India has plans of taking its economic growth to the next level, but for that to happen, access to quality, reliable and aff ordable energy is of utmost importance. Today, the country is seen as a potent market for renewable energy and this has been possible due to consistent support from the policy makers and other stakeholders. As the impact and role of renewable energy continues to grow, a plethora of new opportunities have come to the fore and the country has embarked upon numerous initiatives.
Renewable energy therefore, not only promises to be a good source of generating clean electricity by setting up power plants, but it also has its employability in various other sectors as well. Right from providing clean cooking systems to back-up power through rooft op solar panels, the role of renewable energy technologies (RETs) is making its presence felt in various energy-intensive sectors, viz- transport, agriculture, telecom, industrial heating, internal security environment and wildlife conservation to name a few. Th e advantage of negligible fuel expenses, very low operation and maintenance costs usually off set the initial capital costs of the RETs. Energy Next takes a look at the prospective use of RETs in diff erent aspects of life and the impact that it would have in the long run— both from the point of view of economic benefi t and climate change issues.
ComSolar, GIZ and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s (MNRE) joint project under Indo-German Energy Programme on commercialisation of Solar Energy in Urban and Industrial areas, carried out a study to identify promising industrial sectors for solar energy technologies.
The study resulted with the identification of five sectors as the most promising for solar intervention, including the textile sector, wherein it was found that if the energy replacement potential (ktoe/ annum) was 403, the estimated monetary savings would be ` 8,432 million per annum. It concluded that the textile (finishing) sector is one of the most promising, with regard to the use of primarily solar thermal technologies for various applications which are commercially attractive in terms of internal rate of returns (IRR) and payback-times. The commercial viability of solar technologies is much higher for industries using fuel sources such as furnace oil, coke or diesel.
Stating how the use of solar energy can help, the study added, “Textile processing requires a lot of hot water in the range of 40-110°C at various stages of the production process. The requisite heat can easily be generated through solar energy. Around 383 ktoe/annum of conventional energy consumption can potentially be substituted, resulting in monetary savings of about ` 7.7 Mio per annum. Textile spinning and weaving is also very important in terms of output, investment and employment. ASI statistics show that this sector consumed 3.34 Mtoe of primary energy in 2007-08. One of the processes involved in weaving, called sizing, requires hot water at a temperature between 80-85°C. Hence, it is estimated that solar thermal interventions are possible in this process throughout the industry in a range of 27ktoe/annum, saving ` 740 Mio per annum.”
INDIAN TEXTILE INDUSTRY
The Indian textile industry is believed to be the second largest in the world, also the oldest and largest sectors of the country, accounting for around 30 per cent of exports. Moreover, it is also the second largest employment generator after agriculture. At the same time, it is also one of the highest energy consuming sectors in India. About 23 per cent energy is consumed in weaving, 34 per cent in spinning, 38 per cent in chemical processing and another 5 per cent for miscellaneous purposes.
Across the country, some textile companies are opting for renewable energies such as solar. One such instance is that of Jharcraft, which has found a visible change in production, by opting for solar power.
Dr B C Prasad, general manager, operation, Jharcraft, reveals, “Earlier, the weaving was done manually, so the production was less. As we work in villages, where there is no power, we had little choice. But after 2010, ever since we began using solar power on a large scale, things have been streamlined.”
The textile industry in Tamil Nadu is among the largest investors in wind energy and accounts for over 3,000 MW of captive wind power capacity out of the total 7000 MW in the state. Estimates of the capacity being backed down, (the wind mill power is not being utilised), range from 30 per cent of the capacity, according to the South Indian Mills Association (SIMA), to over 40 per cent as per wind energy associations.
The textile sector has also been identified as a designated consumer by Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). As per statistics provided by the Annual Survey of Industries (ASI), the primary energy consumption in the sector was 4.46 Mtoe in 2007-08. Textile processing steps range from singeing (removal of protruding fiber) to finishing and printing of the fabric and manufacturing, polyester, polyester filament yarn, acrylic, nylon, viscose, cotton, etc. Competition is fierce, hence reliable and affordable energy supply is crucial for this industry.
Come 2015, India and rest of the world can see the first aircraft that is powered by solar energy and can fly non-stop.
The aircraft, to be unveiled in a few months from now, will make a round-the-globe trip next year, showcasing the latest technology in various countries where it will have stopovers, according to Switzerland-based company Solar Impulse, which is manufacturing it.
The plane, weighing around 2,740 kg, will be powered by 12,000 solar cells and can fly at the speed of 70 kms per hour.
It can fly day and night continuously, collecting energy from the Sun, the company’s CEO Andre Borshberg told PTI here.
Maintaining that the plane will have only one pilot as of now, he said that while the aircraft can fly continuously day and night, “the limiting factor is the pilot. He cannot sustain endlessly and has to take rest.”
The around-the-world sojourn will be for three months, with the total flight time being 20-25 days and nights.
The journey will begin somewhere in the Middle East and the flight’s first destination will be India.
“We hope to make two stops in India – one on west coast and another in the east – before the aircraft goes to Myanmar,” said the CEO, who is here in connection with preparations for making the India-part of the sojourn a high-profile event.
The longest non-stop flight of five days and five nights will be across the Pacific Ocean, he said.
“The goal is to make an aircraft which has unlimited endurance. It is a human challenge also….besides making the aircraft which is very efficient in energy and energy savings,” he said, adding it should “become an ambassador of what we can do with this technology.”
Explaining the motive behind the initiative which is being supported by the Swiss government, the CEO of Solar Impulse said, “The goal is to inspire people, the young generation about what is possible, about the potential of technology.”
Borschberg said the experiment is to show how renewable energy can be used and energy consumption reduced.
“If we can use renewable energy on an airplane, we can certainly use it on the ground, where it is much more simple,” he said.
He said the aircraft has such technology which makes it efficient with reduced energy consumption that enables it to fly day and night continuously. The same technology can be used on buildings and cars, he said.
“We hope to showcase the technology in India to attract young generation which could help young generation to realise their own dreams,” he said.
Borschberg said the company would gauge the interest of the Government of India and is looking for big industrial houses to host it.
“We hope to do communication in India. We want students to see the pioneering technology,” he added. Pitching for greater use of solar energy, which is clean and renewable form of energy, Borschberg said it can be more useful in remote and hot areas.
It can be used in providing electricity to buildings and power to cars. Solar panels used on this plane can also be used on satellites, he said. “The potential of this technology is immense,” he added.
On why the usage of solar energy is not spreading, the company’s chief said cost of power could be factor. At the same time, he said the high cost of power could be during the initial period and in the long run, it will be worth investing.
He said some Chinese companies have already started pulling down the prices by producing energy at low cost.
India’s government has unveiled plans to build an “ultra mega” 4 GW solar power plant in the northwestern state of Rajasthan.
According to the government, the plant will be built on a 23,000-acre (9308 ha) site close to Sambhar Lake, about 75 km from Jaipur, the state capitol.
“Being the first project of this scale anywhere in the world this project is expected to set a trend for large scale solar power development in the world,” the government said in a statement. The plant’s proposed capacity is around three times India’s current total solar power production.
The project, called the Sambhar Ultra Mega Green Solar Power Project, is the brainchild of the Ministry of Heavy Industry, which said it expects to complete the 1-GW first phase – 10 times larger than the largest operational Indian solar power plant – by the end of 2016.
“The first phase of the project is expected to be implemented through a joint venture company to be formed with equity from BHEL, Solar Energy Corporation of India, Power Grid Corporation, Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam and Rajasthan Electronics and Instruments Ltd,” the ministry said. The five companies are state-owned.
“Based on the experience gained during implementation of the first phase of project, the remaining capacity would be implemented through a variety of models,” the ministry continued.
The majority of solar projects in India, developed under the auspices of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, are located in Rajasthan. The state is India’s largest, with high insolation, a strong grid and state-owned land banks for grid-connected solar projects.
India aims to install around 20 GW of grid-connected solar power by 2022. According to reports, theMinistry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has outlined a plan to produce large amounts of solar power in the desert regions of Rajasthan and Gujarat in the next 10 years.
The Prime Minister’s office has reportedly authorised an investigation into areas of desert “wasteland” suitable for building 1-GW solar projects. According to MNRE, India’s entire electricity demand for 2012 could be met if “mega” solar projects were built on just 5 percent of the nation’s unused desert land.
India is expected to add 2.8 GW of solar capacity in 2014, the result of solar power auctions in 2012 and early 2013. Rajasthan has auctioned 75 MW of PV capacity this year, with projects to be commissioned by 2015.
The nation currently has a total of 1761 MW of grid-connected solar capacity.
Feel Proud to be an INDIAN..!!
As with the earth’s resources, the sources of energy (in the form of oil, coal, natural gas, etc) on earth are currently finite.
While humans have started exploring other sources of “sustainable energy”, such as palm oil, there are inherent environmental problems with the cultivation of some of these energy sources. Until the day the human population is able to effectively make use of the infinite, sustainable, and green sources of energy available to us, it is important that we conserve our energy resources.
GREEN SOLUTION. GET GREEN.
There are many energy saving tips to be followed for the home, the office, when driving, and in fact, wherever we go. Adopt them now before it is too late.
Saving energy also means less pollution.
The extraction of energy producing materials such as oil and coal from the earth generates substantial pollution. In turn, the use of these energy materials in driving our power stations, factories and automobiles produces large amounts of pollution and contributes in large ways to global warming.
So the less energy we use, the less pollution we create!
While we wait for affordable multi-junction solar cells that are pushing past the 40 percent conversion efficiency mark to make it out of the lab and onto our roofs, we have to make do with standard commercial silicon cells that currently max out at around 19 percent. A team from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia has found a way to improve the quality of low-grade silicon, enabling higher efficiency solar cells to be produced from cheaper, low-grade silicon.
It’s been known for several decades that hydrogen atoms can be introduced to help correct the efficiency-reducing defects and contaminants found in lower-grade silicon. However, researchers have had limited success in controlling the hydrogen to maximize its benefits. The solution found by the UNSW team relates to controlling the charge state of the hydrogen atoms.
Hydrogen atoms can exist in a positive, negative or neutral charge state, which determines how well they can move around the silicon and their reactivity, which is important to help correct the defects. The researchers say that by controlling the charge state, it will be possible to achieve higher efficiencies using lower-cost, low-grade silicon.
“We have seen a 10,000 times improvement in the mobility of the hydrogen and we can control the hydrogen so it chemically bonds to things like defects and contaminants, making these inactive,” says Scientia Professor Stuart Wenham from the School of Photovoltaics and Renewable Energy Engineering at UNSW. “This process will allow lower-quality silicon to outperform solar cells made from better-quality materials.”
Wenham expects to achieve efficiencies of between 21 and 23 percent using this new technique, which was patented by the UNSW team earlier this year. The researchers have attracted the interest of industry partners interested in commercializing the technology, and they are working with manufacturing equipment companies to introduce it into solar cell manufacturing processes.
Source : UNSW