Monthly Archives: March 2014

Suzlon eyes Rs 10,000 crore London Stock Exchange listing for arm

MUMBAI: Suzlon Energy, world’s fifth largest wind turbine manufacturer, is planning to sell shares in its German subsidiary Senvion SE (erstwhile RE Power) to raise Rs 10,000-crore by listing it on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

The company will have to dilute 25% stake in Senvion to meet the UK listing norms and expects a Rs 40,000-crore valuation for its crown jewel. The share sale is likely to be the biggest offering in rupee terms by an Indian firm in the global market in recent years.

“Suzlon is planning to sell shares of its global firm Senvion to list it on LSE to raise a billion pounds. The company is in talks with financial institutions and banks for private placement of equity and has got assurance from one of the non-lenders to buy its shares in the private placement to benchmark the price,” said a source in the know of the development, without elaborating on the pricing of the share sale.

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Meteopole signs its first wind power optimisation agreement in India

Meteopole has announced the imminent launch of the very first project in India using the nacelle-mounted Wind Iris LIDAR for performance optimisation of operating wind farms.

The company has partnered with Singapore-basedContinuum Wind Energy on the project which has pioneered the use of LIDAR in India. The technology is already in operation elsewhere around the world with companies such as Siemens, Areva, GDF-Suez, Nordex, Enercon GmbH and others. Three turbines will be selected for power performance optimization from the twenty operating turbines at Surajbari wind farm in Gujarat. This wind farm was formerly operated by Vestas before it was acquired by Continuum Wind Energy.

“This is MeteoPole’s first wind power performance optimization project in India” said CEO Karim Fahssis. “We will keep our partners in the Indian industry updated on a regular basis of the results of our ambitious project and will issue in the upcoming months white papers and business cases. We believe this project will once and for all demonstrate that such a technology can definitely be implemented in the Indian context with high profitability, as it is already the case in the US, Europe, China, Thailand, Korea and Morocco.”

Mr Fahssis added that there was a need for more pragmatic, service-focussed providers who were willing to partner and grow with top IPPs like Continuum Wind energy and take on the role of a trusted technical advisor as well as a technology provider.

The pilot project will showcase the technology to the Indian market, exploring the technology’s full range of capabilities which includes yaw corrections, power curve measurements, nacelle anemometry calibration and wind sector management.

DERC seeks permission from EC to initiate for power tariff hikes

Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) has sought permission from Delhi Electoral Office to initiate the process of power tariff hike, citing it needs at least 30 days from the date of public notice to complete the exercise before finalizing the power tariff. The step comes with power distribution companies and New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC)’s submission that they were finding it very difficult to purchase power from the National Grid and other states and are incurring losses.

The new power tariff is expected from June 1.

“In order to complete the process of tariff determination, DERC is required to invite comments/objections/suggestions from all stakeholders and public at large through a public notice and also hold public hearing sessions, thereby giving opportunity to all stakeholders to submit their views on Aggregate Revenue Requirement/truce up petitions.

“The Commission should consider all such comments/objections/suggestions received either in writing or during the public hearing before finalizing the tariff order for the year 2014-15,” the DERC said in its letter.

Chief nodal officer Ankur Garg said power tariff hike would be permitted only after the election results are announced on May 16.

Reliance-owned BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPL) has in its petition stated an ARR of Rs 9,361 crore for the coming year.

BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL) has shown an ARR of Rs 5,527 crore whereas Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL) has estimated its revenue requirement for the same period at Rs 6,079 crore.

If these losses are accepted by DERC, then power tariffs for this year are set to hit the roof.

NDMC has proposed fixed charge to be increased by flat 60 percent and energy charges by 15-38 percent for different consumers.

For the single delivery system, it has proposed Rs 3.90 per unit up to 200 unit; Rs 5 for between 201-400 unit; Rs 6.20 for up to 401-800 unit and Rs 9 for above 800 units.

Source- TOI

In Search of Light………….

Ratul Puri wanted an image makeover for Moser Baer Power Projects and the best possible way was to shed the baggage of the name. Moser Baer was founded by Puri’s father Deepak in 1983 and the company became a household name for selling cheap CDs, DVDs and rewritable discs. But Puri had forayed into a completely different business of power generation by the end of 2008. After about four years he decided to change the company name to Hindustan Powerprojects Pvt. Ltd. (HPPPL).

“We were building a new identity,” says Puri.

HPPPL is not a subsidiary of Moser Baer and nor does Puri’s father hold any shares in the company. About 65 per cent of the company is owned by Puri and his children (the rest of the company’s equity is with institutional investors). More than two years ago Puri stepped down from the board of Moser Baer and since then has been busy building the power generation business which he thinks will grow exponentially in the future.

Puri rattles off a few statistics to Business Today on the sidelines of the India Today Conclave in New Delhi to explain why he is betting big on power. “In the power sector India needs to invest about a trillion dollars to match the deficit in the next 20 years,” says Puri. HPPPL will focus on coal thermal, hydro and solar power plants. The company is already India’s largest solar power generation company. It generates 350 megawatt solar power which Puri intends to increase to 1.5 gigawatt in the next three years. He has already pumped in more than Rs 6,000 crore to build solar power assets for boosting generation capacity. Another Rs 6,000 crore has gone into building coal thermal plants in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and a distribution network.

By 2016, Puri will pump in Rs 32,000 crore into HPPPL ‘ of which Rs 13,500 crore has already been utilised by the company ‘ to raise its power generation capacity to six gigawatt. Thermal power will account for four gigawatts, 1.5 gigawatt will come from solar and the rest from hydro. This is likely to put it among the top five power producers in the country. NTPC is the leading power generation company in India currently with an installed capacity of almost 43 gigawatt. Puri says he does not want to depend entirely on thermal power because there will be a shortage of coal in India in the future. He does not want to depend on imported coal. “How can we depend on a supply chain that sits in a third party country,” he says.

While HPPPL’s thermal plants in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are yet to go on stream, it began solar power generation in 2010/11. The company had an EBITDA (earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation) of Rs 500 crore from its solar business in 2012/13.

The first phase of HPPPL’s thermal power plant in Madhya Pradesh is likely to be commissioned in the next couple of quarters and will help the company generate 1,200 megawatt of power by the end of 2014/15. Its hydro and solar plants will generate another 1,000 megawatt by then. Next in line is the commissioning of the second phase of the thermal power plant in Madhya Pradesh, followed by Chhattisgarh.

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More problems for the DCR projects queued up in India

Sneha Shah wrote on 28 Mar, 2014

Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission Phase II in India emphasized on the generation of solar power through domestic cells. It called for bids to set up 750 MW of solar projects, out of which 375 MW should be from domestically manufactured cells. The government had set aside 375 MW of solar projects, which should be built exclusively using domestic solar cell and modules (this includes thin film solar PV technology), while the other 375 MW has been kept aside for foreign made solar cells and modules. Though this was done to boost the domestic solar industry in India, it has started setting up more bottlenecks for the country. The Indian Solar industry lacks the competence and the quality when compared to its international counterparts. The foreign component received a much bigger response in the number and size of bids, as it is cheaper and easier to procure solar module from foreign companies than the Indian ones. The Indian solar manufacturing has been badly hurt by the lack of DCR in the earlier phase. They are unable to compete on costs, technology, reliability and other parameters with the large Chinese and USA solar panel suppliers.

In a letter signed by the Director General of the National Solar Federation sent to the MNRE and SECI, he mentions that not more than 35% of the projects would be completed in the given time frame, pointing out the problems faced by the industry in India currently. The reasons being that the actual operational capacity of the cells manufactured locally is not up to the mark and also that most of the plants are not competitive given their old equipments and technology. There are also financing problems, with lenders not ready to lend money because of the prevailing low quality issues. This has led to the prices increasing by ~ 16% per Wp, than the initial price quotation before the bid, which has challenged the viability of the DCR projects.

India’s JNNSM’s Phase II have already been delayed due to funding and payment security concerns. However, the NSF Director General believes that given the current scenario, a further delay of 13 to 24 months can be expected for the DCR projects.

Source:http://www.greenworldinvestor.com/2014/03/28/more-problems-for-the-dcr-projects-queued-up-in-india/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GreenWorldInvestor+%28Green+World+Investor%29

TPDDL challenges start of commercial operation of CLP India’s Jhajjar plant

delhi’s private electricity distributor, Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd (TPDDL), has challenged the declaration of commercial operation of CLP India’s 1,320 Megawatt (Mw)Jhajjar power plant in Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC). The Tata Power arm has an agreement to source 10% (132 Mw) of the project’s power.

Through the petition, TPDDL has sought a declaration that commercial operation (COD) date declared by Jhajjar Power Limited (JPL) was fraudulent because JPL does not have a fuel supply agreement and is, therefore, not in a position to generate power. TPDDL has also sought to reclaim around Rs 33 crore of transmission charges it has paid for transfer of power from the project to Delhi.

A CERC official confirmed the matter was listed for hearing today. The commission clubbed the petition with other related disputes over COD of projects, said another person close to the development. CLP India refused to comment on the issue. “This matteris sub-judice now and therefore we will not be able to comment,” the company said in response to an e-mail query from Business Standard. The Indian arm of Hongkong-based CLP Group represents the second-largest Foreign Direct Investment in the Indian power sector.

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Surat moves towards becoming a solar city.

The Diamond City will start producing nearly 3.35 lakh units of solar power per annum from next month. Solar roof top panels with a capacity of generating 1,250 kilowatt (kw) are functional at 15 places.

Surat is to become one of the solar cities in India under the solar mission of Union ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE).

Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) started production of solar power last April by installing 500 kw solar panels atop Science Center and has produced 1.35 lakh units of electricity in one year.

Roof top panels have been installed at Katargam water works, eight water distribution centres, Varachha and Limbayat zone office, Narmad library building, SMIMER College and SMC main building at Mugalsarai. Together they have a capacity of 750kw.

“Solar panels at all these places are under the testing phase and will become operative by April 1. The production of electricity from these places will be directly fed to distribution grid of Torrent power which is the energy regulator here. We will be paid Rs 11.57 per unit as decided under MoU with Torrent,” said Jatin Shah, city engineer with SMC. This solar power generation will save SMC nearly Rs 45 lakh.

“We are planning to expand our solar power generation capacity to 3,000 kw by the end of 2015,” said Shah. SMC aims to achieve its goal of producing more than 90 per cent of its energy requirements through non-conventional sources by 2015-16. Industries will have to be persuaded to produce green energy as SMC’s green energy production constitutes only a very small part of the city’s total requirements.

Web based tool for assessing potential of rooftop solar power in India

Rooftop solar devices must be promoted in an accelerated manner to reduce dependent on fossil fuels and ensure energy security in India, experts said.

Experts highlighted the need for promoting rooftop solar system at a conference here recently. The event was focused on promoting rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system in India.

The highlight of the conference was launch of a web-based tool that will aid estimation of roof top solar potential for city of Chandigarh.

The tool is first of its kind in India and has to potential to be replicated for all cities of India in a cost effective manner.

The tool has been developed by The Energy & Resources Institute (TERI) in collaboration with Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation.

The tool will help establish and assess viability of business models and policy mechanisms towards realisation of the assessed solar power potential through site specific project deployment efforts.

Exports on the occasion emphasised on the need for developing a conducive environment for rooftop PV policy in India and requisite supporting mechanisms for accelerated deployment of solar devices.

Governor of Punjab Shivraj Patil delivered the inaugural address at the conference attended by the delegates and officials from different government departments and ministries including new and renewal energy, power, environment and telecom.

Chief of programmes at Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation Chinmaya Acharya said the costs of solar products have come down over the years, and so, rooftop solar devices must be promoted in an accelerated manner.

Acharya highlighted the need for bringing “Solar Revolution” in India, saying it would ensure energy security in the country which is hugely dependent on imported oil to meet demands.

“The Green Revolution brought food security to India, while the White Revolution made India the largest producer of milk in the world. The time has come for a solar revolution in the energy sector as there is wide recognition about the energy security challenge in India,” he said.

Rooftop solar segment while being a key potential source of decentralised energy option, remains in a nascent stage of development in India due to multiple reasons.

Barriers to tap the huge latent potential of rooftop solar PV include high first cost of installation for consumers, lack of financing by banks, lack of public awareness, deficient supply chain and slow evolving state policies.

Experts called for addressing these issues and appreciated the web based tool as a first step in addressing some of these barriers.

Can Europe Achieve a Clean, Affordable Power Balance???

Change is sweeping the European power industry as the integration of renewables gains pace. How Europe eventually navigates through these dramatic changes will fascinate power decision makers globally. The debate over whether renewables would form a significant part of the future power generation infrastructure has moved on considerably within the last two years: the question is no longer ‘if’ the transition will take place, but ‘how’ an industry traditionally comprised of large units of coal, gas or nuclear power generation running 24/7 as base load is going to adapt to accommodate it.

Renewables and low carbon technologies are only going to increase as a proportion of the installed base, yet genuine integration of these onto European grids has been relatively slow and the practical implications of this industry transformation are becoming ever more evident. Moreover, many European nations are actually burning more coal now than they have been in recent years, due largely to the drop in coal prices relative to gas prices (the shale boom in the U.S. leading to a flood of cheap coal on world markets) and also because the collapse of the EU’s emissions trading scheme has enabled nations to rely more heavily on older, less clean and efficient coal plants still in operation.

The lights may not have gone out yet, but experts are predicting that within the next year or two, some European countries will see power cuts, brownouts or rolling blackouts because of aging infrastructure no longer being available to cover the intermittency of renewable power. The fact is that the European power industry has so far failed to put in place the necessary framework to support renewed investment in its aging infrastructure.  Add in the perverse situation that modern, often relatively new gas fired power plants across Europe are being mothballed or closed down because they don’t fit the current market model and it becomes very clear that the industry urgently needs renewed focus.

German Microcosm

Nowhere has the scale and complexity of the challenge been more apparent than in Germany, where the politically driven ‘Energiewende’ (Energy Transition) has placed the delicate balancing act that Europe’s power industry must perform at the heart of business and political discussion: on the one hand, consumers want clean and affordable energy, politicians want reliable supply, greater interconnection and a single market for electricity; on the other, the rise in renewables is placing the margins of established utilities under immense pressure, whilst replacing conventional power with intermittent sources that ultimately are less reliable and more costly for the electricity system as a whole.

Germany’s mandated phase-out of nuclear power and boom in renewable energy has cut dependency on major utilities to the extent that some have seen the value of their balance sheet drop by half since 2008. This brings with it a significant impact on the ability of these established players to invest in the infrastructure required to support for example, the transmission of electricity to heavy load areas in the South of the country from the offshore wind turbines being constructed in the North.

To address this challenge, one of Germany’s major utilities, RWE, is looking to adopt a new ‘capital-light’ approach under which it will partner with third parties to fund more expensive renewable projects. It has also outlined plans to expand in the retail market, in areas such as energy services and management. Meanwhile, Germany is also seeing the role of its municipal utilities — which are known as ‘Stadtwerke’ — grow in prominence as dependence on larger players declines.

Municipal utilities are majority state-owned, have more flexibility in that they offer combined heat and power, and in some cases water and steam, and their success is cited by those in Germany pushing for a renationalising of the power industry — a trend known as ‘re-municipalisation’. One other model being explored by municipals in partnership with technology providers is the creation of ‘virtual power plants’, in which a number of small-scale, distributed energy sources are pooled and operated as a single installation.

Interconnection and Decentralisation

Certainly, utilities across Europe will need to reconfigure their business models in light of the role they will play moving forward. Their core expertise lies in constructing and operating plants, but they own assets across the value chain — i.e. power generation, transmission grid, and renewables. It will be vital for the industry to exploit this invaluable expertise and for the utilities to position themselves more as enablers of the system, rather than being centralised producers of power.

Decentralisation of the system is already apparent in Germany and other countries such as Scandinavia and Eastern Europe where municipal models are already established, but outside these markets, other solutions will be needed. One potential option is greater cross-border interconnectivity, but this too can be a mixed blessing. Poland’s interconnection with Germany for example, has seen the influx of surplus German wind power place its domestic power plants under extreme pressure.

In ideal generating conditions renewables can lead to occasional oversupply, but since their delivery is intermittent, conventional power plants must back them up in order to guarantee supply and balance of the grid. Fossil-fired generation and traditional plants are large scale, operating at extremely high pressures and temperatures, and therefore cannot simply be fired up and down on demand. Much like a car, they cannot be taken on frequent short journeys without requiring shorter gaps between servicing.  As this type of maintenance can take large plants off-grid, this has serious implications for both cost and security of supply.

Up until recently, carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology was seen as a means of continuing with large amounts of fossil-fired power to support base load and at the same time de-carbonisation. However, development of CCS technologies has not progressed as anticipated and has failed to materialise on any commercial scale. 

Keeping the Lights On

The recession and economic slowdown across Europe has meant the political focus has been on financial markets, with energy pushed to the sidelines. But as the economy recovers and the banks become stronger, the power industry needs to ensure it doesn’t become the next crisis. At a time when the market is in transition and flux, and with on-going conflict between European energy policies and those of individual member states, it is all the more important for power industry professionals to come together to devise strategies and solutions to keep the lights on and the industry pumping.

Good News for the Indian Solar Industry

Sneha Shah wrote on 27 Mar, 2014

There are talks about new PV support schemes for the Indian state owned companies/ PSUs. These plans have been initiated by the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and are in their initial stage now. These support schemes may help India to reach the 100 MW capacity eligibility from the 50 MW level at present. The PSUs have no dearth of capital or land and hence are a great resource for the expansion of solar industry in India. The large PSUs in India like ONGC, BHEL, NTPC, SECI and Power Grid have the resources of setting up solar plants with capacity upto 1 GW. They have the ability and power to make a difference to the Indian Solar Industry.

However with the amount of red tape and bureaucracy in India, little can be expected. India suffers from high prices of fossil fuel and electricity. Solar Energy can be and should be the answer to all such worries. Hence the only ray of hope for India to overcome this can be through harnessing the solar energy. With solar demand expected to be ~50 GW in 2014, India should also try and strike a position in the world market. China, Japan and USA are expected to be the largest markets in 2014. Though countries like India, Brazil, and South Africa have also become very important markets. Hence this new policy support scheme could come as a boon for the Indian Solar Industry. I am highly optimistic about the whole thing, if we ignore the corruption and red tape mechanism in India.

Source:

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