signed a 25 year power purchase agreement with the state of Gujarat. The project is expected to be commissioned by mid 2011. Once fully operational the plant will employ most advanced solar photovoltaic technology while eliminating as much carbon dioxide pollution as 2.5 million trees would annually, official sources here said.

Azure Power has already operationalised India’s first private MW scale solar power plant in Punjab in December 2009.

Suresh Kumar, Assistant Secretary, US Department of Commerce said, ”The potential for solar energy in India is huge and the Azure Power project is a good example of US-India collaboration for the development of the solar energy sector. I am excited to see job creation in both India and the US through US investment and technology exports for the Azure Power project.” Speaking on the occasion, D J Pandian, Gujarat Principal Secretary for Energy and Petrochemicals, said, ”We are encouraging development of solar power and we expect to make Gujarat the hub of solar power development in India. We have set up a target of 1,000 Mw established solar power generation capacity by the end of 2012 and 3,000 Mw in next five years. We are very pleased to see the progress and commitment made by Azure power in this sector and are happy to welcome them to the state of Gujarat.”

Source – UNI

NLC contract workers end 39 day-old strike

Cuddalore : The 39 day-old strike by contract workers of the public sector Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) ended late last night following successful talks with the management at NLC’s headquarters ‘Neyveli House’.

The marathon talks that began at 1030 hrs in the morning ended at around 2200 hrs with the management agreeing to pay an additional wage of Rs 1,560 a month, a minimum bonus of 8.33 per cent and Rs 1,000 more, to the contract labourers, according to Chief Labour Commissioner here and AITUC Cuddalore District Secretary M Sekhar here.

The increase in the wages for contract labourers as well as other concessions would be made soon before the Chief Labour Commissioner in New Delhi under Section 12(3) of the Industrial Disputes Act, he said.

The management also agreed not to victimise workers who took part in the strike.

The contract labourers returned to work after the talks concluded, Mr Sekhar said.

Talks on other issues would be held on October 30, he said, adding the NLC management also agreed to reinstate three office bearers of the AITUC.

The prolonged strike, which had caused considerable anxiety on the power generation front since September 19, was the first such in the annals of NLC.

Source – UNI

President Pratibha Patil underlines private sector role in energy revolution

Mumbai : President Pratibha Patil on Wednesday gave a call to explore public private partnership model for energy revolution and nation’s development.

Speaking after inaugurating a power, energy and telecom summit in Mumbai, the President said the success of public private partnerships, in creating critical infrastructure should also be explored for an energy revolution that will ensure energy security.

The President pointed out that there was a need of power linkages to provide electricity to all and it was the time to draw a multi-pronged strategy for energy revolution in the country.

In her address, President Patil said that many infrastructure projects like roads, highways and airports have come up through this route of Public Private Partnerships in the country.

Stating that inclusive growth demands significant contribution from the private sector, the President laid stress on innovation in the field of science and technology to meet future challenges including growing demands for electricity.

Pointing out that that the country suffers from an infrastructure deficit, the President said that the government is taking steps to augment the infrastructure and there is a forward movement on this front.

President Patil said that with a strong economy, India would maintain a robust growth rate in the coming years.

Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan, Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, and Deputy Chief Minister Chagan Bhujbal were present on the occasion.

Source – ANI

10,000 villages to get power from renewable energy sources

NEW DELHI: Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah on Tuesday announced that 10,000 remote villages across the country would be electrified with renewable energy sources by March 2012 under an innovative initiative that will also generate employment.

“We will provide electricity to 10,000 villages at the cost of Rs. 500 crore by the end of the current plan period,” Dr. Abdullah said, while addressing a press conference to mark the start of the Delhi International Renewable Energy Conference (DIREC) here.

Dr. Abdullah said the scheme would help in employment generation as one person would be appointed at each village for maintenance of the power plants set up there. The type of plants to be set up at these centres would depend on the renewable energy source available there.

Dr. Abdullah said the three-day DIREC conference would begin on Wednesday and be attended by 70 countries with 40 ministerial delegations. The Minister said the United States and China would be the largest participants and a number of MoUs will be signed between Indian and foreign new-energy sector companies.

Water mills

He said Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah would also take part in the event and meet representatives from Iceland, which had shown a deep interest in developing geo-thermal energy sources in the country. He said trials were on to exploit the energy potential of old water-mills in States such and Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand.

The Minister said the role of renewable energy played in serving the common man was to provide energy access to millions of disadvantaged and remote habitations. “It is important for us to give a big thrust to this passion of renewable energy not only in India but across the entire developing world,” he remarked.

Source – Hindu

Equipment orders with Chinese cos to stay

New Delhi: The government will not terminate power equipment orders placed with Chinese firms during the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-2012).

“Whatever equipment orders have been placed, under the 11th Five Year Plan, it will not be terminated…Chinese companies are welcome in the sector,” power minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said on Tuesday commenting on whether there is a bias against the Chinese products in the power sector.

A panel headed by planning commission member Arun Maira had submitted its report to the Cabinet on levying import duty of 10-14% on import of power equipment from China and other countries to create a level playing field for domestic players. The ministry of heavy industries and public enterprises has supported the panel’s recommendations.

The proposed levy would help Indian manufacturing companies like Bhel and L&T. However, it would adversely affect private sector power companies dependent on Chinese equipment like Reliance Power, Tata Power, Essar Power, AES India, Adani who are against the imposition of import duty. Power minister’s assurance can bring relief to these private players who have invested in Chinese power equipment.

Recently power ministry had suggested to levy the import duty but couldn’t find support from the finance ministry. Power minister said, “We have not received any intimation from the finance ministry over the matter”.

In a separate session, Power Finance Corporation limited Satnam Singh said company will be raising $ 260 million through External commercial borrowing in next two -three months.

Power Finance Corporation (PFC) recently received an infrastructure finance companies (IFCs) status from the Reserve Bank of India. This enables PFC to raise External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) for on-lending to infrastructure projects in India.

Source – Financial Express

Govt to encourage super-critical thermal technology: Shinde

New Delhi : Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde today said the government wants to encourage efficienttechnologies for power generation and install large-sized super-critical thermal power units to enhance efficiency and reduce coal consumption and Green House Gas emissions.

Addressing the Economic Editors Conference here, the Minister said coal would continue to dominate the power generation sector and 50 per cent of the capacity addition would be through the coal-based technology during the 12th Plan. Hence it has been decided that the capacity addition during the 13th Plan will be through super-critical units only.

He said to bridge the gap between demand and supply of power, especially in the context of limited financial resources available, it was imperative to look for other options that were not capital intensive and comparatively of shorter gestation period and maximise generation through Renovation and Modernisation (R and M) of existing power plants as the most cost-effective option.

Mr Shinde said the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) had prepared a National Enhanced Efficiency Renovation and Modernisation Programme for implementation during the 11th and 12th Plans. This included Renovation and Modernisation of about 19,000 MW capacity, Life Extension of about 7,300 MW during 11th Plan and Renovation and Modernisation of about 5,000 MW and Life Extension of about 1,6500 MW during 12th Plan.

He said to ensure free flow of electricity across the country, the inter-state transmission systems and inter-regional transmission links were being upgraded and the aggregate inter-regional transmission capacity in the country today was more than 20,750 MW.

This is sought to be increased to 32,650 MW by the end of 11th Plan.

“We are hopeful that during the 12th Plan, the Southern Region will be integrated with the rest of the country and the whole country would be operating at one common frequency backed up by a strong National Grid.” The growth in transmission system is characterised by the physical growth in transmission network as well as introduction of higher transmission voltages and new technologies for bulk power transmission.

The future plans during 12th and 13th plan were bigger to meet the rising demand, leading to substantial increase in per capita availability of power. To achieve this ambitious target, rigorous monitoring of capacity addition of the on-going generation projects is being done at the highest level by the Ministry of Power as well as by the CEA.

To augment the equipment manufacturing capacity to support the envisaged capacity addition programme on the initiatives of Ministry of Power, five new joint venture companies are setting up their base in India. These joint ventures were L and T-MHI, Bharat Forge-Alstom, Ansaldo-GB Power, Toshiba and JSW, and Thermax with Babcock and Wilcox.

Besides this, Dussan from Korea is putting up equipment manufacturing facility in India on 100pc FDI. This will expedite the capacity addition programme. The capacity of BHEL was being increased to 20,000 MW by the end of 2012.

On the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY), the flagship programme was launched in March 2005 to electrify 1,18,000 un-electrified villages and providing free electricity connections to 2.34 crore rural BPL households, Mr Shinde said about 85,000 villages had been electrified under the programme and 127.87 lakh free electricity connections have been released to BPL households.

About the loss of electricity through Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT and C), the Minister said the Centre was implementing Restructured- APDRP scheme and the aim was to reduce the AT and C losses without additional burning of coal or new capacity addition, but reduce emission. Total programme size was Rs 51,177 crore including Rs 10,000 crore for energy audit and Rs 40,000 crore for System Strengthening.

Under this programme, 1,401 projects at the cost of Rs 5305.23 crore have been approved to cover all eligible towns in the country under energy audit and 644 projects worth Rs 10,859.33 crore had been approved for 13 states for system improvement. Under the energy saving scheme the focus was on replacement of inefficient incandescent bulbs by efficient-CFLs in all households in the country.

Source – UNI

Exide Industries launches Power Centre

Pune : Exide Industries, one of the leading battery and power storage solutions manufacturers, has launched an Exide Industries Power Centre in the city today.

The Centre will cater to the industrial battery clientele-based out of Pune and surroundings. To keep pace with international development in the battery industries, Exide has entered into long-term strategic and technical collaboration with some of the other leading manufactureres in the world, said Subir Chakraborty, executive vice- president (Industrial Sales and Marketing) of Exide Industries.

Recently Exide has used its strengths in battery technology to move into high potential areas such as Solar and Integrated Power Systems, electric vehicles and also for defence sector in the extreme condition to power vehicles, guns and field communication, he added.

Company’s general manager, Saurabh Dutta, said the Centre will sell the widest range of lead acid storage batteries in the world from 2.5Ah to 20,600Ah capacity, to cover the broader spectrum of applications. Heat sealed polypropylene classic, Magnum and Gen-X batteries are specially made to meet the international standards of motive power with benefits like low initial charging, safety, anti-corrosion, improved insulation and minimum electricity consumption, he added.

Source – UNI

Low cash cuts off power firms

India has recorded an additional power generation of 2,000 million units compared to last year, but there are few takers — power utilities across the country are opting for outages or loadsheddings, citing financial constraints while units are available at a reasonable rate.

The average rates, which stood at Rs 7.50 per unit during October-November 2008-2009, have plummeted to between Rs 3-3.50 per unit.

Industry sources told Business Standard that out of the 20 buyers last year, only Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan are procuring power under open access. Several other states including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana are resorting to power outages instead of buying power.

Pramod Deo, chairman of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission, said CERC was not in a position to initiate action because it is for the state regulatory commissions to take a note of the prevailing situation. “Our concerns are when there are cases of overdrawal. State distribution utilities are short of cash. During election time, a lot of state distribution utilities were buying expensive power, so this present trend could be a result of excessive spending,” he added.

Jayant Deo, managing director and chief executive officer of Indian Energy Exchange, said, “The utilities are preferring load shedding instead of purchasing power, and this will not give a proper signal to investors in the power sector. The regulators are permitting to shed load instead of asking utilities to organise power supply.”

“Average prices on power exchanges have been around Rs 3 per unit, lesser than what utilities usually pay for on a long-term basis. Merit Order principle demands that cheaper power be consumed at any given point in time. If this situation is not arrested, the economic growth will not be achievable as planned,” he said.

Adding: “Utilities are also not allowing bulk consumers open access to buy power from various sources. Due to the states’ rigid stand, the retail consumers are having to face burgeoning load shedding.”

Crisil, in its recent report on merchant power prices, said state distribution utilities (SDUs) are primary buyers in the merchant power market. Hence, purchase decisions of SDUs significantly influence merchant power prices. The accumulated losses of state utilities stood at Rs 850 billion in 2008-09. According to the Finance Commission, the losses could rise further to Rs 1.15 trillion by 2014-15.

“The weakening financial health of utilities has curtailed their ability to set up new power plants to meet the demand. Hence, the utilities are increasingly looking at sourcing power from private players through competitive bidding. This is expected to increase the average cost of supply for distribution utilities and further strain their financials, thus putting pressure on utilities and limit purchase of power from open market at high costs,” the report said.

Rupa Devi Singh, chief executive officer of Power Exchange India, said: “Open access consumers have recently started coming into the market. But prices are determined by purchases from utilities as opposed to open access consumers. Not much demand is coming in from utilities, and as a result, there is unsold power on the exchanges.”

D Radhakrishna, a power analyst, said few states like Andhra Pradesh, who denied permission to sell power to other states and bought power at Rs 4.50 per unit, are now looking at means to back out from the contract. Some states like Madhya Pradesh have started shedding load from four hours to six hours daily.

Source – Business Standard



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