Monthly Archives: December 2012

Renewable Energy: Driver for India’s rural livelihood programs?

In Aroha Bhawani village of India’s northern Uttar Pradesh state, Siddharth Mishra, a mobile phone shop owner has installed solar PV modules on his shop and is providing lighting services to neighbouring shops with a DC system. Through co-financing, he has been able to pay the high upfront cost of solar PV and is now successfully running a solar lighting business for which he charges a nominal monthly fee from users.

This project, one among several established and upcoming projects in India and countries in South East Asia and Africa, is an example of how renewable energy can be used as a driver for livelihood generation in rural areas.

In remote areas, where electricity access is either non-existent or negligible, new energy sources have the potential to drastically alter opportunities for education, business and other productive work. There are many challenges to such projects, but with a variety of different financing options, subsidies and innovative models for revenue collection, community participation and business development, it is expected that such energy-driven livelihoods generation models will evolve from their current status as individual projects to large scale programmes.

Livelihood generation, which involves a set of economic activities for generation of income or other resources for meeting the requirements of households, agriculture or any other business activity, is by itself not a new concept. There are several successful examples of such initiatives in Indian rural areas, driven by one or two large focal points or drivers such as irrigation, food production, guaranteed employment, milk production, animal husbandry and so on.

Energy for the creation of livelihood opportunities becomes an essential factor regardless of what the focal point of intervention is. Energy is required for water pumping in agriculture, for the operation of machines in small scale industries and micro enterprises and so on. Generally, areas that have good quality and reliable power capitalise on this and create new livelihood opportunities. Therefore, efforts should be made to extend reliable electricity services to off-grid areas so that similar initiatives can be started and scaled up.

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Demand for Clean-Energy Credits in India Doubled in December

Demand for Indian renewable-energy credits more than doubled in December from the previous month with volumes rising to the second-highest level this year.

Bids from companies seeking to buy credits climbed 106 percent from the November trading session, while sell bids gained 18 percent, according to data from REConnect Energy Solutions Pvt., an Indore-based trader. The credits sold for 1,500 rupees ($27) each, the floor price set by the regulator.

“One of the reasons for the increase could be that India’s Central Electricity Regulator is deciding on increasing the validity of renewable-energy credits for more than one year,” saidBharat Bhushan, a New Delhi-based analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “This could lead to a rise in prices in the future as sellers may tend to hold on to credits.

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US self-reliance may secure India’s energy future -The Pipe Runneth Over

The Mitt Romney-Barack Obama presidential debates in October had one man in New Delhi hooked. D.K. Sarraf, Managing Director, ONGC Videsh Ltd, the state-run overseas explorer, would plonk himself before a television early in the day and hang on to every word.

Sarraf is no avid America watcher – his interest in the three debates was the United States’s energy policy and the two contenders’ stance on it. The interest arises largely from recent developments in the global energy market where the US is expected to supplant Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer in another decade. It’s not just that which is churning the global energy market. It’s also the shale gas and oil sands finds in the US and Canada in recent years that are leading to ferment in energy circles.

In addition, in August, the US adopted stringent vehicular mileage norms. The Obama administration set goals to double average mileage norms by 2025, a decision that the US auto industry has agreed with. The implication: the US will reduce oil consumption by about 10 per cent and potentially halve imports from OPEC nations before a newborn today turns 12. OPEC is short for Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, a 12-country body mostly dominated by West Asian members which call the shots on how much crude oil to produce every day.

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3 member committee to probe fire mishap at RTP

3 member committee to probe fire mishap at RTP
Sunday December 30, 2012
A three member committee has been constituted to probe fire mishap & blast at furnace oil tank of Ropar thermal plant.
A major tragedy was averted at Ropar thermal plant after furnace oil tank exploded on Saturday late evening. The bursting of furnace oil tank led to major fire that was controlled by 10 fire tenders from Ropar, Nangal and Mohali. Heavy furnace oil in the tank was completely burnt before fire was extinguished after six hours.
According to official sources the quantity oil level in HFO tank was low with a dip of about 1.4 meters. The oil burnt was about 200 kiloliter worth Rs. 1.25 crore. The very high pressure devolved inside HFO tank no. 2 which led bursting of oil tank and blowing of its top.
How the high pressure was devolved inside is a cause of concern & matter of investigation , said an official. Even fire hydrants installed failed to operate after hydrant pipe was damaged by falling top of tank at a distance. The manpower shortage at fire station is also a matter of concern.
Director Generation visited the plant and three member team to investigate the incidence. The committee will be headed by K Lal Chief Engineer Ropar thermal plant. The other members of the committee are J K Gupta Dy. CE operation Lehra Mohabatt thermal & R K Jindal Dy. CE Mechanical Maintenance.
A New Year party was going on at the officers club at plant site when the explosion in oil tank followed by major fire occurred. The Deputy Commissioner Ropar was also present at the function.

State utility allowed to buy cheaper power

Residents of the state, including those staying in Mumbai, can hope to pay less for power after Maharashtra electricity distribution company (MSEDCL) was on Thursday allowed to buy 1,090 MW cheaper energy from Indiabulls Realtech Ltd and Adani Power Maharashtra Ltd for the next 25 years.

With the purchase of cheaper power, Maharashtra may even get the much awaited tag of a load-shedding-free state.

In its order, the Maharashtra electricity regulatory commission said MSEDCL could sign long-term power purchase agreements with Indiabulls for 650 MW and Adani Power for 440 MW at Rs 3.42 per unit and 3.28 per unit.

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Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission announces charges for power utility services

The application and processing charges for power consumers in the city for services such as-new connection, reduction or addition of power load, shifting or extension of services, change in tariff category or facilitation of temporary connection-would be Rs 50 for a single phase connection and Rs 75 for a three-phase connection.

The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) on Friday announced one-time charges for consumers of power utilities in Mumbai-Reliance Infrastructure, Tata Power and BEST. Except for differences in meter charges and service connections for multiple-phase low and high-tension categories of consumers, majority of the one-time charges are similar for consumers of all three utilities.

Fuse repair and re-installation of meter would cost Rs 100 and Rs 300 respectively for RInfra consumers. In case of dishonoured cheques, the fine would be Rs 250 for the consumers of BEST, TPC and RInfra.

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Study stresses on renewable energy to manage TN power crisis

Hit by acute power shortage, Tamil Nadu would be able to overcome the situation only with a change in “mindset” of policy makers and industry leaders regarding integration of renewable energy sources like solar and wind energy given its abundant availability in the state, a study has revealed.

The project – “Action plan for comprehensive Renewable Energy development in Tamil Nadu” was undertaken by World Institute of Sustainable Energy (WISE), CII and non-profit organisation – Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation.

“The project has revealed that renewable sources of energy are abundant, can be managed and that the main problem with Renewable Energy integration is not technical. It is our mindset”, World Institute of Sustainable Energy Director General, G.M Pillai said.

Noting the report has identified that renewable energy integration would lead to 36,340 MW of new renewable energy capacity during the 12th and 13th five year plans, he said, “We are so tuned to the comforts of a predictable centralised conventional-machine model and associated network that renewable energy seems like an unwieldy change bringing us out of our comfort zones.”

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Mumbai-based ‘Carbon Clean Solutions’ gets Rs 33 crore grant from British government

A combination of innovative technology, efficient pricing and patented solutions has helped catapult a class room project on clean technology into a startup venture that is garnering global attention.

Carbon Clean Solutions (CCS), founded by two graduates from the Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur, has built technology that has the potential to cut the cost of capturing carbon dioxide by more than half, an application that can be widely used by coal-fired power plants.
Aniruddha Sharma, 26, and Prateek Bumb, 27, who first worked on this as a college project, have now been awarded a grant of Rs 33 crore by the United Kingdom’s Department of Energy and Climate Change.

The Mumbai-based firm, which was chosen as a winner in a global carbon capture and storage innovation competition, will use the grant for larger-scale demonstration of the technology at power plants.

“This technology will be a step -change in the way emissions are managed and mitigated globally,” says Dr Martin Haemmig, a Stanford University researcher and lecturer and a mentor to CCS.

The firm is not only helping power plants and large scale emitters to combat climate change, but it is also enabling them to sell captured carbon as a raw material for making marketable chemicals, fire extinguishers, dry ice and fizzy drinks.

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1200 kv Bina power substation dedicated to nation

Union Minister of State for Power (independent charge) Jyotiraditya Scindia on Wednesday dedicated the Power Grid Corporation of India’s 1200 kv national test station at Bina to the nation.

The 1200 kv substation is based on indigenous technology. The substation would function at an Ultra High Voltage (UHV) AC. This substation also happens to be the highest voltage scale in the world and is a great achievement for the PGCIL.

The substation would supply electricity to Guna, Indore and Gwalior, besides other metropolitan cities of the country. Substations of 220, 400 and 765 kv already exist in Bina and with the launch of this substation, it would fare prominently on the power sector world map.

The project is a unique example of public-private partnership in which all UHV appliances have been developed by the Indian manufacturers’ consortium with the Power Grid making available adequate resources, basic systems design and specifications. The manufacturers have developed appropriate facilities for designing, manufacture and testing of various appliances.

The project would be a milestone in the country’s energy transmission sector. This would help transmission over long distances from remote production centres to load centres. It would also reduce the ‘right off’ and effect on vegetation and animalsand would ensure economical development of wholesale power transmission corridors in the country.

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APSRTC inaugurates solar plant at HCU bus depot

In an effort to use alternative forms of energy for its daily operations, the APSRTC has decided to tap solar power. The Corporation has proposed to install solar power plants at 105 bus stations, garages and bus depots across the State.

One such power plant was inaugurated at Hyderabad Central University Bus Depot here on Thursday by APSRTC Vice Chairman and Managing Director, A. K. Khan. It is being undertaken in collaboration with Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

The Rs. 85.11-crore project is taken up on RESCO (Renewable Energy Service Company) model wherein the investments is being made by MNRE and APSRTC will pay for the solar power generated in the project, said Mr. Khan while speaking to media personnel. The proposal was accepted as it was beneficial to the Corporation, he added.

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