India's Prime Minister Vows to Double Renewable Energy Capacity
By Jeff Postelwait, Associate Editor, Electric Light & Power | April 18, 2013
"It is proposed to double the renewable energy capacity in our country from 25,000 MW in 2012 to 55,000 MW by the year 2017. This would include exploiting non-conventional energy sources such as solar, wind power and energy from biomass," Singh said.
These initiatives were announced as part of the prime minister's presentation of India's 12th Five Year Plan.
Developed countries are the ones best poised to help meet the challenge of climate change, he said, adding that India has set a goal of cutting its energy use by 20 to 25 percent by 2020 by increasing its energy efficiency.
Another measure the prime minister called for is an international research and development center for solar energy. This National Institute of Solar Energy could be operational by 2015, he said. Research into solar thermal and solar photovoltaic would be part of this initiative.
The price of producing solar power was cut in half over the past two years, he said, going on to acknowledge that fossil-fired power generation, such as coal power, is still less expensive. The difference, he said could be made up for with subsidies.
About 87.5 percent of India's electricity is generated from non-renewable sources. Coal constitutes 57 percent of India's installed capacity.
In December 2011, over 300 million Indian citizens had no access to electricity — most of these residents are from rural areas.
This article was originally published on Electric Light & Power and was republished with permission.
Comment by Anumakonda Jagadeesh
We,People involved in the Renewable Energy research and promotion welcome your statement, “India will seek to double the amount of renewable energy it can generate to 55 GW in the next four years”.
Here is an action plan for India on Renewables:
Biofuel and Biogas for Power Generation:
Agave is a care – free growth plant which can be grown in millions of hectares of waste land and which produces Biofuel. Already Mexico is using it. Another Care free growth plant is Opuntia which generates Biogas. Biogas can be input to generate power through Biogas Generators. Biogas generators of MW size are available from China. Yet another option is Water Hyacinth for biogas. Water Hyacinth along with animal dung can produce biogas on a large scale and then power. In Kolleru lake in Godavari and Krishna Delta in Andhra Pradesh it is available in 308 Sq. Km for nearly 8 months in a year.
Crassulacean acid metabolism, also known as CAM photosynthesis, is a carbon fixationpathway that evolved in some plants as an adaptation to arid conditions In a plant using full CAM, the stomata in the leaves remain shut during the day to reduce evapotranspiration, but open at night to collect carbon dioxide (CO2). The CO2 is stored as the four-carbon acidmalate, and then used during photosynthesis during the day. The pre-collected CO2 is concentrated around the enzyme RuBisCO, increasing photosynthetic efficiency. Agave and Opuntia are the best CAM Plants.
Researchers find that the agave plant will serve as a biofuel crop to produce ethanol.
"Agave has a huge advantage, as it can grow in marginal or desert land, not on arable land," and therefore would not displace food crops, says Oliver Inderwildi, at the University of Oxford.The majority of ethanol produced in the world is still derived from food crops such as corn and sugarcane. Speculators have argued for years now that using such crops for fuel can drive up the price of food.
Agave, however, can grow on hot dry land with a high-yield and low environmental impact. The researchers proposing the plant’s use have modeled a facility in Jalisco, Mexico, which converts the high sugar content of the plant into ethanol.
The research, published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science, provides the first ever life-cycle analysis of the energy and greenhouse gas balance of producing ethanol with agave. Each megajoule of energy produced from the agave-to-ethanol process resulted in a net emission of 35 grams of carbon dioxide, far below the 85g/MJ estimated for corn ethanol production. Burning gasoline produces roughly 100g/MJ.
"The characteristics of the agave suit it well to bioenergy production, but also reveal its potential as a crop that is adaptable to future climate change,” adds University of Oxford plant scientist Andrew Smith. “In a world where arable land and water resources are increasingly scarce, these are key attributes in the food versus fuel argument, which is likely to intensify given the expected large-scale growth in biofuel production."
Here is an excellent analysis on Agave as a biofuel:
Agave shows potential as biofuel feedstock, Checkbiotech, By Anna Austin, February 11, 2010:
"Mounting interest in agave as a biofuel feedstock could jump-start the Mexican biofuels industry, according to agave expert Arturo Valez Jimenez.
Agave thrives in Mexico and is traditionally used to produce liquors such as tequila. It has a rosette of thick fleshy leaves, each of which usually end in a sharp point with a spiny margin. Commonly mistaken for cacti, the agave plant is actually closely related to the lily and amaryllis families. The plants use water and soil more efficiently than any other plant or tree in the world, Arturo said. "This is a scientific fact—they don't require watering or fertilizing and they can absorb carbon dioxide during the night," he said. The plants annually produce up to 500 metric tons of biomass per hectare, he added.
Agave fibers contain 65 percent to 78 percent cellulose, according to Jimenez. "With new technology, it is possible to breakdown over 90 percent of the cellulose and hemicellulose structures, which will increase ethanol and other liquid biofuels from lignocellulosic biomass drastically," he said.
Agave Competitive Advantages:
- Thrives on dry land/marginal land. Most efficient use of soil, water and light.
- Massive production. Year-around harvesting.
- Very high yields with very low or no inputs
- Very high quality biomass and sugars
- Very low cost of production. Not a commodity, so prices are not volatile
- Very versatile: biofuels, bioproducts, chemicals
- World-wide geographical distribution
- Enhanced varieties are ready
There is wasteland in our country to the extent of crores of acres. Agro Economic Zones(AEZ) on the lines of SEZ can be set up. Unemployed and educated youth can be given training in Agricultural operations and each allotted 10 acres. 10 such people can form a Co-operative and can undertake fast growing trees like Agave,Opuntia,Jatropha etc. This way the waste land can be brought under cultivation besides solving unemployment problem to some extent.
What is needed in an agrarian country like ours is AGRO INDUSTRIES to utilise local resources and resourcefulness as advocated by Mahatma Gandhiji.
Wind farm co-operatives can be started in India on the lines of those in Denmark.. A Wind Fund can be created and the investments in it by Individual Income Tax payers can be exempted under Section 80 C. This way there will be funds available for large scale wind farms besides large participation of people in the Wind Farms. Offshore wind farms will be future energy option to supplement conventional power. With extensive research on large size wind turbines and installation techniques of offshore wind turbines, the cost of power generation through offshore wind farms is expected to come down to be competitive with conventional power. USA, China, South Korea, Taiwan, France and Japan have ambitious plans to go in for offshore wind farms on a massive scale.
A lot of push is given to Solar PV in India under Jawaharlal Solar Mission. The Present Solar Cell efficiency is low(about 15%) compared to Wind, Micro/mini hydel and Biomass. Tremendous research on improving the efficiency of solar cell is in the offing. It is expected in about couple of years the efficient solar cells enter the market. Why not we go slow in solar projects till more efficient ones are in the market so that the investment in solar projects will yield better results.
Improved solar cookers, solar driers, solar water heating systems, wind battery chargers, micro-hydro systems etc. need to be promoted on a war footing to bring the benefits of Renewable energy to the masses. Wind farm co-operatives can be started in India.
Dr.Manmohan Singhji, kindly consider the above concrete Renewable Energy Project proposals to benefit the country in general and rural India in particular.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India on April 20, 2013
Renewable Energy Expert
PM: India to double renewable energy capacity by 2017
NEW DELHI, April 17, 2013
Stating that India had launched itself to double the renewable energy capacity to 55000 MW by 2017, Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh on Wednesday expressed serious concern over the "painfully slow" progress of climate change talks, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday lamented that the goal of stabilising global temperatures at acceptable levels was nowhere in sight.
Delivering the inaugural address at the Fourth Clean Energy Ministerial, Dr. Singh said India had drawn up plans to double its renewable energy capacity to 55,000 MW by 2017 as part initiatives to promote renewable energy use. "It is proposed to double the renewable energy capacity in our country from 25000 MW in 2012 to 55000 MW by the year 2017. This would include exploiting non-conventional energy sources such as solar, wind power and energy from biomass," he added.
The Prime Minister said rich nations, who were responsible for a bulk of greenhouse gas emissions, were best placed to provide workable solutions to mitigate climate change. "The industrialised nations have high per capita incomes, which gives them the highest capacity to bear the burden. They are technically most advanced, and to that extent best placed to provide workable solutions not only for themselves but for the whole world. Unfortunately, progress in these negotiations is painfully slow. The goal of stabilising global temperatures at acceptable levels is nowhere in sight," he remarked.
"In India, we have set ourselves a national target of increasing the efficiency of energy use to bring about a 20 to 25 per cent reduction in the energy intensity of our GDP by 2020. The 12th Plan envisaged an expanded role for clean energy, including hydro, solar and wind power. The cost of solar energy for example has nearly halved over the last two years, though it remains higher than the cost of fossil fuel based electricity. If the cost imposed by carbon emissions is taken into account, then solar energy is more cost effective, but it is still more expensive," added.
He said developing countries account for 82 per cent of the world’s population and they use 55 per cent of the available global supply of energy. "They must aim at faster growth of their GDP to improve the living standards of their populations and this will entail an expanded demand for energy. If they follow the industrialised countries in meeting their energy requirements through fossil fuel based energy, we know that the impact on the global climate would be simply unsustainable," he stated.
He said there is need for inter-country consultation and discussion in these areas to promote information exchange and to identify possible areas of collaboration, and also to learn from each other’s experience in addressing common problems. The initiative for launching the New Delhi Ministerial was taken by Dr. Steven Chu, US Energy Secretary, who is also a very distinguished Nobel Laureate.
He also setting up of a National Institute of Solar Energy, which would be a global level R&D centre, which could draw upon international cooperation as well, to enable the creation of more affordable and convenient solar power systems, and promote innovations that enable the storage of solar power for sustained, long-term use. It is expected to be operational by 2015.
Comment by Anumakonda JagadeeshYes. We are glad that Renewable Energy will be given a big push in the coming years, Prime Minister. The Renewable Energy has to be taped on a massive scale in India. Apart from Wind,Solar,Biomass immediate gains can be achieved by Energy Conservation and Saving. By the 31st March 2008, around 15.47 million pump sets have been energized in the country (CEA, 2008). This increased to 16 million by the 30th June 2009 (CEA, 2009). This number is expected to grow further with the expansion of the rural electrification programme. Furthermore, thousands of diesel-based agricultural pump sets could also be replaced with electrical ones, if there is an improvement in reliability of power supply to rural areas. Carbon savings from this exercise, though not enumerated, could be substantial. Irrigation pumps used in the agriculture sector account for about 25% of electricity consumption in India.
In the past some efforts were made to improve the performance of Irrigation electric pump sets like Replacement of Pipe & foot valve, Single-phase HVDS and pumps, DSM Pump replacement project, Adoption of efficient mono-block pumps.
A scheme can be chalked out to replace the old agricultural pump sets by more efficient ones with a subsidy on a massive scale.
As the saying goes in Cricket,Each run saved is each run made so also Each Kwh saved is each Kwh Produced.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP), India
(Commented in Facebook on April 21, 2013)