Solar Thermal Sector across India & A Game-changing Solar Thermal Technology that can provide the much needed Significant boost to “Atma Nirbhar” and “Make in India” initiative by a start-up “Sunrise CSP India”

Friends, sorry for not having managed to write blogs off late and it is upon the visit of my Mentor Shri Deepak Gadhia last week that made me sit up and write this blog on possibilities and much needed boost for the Solar Thermal arena across India.

He is now Chairman of a Start-up Sunrise CSP India Pvt. Ltd. & bringing a game-changing Solar Concentrating technology to India with exclusive license from Sunrise CSP,Australia.

Journey to Social Entrepreneurship

Deepak and Shirin Gadhia believed that they would be able to help and contribute by utilizing the Hi-Tech Education they had received in Germany but Dr. Ellen Badoglio a German Economist changed their views. She convinced them that…

What India needed was “Appropriate Technologies and not Hi-Tech Technologies as Hi-Tech did not work in harmony with nature”

Thus on their return to India they started their NGO “Eco Center ICNEER (International Center for Networking, Ecology, Education and Reintegration)” to promote Environmental protection. Seeing deforestation as a major problem and cause for draughts they started promoting solar cookers. The identification of “Solar Concentrator” came from their identifying the need for a Solar Cooker that could cook fast, cook all items and enable cooking in the comfort of the kitchen.

Through their friend/ inventors they brought into India the SK 14 Parabolic domestic Solar Cooker that was developed by their friend Dr. Dieter Seifert of Germany and Community Solar Cookers with Scheffler Concentrator developed by Physicist Wolfgang Scheffler of Austria residing in Germany. They adopted the technologies to Indian conditions, indigenized the same and commercialized them in India.

WORLD’s LARGEST SOLAR COOKING PROJECT ! for Bhutanese Refugee Camp in Nepal where around 7000 Sk 14 Parabolic Solar Cookers are supplied that have served more than 85,000 people by 2013 !!!!

Developing and Designing the World’s first Solar Steam Cooking System !!

When Brahma Kumari an NGO in Mt. Abu approached them to supply them a Solar Cooking System to cook for 1200 persons Deepak realized that the Scheffler Community Cooking System which brought sun-rays into the kitchen to enable cooking in kitchen would not work.

Deepak was thus forced to think  “outside of the box “.  With the backing of a leading Thermal Engineering Company HTT GmbH of Germany and in close co-operation and inputs from Wolfgang Scheffler and team of Brahma Kumari’s his company developed the world’s first solar steam cooking system. GATE of Germany supported the Pilot plant by funding it.

Multiplication of Solar Steam Cooking System in India and its success !

The success of the World’s first and largest solar steam cooking system at Brahma Kumari’s led to a breakthrough and Gadhia Solar Energy Systems Pvt. Ltd. and the company went on to become one of the world’s largest and leading Solar Steam Cooking Company.

The company went on to break their records by implementing much larger systems. To name of few the System at Tirupati Temple that cooks 30,000 meals per day and at Shirdi Temple that cooks 50,000 meals per day with solar-generated Steam. The company expanded the market and manufactured, supplied, installed systems for Schools, College Hostels, Temples, Hospitals, Industrial Canteens, Army messes etc. Seeing the needs of Industries that consumes large quantity of conventional fuels like coal, oil, gas for generating steam, Gadhia Solar started designing and offering Solar Steam Systems for Process heating.

They also developed and installed  India’s first Solar Air-conditioning Plant (Click Here)  of 100 TR (Tonne Refrigeration) where the Solar Generated Steam is used for running a Vapour Absorption Machine (VAM Chiller) to offer cooling of  a 160-bed hospital of Muni Seva Ashram.

 

The success of Scheffler Concentrators led to many different types of Concentrators being developed and introduced and installed in India.

As rightly said- “Nothing succeeds like success” and these led to many different types of Solar Concentrators being developed and installed in India. India has one of the World’s most extensive CST Program supported by MNRE and UNDP.

Focus from Solar Thermal to Just Solar PV !!

No doubt Solar PV has overshadowed Solar Thermal. Solar PV technologies were easy to install and scale-up and India has in just a few years India has been able to scale up from 16 MW to about 35,000 MW and rapidly increasing. The scale of economy has led to has kicked 90 % cost reduction. Government through reverse bidding has been able to reduce the cost of Solar PV power from Rs 18/ KW to Rs 2.38 the latest offer in reverse bid !! (which often makes me wonder whether the Recent Low Solar Bids across India a “TREND” now?! OR Simply “TRENDY” !!)

However, not much work was carried out on the Solar Thermal arena of India in spite of the fact that The production of heat accounts for around one half of energy demand around the globe ! In fact in India, heat accounts for almost two-thirds of total final energy consumption. Currently, hardly about 10-11% of this comes from renewable heating applications  &, which excludes the traditional use of biomass which is generally very inefficient and often unsustainable.

India’s energy consumption, heavily fossil-fuel dependent, goes hand-in-hand with the country’s huge industrial demand for heat energy. However, this demand has limited representation from the excellent insolation that India receives, which in annual global horizontal irradiation (GHI) terms has a variation of 1,600-2,000 kWh/m² for almost 250- 300 days a year. The direct normal irradiance (DNI) value averages 5.5 kWh/m²/day due to India’s geographic position in the Equatorial Sun Belt of the earth – which takes the country’s equivalent energy potential to about 6,000 million GWh per year. Though this resource potential is the highest in India’s north-western regions and desert wastelands, the central and southern industrialized states also receive fairly large amounts of direct as well as diffused radiation. Thus, using solar thermal applications in India appears to be a logical solution.

The country now has the sixth largest installed capacity for solar thermal globally, although it still lags behind other emerging economies such as Brazil and Turkey while China remains the global leader in solar thermal capacity by a large margin.

Image Courtesy : IEA 

There is also scope for meeting a portion of industrial heat demand with solar heat, especially in industries such as food and drink, agriculture, chemicals and textiles. At present, industrial applications account for less than 1% of total solar thermal installations in India but significant potential has been identified.

The MNRE GEF UNIDO study estimates the CST potential of different sectors:

source : click here

Limitations of Solar PV over Solar Thermal 

Having worked in Solar PV for more than a decade for me, it was straightforward to understand the limitations of PV when pointed out and here below I list a few :

    • Dependence of Imported Solar Cells & PV Panels (China has nearly 90 % of the market share globally). Present tensions between India has China demonstrates how the supply chain can pose a significant threat.
    • Increase in cost of Solar PV due to safeguard / anti-dumping duty / customs duty etc. will raise the price of Solar PV
    • Addition of too much Solar PV power (and Windpower) have led to the problem of Grid Stability
    • Solar PV Power can supply cheap Power only during the day as storage in battery increases the cost multi-fold
    • Solar value chain (Polysilicon – Ingot – Wafer – Cells) are not manufactured in India and would require multi-crore investments in 100’s and 1000’s of crore investment, and that will take time to be established
    • Solar PV systems produce only Power whereas Industries need not only Solar Power in the form of Electricity but UNIDO studies established that nearly 60 % of required Energy by Industries is for heating and cooling and is met by Coal, Oil, Diesel and Gas.
    • At present Solar PV has the efficiency of about 19 % and is expected to go up by a few percentages in the near future.

How Solar Thermal Energy can/ will address the limitations of Solar PV/ Wind ?

India will see fast growth in energy demand and will become the third biggest energy consumer of the world by 2025. According to the concentrating solar thermal (CST) Roadmap by GEF-UNIDO, 57% of India’s final energy consumption was in the industry segment in 2017. According to studies the Industrial energy will range between 48% and 55% of all energy demand between 2012 and 2040 

    • Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) produces Power through thermal route and offers viable solutions to the storage of Power and thus idea for grid stability. These have been recognized and thus all large projects worldwide have Molten Storage to be able to store and provide heat to generate Power during non-sun-shine hours.
    • The efficiency of Solar Thermal Plants are high and have shown to be between 50-70 % for heat generation (CST) and about 20-30 % in Power Generation with CSP. In CSP, overall efficiency can go up above 80-90 % if the heat coming out of the turbine is taped and used (co-generation.
    • Storage power from Molten Salt storage is nearly half or even more compared to battery power.
    • Life of Molten Salt is significantly more than Chemical Storage of/in Battery
    • Solar Thermal Plants can be made in India reducing the dependence on Imports
    • Solar Thermal Systems generate 2 to 3 X more jobs than Solar PV and will thus create employment in India addressing one of the most significant challenges faced by India – employment of youth.
    • CSP can offer both thermal Energy and electrical Energy and thus can be ideal solutions for rural development where they get both electricity for powering their electrical devices and the heat in the form of Steam, thermic fluid, hot air can be used for food processing and cold storages

Reasons I think why Solar Thermal has lost momentum !!

    • Though there was an excellent support program by MNRE and UNDP delays in time and disbursal of subsidy and the reduction in subsidy seems to be one of the reason.. The uncertainty is forcing the buyers to put their projects on hold
    • Another limitation for CST is the availability of space to install the Solar Thermal Systems. They are  heavy and requires large area of a shadow-free area on the ground which often industries do not have.
    • The life of Glass Mirrors and other reflectors. The systems installed needed to be shut down for a few months to change the reflectors about every five years adding to cost and down-time
    • The Solar Thermal systems could not offer heat/power 24 x 7
    • Transport cost of systems was high as the system had to be made in the factory and shipped far away.
    • The efficiency of receivers which were capturing the concentrating light (sun rays) and converting them to heat was not most optimum
    • Solar thermal power plants need detailed feasibility study and technology identification along with proper solar radiation resource assessment. The current status of international technology and its availability and financial and commercial feasibility in the context of India is not clear.
    • One of the limiting factors for Solar thermal sector is that every installation needs detailed engineering, techno-commercial study and specialized installation, unlike for solar photovoltaic (PV), which is comparatively plug-and-play

How the BIG Dish SG4 Sunrise Concentrator addresses above mentioned limitations and thus could become a game-changer !!

Sunrise Solar Concentrator

    • To save space/ reduce footprint the BIG Dish SG4 is like a multi-storey buildings has gone vertical instead of horizontal. A single 25 m diameter dish has 520 m2 aperture diameter just requires a footprint of 25 x 25 meter. It  generates approx. 0.5 MWth Solar Thermal Power  in form of hot water, steam, hot oil etc
    • The life of Glass mirrors offered by Sunrise has 25-30 years similar to that of PV. Sunrise achieves this long life by setting up a Solar Mirror Panel Manufacturing plant in India with the patented technology of Sunrise CSP Australia
    • The patented technology-based “receiver” Sunrise CSP India offers would have efficiency above 95 %. ANU has built and demonstrated the 520 m2 BIG dish and Receiver and demonstrated to world highest efficient receiver.
    • Sunrise CSP India brings to India patented “Factory in Field” which enables the Solar Concentrator to be manufactured not just in India but at clients site- reducing transport cost and creating local jobs.
    • Sunrise CSP India brings patented Solar Thermal Storage in Molten Salt.
    • Though a 25-meter diameter dish due to patented technology the Dish was awarded as a light structure- reducing the cost
    • The concentration ratio of the system is around 2000 due to which the BIG Dish SG4 can achieve a high temperature in focus above 1700 degree Celsius. This, opening up its future applications not just in a steam generation but its use in manufacturing Hydrogen fuel, Syn gas as Fuel and in manufacturing of ammonia etc.
    • Due to high CR and low cost, it can produce Steam at 565 degree Celsius, and 110 which can directly be used in running steam turbines with high efficiency and thus these technology offers its use not just in CST but also CSP.

Wonders this Solar Concentrator can do !

In this Solar Concentrator the heat energy that is captured can be used either directly such as to create electricity through a steam turbine or else can also be stored and used later & not just electricity but the heat can be used to power more than a dozens of Industrial processes as well such as drying solutions, chemical productions, clean water desalination etc and for any processes that require 500 C to 1700 C temperatures !!

Amazing right !!

Shri Deepak Gadhia with Solar Concentrator

How it support’s Indian government’s  “Make in India” initiative and “Atma-Nirbhar” initiatives ?

Friends, I hope this Blog illustrates how an innovative technology could help our Industries becoming more competitive by its use for heating, cooling and Power.

Not only will its deployment lead to a reduction in the use of conventional energy,  but till will also reduce India’s dependence on imports of fuels. By manufacturing in India it will  create jobs and reduce drain on foreign exchange.

Good News is that Sunrise CSP India has already received registration under start-up India and MSME. It has also been able to close the first round of funding, and soon a BIG Dish will be installed at Muni Seva Ashram an NGO running a World-Class Cancer Hospital.

Due to exhaustive use of various forms of Renewable Energy by MSA it is often called and known as Green Ashram. It leads the way by being the first in India to have adopt this technology. MSA has had many firsts. India’s first Solar Thermal Air-conditioning Plant was also installed at MSA by Deepak Gadhia and has the first Solar Thermic Fluid system to store Energy cooking at night and to fry and make chappatis.

MSA is a forward-thinking institution that supports and is adopting innovation such as the Big Dish from Industry. It is not afraid to be the first. In contrast, unfortunately, the approach of others is that they do not aspire to be the first and social, and commercialization opportunities are lost and proven elsewhere.

Way forward for Solar Thermal Sector ….

In India, the main drivers for solar thermal are the GEF-UNDP programme for concentrating solar thermal (CST) market development, and the GEF-UNIDO programme for solar thermal industrial process heat. While GEF-UNDP achieved 44,949 m² of CST market, GEF-UNIDO is progressing with an additional 45,000 m² installed area of CST systems. As an incentive, the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) offers a 5%-interest loan. This scheme is also extended to manufacturing now, which makes this the first instance of any incentive for the solar thermal manufacturing industry ever announced.

MNRE has estimated the potential of solar thermal collectors to be about 140 million m². The Government of India wants to install 175 GW of renewable energy for power generation and an estimated 20.13 million m² installed area of solar thermal collectors by the year 2022.

The National Solar Mission (NSM), which was announced in January 2010, was a turning point for the solar thermal market development with targets of  cumulative solar thermal area of 20 million m² and is spread over three phases:

        • Phase 1 : 2010 – 2013 – 7 million m²
        • Phase 2 : 2013 – 2017 – 15 million m²
        • Phase 3 : 2017 – 2022 – 20 million m²

So What’s Stopping & holding back the adoption of Solar Thermal in India !

    • May be a Policy that makes it mandatory for industries to meet a certain percentage of heat through solar collectors ! as what is prevailing in Solar PV currently in many states.
    • Massive Lack of awareness amongst bankers and financial institutions about the performance solar concentrators, which drastically impairs their ability to finance projects and provide working capital.

While government is helpful in announcing the solar policies but the bureaucracy is exhausting.

However, I am sure this new solar concentrator technology has great potential to re-start a new Era for Solar Thermal applications in heating, cooling and Power in India !

Meanwhile, please #StaySafe #StayHome & #StayHealthy

And till we meet next time with more updates… !   

Cheers !

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www.urvishdave.com

Solar Project Consultant – India

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Power Demand & Grid Behavior Before & During #9Baje9Minute Event !

Yeah, it did give all of us a feeling that every one around us has suddenly become power expert pundits on whats app groups & twitter 😀 since the day our Prime Minister announced the #9Baje9Minute task and even lots of buzz on impact of this decision on country’s grid network and vagera vagera 🙂 It was amazing to see how many people { the MASS COMMUNICATION DIPLOMA HOLDER ELECTRICAL ENGINEERS 😉 } were secretly hoping the power grid to fail 😀 !!

So yeah as everyone knows now that #9Baje9Minute event was a big success without any impacts on India’s Grid. No – Power Grids did not collapse. Usual Suspects and professional nay-sayers can chill. India does not care for their bogus alarmism.

Power Demand Met #9Baje9Minute

So, yeah Demand went down from 1,14,445 Megawatts at 2055 hrs to 85300 MW till 2109 hrs; a reduction of 32000 MW. Then it started increasing. Frequency was maintained within a band of 49.7 to 50. 26 Hz, which means voltage was kept stable.

All India Power Demand Met during April 5 – 9 Baje 9 Minute Event !

Also, below is the Comparison of All India Power Demand Met (MW) at Same Time on April 4 Vs April 5

ALL INDIA POWER POSITION (MW) ON APRIL 4 Vs APRIL 5 (#9Baje9Minute)

All India Power Deman on April 4 and On April 5 – 9 Minutes 9 Baje Event

Please note here that this actual figures of more then 31000+ MW was more then 2 times of what was expected would be the reduction in power demand !!! This figures has also given the estimation of numbers in terms of Lighting Load of the Country too !

The National grid operator POSOCO & the national, regional & SLDC’s did a great job with support from all generators : NHPC, NEEPCO, THDC, SJVNL, BBMB, NTPC, all state Gencos & IPPs, Transcos & Distribution companies. Kudos to them.

This proves robustness and resilience of our National Grid so well !

Once again Congratulations to everyone for being disciplined while using the grid and showing solidarity to fight corona .

Please #StaySafe #StayHome & #StayHealthy

I sincerely hope that readers will appreciate our hard work in order to compile this extensive lists 🙂

Meanwhile till we meet next time with more updates… !   

Cheers !

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www.urvishdave.com

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Top 10 Most Promising & Successful Solar Companies By offering “The CHEAPEST & The BEST” Solar Solutions !

Dear Readers,

Since solar started in India (with its first solar policy), we have witnessed “n Nos.” of companies flooding into the Indian solar arena. The Indian Solar Energy Market have well adopted them and has acted in a truly democratic manner by making it accessible for “Anyone & Everyone” of these companies to enter into solar energy sector to help Constructively Build & at the same time Stupidly Spoil the arena too !

Through this report & over the years of hard work we have finally undertaken and accomplished this huge task of researching, compiling the very critical information that everyone seeks that who & which company is the best solar company offering both the best & the cheapest solar solutions at the same time !

Top 10 Best Solar Companies who offer "Cheapest & Best" Solar Solutions

Top 10 Most Promising & Successful Solar Companies By offering “The CHEAPEST & The BEST” Solar Solutions


Finally, we came up with this extensive MARKET RESEARCH REPORT on : Top 10 Most Promising & Successful Solar Companies By offering “The CHEAPEST & The BEST” Solar Solutions to bring about a greater degree of trust and transparency in the market 〰 Only if stakeholders can understand !

Click Here OR Click Above Image to Download the Findings


I sincerely hope that readers will appreciate our hard work in order to compile this extensive lists 🙂


Meanwhile till we meet next time with more updates… !   

Cheers !

Timeline_Cover_doNotRename71asd

 

 

www.urvishdave.com

Solar Project Consultant – India

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Renewable Energy Power Plants and Corona Virus (COVID-19) !


The below post is originally written by Mr. Dinesh Vyas – Manager | Sterling and Wilson


I’ve been working in renewable industry (Wind and Solar Power) from last 10 years. By working in this industry, especially in the plant, I have been privileged to serve the client and my own organization directly and to nation and to the world by reducing carbon footprint indirectly. During the duty, we face many challenges, sometimes client is not happy, sometimes my organization need more outcomes, sometime managers give deadlines on work, operation challenges, such as B/Ds ,Curtailments, LOW Generation number, performance, Plant availability, CUF, PR, quality, dealing with contractor, vendors, OEMs, but in the end, all the above things are manageable.

As Field operations manager, started worrying about the current epidemic situation of COVID-19, because a single case of COVID-19 in any particular region might affect all nearby plants. As our industry comes under one of the essential services for nation and our primary responsibility is to produce uninterrupted power supply to nation, which is not possible to deliver by working from home. Field personnel have to be on field and providing them 100% safety is one of the crucial challenges for any organization. All most all organization are providing the support to the their team, they are arranging mask, sanitizers, soap, medical facility and all other required facilities on any cost.

It is my sincere request to all organizations to please take care of your team (most of you are already you doing it), keep watch on routine activities (Daily Call not just to know the Generation numbers but also to know about your team members health and hygiene), pause preventive maintenance activities (you can stop activities which are not essential), let them perform only essential activities to run the power plant (which can be manageable with reduced manpower), Stop asking on pending issue (Just tell them to stop the faulty equipment if there are any risk, Don’t force to work with limited resources) , discuss with customer about reduced performance for few days (if your organization is doing O&M for clients), don’t put pressure for numbers, primary focus should be just to run the plant with 100% human safety in these testing times.

Apart from above points industry can think about more ways to start helping each other and to provide support either for safety, consumables, spares, vehicle, emergency response and whatever we can do for the time being, we should think in the manner to produce maximum energy to nation without interruption and zero compromising with safety for all industries employee.

I have strong belief in Renewable industry that we will fight together in this tough time and win war against COVID-19.

For the time being, just be little less competitive and be considerate of the field team, the nation needs our services more than ever now.

NAMASTE !


Blog Courtesy : The above blog post was originally posted & 
written by Mr. Dinesh Vyas - Manager | Sterling & Wilson
For original post Click Here. We have reproduced the same.

The growing pandemic has no doubt impacted India’s Renewable energy trajectory ! Meanwhile, to support the Renewable Industry the Union Government also announced recently an extension of completion deadline of green energy projects, recognizing that the 21-day nationwide lockdown that came into effect Wednesday will delay all execution & stating that “All renewable energy projects under implementation will be given extension of time considering period of lock down and time required for remobilisation of work force” – Some Important notifications from the Government regarding Renewable Energy Generating Projects during ongoing corona virus pandemic :  Click Here  &  Click Here

Meanwhile till we meet next time with more updates… !   #StayHome #StaySafe

Cheers !

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www.urvishdave.com

Solar Project Consultant – India

Also Follow us on :

Twitter @ UrvishDave1 & Facebook page @ RenewableEnergySolutionsInIndia

 

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Meet Our Solar Consulting Team during the Renewable Energy Exhibition at Noida

Dear All,

Our consulting team will be there at the Renewable Energy Expo 2018 to be held at India Expo Centre, Noida from 18 – 20 September 2018.

Interested companies, project developers can meet us between 18 – 20 th September. We will be happy to meet you & discuss work. Request to kindly confirm the meet via an e-mail at info@urvishdave.com OR by posting your comments to this blog OR by giving us a call.

Looking forward to see you between September 18 -20  🙂

Cheers !

Timeline_Cover_doNotRename71asd

www.urvishdave.com

Solar Project Consultant – India

Also Follow us on :

Twitter @ UrvishDave1 & Facebook page @ RenewableEnergySolutionsInIndia

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Urvish Dave recognized with the “Best Rooftop Solar Consultant of the Year” Award !

Dear Readers,

We are very glad to share with you all that the short journey and efforts of team Urvish Dave has been recognized with the “Best Rooftop Solar Consultant of the Year” Award by ‘Solar Quarter’

Best ”Rooftop Solar Consultant of the Year 2018”_India

We once again heartily thank you for your continuous support throughout this small journey and in seek the same in future too 🙂

And In case you are thinking of going green and powering your premises via solar or are thinking of setting up solar power plants across India, as a solar consultant in India we can always help you 🙂

Till we meet next time …Enjoy the monsoon 🙂

Cheers !

Timeline_Cover_doNotRename71asd

www.urvishdave.com

Solar Project Consultant – India

Also Follow us on :

Twitter @ UrvishDave1 & Facebook page @ RenewableEnergySolutionsInIndia

 

 

 

 

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Urvish Dave among the “Top 10 Most Promising Solar Consultants in India” !

Dear Readers,

We are very glad to share with you all that team Urvish Dave has been featured as one of the “Top 10 Most Promising Solar Consultants of India – 2017” & Our small Solar Journey & views has been covered in ‘Consultant Review’

Urvish Dave featured among the “Top 10 Most Promising Solar Consultants in India”

As a recognition among one of the Top Solar Consultants in India – Our Small Journey featured in one of the magazines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We heartily thank you for your continuous support throughout this small journey and in seek the same in future too 🙂

And In case you are thinking of going green and powering your premises via solar or are thinking of setting up solar power plants across India, as a solar consultant in Indiawe can always help you 🙂

Till we meet next time …

Cheers !

Timeline_Cover_doNotRename71asd

www.urvishdave.com

Solar Project Consultant – India

Also Follow us on :

Twitter @ UrvishDave1 & Facebook page @ RenewableEnergySolutionsInIndia

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Whats wrong with the Solar Developers in India !! & New Guidelines for Bidding Process for Upcoming Solar PV Power Projects across India !

Hujambo & Mambo Friends  !!

Have addressed you all like this as I am writing this article from the beautiful & endless Masaai Land of Tanzania – The Serengeti National Park – where we are acting as a solar project consultant to what is to become Tanzania’s largest hybrid captive solar power project for one of the prestigious resort !!!

Also friends posting this article after a long time and also have been getting repeated requests from readers to posts regularly but lately have been busy to execute some of the very unique upcoming solar projects of the developers & am glad to inform you all that as a part of aggressive scale-up & business expansion this year we have now marked our presence and introduced our services across  the countries like Mauritius, Tanzania, Ghana, DRC, Kenya, Uganda, Nepal besides extensively working across India. So we will now be acting as a solar project consultant in all the above geographies across Africa in addition to India too 🙂

While it’s raining all over India, the renewable energy sector is also experiencing severe solar raining in terms of totally installed solar projects across the country.  India’s cumulative utility scale solar capacity is now 14 GW and rooftop solar capacity is 1.6 GW totalling – 15.6 GW !! 

Also the slight relief for the developers is that the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued  the Guidelines for Tariff Based Competitive Bidding Process for Procurement of Power from Grid Connected Solar PV Power Projects which tries to cover the payment security for the developers and tries to stress upon the must run status for solar projects.

These Guidelines have been issued under the provisions of Section 63 of the Electricity Act, 2003 for long term procurement of electricity by the ‘Procurers’ [the distribution licensees, or the Authorized Representative(s), or an Intermediary Procurer] from grid-connected Solar PV Power Projects (‘Projects’), having size of 5 MW and above, through competitive bidding.

To summarize, the new guidelines for tariff based competitive bidding process for procurement of solar power will help :

  • enhance transparency and fairness in the procurement process, while
  • protecting consumer interests through affordable power.
  • These guidelines will also provide standardization and uniformity in processes &
  • Risk-sharing framework between various stakeholders involved in the solar PV power procurement.
  • Help in reducing off-taker risk and thereby encourage investments,
  • Enhance bankability of the Projects &
  • Most importantly improve profitability for the investors   😉

Some of the Key Reform Initiatives as per these Guidelines are as follows:

  • Generation Compensation for offtake constraints thereby reducing offtake risks: The “Must-run” status for solar projects has been stressed upon. Generation Compensation provided for following off-take constraints:
    1. Back-down – Min.  Compensation 50% of PPA Tariff
    2. Grid unavailability – Compensation by way of Procurement of  Excess Generation / Outright Compensation
  • PPA: To ensure lower tariffs :  Minimum PPA tenure has been kept at 25 years. Unilateral termination or amendment of PPA is not allowed.
  • Event of Default and the consequences thereof clearly defined to ensure optimal risk sharing between Developer and Procurer. This has been done by clearly defining the generator and procurer events of default, and describing the consequences thereof.
  • Project preparedness to expedite and facilitate setting up of projects: Issues related to land, connectivity, clearances etc. and the extension in case of delay, have been streamlined.
  • Payment Security Mechanism: Risk of generator’s revenue getting blocked due to delayed payment / non- payment by the procurers has been addressed through provision of Payment Security Mechanism through instruments like Letter of Credit (LC), Payment Security Fund, State Guarantee, etc.
  • Termination Compensation to increase bankability of projects by securing the investment by the Generator and the lenders against any arbitrary termination of PPA. Quantum and modality for termination compensation in case of both generator default and procurer default has been clearly defined.
  • Change in Law provision to provide clarity and certainty to generators, procurers, and investors/lenders – Change in Law provision, effective from the date of bid submission and covering any change in law/Tax rate which has a direct effect on the Project (and not just taxes made applicable for supply of power) has been provided.
  • Rationalisation of Penalties: The penalties have been rationalised, so as to reduce the overall cost to the Generator, while at the same time, ensuring compliance with the Commissioning Schedule/Scheme Guidelines.
  • Early Commissioning & Part-Commissioning for expeditious completion of projects –  Early commissioning and part commissioning have not only been allowed, but incentivised, by way of allowing the PPA for a minimum 25 years from the Scheduled Commissioning Date.
  • Repowering: Generators are free to repower their power plants. However, the procurer will be obliged to buy power only within the CUF range in PPA.
  • Bid structure and process: Bids have been allowed in both Power (MW) and Energy (kWh) terms. Also, e-bidding has been emphasized to improve transparency.

Click Here for New Solar Guidelines 

What’s wrong with the Solar Developers in India !!

While all these new proposed guidelines are in a way going to provide huge benefits for the developers but many Indian solar project developers are in our opinion one of the worst across the world in terms of evaluating Financial Projections & Risk Assessment for their upcoming solar project.

Many of the Indian solar project developers are purely into the “RAT RACE” whereby blindly following each other and not knowing where they are taking their projects towards and thereby severely damaging the entire solar sector.



The solar developers routinely ignore risks and bid aggressively for major infrastructure projects making preposterous financial projections and assumptions in a bid to win at any costs. Then when the projects go down as mostly they do, they go crying to the government for a bailout. This has been the trend ever since the mid-2000s when the government opened the infrastructure sector to private investments.

The Indian solar developers have bid aggressively at every stage without taking cognizance of multi fold risks such as forex, interest rates, equipment supply etc. They have been blessed by Lady Luck in the last few years as falling solar panel prices have made their foolish bids seem like a stroke of genius. The solar panel and inverter prices have fallen faster than expected leading to good gains for these developers, as their forecasts of the panel and inverter prices, turn out to be higher leading to good profits as project costs turn out to be lower.

However, this trend following will now lead to a major blowback as the last aggressive solar bids of INR 2.44/kWh was made on the assumption that solar panel prices will keep falling by 10-20% every year. However, that has not been the case with solar panel prices going up by 20% in the last few months. This has been due to some geopolitical issues such as the looming USA ruling on import duties on solar panel imports and China deferring the lowering of its feed in tariffs to September from June. This will mean that Acem and Softbank face some serious financial viability issues for their Bhadla solar plant projects which were seemingly bid of prices of panels as low as 25 cents/watt. Currently, the prices are near 35 cents/watt throwing their financial model totally out of whack.

Indian solar industry has seen tons of financial investors and developers entering the market lured by the massive size of the solar opportunity in India. However, most of these developers have employed some really dumb people who are just following the trend like the financial traders during the 2008 global financial crisis. When the tide turns, the naked will be exposed. Unless the solar panel prices fall back drastically again, I think some people will get badly exposed.

ref.: greenworldinvestor



The current solar bids are projected as a new ‘Trend’ in the solar industry. However, there is Difference between TREND” & “TRENDY” in Solar : A TREND is established overtime & tends to lead to lasting change. TRENDY is an attention catching phase – similar to what India witnessed during the latest lowest solar bids !! Current low(below cost) pricing is unfortunately a margin crushing long term trend in the solar PV industry.  Instead of grid-parity satisfaction , there is much skepticism about financial  sustainability of the recent low Rs 2.44/unit solar bids !! Only time will tell, whether it’s just another another poster boy headlines like India witnessed a couple of years back or not !!

And please make no mistake people the current solar project prices are below costs. If this continues quality will suffer & there will be a significant consolidation. There are lots of false information making waves across solar arena. And if you only get your news from PR driven media, dedicated news feeds & a pay for play media you risk being misinformed – which is the current case of Indian solar industry. What is the logical justification of the developers past project costs based on IRRs viz a vis new pricing based on tariffs. Have they embraced the changing realities?

Well guess this is going to be a part and parcel of Industry now !

And in case you are thinking of going green and powering your premises via solar or are thinking of setting up solar power plants across India, as a solar consultant in India we can always help you 🙂

Also will keep you guys posted on the unique installation of our solar project here in Tanzania, Africa which we are currently executing here in Tanzania.

Till we meet next time …

Kwaheri from Tanzania  !  🙂

Cheers !!

Timeline_Cover_doNotRename71asd

www.urvishdave.com

Solar Project Consultant – India

Also Follow us on :

Twitter @ UrvishDave1 & Facebook page @ RenewableEnergySolutionsInIndia

 

 

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Our column on “Rooftop Solar PV sector in India” in a Magazine Publication

Friends our column on “Rooftop Solar PV sector in India” has been published in March issue of ‘Power Insight’ Magazine.

Here is the link of the original article : Click Here

Page 1 – Rooftop Solar in India

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page 2 & 3 – Rooftop Solar in India

Page 4 – Rooftop Solar in India

Link of the original article : Click Here

In case you are thinking of going green and powering your premises via solar or are thinking of setting up solar power plants across India, as a solar consultant in India we can always help you 🙂

Till we meet next time …

Cheers !

Timeline_Cover_doNotRename71asd

www.urvishdave.com

Solar Project Consultant – India

Also Follow us on :

Twitter @ UrvishDave1 & Facebook page @ RenewableEnergySolutionsInIndia

 

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Are the Recent Low Solar Bids across India a “TREND” now?! OR Simply “TRENDY” !!

Congratulations to the winners and am sure that comparatively they possess all right rationale and better knowhow / cost economics sense on desired returns to equity investors. While I believe every tariff is viable when you invest in a project. But the term ‘viability’ in Solar arena has assumed a new definition recently. It is time come to a consensus what should be the viable IRR for Solar projects in India?

The current solar bids are projected as a new ‘Trend’ in the solar industry. However, there is Difference between “TREND” & “TRENDY” in Solar : A TREND is established overtime & tends to lead to lasting change. TRENDY is an attention catching phase – similar to what India witnessed during the latest lowest solar bids !! Current low(below cost) pricing is unfortunately a margin crushing long term trend in the solar PV industry.  Instead of grid-parity satisfaction , there is much skepticism about financial  sustainability of Rewa Rs 2.97/unit solar bids !! Only time will tell, whether it’s just another another poster boy headlines like India witnessed a couple of years back or not !!

Unintended consequences of low Rewa solar bids :

(1) States postponing almost-ready bids

(2) States backing down from PPAs at higher rates

(3) At the same time Wind power producers feeling a little orphaned for reasons : continuously falling solar tariffs & high attention to solar vis a vis wind

Average Solar Bids in Reverse Auctions in India from 2010 -2017

And please make no mistake people the current solar project prices are below costs. If this continues quality will suffer & there will be a significant consolidation. There are lots of false information making waves across solar arena. And if you only get your news from PR driven media, dedicated news feeds & a pay for play media you risk being misinformed – which is the current case of Indian solar industry. What is the logical justification of the developers past project costs based on IRRs viz a vis new pricing based on tariffs. Have they embraced the changing realities?

When only lowest project costs is the most important factor !

Anyways this is seriously going to affect solar projects undertaken by SMEs and MSMEs, which are supposed to be backbone.  Let us wait & watch for this blockbuster thriller solar bids to perform at the box office 😀

What do you guys think 🤔 !? do post your views & opinion on the same….

 

And in case you are thinking of going green and powering your premises via solar or are thinking of setting up solar power plants across India, as a solar consultant in India we can always help you 🙂

Till we meet next time …

Cheers !

Timeline_Cover_doNotRename71asd

www.urvishdave.com

Solar Project Consultant – India

Also Follow us on :

Twitter @ UrvishDave1 & Facebook page @ RenewableEnergySolutionsInIndia

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