Monthly Archives: January 2014

Canadian Solar to Supply PV Modules for 2.1MW Solar Power Plant at Delhi International Airport

Canadian Solar Inc. (the “Company”, or “Canadian Solar”), one of the world’s largest solar power companies, today announced that it has been selected as the sole photovoltaic (“PV”) module supplier for a 2.1MW solar power plant at the Delhi International Airport in India.

“We are very pleased to supply our high efficiency modules to this landmark solar power project at the Delhi International Airport, which is so far the largest airport solar project in India,” commented Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar. “This is another example of our success in supplying our high quality modules to rapidly growing emerging markets, as we successfully execute on our market diversification strategy.”

Canadian Solar PV modules were selected because of the high quality of its modules, the excellent in-field performance track record in India, and the Company’s prior experience supplying modules to airport site solar power plants.

The construction of this project started in October 2013 and was completed in December 2013. Canadian Solar supplied its 60 cell high efficiency CS6P245P modules with power output of 245Wp for this project.

India’s ‘ultra mega’ 4GW solar project backers sign MoU

India’s Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises announced yesterday the joint venture developing the 4GW ultra mega solar power project (UMSPP), made up of six companies has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU).

The MoU stipulated the huge project is to be built over seven years, the first phase of which will be 1GW. The UMSPP wasannounced at Intersolar India in November last year.

The agreement was signed with attendance from Shri Praful Patel, Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises and the Minister of New and Renewable Energy, Farooq Abdullah.

The consortium of companies will be registered as a public enterprise under Druk Holding Investments (government investment arm of the ministry of finance), with headquarters in Delhi.

Representing the joint venture were the managing directors and executive chairmen: Shri Prasada Rao of Baharat Heavy Electricals, Shri Rajendra Nimde of the government run Solar Energy Corporation of India, Shri Tandon of land provider, Sambhar Salt Lake, Shri Nayak of Power Grid, Shri Singh of Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (a national and state government JV for hydropower) and Shri Jain of Rajasthan Electronics and Instruments Limited (state and national government venture for electrical technology advancement).

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10 predictions for clean energy

And so it is January, time for me to put down on paper what I think the year ahead will bring to the clean energy sector. Last year I talked about clean energy having lived through its Battle of Borodino moment, and surviving to regroup. I am going to stick with Russia this year, but shift scenes.

A few years ago, after a ski-mountaineering trip to Mount Elbrus in the Caucasus, I found myself in St. Petersburg as winter was coming to an end. The River Neva was frozen when I arrived, a wide crystalline stripe, running through the middle of that great city. Looking closely from the bridges, however, I could see that the ice was not quite static – it was moving up and down gently with the water beneath it. Long cracks were propagating across its surface. Within hours, the ice began to move, carried by the flow of the trapped river beneath, slowly first, and then quicker. Two days later there was no sign of ice whatsoever: the Neva had changed from a fixed white plain into a mysterious, dynamic, threatening and exciting river.

OK, so I am no Vladimir Nabokov. But this is an example of a phenomenon I have written about before in this column – phase change, the idea that when important transitions happen in complex systems, initially little on the surface appears to alter, and then suddenly the change is obvious for the eye to see. I believe that the energy system is on the cusp of such a transformation, and that 2014 is when it is about to become obvious to a whole lot more people.

Many of the signs have been building up in the past few years – the way the costs of solar and wind power have closed in on those for conventional power, even beginning to undercut them without subsidies in many parts of the world; the way grids have become capable of integrating much higher percentages of renewable electricity than previously possible; the way renewable energy with no marginal cost of production has disrupted the clearing prices of electricity markets; the way utilities are finally realising that this poses an existential threat to their business model; the way consumers have enthusiastically adopted new energy technologies when embodied in cool products like the Nest thermostat and the Tesla Model S; the way investors have started to become concerned about stranded fossil fuel assets. These are all tipping points – once passed, it is impossible to go back.

With that in mind, here are my 10 predictions for 2014, drawn up with the help of Bloomberg New Energy Finance chief editor Angus McCrone and our teams of analysts covering renewable energy, carbon, digital energy technology and storage, natural gas, conventional power and advanced transportation. As usual, we will be subjecting these predictions to merciless scrutiny at the end of the year, crowing about what we got right and fessing up to what we got wrong.

1. Clean energy investment turns the corner

I realise that we said something similar last year, and were wrong. Our preliminary figures for 2013, released on 15 January, showed that investment was $254 billion, down 11 per cent on 2012 and 20 per cent below the record $317.9 billion invested in 2011. Yet, this time I am more confident that the nadir has been passed. There are several reasons for that.

One is that after the near-80 per cent fall in PV module prices in 2008-12, there was in 2013 a further bout of deflation in photovoltaics as balance-of-plant costs tumbled. There was also a shift in the mix of PV installations worldwide from relatively more expensive residential, to cheaper utility-scale. In 2014, we may get a bit more system cost reduction, but another large shift in the mix looks unlikely. So, if we get a further rise in PV demand in MW terms – as we expect, see below – then solar investment should rise in dollar terms, rather than fall as it did last year.

Our analysts are also predicting a bounce back in wind installations in 2014 after last year’s lull, and public market investment should continue at 2013’s higher level, or better, as long as wider stock markets avoid a crash.

The end of last year also saw a big bounce in the number of “green bonds” being raised. While our team is still sorting out how much of this represents new money rather than refinancings, it is clear that mainstream debt providers are discovering the virtues of clean energy, and that is going to make a difference. We are also going to see a lot more “yieldcos”, public and private companies structured to hold a diversified bundle of clean energy assets, making them attractive to new groups of investors.

Finally, 2014 will see continued geographical diversification of the industry, including unsubsidised PV plants selling directly to the power grid in northern Chile, which will drive overall investment higher. So my hunch is that clean energy investment this year will be back closer to $300 billion – still not enough to deliver the scale of energy transformation we need, according to the International Energy Agency, but a clear move in the right direction.

2. New record for green bonds

One of the features of 2013 was a largely friendly debt market. For the first time since 2007 we got through a whole year without any sudden surges in risk premiums as a result of some new twist or turn in the great financial/fiscal crisis saga.

Wherever policy frameworks were stable in 2013, the clean energy sector benefitted from borrowing costs pushed down by competition between lenders and the cheapness of interest rate swaps resulting from low government bond yields.

Conditions may not be quite so benign in 2014 if, as expected, the US and UK central banks move towards raising interest rates, and their equivalents in Europe and Japan move past the point of maximum monetary looseness. It is unclear, however, whether raising central bank rates would push up the all-in cost of borrowing by much. Signs of a strengthening recovery should lead to lowering risk premiums, so higher base rates might have the perverse effect of driving economic activity in our sector.

In any case, while a somewhat higher cost of debt in Europe and the US would deter marginal projects, those with strong economics should go ahead. And in many parts of the world what is holding back projects is not the cost of debt per se, but risk premiums associated with policy uncertainty.

A continuing surge in green bond issuance in 2014 will add further downward pressure on lending costs. The latest Bloomberg New Energy Finance figures show $14 billion worth of clean energy project bonds and asset-backed securities were issued last year, far above the previous record from 2010 of $6.5 billion. The opening days of 2014 have seen signs this surge will continue: the European Investment Bank issued $860m worth of green bonds, and a similar amount has come from the World Bank and Export Development Canada combined. I would expect this year’s total figure to establish a new record, perhaps at $20 billion or higher.

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Defining New Paradigms in the Non-conventional Energy Sector

India’s growing energy deficit is compelling the government to be more receptive to adopt alternatives from renewable and unconventional resources of energy. Among the renewable energy alternatives, solar and wind energy are most sought after in Indian spectrum. As India has been blessed with vast solar intensities and is having low cost manufacturing sources, it has a lot of potential to become a global force. Indian Government’s regulatory and policy regime coupled with high peak prices make this opportunity lucrative for global investors and developers. Additionally, the government is adopting significant measures towards the implementation of large-scale solar power projects through various incentive schemes, thus, creating demand and boost investments in the sector.

Solar Power Industry India and Wind Power Industry India are the leading Co-located conferences scheduled to be held at Hotel Imperial on 11th Feb and 12th Feb, 2014 respectively to discuss the key issues facing this sector.

These conferences would serve as a platform for the presentation and exchange of both applied and fundamental experiences, researches and case studies on solar and wind power industry in India vis-à-vis international spectrum. The conferences aim to be the unique platform for key industry professionals, representing national as well as global markets, to engage in thought-leadership, review strategies and showcase new technologies to help develop business opportunities.

The conference will have submissions of abstracts and presentations to be delivered by a panel of key experts from the sector. The high level conferences will witness participation in excess of 200 senior managers who are key influencers in the arena of solar, wind and allied industry segments. The conference discussions will add significant value to the event and will help industry stakeholders tackle pertinent issues better.

Some of the Leading Speakers who are scheduled to address the conference are given below.

  • Sh. Tarun Kapoor, Joint Secretary, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy
  • Dr. Ashvini Kumar, Director, Solar Energy Corporation of India
  • Mr. Ravi Khanna, CEO-Solar Power, Aditya Birla Group
  • Mr. R K Kaura, CMD, Bergen Group of Companies
  • Mr. Bharat Bhushan, Senior Analyst, Bloomberg New Energy Finance
  • Ms. Purnima Gupta, Economic Advisor,Central Electricity Authority
  • Mr. Anish Rajgopal, Director, Chemtrols Solar & Chemtrols Group of Companies
  • Er. Shailendra Kumar Shukla,  Director, Chhattisgarh State Renewable Energy Development Agency
  • Mr. Vivek Vikram Singh, Director, Business Advisory Services, Grant Thornton India LLP
  • Mr. Ajay Prakash Shrivastava, President, Maharishi Solar Technology (P) Ltd.
  • Mr. Prafulla Pathak, Secretary General, Solar Energy Society of India
  • Mr. Kushagra Nandan,Co-Founder & President/COO, SunSource Energy
  • Mr. Himangshu Watts,Senior Editor, The Economic Times
  • Dr.T.C.Tripathi, Advisor
  • Sh. Avinash Bapat, CFO,IL&FS Energy Development Co. Ltd
  • Ms. Srishti Ahuja, Associate Director, Ernst & Young LLP
  • Sh. Kishor Nair, President, Welspun Energy
  • Sh. Ankur Rajan, Vice President, Green Infra Ltd

The conference will set the agenda for defining the new paradigms for the industry.

 

For More Information please contact:

Shveta Sethi, Sr. Conference Producer, International Trade and Exhibitions India Pvt. Ltd.

1106-1107, Kailash Building, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi – 110001
t: +91 (0) 11 4082 8230
f: +91 (0) 11 4082 8283

e: shveta.sethi@itei.in

Self-cleaning solar panel coating optimizes energy collection, reduces costs

Soiling—the accumulation of dust and sand—on solar power reflectors and photovoltaic cells is one of the main efficiency drags for solar power plants, capable of reducing reflectivity up to 50 percent in 14 days. Though plants can perform manual cleaning and brushing with deionized water and detergent, this labor-intensive routine significantly raises operating and maintenance costs (O&M), which is reflected in the cost of solar energy for consumers.

Under the sponsorship of the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy SunShot Concentrating Solar Power Program, Oak Ridge National Laboratory is developing a low-cost, transparent, anti-soiling (or self-cleaning) coating for solar reflectors to optimize energy efficiency while lowering O&M costs and avoiding negative environmental impacts.

The coating—which is being designed by members of the Energy and Transportation Science Division, including Scott Hunter, Bart Smith, George Polyzos, and Daniel Schaeffer—is based on a superhydrophobic coating technology developed at ORNL that has been shown to effectively repel water, viscous liquids, and most solid particles. Unlike other superhydrophobic approaches that employ high-cost vacuum deposition and chemical etching to nano-engineer desired surfaces, ORNL’s coatings are deposited by conventional painting and spraying methods using a mixture of organics and particles. In addition to being low-cost, these methods can be deployed easily in the field during repairs and retro-fitting.

There are, however, challenges to the successful development of such a transparent, anti-soiling coating. First, the coating must be very superhydrophobic to minimize the need for occasional cleaning, and it must have minimal (or even zero) effect on the transmission and scattering of solar radiation between the wavelengths of 250 to 3,000 nm. To meet these requirements, the coating must be no more than a few hundred nanometers thick, and the embedded particles must be considerably smaller. The extremely thin coating must also be durable under environmental exposure, including UV radiation and sand erosion, and be compliant according to the US Environmental Protection Agency Clean Air Act emission standards—which limits the selection and combination of particles and organics that can be used effectively.

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Su-Kam ties up with Dhampur Sugar to sell solar power products

Power solutions provider Su-Kam Power Systems has tied up with Dhampur Sugar Mills to sell solar products in rural pockets across Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Su-Kam’s products would be hawked through ‘e-haats’ run by Dhampur Sugar, which is a leading integrated sugar company in India.

E–haats are retail outlets present in over 350 villages in UP & Uttarakhand and is one-stop shop for agricultural equipment, bio-fertilisers, soil testing and other agri services.

E-haats cover Sambhal, Bijnor, Bareilly, Rampur, Bulandshahar, Aligarh, Badaun, Gunnaur and Muzzafarnagar districts in UP.

As per agreement, Su-Kam power products would be displayed in e-haats, including Brainy – the world’s first solar hybrid UPS.

These products would enable customers to install solar system in homes and utilise solar energy generated from the panel to charge battery and reduce grid power consumption.

Su-Kam shall leverage Dhampur’s rural reach to connect with the rural masses in these two states, Su-Kam, general manager, solar network, Dhananjay Sharma said.

“Through this initiative, Su-Kam shall be offering technologically advanced value for money solar products to people, thereby helping them in both generating and saving energy through solar power usage,” he added.

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CG Announces Q3 FY2013-14 Results

Avantha Group Company CG today announced its financial results for the third quarter ended December 31, 2013.

Consolidated Performance Highlights for Q3 FY14 v/s Q3FY13

  • Net Sales up by 12.7% to Rs. 3,352 crore as against Rs 2,972 crore
  • EBITDA without other income at Rs 167 crore  as against Rs 2 crore       
  • Net profit stood at Rs 62 crore as against a Net loss of Rs 189 crore

The Consolidated Net Sales rose by 12.7% to Rs. 3,352 crore as against Rs. 2,972 crore in the same period of last year. Net Profit for the quarter stood at Rs.62 crore as against a Net Loss of Rs 189 crore in Q3FY13.

During the quarter, CG consolidated received orders worth Rs. 2,624 crore, this was up by 16% against Q3 last year. The order backlog as on December 31, 2013 stands at Rs. 10,074 crore.

The orders from Non-Indian operations rose by 47% during the quarter compared to the same period of last year. Driven by the smart grid business, the automation division witnessed a growth of 60% during the quarter as compared to the same period of the last fiscal.

In the first nine-months of the fiscal FY13-14, Consolidated Net Profit was at Rs 180 crore as compared to consolidated Net Loss of Rs 61.41 crore in the nine-months to December 31st 2012.  Net Sales during the period was up by 11.5% to Rs 9,714 crore as against Rs 8,707 crore in the same period of FY12-13.

CEO and Managing Director, Laurent Demortier of Avantha Group Company CG said The third quarter performance was in line with our expectations. Despite a difficult market environment, we have been able to secure high quality orders across all regions. Operating margins have been steadily improving on account of cost-cutting measures and benefits of exports from India.”

About CG

Avantha Group Company CG is a global pioneering leader in the management and application of electrical energy. With more than 15,000 employees across its operations in around 85 countries, CG provides electrical products, systems and services for utilities, power generation, industries, and consumers. The company is organized into three business groups: Power, Industrial, and Consumer. CG clocks US$ 2.3 billion in revenue from product lines that cover the entire value chain of engineering offerings. 

For more information on CG, please visit: www.cgglobal.com

About Avantha 

The Rs. 25,000 crores (US$4bn) Avantha Group is one of India’s leading business conglomerates. Its successful entities in diversified sectors include Crompton Greaves (power transmission and distribution equipment and services), BILT (paper and pulp), The Global Green Company Limited (food processing), Biltech Building Elements Limited (infrastructure), Avantha Power (energy), Salient Business Solutions Limited (IT and ITES), Jg Glass (glass containers).

With a global footprint, the Group operates in 90 countries with more than 25,000 employees worldwide.  Led by Gautam Thapar, Avantha demonstrates strong leadership globally and emerges as a focused corporate, leveraging its knowledge, leadership and operations, adding lasting value for its stakeholders and investors.

Power utilities bat for regulatory certainty, rise in return on equity

In its submission to the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) on the draft tariff regulations for 2014-19, NTPC has made a strong case to retain incentives linked to plant availability factor (the capacity available to generate power), arguing otherwise, its investment of Rs 1,04,000 crore in 14,121 Mw of capacity being developed would be at risk.

The draft regulations recommend incentives to power plants be based on plant load factor, or the power actually produced for a buyer.

The company, which earned a profit of Rs 19,554.07 crore in the quarter ended December, said the shift to tax recovery based on actual parameters – actual profit before tax and the actual tax paid – was inconsistent with a normative approach.

Also, projects planned for the coming years, according to various power purchase agreements (which require an investment of around Rs 4,80,000 crore) will be adversely affected, it said. According to NTPC, if benefits meant for developers under section 80IA of the Income tax Act are provided to beneficiaries, it will defeat the purpose of the Act to attract investments in the power sector. Adani Power pressed for regulatory certainty and said uncertainty in the regulatory approach might hit investor confidence. According to Adani Power, the tariff policy emphasised on predictability and consistency in regulatory approach. It stresses the need to continue the current norm of pre-tax return on equity (RoE).

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Govt mulls setting up solar, wind power project in Gujarat

The Centre is looking at setting up a solar and wind power project in Gujarat at the land available with state-owned Hindustan Salts.

“Hindustan Salt has 20,000 acre land in Gujarat, where we propose to set up a solar and wind power project of 4,000 MW or more generation capacity,” Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Praful Patel said here today.

“It is totally feasible as the topography is suitable for production of solar power,” he said, adding that preliminary studies on the feasibility of the proposed plant are on.

“Once the studies are made available we would go ahead with the Gujarat project as well,” he added.

Patel was speaking at a function where State-run BHEL, SECI (Solar Energy Corporation of India), SSL (Sambhar Salt Ltd),Power Grid Corporation, SJVNL (Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam) and REIL (Rajasthan Electronics & Instruments Ltd) joined hands to set up a 4,000 MW ultra mega solar power project at Sambhar in Rajasthan.

It envisages an investment of Rs 7,500 crore in the first phase, BHEL Chairman and Managing Director B P Rao said here.

The project will come up on surplus land available with SSL in Sambhar.

Source

Agricultural and Industrial Biogas Plants Go Online in UK

For the roll-out of their biogas projects throughout the United Kingdom, agricultural and industrial
operators rely on the long-standing experience of WELTEC BIOPOWER (UK) Ltd. No wonder: WELTEC is
one of the pioneers in the field of AD plant building in the British Isles.
The first two WELTEC plants in the United Kingdom, which were established in 2006, were among the first 15
biogas plants of the entire plant population. In recognition of their innovative overall concept, several WELTEC
projects have already won renowned UK awards. The awards underline the fact that on the UK biogas market,
WELTEC BIOPOWER (UK) Ltd. sets technological standards. The excellent reputation of the premium plants is
based especially on the great experience in the field of waste plants, for which WELTEC supplies everything
needed – from the substrate processing to the input system to all other components – from one source.
In the next months, two new WELTEC plants will go live in the UK: In Londonderry, Northern Ireland, the
500-kW AD plant of the Foyle Food Group will commence operations. The industrial meat processing
company will feed the 3000-m³ stainless-steel digesters entirely with waste from its own abattoirs in the
vicinity, primarily with stomach contents and flotation fat. On site, WELTEC has integrated a hygienisation
unit, a 530-m³ digestate storage unit and the sturdy MULTIMix input system.
The new agricultural 500-kW plant in Leicester is a biogas plant that makes use of a conventional mix of
renewable raw materials. The operator, an agricultural contractor with an own cropping farm, mainly uses
maize silage as substrate.

WELTEC-Plant Leicester
To address the demand in the UK on site, WELTEC has operated a nationwide network of sales partners since
2005. WELTEC is also effectively positioned in the service segment, an aspect that not only WELTEC plant
operators benefit from. „Our service offer is independent of the plant manufacturer and expressly targets
the entire UK biogas market“, explains Chris Jellet, WELTEC Sales Manager.
The team is prepared for all eventualities: Near the company headquarters in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire,
WELTEC maintains a comprehensive warehouse stocked with strategically important wear and spare parts.
„In this way, we can assist all operators in the event of an emergency. To us, customer proximity is a key
concern“, adds Chris Jellett. Additionally, WELTEC secures the uninterrupted biological fermentation process
and thus the economic success of the plants through monitoring by means of its own lab service.
Based on this philosophy, WELTEC BIOPOWER (UK) Ltd. can guarantee a high quality standard throughout the
country and is prepared for the growing number of UK biogas plants: Currently, three biomethane refineries
and more than 120 AD plants are in operation, with more to come. Of these, 40 percent are agricultural
plants, and about 60 percent are industrial or municipal plants that use organic waste.

In 2010, the UK government bundled a package of measures that focus on the generation of biogas from
organic waste. Every year, about 100 million tons of organic wastes (20 percent of which are food leftovers)
accumulate in the country. The UK is considered Europe‘s Number One in terms of biogas potential and
belongs to the „202020 Network“. The objective of the countries participating in the network is to increase
the share of green energy to 20 percent and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by the
year 2020. By then, 100 large and 1,000 smaller plants with a total output of approximately 1,100 MW are
to be connected to the grid. From the technological perspective, there is no reason why the achievement
of this goal should fail.

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