Monthly Archives: September 2012

‘Kerala has potential for wind, solar energy generation’

Thiruvananthapuram: Corporates are ready to invest in non-conventional energy generation projects like ind and solar power if the government provides adequate infrastructural facilities, Chairman of the Muthoot Pappachan group, John Muthoot, said in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday.

Kerala had the potential to generate nearly 2,000 Mw of wind energy at three spots–Ramakkalmedu, Kanjikode and Attappadi in Palakkad district. There was also tremendous scope for tapping solar energy, he told reporters.

Kerala was at present generating only 22 Mw of wind power, he said. The Muthoot group had invested Rs. 150 crore in Kanyakumari district in neighboring Tamil Nadu in the wind energy sector and was generating 25 Mw of power worth Rs. 10 to 12 crore every year.

He said companies like Muthoot were also prepared to invest in solar energy if the state government came forward with a solar energy policy like in Tamil Nadu.

Kerala could not seize the opportunity when the Centre provided incentives to the solar sector. In the last budget, the Centre had withdrawn the incentives, he said.

 

Source: NDTV

Good news for green energy

The renewable energy sector has good reasons to rejoice over the approval of financial restructuring of electricity distribution companies by the Cabinet Committee for Economic Affairs, and not just because the utilities will soon have money to pay their dues to wind-power companies.

It is widely expected that States will raise electricity tariffs to avail themselves of the grants offered by the Central Government. This means that solar power will come closer to grid parity, or indeed reach grid parity. ICRA estimates that over the next four years, the annualised tariff hike would be around 11 per cent. It says that some “outlier” States may even need to raise their tariffs between 15 per cent and 17 per cent. This is sweet news for solar-power producers.

MAJOR COMPLAINT

Further, the major complaint in the renewable energy industry is the evident lack of enforcement of renewable energy obligations (RPO). The obligated entities are mandated to buy a prescribed quantum of electricity from (specified) renewable energy sources, or if they are unable to do so, buy renewable energy certificates (REC) from the market.

Since the REC mechanism came into force (effectively) in April 2011, no State-owned electricity distribution company, all obligated entities, have fully fulfilled its RPO requirements. The various State electricity regulatory commissions, which are the bodies responsible for enforcement of the obligations, have been lenient because the financially unhealthy discoms will not be able to pay more for green power.

This absence of enforcement has been a major source of apprehension for renewable-energy producers. In fact, the solar industry has found it difficult, if not impossible, to secure bank funding if the projects depend upon RECs for income. (The other option is to sell power at the preferential-higher-feed in tariff.)

MORE REASON FOR ENFORCEMENT

Enforcement of RPO will be a big boost to the industry, as it will fuel demand for either green power or RECs.

But now that there is a good possibility of State discoms improving their finances, the regulators can be expected to be strict in enforcing RPO obligations.

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Global wind repowering market seeing Denmark account for 51.6% of total capacity

The global wind re-powering market in was primarily dominated by Denmark, Germany, the US and India in 2011. Denmark was the largest wind re-powered market with an estimated 213.1 MW, accounting for around 51.6% of the total global re-powered capacity.

Germany, the second largest wind re-powered market in 2011 forms around 43.1% of the global re-powered capacity.

The wind power industry, which began in Denmark in 1979, is involved with the design, manufacture, construction, and maintenance of wind turbines.

The value of the global wind re-powering market has increased significantly during the last five years. In 2006, an estimated capacity of 201.6 megawatts (MW) was re-powered. Since this time, re-powered capacity had increased to 417.4 MW in 2011.

Still, this explored capacity represents only around 22% of the total global re-powering potential in 2011, it is estimated that re-powering potential is estimated to exceed 44,000 MW by 2020.

While global installed wind energy capacity increased dramatically during 2006-2009, the global recession sparked a 13.8% fall in annual additions during 2010, when major wind markets, including the US, Germany and Spain, faced economic struggles as a result of the global recession.

These markets are soon expected to recover thanks to a huge order intake by major wind manufacturers across emerging regions. Wind power manufacturers worldwide received a high order intake in 2010, with expected delivery deadlines in 2011 and 2012, contributing to the large total of annual installations expected this year.

 

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The wrong remedy for ailing power utilities

Commenting on the Cabinet decision on Monday (September 24), approving the R1.9 lakh crore debt recast package for the state distribution sector, a recent Indian Express editorial rightly describes, “For the second time in less than a decade, the power distribution sector has been handed a lifeline.” Undoubtedly, most of the utilities are burdened with mounting losses and operational inefficiencies. And a recent Financial Express report “Govt vows discom debt recast will be different this time” (September 21) gave details of yearly projections of reduction in losses, which clearly showed that losses of the state power utilities (SPUs) would be high even by the end of 2016-17. The objective of the debt recast package is to restore the financial viability of the distribution sector. But the real worry is that the big “bailout package” as approved by the Cabinet may prove to be a wrong remedy for the ailing SPUs. We need growth because only with growth can we create millions of jobs for our youth. Mounting losses happened partly due to the complicity of public sector banks lending to SPUs (Banks must get electric haircut, FE, September 11).

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How will FDI in power exchanges help improve electricity supply and distribution

The government recently permitted foreign investment up to 49% in power trading exchanges. This included a foreign direct investment component of 26%. The move is expected to strengthen power exchanges, enhance availability of electricity and improve its distribution. Here’s how:

WHAT ARE POWER EXCHANGES?

Power exchanges are online platforms that help generators and consumers come together and discover prices based on the demand-and-supply mechanism. India has two operating exchanges: Financial Technologies promoted India Energy Exchange, which owns about 93% market share, and Power Exchange India Ltd, which is jointly promoted by NSE and NCDEX. The two exchanges trade 2% of the total 800 billion units generated in the country. Two more power exchanges have been proposed: National Power Exchange, a joint venture of NTPCBSE 1.03 %, NHPC, PFC and TCS, and another by Ahmedabad-based Marquis Energy Exchange.

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Strong political will needed for power sector reforms: Fitch

Global rating agency Fitch today said that strong political will is necessary to achieve meaningful reforms in the power sector, even as the government has approved a debt restructuring plan for beleaguered state electricity boards.

Noting that debt restructuring for the SEBs would depend on meeting important conditions such as tariff revisions, Fitch Ratings said it should allow the entities to upgrade their infrastructure, curtail inefficiencies and improve credit profile.

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Bengal plans second power storage and generation facility

In a bid to manage the State’s widening gap between peak and off-peak electricity demands, the West Bengal Government is planning to set up the second pumped storage generation facility of 1000 MW at the Ayodhya Hills in Purulia district.

Construction of the estimated Rs 2,500-crore project is expected to be taken up by the State electricity distribution utility in 2014.

The State utility currently operates the country’s largest pumped storage facility of 900 MW at the Ayodhya Hills.

GRID STABILITY

Due to limited industrialisation, demand for power drops significantly in West Bengal during non-peak hours creating serious challenges before the power generation, transportation and distribution system.

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Mundra project tariff: Buyers to give more data to CERC

Tata Power subsidiary Coastal Gujarat Power Ltd that operates the Mundra Ultra Mega Power Project, and buyers led by Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd, will have to wait before their difference on tariff is resolved by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC).

At the hearing on Thursday, CERC has asked both stakeholders – the producer and the buyers — to submit more information.

Coastal Gujarat Power Ltd is seeking a mechanism to offset the production cost increase by passing it to the buyers.

The buyers, on the other hand, have opposed it.

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Odhisa RFS for 25 MW in hurry

 

Requests for Selection (RfS) are invited from eligible bidders for setting up of Solar PV Power Project of 25 MW capacity in any location in the state of Odisha for supplying solar power to GRIDCO.

RfS documents can be purchased from OREDA or downloaded.

Details can be had from www.oredaorissa.com

Important dates-

 

Uploading of RfS document on website 28.09.2012
Pre-bid meeting 16.10.2012
Last date for submission of the documents 15.11.2012

 

Forest panel’s no to Adani mining project in Maharashtra

A four-member committee headed by the Chandrapur range Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF), has denied permission to the proposed open cast mining project of the Adani Power Limited(APL) near Lohara in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra.

The proposed Lohara site is near the Tadoba Andheri Tiger Reserve (TATR) which is opposed by environmental activists which led to the formation of the committee.

It was headed by B.S.K.Reddy, CCF Chandrapur range.

The committee submitted its report earlier this month.

The report, a copy of which is with The Hindu, mentions that any mining lease allowed around the TATR would result in the isolation of the TATR form the rest of the Central Indian Landscape which would jeopardize the very survival of tigers in the TATR. The isolation of the healthy population would lead to gradual deterioration of the Tiger Reserve.

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