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Volume 8 Issue 6 June 2015

Well-Positioned to Shine Brightly in the Future

June 2015 | Akshay Urja | 01

02 | Akshay Urja | June 2015
In this Issue

JUNE 2015 | Volume 8 Issue 6 |

Cover Story
A bi-monthly newsletter of the Ministry of New and
Renewable Energy, Government of India
The Indian Solar Power Market (Published in English and Hindi)
Well-Positioned to Shine Brightly in the Future CHIEF PATRON
The solar energy programme of the Indian government has recently approved revision Shri Piyush Goyal
in the target to 100 GW of installed capacity by 2022. Considering the fact that Indias Minister of State (Independent Charge)
installed capacity is merely 3.3 GW, Shirish S Garud and Adwit Kashyap discuss for Power, Coal, and New and Renewable Energy
the potential, market segments, preparedness of the stakeholders, and barriers in
implementing this ambitious target. PATRON
Shri Upendra Tripathy
Secretary, MNRE, New Delhi
Dr Arun K Tripathi
MNRE, New Delhi
Praveen Saxena, Chairman
D K Khare
P Dhamija
M R Nouni
B S Negi
R K Vimal
4 National 41 Grid-Connected Rooftop Solar: Anupama Jauhry, Sangeeta Paul,
8 International Policies, Business Models, and Pawan Garg, Abhas Mukherjee,
Financing Options Anushree Tiwari Sharma, Adwit Kashyap,
Santosh K Singh, Shilpa Mohan, R K Joshi,
SPECIAL FEATURE Aman Sachdeva, TERI, New Delhi
16 Anaerobic Digestion Control RE INSTITUTION
and Automation 42 Unique Solar Engineers of EDITORIAL OFFICE
Barefoot College Dr Arun K Tripathi
RE FEATURES Editor, Akshay Urja
RE SUCCESS STORY MNRE, Block No. 14, CGO Complex,
20 Sustainability of Third Lodhi Road, New Delhi - 110 003
Generation Feedstock for 45 Cairn Centre of Excellence: Vocational Tel. +91 11 2436 3035, 2436 0707
Continuous Production of Training Centre Established by Cairn Fax +91 11 2436 3035
Biomethane Under India at Jodhpur, Rajasthan E-mail:
Outdoor Conditions Web:

26 Biomass Supply Chain Management: 47 RE PRODUCT PRODUCED BY

A Sustainable Approach to Bioenergy TERI Press
48 CHILDRENS CORNER TERI, Darbari Seth Block, IHC Complex
36 Grid-Connected Solar Power Plant Lodhi Road, New Delhi -110 003
at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra Tel. +91 11 2468 2100, 4150 4900
Railway Station: A Green Initiative 50 WEB/BOOK ALERT Fax: +91 11 2468 2144, 2468 2145
by Indian Railways Email:
32 Ten Thousand Rooftop Solar
Ministry of New and Renewable Energy
Power Plants in Kerala 52 RE STATISTICS
Disclaimer: The views expressed by authors
20 26 36 including those of the editor in this newsletter are
not necessarily the views of the MNRE.

Published, printed, and edited for and

on behalf of the Ministry of New and
Renewable Energy, Government of India,
Dr Avanish K Tiwari and Rohit Yogender Singh and Prof. Y In this article, R K Chaudhary
Sharma discuss how the cultivation K Yadav believe that India has says that the project has been
from B-14, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road,
of Chlorella pyrenoidosa in biogas a great potential of bioenergy commissioned and today, the Katra New Delhi, by Dr Arun Kumar Tripathi.
wastewater would be an efficient production. In this article, they Railway Station generates surplus
and economical way to save water discuss these inefficiencies and energy. He also discusses some
Printed at Aravali Printers & Publishers
for anaerobic digestion as well as suggest workable solutions. significant technical details of this (P) Ltd. W-30, Okhla Industrial Area,
produce biomethane. major renewable energy project.
Phase II, New Delhi - 110 020, India.
Cover photo: PV modules at Katra Railway Station
June 2015 | Akshay Urja | 1

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Send or email your letters to:
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an encouraging perspective of the
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Dear Reader, Thank you very much for your suggestions and encouragement. The editorial
team of Akshay Urja will make every effort to make this magazine highly informative and
useful to all our readers. We welcome your suggestions and valuable comments to make
further improvements in the content and presentation.
Editor, Akshay Urja

2 | Akshay Urja | June 2015

From the Editors Desk

Dear Readers,

From the Editors Desk

The Government of India has set an ambitious target towards achieving
100 GW solar power capacity under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar
Mission by 2022. The 60 GW capacity of solar power is targeted from on-
ground projects and 40 GW from grid connected rooftop solar power. This
is a giant step and it will make India the biggest producer of solar power in
the world. This will require an investment of about 600,000 crores till 2022.
This investment has to come from the Government of India, public sector
undertakings, independent power producers, individual project owners, state
governments, international funding institutions, etc.
At present, state governments have also come out with state-specific
solar policies to promote solar capacity addition but in context to this 100
GW this needs to be further revised and augmented with higher targets and
commitments. Apart from finances, the other challenges are absorption of the
solar electricity in the grid, trade of electricity in the present mainstream trade
system, grid balancing and other grid stability related issues, acceptability
of solar power by the distribution licensees, etc. All stakeholders have to
play their roles in a mission mode. Stakeholders preparedness would play
an important role in meeting the targets. Recent studies conducted by The
Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) show that while agencies are gearing up
for the enhanced targets, power sector stakeholders and industry need to do
a lot to accelerate the pace. Role of utilities and regulators to come out with
user-friendly policies and schemes for faster sanctioning and implementation
of rooftop systems would be crucial.
This has attracted the attention of international companies and has
also opened the door for foreign investments. Today, India is seen as the
destination of opportunity by the international community and we must utilize
this opportunity. Besides generating clean power, this will also generate ample
employment in the country. Solar electricity being clean and environmentally
benign, its decreasing cost, constant increase in cost of fossil fuel based
electricity are few of the favourable conditions for advent of solar power
in India.
An analysis of preparedness of Indian market, stakeholders, grid, finances,
etc., for large 100 GW solar power has been presented in this issue, besides
interesting reading material on recent developments in other sectors of
renewable energy. I am sure that you will find it informative and interesting
as well. Please do not forget to send us your views and suggestions.

Happy reading

lwjt ,d :i vusd

June 2015 | Akshay Urja | 3

RE News

Renewable Energy News

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu Advocates Use of Solar, Wind Energy
Cautioning against harmful effects Advocating the use of solar and wind
of greenhouse gases due to fossil energy, he said that solar and wind
fuel use, Railway Minister Shri Suresh energy could lead to a new paradigm
Prabhu has advocated a paradigm shift in the energy scenario. We
shift in the energy scenario through have 300 days of good sunshine
the use of alternative energy such as in India. We do not have to import
solar and wind power. The large- solar energy. We should focus on
scale use of fossil fuel worldwide is solar power. However, there is a
causing greenhouse gas emissions. requirement for storage facility of
which is affecting the climate solar energy, he said.
adversely. Shri Suresh Prabhu said at Shri Suresh Prabhu also suggested
a memorial lecture.Explaining the tapping of oceanic energy while
consequence of greenhouse gas noting that India has a long coastline.
emissions, he said, The unseasonal Suggesting other changes to keep
rain in the recent time and extreme the environment clean, he said,
weather change cannot be imagined. Buildings should be designed as
Extreme weather is causing adverse energy-efficient. Since ground water
effects on agriculture like damage to is depleting, steps like rain water
crops. The present global regime of new sources of energy which harvesting should be taken to prevent
energy is not sustainable in terms of are sustainable and it is a big further fall in water level.
the environment. We must find out challenge today. Source:

A Sunny Pitch at Chinnaswamy Stadium

M Chinnaswamy Stadium will and also cutting down about
no longer be charged only by 600 tonnes of carbon dioxide
the enthusiasm of cricket fans; emission annually. The excess
a rooftop solar plant will ensure power will be sent to the Bescom
a bright and sunny pitch to the grid with Karnataka State Cricket
cricketing nucleus of the State. Association (KSCA) being paid
Recently, a 400 kW rooftop N 9.56 per unit. Bengaluru-based
solar power plant has been solar solutions enterprise RenXSol
successfully installed at Ecotech Pvt. Ltd executed the
the stadium. project for the KSCA, which was
Pegged as a first for any approved, commissioned, and
stadium in the country, the installed in less than 50 days.
bi-directional net metering Shri Brijesh Patel, Honorary
project under the Bescom Secretary, KSCA, said, This is the
grid-connected solar rooftop first cricket stadium globally, and
scheme is connected to the also the first in India, to use solar
power utilitys 11 kV substation. power. The KSCA has set
The plant is designed to an example by using its space
generate 5.9 lakh units in a to help protect the environment
year, which is enough to power for our children in the years
200 AEH (all electric homes) to come.
using 3 kW power annually, Source:

4 | Akshay Urja | June 2015

[ National ]

IFC, IREDA Partner to Boost Financing for Renewable Gujarat Tops in Rooftop
Energy Infrastructure in India Solar Power Generation
Once again, Gujarat has led
from the front when it comes to
promoting rooftop solar power
generation projects. The state
leads in the country with 9.75 MW
rooftop solar power generation.
Gujarat accounted for 23.64
per cent of the total 41.24 MW
rooftop solar power generated
in the country by the end of
financial year 201415. The other
state that comes close to Gujarat
is Punjab with 7.52 MW rooftop
solar power.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra
Modi, during his stint as the
chief minister of the state, had
launched the Solar Rooftop Solar
PV project in 201011 in the state
capital, Gandhinagar. After its
success, the Gujarat Government
initiated the process to replicate
the same model in five big cities
International Finance Corporation support the Government of Indias of Vadodara, Rajkot, Mehsana,
(IFC), a member of The World Bank plan to establish up to 175 gigawatts Bhavnagar, and Surat. The target
Group, and the Indian Renewable of renewable energy projects over for solar power generation for
Energy Development Agency Ltd the next seven years, said Shri K these cities was 25 MW. Though
(IREDA) will partner to provide S Popli, Chairman and Managing this target was not achieved
much-needed infrastructure Director, IREDA. by the state government in
financing for renewable energy The IFCs master cooperation 201415, it still is the top state
projects in India, which, in turn, will agreement was created in 2009 when it comes to rooftop solar
help boost growth and create jobs. in response to calls for finance power generation.
IREDA, the financing arm of the institutions to collaborate more
Ministry of New and Renewable closely to help meet shortfalls in
Energy (MNRE), is now the twenty- private sector financing during the
seventh development finance global financial crisis.
institution globally and the second IFC and IREDA will play a
in India, to sign the IFCs master catalytic role in private sector
cooperation agreement. This development by providing long-
collaboration will help standardize term risk capital where it is needed
steps that lenders take when co- most, said Mr Hyun Chan Cho,
financing projects with the IFC. IFCs Head for Infrastructure and
The ultimate aim is to make local Natural ResourcesAsia Pacific.
currency financing available, in Since the master cooperation
shorter time-frames, and reduce agreement was created, signatories
financing costs for lenders have co-invested more than
and borrowers. $3 billion with IFC to support
The partnership will help IREDA private sector development
increase its portfolio in financing across the world.
renewable energy projects, to Source:

June 2015 | Akshay Urja | 5

RE News

Bhatinda Gets 4 MW Solar Power Plant

4,000-MW Renewable
Energy Projects Set
Up in Financial Year
More than 4,000 MW of grid-
connected renewable energy
power projects were set up in
201415, beating the targets by
8.5 per cent. At the end of March
2015, India had 35,777 MW of
renewable energy capacity. The
highlight of the year was the
addition in solar capacity, which Punjab Renewable Energy Minister Constructed with an investment of
stood at a record 1,112 MW, Shri Bikram Singh Majithia inaugurated N 35 crore by an Israel-based
compared with the 948 MW a 4 MW solar power plant in Nangla, company, the Nangla project will
achieved in 201314 and slightly Bhatinda district. The solar plant has produce 14,00018,000 units of
higher than the target of 1,100 been approved by the Punjab Energy power every day. With the fourth solar
MW. A comparison of installation Development Authority (PEDA). plant in Bhatinda district, the total
figures at the end of December On this occasion, Shri Majithia production of solar power in the state
2014 and March 2015 shows that said that farmers would get a higher has increased to 234 MW. It was just
979 MW of wind and 681 MW of lease amount as compared to the 9 MW in 2009. Shri Majithia said, We
solar capacities were added in market rates, along with an annual plan to develop capacity to generate
the JanuaryMarch quarter of increment of 6 per cent. He added 5,400 MW non-conventional power
201415. These capacities work that PEDA would facilitate the setting by 2022 with 300 MW generation from
out to 42 per cent and 61 per cent, up of projects related to renewable biomass, 680 MW from cogeneration
respectively, of the total wind and sources of energy on farmer-owned power, 4,200 MW from solar, 200 MW
solar capacities installed in 201415. land, wherein private investors would from hydel, and 20 MW by converting
Source: take the land on lease from farmers waste into energy.
for 25 years. Source:

Integrated Energy Policy Soon to Meet Growing Demand:NITI Aayog

TheNational Institution for concerned ministries to draw a energy policy would focus on an
Transforming India (NITI) Aayog blueprint in this regard. integrated approach in harnessing
would soon come out with an Addressing a workshop on the the potential of power generation
energy policy to meet the countrys India Energy Outlook, the NITI through solar, wind, gas, and coal to
growing energy demand. It has Aayogs Vice-Chairman Shri Arvind meet the countrys energy demand.
already begun consultations with Panagariya said that the proposed We will have a national energy
policy. We are in discussions with our
colleagues in different ministries,
Shri Panagariya said. The country
needs to rapidly expand its energy
market, as one-fourth of its people
still do not have access to electricity.
India is set to become the fastest
growing economy in the world. We
need to take away the subsidies from
rich people and use that money
to provide clean energy to poor
people, he reasoned.

6 | Akshay Urja | June 2015

[ National ]

Sterling and Wilson Commissions 140 MW Solar Capacity in 201415

Sterling and Wilson Pvt. Ltd, a part Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. The cumulative power output
of Shapoorji Pallonji Group, has All the plants commissioned by us from the 140 MWs of solar power
emerged as one of Indias largest perform at a higher than estimated projects commissioned would be
solar Engineering, Procurement efficiency level, thus increasing the able to light up 200,000 Indian
Construction (EPC) contractors by value generated for the client on a homes. From an environmental
commissioning over 140 MW of solar yearly basis. As new environmental perspective, Sterling and Wilson has
capacity in 201415. norms come into existence, it will helped in reducing the countrys
The company has set up solar be our endeavour to drive value carbon footprint by 70 tonnes per
power generation plants for and engineering innovations in year, which is the approximate
various private sector entities the solar business, said Mr Bikesh amount of coal required to generate
across Maharashtra, Madhya Ogra, President, Sterling and Wilson, 140 MW of electricity.
Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Electrical & Solar Business. So far, the company has over
350 MW of solar projects spread
across 13 states. Hong Kong-based
market research firm, IHS Research
has named Sterling and Wilson
ahead of many well-entrenched
Indian solar EPC players.

Tata Power Solar Starts Operation of 1.25 MW MNREDISCOMs

Rooftop Solar Plant at TN Varsity Discuss Grid-Connected
generate nearly 20 lakh units of
Solar Rooftop Projects
Tata Power Solar has commissioned
1.25 MW rooftop projects at power annually and reduce more A meeting between the State
Sastra Universitys Thanjavur and than 1,600 tonne of carbon Distribution Companies
Kumbakonam campuses in Tamil dioxide emission. (DISCOMs) and the Ministry of
Nadu. The Sastra University has Set up on 11 buildings across New and Renewable Energy
inked a pact with Tata Power the two campuses, these plants (MNRE) was held on the issue
Trading Company under which come with in-built grid interactive of grid-connected solar rooftop
the latter would sell electricity string inverters to achieve efficiency photovoltaic systems. Shri
generated from the facilities to up to 98 per cent and reduce losses. Upendra Tripathy, Secretary,
the university for the next 15 years. To further minimize transmission MNRE informed the participants
Commissioned as a part of and distribution losses, power that the MNRE is in discussion
the universitys green energy generated by each rooftop with the Ministry of Power (MoP)
effort, the plants are likely to offset plant would be used by the for earmarking at least 10% of
30 per cent of its total power same building. the funds from the Integrated
consumption. These plants will Source: Power Development Scheme and
Deen Dayal Uppadhayay Gram
Jyoti Yojana scheme towards
grid-connected rooftop solar
and DISCOMs should include it
in their detailed project report
submission to the MoP. Shri Tarun
Kapoor, Joint Secretary, MNRE
emphasized on the inevitable
growth of rooftop solar power in
the country and urged DISCOMs
to provide grid connectivity.

June 2015 | Akshay Urja | 7

RE News

China and Brazil Lead Global Growth in Wind Energy

According to the Global Wind Energy of 80 per cent last year from 2013
Councils report Global Wind Report: figures, the report added.
Annual Market Update 2014, China The report said, Mexico acquired
and Brazil led the global growth in 633.7 MW of new capacity to reach a
wind energy in 2014. The report total of 2,551 MW by the end of 2014,
mentions about Chinas installed while Chile added 506 MW to reach
23 GW of new wind power last a total of 836 MW in total installed
year, bringing its total to more than capacity. Meanwhile, Uruguay added
114 GW. Meanwhile, Brazil was the almost 405 MW of new capacity, Peru
worlds fourth largest market in 2014, added almost 146 MW, and Argentina
entering the top 10 for the first time. added 53 MW last year. America and
China in 2014 crossed the the Caribbean had added 3,749 MW of
100,000 MW mark, adding another new capacity last year to bring its total
milestone to its already exceptional installed capacity to 8.5 GW.
history of renewable energy Wind power is reaching critical industry to complement its rich hydro
development since 2005. Latin mass in a number of Latin American and biomass (and potentially solar)
Americas wind energy market tripled markets, and the region has begun resources, the report added.
and posted an installation growth developing a substantial wind power Source:

Japan Turns to Solar Power South Africas 10 MW

Neusberg Small Hydro
Plant Commissioned

According to the Japan Renewable be replacing imported uranium

Energy Foundation (JREF), solar and fossil fuels, said Tomas
power is set to become profitable Kberger, executive board
in Japan. This development will chairman of the JREF.
free the country from the need for Japan is retiring nearly 2.4 GW South Africas 10 MW Neusberg
government subsidies and make of expensive and polluting oil-fired hydropower project has been
it the last of the G7 economies energy plants by March next year officially launched, according
where technology has become and switching to alternative fuels. to the owner, Kakamas Hydro
economically viable. Japans 43 nuclear reactors Electric Power Ltd. The plant
Japan is now one of the worlds have been closed in the wake of is located on the Orange River
four largest markets for solar panels the 2011 meltdown at the in the Northern Cape of South
and a large number of power plants Fukushima power plant after an Africa, and represents the
are coming on-stream, including earthquake and a tsunamisince first run-of-the-river project
two giant arrays over water in Kato then, renewable energy capacity developed under the countrys
City and a $1 billion solar farm being has tripled to 25 GW, with solar Renewable Energy Independent
built on a salt field in Okayama, both accounting for more than Power Producers Programme
west of Osaka. Solar has come of 80 per cent of that. (REIPPP).
age in Japan and from now on will Source: Source:

8 | Akshay Urja | June 2015

[ International ]

New Zealand an Impressive Green Energy Model

A top US Government official visiting
the country has praised New Zealand
as a great model for other countries
working to boost their renewable
energy generation. Ms Mary Warlick,
the US Department of States principal
deputy assistant secretary of the
Bureau of Energy Resources, has
spent some recent time learning
about New Zealands energy profile
from the Kiwi researchers and
government officials.
With the US investing billions
of dollars to up its own capacity
for renewable energy generation,
Ms Warlick said that New Zealand
could offer many lessons from largely from hydropower and marine. By 2025, the New Zealand
the way it invested in research and (more than 50 per cent) and Government wants 90 per cent of
industry development in the space. geothermal (around 14 per cent). the countrys electricity generation
Today, around 40 per cent of New Other sources are wind coming from renewable energy
Zealands primary energy is supplied (5 per cent of the total electricity sources, provided it does not affect
from renewable sources, which also supply), bioenergy (providing 8 per the security of supply.
generates 80 per cent of its electricity, cent of primary energy supply), solar, Source:

REIL Signs an Agreement for Manufacturing Total Corporate Funding

of Milk Analyzers in India in Solar Sector Increases
Rajasthan Electronics & Instruments manufacturing of Milk Analyzers in to $6.4 Billion in Q1
Limited (REIL), Jaipur signed an India. The agreement was signed
Mercom Capital Group,
agreement with M/s Milkotronic Ltd. by the Managing Director, REIL,
llc, a global clean energy
Nova Zagora, Bulgaria at Hannover Shri A K Jain and Managing Director
communications and consulting
Messe 2015, Hannover, Germany Milkotronic Ltd, Shri Dinyo Dinev
firm, released its report on funding
for the transfer of technology for in gracious presence of Secretary,
and Merger and Acquisition (M&A)
Department of Heavy Industries,
activity for the solar sector in the
Government of India, Shri Rajan
first quarter of 2015.
S Katoch and the Joint Secretary,
Total global corporate funding
Department of Heavy Industries,
in the solar sector, including
Government of India, Shri Vishvajit
venture capital/private equity
Sahay. These Analyzers are used to
(VC), debt financing, and public
measure various parameters in milk.
market financing raised by public
On this occasion, Managing
companies, almost doubled with
Director, Shri Jain reiterated the
$6.4 billion, compared to
commitment of the company
$3.4 billion in Q4 2014.
of Shaping Rural India through Source:
Electronics, Energy and IT
Solutions alongwith responding
to the needs of esteemed
customers, added yet another
product in the manufacturing
range that is reliable, dependable,
and affordable.

June 2015 | Akshay Urja | 9

Cover Story

Well-Positioned to Shine
Brightly in the Future
The solar energy
programme of the Indian
government has recently
approved revision in
the target to 100 GW of
installed capacity by 2022.
Considering the fact that
Indias installed capacity is
merely 3.3 GW, Shirish S
Garud and Adwit Kashyap
discuss the potential, market
segments, preparedness
of the stakeholders, and
barriers in implementing
this ambitious target.

10 | Akshay Urja | June 2015

The Indian Solar Power Market: Well-Positioned to Shine Brightly in the Future

he solar energy programme Potential breadth of the country now has 115
of the Government of India solar radiation resource and other
The National Institute of Solar Energy
is poised to take a giant leap relevant data measuring stations.4
(NISE), an autonomous institute under
in the coming years with Thus, it can be concluded that
the Ministry of New and Renewable
a recently approved revision in the the Ministry is well on the path of
Energy (MNRE), has recently estimated
target to 100 GW of installed capacity estimating resource potential with
Indias solar energy potential of the
by 2022, announced recently by the minimum uncertainty. This will help in
order of 748.98 GW2 considering
government. Considering the fact reducing the risks associated with the
only portions of wasteland and other
that the global installed capacity of resource estimation. Figure 1 presents
land areas available for installations.
solar power is around 177 GW (as on the solar radiation atlas of India.
Similarly, The Energy and Resources
January 2015) and Indias installed
Institute (TERI) has recently estimated
capacity is merely 3.3 GW, its time
potential of 124 GW for rooftop
to take a hard look at the potential,
solar based on the current data Preparedness
market segments, preparedness
of buildings.3 The major stakeholders are as follows:
of the stakeholders, and barriers in
The National Institute of Wind The Central and State governments
implementing this ambitious target.
Energy (NIWE), Chennai recently Power sector comprising utilities,
A recent market analysis1 reported a
launched solar radiation potential regulators, generators, transmission
projection of 2 GW capacity addition
maps for India which show the solar and distribution network companies,
of solar power in the country in the
energy resource potential for India load despatch centres, power
financial year 201516. Whereas the
based on the ground measurement exchanges, and so on
government is planning to tender
data gathered under the Solar
about 1015 GW of solar projects Industryincluding solar and
Radiation Resource Assessment
in 201516 and continue it every balance of system manufacturing
Programme launched by the
year afterwards. industry and user industry, which
MNRE. This one-of-its-kind unique
can use the solar energy produced
programme covering the length and

June 2015 | Akshay Urja | 11

Cover Story

Financing community covering

investors, financial institutions,
lenders, project developers,
multilateral and bilateral
institutions, and so on
Service providers such as EPC
contractors, consultants, and
research and training institutes.

Stakeholders preparedness would

play an important role in meeting
the targets. Studies conducted by TERI
show that while agencies are gearing
up for the enhanced targets, power
sector stakeholders and industry need
to do a lot to accelerate the pace. Role
of utilities and regulators to come
out with user-friendly policies and
schemes for faster sanctioning and
implementation of rooftop systems
would be crucial.

Market Segments
While revising the targets,
the government has also revised
the market segment-wise targets.
The 100 GW plan is subdivided into
the following major market segments:
40 GW of solar rooftop systems
20 GW through solar parks and Ultra
Mega Power Plant (UMPP) scheme
20 GW through unemployed
youth, Gram Panchayat (local
administrative bodies), and Micro,
Small and Medium Enterprises
20 GW through bundling and
Figure 1: Solar radiation atlas of India (Source: NREL) Viability Gap Funding (VGF) scheme.

Table 1: Proposed distribution of target The above distribution is captured in

Table 1 along with our observations on
Sl. Type of Scheme Target Status the current status.
No. (GW)
It can be seen that the government
1 Solar park 20 Proposals being developed. Need 2 years to has made right efforts to distribute
develop after land acquisition. Transmission
network to be developed
the targets across the segments and
two major initiatives: (i) solar rooftop
2 Rooftop solar 40 States and DISCOMs to develop schemes, policies
may move slowly in the beginning and (ii) solar parks, will be critically
important for the success of the plan.
3 Central PSUs 05 Can move faster if CPSUs show commitment
This is because while solar rooftop
4 State PSUs 10 Can move faster
system can bring in distribution of
5 Entrepreneurs 20 Depends on states and DISCOMs capacity across the country thus
6 Private corporate/ 05 Private investors spreading the investments on one
industrial houses hand, solar parks and UMPP projects

12 | Akshay Urja | June 2015

The Indian Solar Power Market: Well-Positioned to Shine Brightly in the Future

can bring in scale for large and

sustainable investments across the
value chain bring down the costs of
solar systems. However, the success
of this will depend on the faster
implementation and capacity building
across the value chain. Preparedness
of State governments by providing
policy support, regulators, and utilities
to provide attractive investment
options for rooftop solar and financial
institutions to support the projects
will be crucial. Recent announcement
of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to Solar rooftop panels
include solar energy sector in priority The commercial and industrial that can be installed at locations and
lending sector is a welcome move in consumer segments are exhibiting premises of all Ministries of the Central
this direction. The proposed scheme strong signs of adopting rooftop solar government across the country.
of Dollar Currency Loans for large power at a large scale. This is largely In addition, the MNRE, through
solar power projects would also play attributable to the significant margin its wholly-owned implementing
a game changer role in attracting of cost savings offered by rooftop agencythe Solar Energy Corporation
pension funds and long-term solar power to these consumers, of India (SECI), is currently planning a
international investors. who frequently rely on expensive GW-scale tendering programme for
It is well known that the Central and diesel generation. In a number of rooftop solar projects in the country.
State PSUs, Railways, and Defence states, the grid power tariffs for these The residential segment holds
establishments have vast land areas customers are also higher than the the largest potential for rooftop
under them and if this resource is cost of rooftop solar power, further solar power. This is mainly due to
properly tapped for solar projects incentivizing market growth. The the large residential building stock
then the issue of land scarcity would need of the hour for accelerating in the country. However, due to
be minimized. The initiatives of the rooftop solar market growth is various market reasons, the take-up
the government to create policy identification of specific commercial/ of rooftop solar power by residential
environment for this would go a long industrial sub-sectors or businesses consumers is yet to take off in a big
way in promoting large scale solar for which the benefits significantly way. Some of the reasons for this
power plants. outweigh the costs, and engage are low relative viability of rooftop
Detailed analysis of the market them with a strong outreach and solar power for residential customers
segments is discussed below. marketing campaign. This, however, due to subsidized grid power tariffs,
may create revenue loss situation for insufficient outreach and awareness of
Rooftop Solar Power utilities which are cross-subsidizing the products benefits due to absence
There are four major consumer the residential and agriculture tariffs of targeted marketing campaigns,
segments for rooftop solar power, viz., with higher tariffs for industries and high cost of debt from banks, low
residential, commercial, industrial, and commercial establishments. engagement by some distribution
government/municipal. Apart from this, the government utilities, etc. Inclusion of solar rooftop
has taken several steps to promote systems as part of the housing loan
rooftop solar power in its own scheme is another strategic step by
`18/kWh infrastructure. The Ministry of Railways the government to attract investments
has taken up a target of 1 GW of in this segment.
rooftop solar power in the next five Another point of concern
`7/kWh years. The Government of India is across the industry is that the
also in discussion with various PSUs low level of standardization of
and Departments, such as the Central system components, installation,
Public Works Department (CPWD), commissioning and operation
Rooftop solar DG set for installing rooftop solar power in processes, and emphasis on quality
their infrastructure. The MNRE has and safety by the developers.
Cost Comparison of Rooftop recently tasked TERI to estimate the There is certainly a lot going on
Solar Power with DG set total potential of rooftop solar power in the rooftop solar power market.

June 2015 | Akshay Urja | 13

Cover Story

However, the current level of activity Corporation Limited (NTPC) for sale The MNRE, in a push to the canal-top
needs to be significantly ramped up to states. and canal-bank solar power projects,
in order to approach the markets Table 2: State-wise proposed solar which first materialized in Gujarat, had
realizable potential, which is estimated park schemes released a pilot-cum-demonstration
at a huge 124,000 MW.5 scheme worth 100 MW in December
Solar Park 2014. It is proposed to develop 50 MW
State Capacity
Solar Parks And No.
(MW) of canal-top and 50 MW of canal-bank
UMPP Projects 1 Andhra Pradesh 2,500
in eight states as shown in
Table 3 below.
Currently, utility-scale solar power 2 Gujarat 700
projects being stalled under solar Table 3: Proposal to develop 50 MW
3 Karnataka 2,000
park and UMPP scheme dominate the of canal-top and 50 MW of canal-
4 Madhya Pradesh 1,500 bank in eight states of India
Indian solar market, with more than
3.7 GW of installed capacity, out of 5 Meghalaya 20
Sl. State Canal- Canal-
a total 3.7 GW installed capacity in 6 Punjab 1,000 No. top bank
the country (as of March 31, 20156). target target
7 Rajasthan 2,680
This is contrary to the situation in (MW) (MW)
8 Tamil Nadu 500
the majority of other countries with 1 Andhra Pradesh 1 5
significant solar power capacities. 9 Telangana 1,000 2 Gujarat 10 15
Utility-scale projects in India are 10 Uttar Pradesh 600 3 Karnataka 10 -
generally implemented through the 11 Arunachal Pradesh 100 4 Kerala 3 -
tendering process usually coordinated
12 Kerala 200 5 Punjab 20 -
by Central and State governments or
their agencies. For instance, MNRE 13 Uttarakhand 39 6 Uttar Pradesh 6 -
obtained Cabinet approval for the 14 Nagaland 60 7 Uttarakhand - 20
scheme for solar parks in late 2014, Total 12,899 8 West Bengal - 10
with a total planned programme Sub-Total 50 50
size of 20 GW. This scheme will
be implemented through the Recent Developments Total 100

development of walk-in facilities On May 13, 2015, the Renewable

for solar power developers, where Purchase Obligation (RPO) The Government of India is
developers will be provided with a mechanism received a boost with developing a mechanism targeted at
number of major amenities required in the Supreme Court judgement that reducing the cost of supply of solar
a solar power plant, such as identified the RPO on captive consumers is power through dollar-denominated
and developed land, power evacuation justified, citing Article 51A (g) of tariff bidding. Under the arrangement,
infrastructure, etc. The developers the Constitution of India that cast a distribution utilities would quote prices
will only need to walk-in and start fundamental duty on the citizen to in dollars for long-term solar power
assembling their power generation protect and improve the environment, contracts, but would still charge
equipment after the initial bidding and the mandate of Article 21 that consumers in rupee. This is expected
processes. This scheme has received guarantees the right to live with to reduce solar power costs to parity
significant interest from states, with healthy life. This development may levels with power from coal power
land identification and development help in better enforcement practices plants, at approximately N 5/kWh. This
already being undertaken to support of the RPO mechanism in the future. idea, if implemented, should serve to
projects of more than 10 GW In the rooftop solar sector, the give a substantial push to the solar
cumulative capacities (Table 2). net metering mechanism is gaining power sector in the country.
However, there are reports of this momentum, with a total of 15 states The state of Karnataka recently
development process suffering from and six union territories now having introduced a very well-received,
delays. It might be a while before the implemented this provision. This is 300 MW scheme for the development
programme sees acceleration of on- a very positive development for the of grid-connected solar power
ground implementation. promotion of rooftop solar power, on unutilized or non-productive
Another Central government since without a regulation released farmland, wherein farmers can set up
initiative is the 3 GW state bundling by the respective State Electricity 13 MW capacity solar power plants
scheme, in which solar power Regulatory Commission (SERC) it is on their land and sell power to the
will be bundled with conventional illegal to obtain a grid connection for grid. Besides augmenting the states
power from National Thermal Power a rooftop solar power project. solar power capacity through an

14 | Akshay Urja | June 2015

The Indian Solar Power Market: Well-Positioned to Shine Brightly in the Future

A view of a solar farm in India

innovative route, this measure is also abilities, balancing solutions, and solar sector are likely to play lead role
expected to decrease the agricultural planning for Renewable Energy in accelerating the markets. Perhaps
electricity load on the states power Management Centres (REMCs) the Ministry can focus on streamlining
system, which had grown to consume in the country. the procurement processes,
a substantial portion of the states total uniformity in state level policies and
electricity consumption, and was also Market Development enactment of suitable regulatory
growing at a steady rate. Mechanisms measures to create market stability.
Renewable Purchase Obligations The major concerns of the industry
Transmission Grid (RPO) for utilities, large scale captive including cost of finance, payment
Availability power producers, and other obligated
security, access to grid, and purchase
Apart from the market activity, one of the produced power also need to
agencies have acted as an effective
of the important pre-requisites for be addressed.
mechanism for creating markets for
large-scale solar power is the timely The environment is positive and
solar power.
and efficient grid integration for power it can be said that the programme
This is associated with Renewable
evacuation. Lack or unavailability can achieve the desired level of solar
Energy Certificates (RECs), tax
of this facility has the potential to power generation in the coming years.
benefits, and other incentives.
act as a significant dampener to the Recently, the Supreme Court of India
growth of Indias solar power sectors. has ruled in favour of applicability
The existing grid arrangement is of RPO mechanism for captive 1. Mercom Capital Group, llc
challenged by the intermittent nature power producers and open access
of these resources, resulting in 2. Available at
consumers. This is expected to
varying voltage and supply. It not only file-manager/UserFiles/Statewise-
develop the markets faster.
impacts the grid but limits the actual Solar-Potential-NISE.pdf, last
performance of the systems in terms accessed on June 22, 2015.
of output. This remains a common 3. Available at
concern among all renewables. Such The sun is certainly shining on the
a situation could have adverse impact Indian solar power sector. This White-Paper-low.pdf, last accessed
on not only long-term goals but is reflected in the high spirits of on June 22, 2015.
also on return on investments of the industry, notwithstanding the
various unresolved policy, regulatory, 4. Available at
a developer.
indian_solar_atlas.php, last
The Green Energy Corridor Project technical, and economic issues
accessed on June 22, 2015.
is one of the ambitious projects existing in the market. There are still
from the Government of India, in significant barriers to be overcome 5. Reaching the sun with rooftop
partnership with Germany, to facilitate before the market truly takes off to solar, TERI, 2015.
the smooth flow of renewable energy approach the envisioned 40 GW 6. MNRE website.
into the national grid. To strengthen target by 2022. However, the recent Mr Shirish S Garud, Associate Director-EETD,
this project, there is an on-going developments in policy, regulatory, TERI, New Delhi. E-mail:;
effort with international experts Mr Adwit Kashyap, Research Associate,
and financial sectors to improve the
RETA, TERI, New Delhi.
towards developing forecasting attractiveness of the investments in E-mail:

June 2015 | Akshay Urja | 15

Special Feature

Digestion Control
and Automation

Picture 1: A typical
example of a 2000 m3
anaerobic digester at

In this article, naerobic digestion has been used in South Africa for the stabilization
of municipal wastewater sludge since the 1930s. In the 1950s, 60s, and 70s,
Mauritz many Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants (MWWTP) developed anaerobic
digesters. The main aim of these digesters was to treat and stabilize the
Lindeque municipal wastewater sludge with no, to little, regard for the renewable fuel source
in the form of biogas. The biogas was either flared, or used to fuel incinerators that
discusses how were used for the treatment of screen waste from the head of works of the MWWTP
anaerobic (Pictures 1-2). To date, there are over 350 MWWTP that have anaerobic digestion as
a treatment process capability. Many of them possess the hardware and facilities but
digestion do not have operational digesters that are operated to design specifications. With
the cheaper electricity costs that South Africa experienced up to recent times with
plants can be the gradual increase in electricity costs in the past five years, it meant that there was
managed well no real incentive to maintain digesters. Electrical equipment could be employed
to dewater sludge and use it in alternative processes. This then resulted in loss of
with the help knowledge in operating the digesters at optimal performance levels.
A possible solution could be the automation of the processes. The South African
of automation Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) completed research projects
technologies in the optimization of the anaerobic digestion process through the employment of
technology. This led to the development of a pilot plant that was operated mainly
available as on municipal wastewater sludge. The principles employed were to optimize the
environment where the biological process takes place. Sufficient know-how and
of today. knowledge is available to understand the basic parameters that require maintenance
and monitoring.
A private company was formed by the principal researcher involved in the
development of the CSIRs anaerobic digester to develop and supply technology

16 | Akshay Urja | June 2015

Anaerobic Digestion Control and Automation

for the automated operation of anaerobic digesters. The company formed is called
Carbon Neutral Approach and the product range that they developed is the Warthog
Control Systems. The control system or Supervision Control and Data Acquisition
(SCADA) system consists (Picture 3) of a microprocessor-based technology that
incorporates many technological advancements for the automated operation of
anaerobic digesters. Following sections discuss the composition of this system.

GPRS connectivity for remote communication with the unit that will allow
the operator to change parameters and monitor the plant from a computer
or smartphone.
Wi-Fi: The SCADA acts as a Wi-Fi router that allows the plant operator to gain access
to the processor and monitor and change parameters as well as interact with the
plant by activating and operating hardware via a Wi-Fi connected device.
Ethernet connectivity that allows for connection to a Local Area Network (LAN) that
allows the operator to access the device from anywhere in the world and this also
allows for the development of a network of SCADA systems by connecting and
linking them to a LAN.
HF Radio allows for wireless communication between units over a distance of up to
4,000 m. This allows for a more cost-effective network to be established on a site
that covers a large area. The radio offers Listen Before Talk and Adaptive Frequency
Agility (LBT+AFA). This capability allows for operation with no interference that was
previously experienced with such radio technology.
Picture 2: MWWTP
Data logging allows the plant operator to record inputs from sensors and probes.
This will allow for tuning of the process in the future as well as the establishment of
service intervals due to the logging of activity from hardware.
10 Amp Digital outputs allow for the activation of hardware such as pumps and
valves. The large capacity of the internal relays reduces the demand for external THAT SOUTH AFRICA
hardware in the form of relays when the capacity is below 10 mp. EXPERIENCED UP TO
420 mA (HART) inputs: Highway Addressable Remote Transducer (HART) protocol RECENT TIMES WITH THE
allows for analogue over digital operation. This allows for intelligent sensing
equipment with multiplexing capabilities. GRADUAL INCREASE IN
Touchscreen interface allows the operator to interact with the SCADA through a ELECTRICITY COSTS IN
user-friendly touchscreen dashboard (Picture 4). This will allow for the activation of THE PAST FIVE YEARS, IT
hardware in MANUAL mode to assist with maintenance.
Picture 3: The Warthog SCADA system range of units

June 2015 | Akshay Urja | 17

Special Feature

Rugged aluminium enclosure protects the technology from environment.

Modular design ensures that the system is more affordable to manufacture
and maintain. If failure of any part does occur, it requires replacement of that
component only and not the entire unit.

Remote Terminal Units (RTU)

HF Radio allows the wireless communication between units over a distance of up to
4,000 m. This allows for a more cost-effective network to be established on a site that
covers a large area. The radio offers LBT + AFA. This capability allows for operation
with no interference that was previously experienced with such radio technology.
10 Amp digital outputs allow the activation of hardware such as pumps and valves.
The large capacity of the internal relays reduces the demand for external hardware
Picture 4: The main SCADA
system with touchscreen in the form of relays when the capacity is below 10 Amp.
interface (Warthog) 420 mA (HART) inputs. HART protocol allows for analogue over digital operation.
This allows for intelligent sensing equipment with multiplexing capabilities (Picture 5).

The other services offered by the Carbon Neutral Approach are design, project
management, project scoping and feasibility studies, consulting services on plant
operation, and remote monitoring.

A current project where the Warthog SCADA system is being deployed is a vegetable
farm. The vegetables that are not fit for the market are being processed in a juicing
factory. The leftover biomass is being introduced into anaerobic digesters to produce
biogas which is used as a fuel source in boilers for the generation of thermal energy
in the form of steam. The excess heat is used to maintain the digesters at a mesophilic
temperature of 35C. The automated management of the digesters is achieved by
installing a RTU at each of the digesters. This has the benefit that if there is a failure
Picture 5: Remote Terminal with the main SCADA, the digesters can still operate autonomously due to the
Unit (Piglet) processing power installed in the RTU. The plant occupies a large footprint that makes
for complicated and expensive infrastructure in the form of wiring and electrical
reticulation. With the HF radio communication between the RTUs and the main
SCADA, it negates the need for cabling and results in a more cost-effective installation.

Parameters that are monitored and controlled

Temperature is maintained at 35C.
Loading rate (spread out over 24 hours)
Mixing: Energy efficiency is considered to allow for mixing during loading or when
temperature adjustment is required. Alternatively, hourly mixing for a set period of
time occurs.
WHERE THE WARTHOG pH: Due to the high cost of online VFA measurement instrumentation, pH is used as
SCADA SYSTEM IS an alternative to monitor the performance of the digestion process. The pH control
BEING DEPLOYED IS is achieved when the process bacteria is in a buffered state, by controlling the
loading. When the pH drops below a set level of 6.5 to 6.8, then the loading process
A VEGETABLE FARM. is suspended till such time as the pH increases up to a desirable C:N ratio.
ARE NOT FIT FOR THE Results from such operation have produced biogas with a methane (CH4) fraction
above 70 per cent when digesting municipal wastewater sludge. The scattered loading
MARKET ARE BEING of the digester results in more even production of biogas with a more consistent
PROCESSED IN A quality over the 24 hour period. Traditional methods of operation in South Africa
JUICING FACTORY. dictate that the digesters are loaded once a day. This then results in a spike of biogas
shortly after loading and a reduced production leading to the next loading period
(Figure 1). Scattered loading results in lower spikes due to an increase in the frequency

18 | Akshay Urja | June 2015

Anaerobic Digestion Control and Automation

of production. When large investments are made in waste-

to-energy projects then it is imperative that the processes are Scattered load
optimized. The returns on investment from electrical energy
generators are dependent on the kWh produced. With a spike
of biogas after loading and a drop in production, it results in Batch load
a mixture of quality in the gas. The more constant the quality

4 H ur s
6 H ur s
8 H ur s
10 ours
12 ours
14 ours
16 ours
18 ours
20 our s
22 our s
24 ours

of the gas and the higher the frequency in production, it



results in more sustainable operation.
Figure 1: Gas production comparing a batch type loading with
Energy Harvesting from scattered loading
CH4 Rich Biogas
Utilizing biogas as a fuel in an internal combustion engine will split the value of the
gas into different types of energy. The mechanical energy will be the energy used for
turning the generator shaft and thereby generating electrical energy. The remaining
energy from the gas will be converted into thermal energy (Figure 2). If only electrical Losses
energy is harvested, then it makes for an inefficient operation. If the thermal energy
is also harvested then it improves the overall efficiency of the operation. Areas where Mechanical Thermal
energy energy
the thermal energy can be found include The exhaust, Water jacket, Oil, and
Intercooler. From these parts of the engine, it will be possible to harvest some of the
thermal energy. However, there is a percentage that is lost and difficult or impossible
to harvest for alternative uses (Figure 3).
Some of this electrical energy will be required for the operation of the pumps and Figure 2: Breakdown CH4 rich
biogas converted
mixer that allows for the operation of the digester. The rest of the energy will then
be available for use elsewhere. Municipal wastewater treatment plants, in general,
require vast amounts of energy for the treatment of wastewater. One Large Metro
in the Gauteng Province of South Africa can spend up to R 1.5 million ($ 125,000) a
month on electricity. The rate that they are charged at in general amounts to R 0.77
cents/kWh ($0.06). This can amount to 1,948,051 kWh per month. This rate is not
fixed for the year as there are different rates for summer and winter peak season and
off peak season. This value is then purely used as an exercise in general usage for a
Usable thermal energy totalling 50%
case study. When the potential electrical energy is calculated that can be generated of energy produced with 10% best
from an AD at a MWWTP, it becomes clear that we should hold on to our coal-fired
power stations for a little while longer. The 130 kW installed capacity possible from
one municipal wastewater treatment plant digester does not cover the 2.7 MW that 40%
is required by this one plant. Although there are digesters, it will still not be sufficient
to supply the plant with electricity and have spare electricity to evacuate into the 25%
national grid. Therefore, it is imperative that the parasitic load of the plant is kept to
a minimum. The Warthog SCADA system supplied by Carbon Neutral Approach
takes all these aspects into consideration when developing the software for a specific
Exhaust gas Water jacket
plant. This results in a more energy-efficient operation that addresses return on
investment periods sustainably. Oil Intercooler Lost

Conclusions Figure 3: Different areas on the

The energy potential from biogas generated at municipal wastewater treatment engine where thermal energy
can be harvested
plants can greatly contribute to the energy efficiency and autonomy of the plant.
However, it will not replace the generation of electricity from small coal-fired
power stations. There could potentially be capacity freed up from the electricity
that will no longer be required. This will only be sustainable if the basics of the
process are understood and the projects are sized correctly. The cost of the
hardware in waste-to-energy projects requires return on those investments.
Efficient and correct operation with conservative scoping will allow for sustainable
operation and improved security of the investment.
Mr Mauritz Lindeque, Researcher, product developer, and anaerobic digestion specialist.

June 2015 | Akshay Urja | 19

RE Feature

for Continuous Production of
Biomethane under Outdoor Conditions

Dr Avanish
K Tiwari and
Rohit Sharma
discuss how
the cultivation

of Chlorella ecreasing the production cost of microalgae cultivation is the central
challenge of microalgae bioenergy development. The cost of nutrients and
pyrenoidosa biomass harvesting are two major factors that limit the algal biofuels from
being economically feasible. These factors are reduced by integrating the
in biogas photo-bioreactor and the anaerobic digestion. In the present work, a closed loop
wastewater was developed for the sustainability of the feedstock and water with the production
of biomethane under outdoor conditions. The integration of photo-bioreactor and
would be an anaerobic digestion (Figure 1) was done to improve the economics and energy balance
of biofuel production. Therefore, a novel concept has been introduced in this article
efficient and that reduces the total production cost of biomethane by minimizing the usage of
economical fresh water and external nutrient source for algal growth. Algae were tested for their
biomethane production potential in Anaerobic Digester (AD) wastewater. Chlorella
way to save pyrenoidosa was cultivated using anaerobic digester wastewater and biogas (as
CO2 source) as a nutrient. Growth of Chlorella pyrenoidosa was studied at outdoor
water for conditions in the months of June, October, and February to check the sustainability.

anaerobic The growth kinetics of the algae as well as the bioremediation effect on the waste
water and biomethane production were studied. Chlorella pyrenoidosa was found to
digestion as be the best for biomass production with >75 per cent and >80 per cent of nitrogen
nitrate and total ammonical nitrogen removal and >60 per cent of Chemical Oxygen
well as produce Demand (COD) reduction. The produced algal biomass treated with water was then
co-digested with cattle dung for biogas production. Interestingly, 87 gm/L of algal
biomethane. biomass was collected which through anaerobic co-digestion produced 928.8 mL

20 | Akshay Urja | June 2015

Sustainability of Third Generation Feedstock for Continuous Production of Biomethane under Outdoor Conditions

CH4 with C:N = 18.1:1, respectively. However, further scale-up and testing is needed
to make this process a reality. The integration of microalgae growth with anaerobic
digestion can maintain the sustainability of feedstock as well as biomethane and
significantly improve the economics and energy balance of biofuel production.
Figure 1: Integrated anaerobic digester and photo-bioreactor for continuous production
of biomethane AND ALSO ENERGY
The decline of fossil fuel resources, increasing oil prices, and more complicated SECURITY. BIOMETHANE
environmental concerns have led to an increased attention towards biofuels FROM VARIOUS
worldwide, due to its concerns over climate change and also energy security.
Biomethane from various feedstocks such as dairy digesters and landfills can be a
reliable source of renewable fuel that can power the cleanest and most efficient AS DAIRY DIGESTERS
electricity generation as well as transportation in India. Cost of biomass waste, AND LANDFILLS CAN
availability of water, and transportation cost of these feedstocks are very high. These
factors and sustainable supply of feedstocks, i.e., securing and reliability of long-
term supply, limit the scale of biomethane production. The economic situation is OF RENEWABLE FUEL
far better when it comes to the production of biogas by fermentation processes. THAT CAN POWER THE
Production of energy from algal biomass due to its harvesting and nutritional cost CLEANEST AND MOST
is also however, not yet a commercial reality. Carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse
gas, is part of the medium for culturing of the microalgae and a major component EFFICIENT ELECTRICITY
of biogas from anaerobic digestion. Algal systems are capable of utilizing CO2 from GENERATION AS WELL
biogas. A promising key for overcoming the high cost of production is to integrate AS TRANSPORTATION
algae cultivation with an existing biogas plant, where algae can be cultivated using the
discharge of CO2 and biogas digestate as nutrient input, and then the attained biomass
can be converted directly into biomethane by the existing infrastructure.

Anaerobic Digester (AD) waste-water was collected from the cow dung-based biogas
plant located at the University of Petroleum & Energy Studies (UPES), Dehradun, India.
The collected AD wastewater was filtered through a muslin cloth (pore size
0.51.5 mm) in order to remove the large particles and debris and stored in cold
storage (<4.0) until its use in the experiments. The filtered AD wastewater was analysed
for the determination of Total Suspended Solids (TSS), Nitrate-Nitrogen (NO3 -N), Total
Ammonical Nitrogen (TAN), and Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD). Characteristics Chlorella pyrenoidosa powder

June 2015 | Akshay Urja | 21

RE Feature

of AD wastewater are summarized in Table 1. Chlorella pyrenoidosa was obtained

from National Collection of Industrial Microorganisms (NCIM) for this research. It was
maintained in sterile nutrient medium (BG11) at room temperature.

Biomass production potential of AD waste water and

Biochemical methane potential of microalgae
Biomass potential of selected algae under outdoor conditions was performed (during
the months of June, October, and February) under natural light and temperature
conditions. At every third day of incubation, a homogenized aliquot (15 mL) was
withdrawn from each flask for the determination of algal growth and nutrient removal.
Based on the optimized C:N ratio, batch scale anaerobic digestion was performed
in a 500 mL glass sealed bottle. The data for both cumulative gas generation and total
solids reduction were obtained during the digestion. Gas production was measured
daily by inserting a needle that was attached to a frictionless syringe through the
septum. The compositions of the gas were analysed via Gas Chromatogram. Gas
Algal biofuel Chromatography of Nucon with model No. 5765 was used for biogas composition that
uses Thermal Conductivity Detector (TCD) and helium as the carrier gas.

Results and Discussion

BIOMASS POTENTIAL To be able to use biogas as carbon source and anaerobic digester outlet slurry as
OF SELECTED ALGAE source for nutritional requirements and water in efficient cultivation of microalgae
UNDER OUTDOOR physical factors such as temperature, pH, nutrient concentration, and C:N ratio of
process water on the algal growth and cellular composition need to be understood.
PERFORMED (DURING Characteristics of AD wastewater
THE MONTHS OF The collected AD wastewater was light brown in colour. The physiochemical
JUNE, OCTOBER, AND properties of AD wastewater have been analysed and listed in Table 1. As shown, the
AD wastewater was rich in COD, nitrate nitrogen, and total ammonical nitrogen.
NATURAL LIGHT Table 1: Physiochemical properties of AD wastewater, permissible discharge
AND TEMPERATURE standards, and residual concentrations of nutrients/pollutants after
algae cultivation
Concentration before Concentration after
algae culturing microalgae culturing

Experiment 2

Experiment 2
Experiment 3

Experiment 3
Experiment 1

Experiment 1




Volume 750 mL 750 mL 10 Lit 750 mL 750 mL 10 L

pH 6.9 6.5 6.8 7.9 8.1 8.3

Nitrate 20.16
84 mg/L 87 mg/L 93.1 mg/L 6.19 mg/L 14 mg/L
Nitrogen mg/L

TAN (Total
145.07 155.18 18.44 12.05 10.08
Ammonical 139 mg/L
mg/L mg/L mg/L mg/L mg/L

5,596 5,487 2,331 2,179 2,047

COD 5,513 mg/l
mg/L mg/L mg/L mg/L mg/L
Greenhouse gases

22 | Akshay Urja | June 2015

Sustainability of Third Generation Feedstock for Continuous Production of Biomethane under Outdoor Conditions

Growth of Chlorella pyrenoidosa in AD wastewater

Batch experiments were conducted in the months of June, October, and February to
study the growth of Chlorella pyrenoidosa in AD wastewater. Algal growths in terms of
optical density OD680 by using AD wastewaters in the months of June, October, and
February are plotted in Figure 2. The Monod growth model
equation was used in this study. Chlorella pyrenoidosa 3.3 100

Optical density of culture at 680 nm

grew well in the biogas wastewater and followed Monod 90

Biomass concentration g/L

growth kinetics satisfactorily. A number of growth models 80

Nutrient conc. mg/L

are found in the literature, such as the models of Gompertz, 3.1 70
Richards, Stannard, Schnute, and the logistic model. These 60
models describe only the number of organisms and do 3 50
not include the consumption of substrate just like a model 2.9 30
based on the Monod equation.
2.8 20
With the growth of Chlorella pyrenoidosa, the
concentrations of nitrate nitrogen decrease. The NO3 N
2.7 0
in the biogas wastewater was eliminated by 92.8 per cent, 0 3 6 9 12 15 18
respectively, within 15 days. The nitrate concentration in Time (days)
the biogas wastewater was tested every third day of the OD680 in February OD680 in June
OD680 in October Biomass in October
culturing. This clearly indicated a 92.8 per cent reduction
Nutrient conc. in October
in the nitrate concentration, proving its consumption by
the microalgae. Figure 2: Growth and nutrient removal profiles of Chlorella
pyrenoidosa under outdoor conditions
CHN analysis
The CHN analysis was performed for the cultivated species at the end of the
runs. The characteristics of Chlorella pyrenoidosa biomass and fresh cattle dung have
been summarized in Table 2. For this species, the carbon content was 57 per cent (g/g),
the hydrogen was 6.8 per cent (g/g), and the nitrogen was 7.1 per cent (g/g). The
sample weight was 32 g. CHN of the species was analysed using CHN Thermo
FLASH 2000 Series CHN Analyzer. C:N ratio was 8.02, which is very low for the
anaerobic digestion. To maintain the C:N 20, co-digestion of algal biomass with
cow dung was done.

Table 2: Characteristics of algal biomass and fresh cow dung

Parameters Algal biomass Cow dung WITH THE GROWTH

C (%) 57 36.1
H (%) 6.8 5
N (%) 7.1 1.7
C/N ratio 8.02 21.2 DECREASE. THE NO3 N
Bioremediation by Microalgae: Nitrate Consumption
and COD Analysis
A wide variety of nitrogen sources, such as ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, and urea,
can be used for growing microalgae. In the experimental data, NaNO3 were used CENT, RESPECTIVELY,
to investigate the effect of the source of N and concentration of NaNO3 on the WITHIN 15 DAYS.
growth of biomass. The removal efficiency of N of Chlorella pyrenoidosa at different
room temperatures reached relatively high values: 92.8 per cent, 75.4 per cent, and
93.7 per cent, respectively. During the algae cultivation period, major part of organic
pollutants was consumed. Reduction of COD and Total Ammonical Nitrogen (TAN)
also led to the conclusion that Chlorella pyrenoidosa is suitable for the bioremediation
process. Bioremediation effect has been shown in Table 3.

June 2015 | Akshay Urja | 23

RE Feature

Table 3: % Reduction of pollutants

Before culture After culture










(mg/L) (mg/L) (mg/L) (mg/L) (mg/L) (mg/L) (mg/L) (mg/L) (mg/L)
5,596 84 145.07 2,331 20.16 18.44 58.34 76 87.28


5,487 87 139 2,179 6.19 12.05 60.28 92.8 91.33
of Oct.
5,513 93.1 155.18 2,047 7.4 10.08 62.86 92.05 93.50

FOR THE GROWTH Anaerobic digestion of cultured microalgae and treated water
OF MICROALGAE AS Table 4 summarizes the experimental conditions and the corresponding methane
NUTRIENT, IN CO- conversion yield in this study. Anaerobic digestion was done using 500 mL sealed
bottle. The suitability of fresh microalgal biomass as substrate for the production of
biogas was assessed in anaerobic fermentation batch tests over a period of 20 days.
(FOR COW DUNG AND This increased biogas production in the first 15 days of the experiment was most likely
MICROALGAE) OR AS due to low levels of complex sugars and lignin present in the microalgae composition
FERTILIZER. that facilitates biodegradability.

SINCE ONE OF THE Table 4: Comparison of mesospheric digestion of microalgae and sewage sludge
Substrate HRT (d) Biogas yield (mL/ 500 g SS) Methane (%)
Cow dung 20 490 62
Algae (98 %) 20 360 56
Cow dung + Algae (50 %) 20 470 62
It was clear that the set which contained algae alone could effectively digest instead
of the cow dung alone, as shown in Figure 3. It was clear from Table 4 that the algae
alone can effectively be digested in comparison to the
500 cow dung as shown in Figure 4.
In order to keep the nitrogen balance in anaerobic
Cumulative gas production (mL)

digestion, the released nitrogen could be recycled either

for the growth of microalgae as nutrient, in co-digestion
material (for cow dung and microalgae) or as fertilizer.
Since one of the goals for the anaerobic digestion
250 concept is to eliminate the need for chemical nitrogen
200 fertilizer, the first strategy is chosen as shown in
150 Table 4. By co-digesting cow dung-microalgae and treated
100 water mixture, the nitrogen balance can be maintained.
50 Mass balance for nitrate nitrogen and water for closed
0 biomethane production is shown in Figure 4.
0 3 6 9 12 15 18 21
The mass balances were used to estimate the
Time (d)
potential for biomethane production and nutrient
Cow dung + Algae (50%) Algae (98%) Cow dung
recovery from the anaerobic digestion of the algal
biomass, in order to recycle the nutrients hydrolyzed
Figure 3: Biogas production from the co-digestion of algae
and cow dung back to the cultivation stage.

24 | Akshay Urja | June 2015

Sustainability of Third Generation Feedstock for Continuous Production of Biomethane under Outdoor Conditions

Biogas wastewater outlet slurry Microalgae cultivation

Biogas 1720 mL CH4-1032 mL Biomethane 928.8 mL

CO2-688 mL

8 L water
TAN: 154.33 mg/L 1.5 L fresh water
Nitrate: 81 mg/L
Anaerobic COD: 4986 mg/L COD: 5313 mg/L Photobioreactor
digester 2 L Slurry Nitrate-N: 93.1 mg/L 10 L Nutrient
TAN: 155.18 mg/L N-NO3: 100 mg/L
2000 mL 1500 mL wastewater
C:N 18 871 g Algal Biomass in 10 L
Codigestion Filterate 1600 mL Autoclave
Algal Biomass {50%} 850 gm Nitrate-N:7.4 mg/L C: 57%
Cow dung {50%} 850 gm TAN: 10.08 mg/L H: 6.8%
Water 1.7 L C:N-8.02 Filteration N: 7.1%
COD: 2047 mg/L 8 L water

Figure 4: Nitrate-nitrogen and water balance for closed biomethane production from microalgae
To sum up, the following conclusions may be drawn: RELATED TO THE
Chlorella pyrenoidosa could adapt well in biogas wastewater outlet slurry with small REMOVAL OF TOXIC
lag phases observed at the beginning. CONTAMINANTS,
The cultivation cost of algal biomass (including harvesting and nutritional cost) was BIOGAS PRODUCTION,
reduced by coupling the algal biomass production with wastewater treatment.
These benefits combined with the possibility of CO2, waste water, and nutrient
recycling from the anaerobic effluents make anaerobic digestion the best
technology for removable energy production from microalgae. SOLVED. CONTINUOUS
From the experimental studies, problems related to the removal of toxic PRODUCTION
contaminants, biogas production, and water availability were solved. OF BIOMETHANE
Continuous production of biomethane was achieved by integrating the cultivation WAS ACHIEVED
of Chlorella pyrenoidosa with biogas plants.
The cultivation of Chlorella pyrenoidosa in biogas wastewater would be an
efficient and economical way to save water for anaerobic digestion as well as THE CULTIVATION
produce biomethane. OF CHLORELLA
This developed the sustainability of culturing low-cost third generation feedstock PYRENOIDOSA WITH
for the continuous production of biomethane in the entire year. BIOGAS PLANTS.
Dr Avanish K Tiwari, Director, and Mr Rohit Sharma, Scholar, Centre for Renewable Energy & Sustainable
Development, VIKALP (Nai Dishayen), New Delhi. Email: &

June 2015 | Akshay Urja | 25

RE Feature

Yogender Singh and Prof. Y K Yadav believe that India has a
great potential of bioenergy production. This in turn can help
deal with fluctuating petrol prices. However, the country is not
able to completely exploit the full potential of this green fuel
because of some faults and inefficiencies in the biomass supply
chain. In this article, they discuss these inefficiencies and suggest
workable solutions.

Picture 1: Biomass
conveying unit

26 | Akshay Urja | June 2015

Biomass Supply Chain Management: A Sustainable Approach to Bioenergy

mproving living standards, economic, and industrial expansions, and population SUPPLY CHAIN
growth are posing serious challenges for the Indian energy sector. Although the
country is recognized as one of the fastest growing economies of the world, the
basic energy needs of thousands of millions of its citizens are yet to be fullled. OPTIMIZATION IS A
Likewise, its commercial energy consumption is also growing with the same pace CRITICAL ASPECT
as that of high economic growth and industrial development. Being an agriculturally TO RESEARCH AND
dominant nation, the strength of Indias bioenergy programmes mostly lies in the
agricultural sector. DEVELOPMENT OF
Biomass is a very versatile renewable energy source with increasing importance. BIOMASS ENTERPRISES.
India produces 686 million metric tonne (mmt) gross crop residue biomass on an THE INCORPORATION
annual basis, of which 234 mt is estimated as surplus for bioenergy generation.
Biomass-based energy generation is one of the major focus areas of renewable
energy programmes in India. Bioenergy has the potential to solve the problem of ASPECTS AND FUTURE
frequent increase in petroleum prices, decrease the use of fossil fuel reserves, and CHALLENGES COULD BE
provide a clean and environment-friendly renewable energy source. Energy from
biomass is reliable; however, it is not the preferred renewable energy source, the
primary reason for this is the inefficient biomass supply chain. Supply chain is the BIOENERGY AS
movement of material between the source and the end-user. Efcient supply chain A SUSTAINABLE
management of biomass (Pictures 1-7) is crucial for the success of generation of
bioenergy. One of the most important challenges in increased biomass utilization in
energy supply is the cost of the respective supply chain and the technology to convert OPTION.
biomass into useful forms of energy. Supply chain management and optimization is a
critical aspect to research and development of biomass enterprises. The incorporation
of sustainability aspects and future challenges could be used to framework bioenergy
as a sustainable renewable energy option.

Biomass to Bioenergy
A huge quantity of various types of biomass is generated in developing countries like
India. The various potential biomass wastes have been identied by the researchers.
These are used for bioenergy production in India. Many of these are being successfully
utilized in various bioenergy applications across the country. Apart from the residues
from the agricultural farms and elds in urban areas, certain other residues and wastes
also constitute a potential source of the energy. The agro-processing industries, urban
vegetable market places, road sweepings, and roadside plantations are some areas
which generate signicant biomass waste.
Picture 2: Biomass
stored in open

June 2015 | Akshay Urja | 27

RE Feature

APART FROM It is estimated that around three-fourths of the biomass which is used for production
of food, feed, industrial, and traditional fuelwood is not fully exploited at some point
during processing, harvesting, and transport. A report of the Ministry of New and
THE AGRICULTURAL Renewable Energy (MNRE) shows that almost 200 million tonnes of household and
FARMS AND FIELDS agro-processing waste is generated annually in India and disposed in a dispersed
IN URBAN AREAS, manner. In this context, biomass utilization has emerged among others as a viable
alternative for energy production, encompassing a wide range of potential conversion
CERTAIN OTHER processes. The most frequently used of these are thermal conversions, bio-chemical
RESIDUES AND WASTES and chemical conversions, and direct combustion. The thermal conversion processes
ALSO CONSTITUTE A consist of fast and slow pyrolysis and biomass gasication; the bio-chemical conversion
is fermentation and anaerobic digestion; chemical conversions are trans-esterication
and other processes to convert plant and vegetable oils to biodiesel, and the direct
OF THE ENERGY. THE combustion of wood and other biomass is being used for a very long. One of the most
AGRO-PROCESSING important barriers to increased biomass utilization into energy supply is the cost of the
respective supply chain and the technology to convert biomass into useful forms of energy.
URBAN VEGETABLE Biomass Supply Chain
MARKET PLACES, Supply chain is the movement of material between the source and the end-user. A
ROAD SWEEPINGS, typical biomass supply chain (Figure 1) comprises several discrete processes such as
AND ROADSIDE harvesting, collection, transportation, pre-treatment, storage, and end use; it includes
mainly four business entities: supplier, manufacturer, distribution centre, and customer.
PLANTATIONS ARE The presence of uncertainty within supply chains is an important issue for efficient
SOME AREAS capacity utilization and development of optimal infrastructures. The biomass supply
WHICH GENERATE chain generally has an objective of minimizing costs associated with production,
logistics, and operation of different sites (harvesting, storage, conversion sites, etc.)
along with providing an efcient chain structure. Thus, there is a need to simulate
BIOMASS WASTE. and optimize a specific biomass supply chain for significant cost reduction that could
originate more efficient logistics operations.

Picture 3: Biomass transportation vehicles

28 | Akshay Urja | June 2015

Biomass Supply Chain Management: A Sustainable Approach to Bioenergy


Biomass Energy
Storage Transportation
Feedstock Conversion


Figure 1: Typical layout of biomass supply chain

Biomass Supply Chain Management

Biomass supply chain management is integration of all entities such that the bioenergy
is produced and distributed in the right quantity, at the right time, to the right location
providing the desired quality and service level along with minimizing the overall cost
of the system. The integration of multiple functions in a global supply chain context
is complex. Real-time information helps the participants to cope with changes of
uncontrollable external factors affecting demand and supply.

Factors Affecting Biomass Supply Chain Management

The biomass supply chain presents several distinctive characteristics that diversify it
from a typical supply chain, due to many dependent variables. The important factors Picture 5: Biomass storage along
which can affect the optimal chain can be described as follows: with conveying unit

Seasonal availability
The period of biomass availability is very limited and mainly determined by the crop-
harvesting period. Since most of the biomass-to-energy applications are concerned
with single biomass use, there is a need of storing very large amounts of biomass
for the year-round operation of the power plant. The problems introduced by the BIOMASS SUPPLY
Picture 4: Machanized unit for biomass feeding in power plant

June 2015 | Akshay Urja | 29

RE Feature

Picture 6: Biomass spreaded in field

THE MULTI-BIOMASS seasonality of biomass availability may be avoided, if a biomass that is available around
the year is used, which is very rare in practice. The multi-biomass approach may
significantly solve these problems and can be attractive for systems where expensive
SIGNIFICANTLY SOLVE storage solutions are used, in order to reduce the storage space and round-the-year
THESE PROBLEMS AND operation of the power plant.
Low-density material
Biomass has to deal with low-density materials. As a result, there is an increased need
EXPENSIVE STORAGE for transportation and handling equipment, as well as storage space. This problem is
SOLUTIONS ARE USED, enhanced by the low heating value, which is partly due to the increased moisture of
IN ORDER TO REDUCE most agricultural biomass types. The low density of biomass further increases the cost
of collection, handling, transport, and storage stages of the supply chain.
AND ROUND-THE-YEAR Collection and handling equipment
OPERATION OF THE Several biomass types require customized collection and handling equipment, leading
POWER PLANT. to a complicated structure of the supply chain. The form in which the biomass will
be procured often determines the investment and operational costs of the respective
bioenergy exploitation system, as it affects the requirements and design of the
biomass supply chain.

Weather has a great influence on the proper harvest of biomass because it can reduce
the yield of the crop, affect the biomass quality, and burden the harvesting process by
creating bad conditions for working on the field. It is impossible to predict the weather
in the long term, but it is possible to carefully plan the entire year round process, in
order to lessen the impact of the weather conditions.

Communication issues between industry and suppliers

It mostly happens due to lack of real-time knowledge on the status of the processes.

30 | Akshay Urja | June 2015

Biomass Supply Chain Management: A Sustainable Approach to Bioenergy

Picture 7: On field storage of biomass in open

This implies the use of a common database and information technologies that can A MAJOR GAP
keep both the suppliers and the users up-to-date. Information sharing and real-time THAT EXISTS IS
communication keeps the participants up-to-date with the latest changes and can
provide the difference between success and failure. THE INTEGRATION
Sustainability BEHAVIOURAL,
Sustainability of operations is a critical issue that has to be taken into account SOCIETAL, BUSINESS,
when designing and executing biomass supply chain for energy production. Many
researchers studied this aspect to represent biomass distribution system, investigating
the resulting environmental load profiles of bioenergy chains, addressing the critical ENVIRONMENTAL
issue of designing and evaluating sustainable supply chains, in which profitability ASPECTS IN BIOMASS
and environmental impacts are balanced. SUPPLY CHAIN
A major gap that exists is the integration of technical, behavioural, societal,
business, economic, and environmental aspects in biomass supply chain INVOLVES ALL
management. Supply chain management involves all the activities in THE ACTIVITIES IN
organizations from initial plantation of raw materials to final product delivery
to consumers. It represents a highly complex system where all the pieces of
biomass material are brought together and is affected by the type of biomass INITIAL PLANTATION
used. Sustainable management practices and development of biomass are OF RAW MATERIALS
likely to include (a) resource availability; (b) harvesting operation technologies, TO FINAL PRODUCT
transportation, and pre-processing technologies for feedstock; (c) types of
conversion technologies, conversion efficiencies, and costs; (d) integrated
management systems; and (e) development and deployment of biomass to CONSUMERS.
energy facilities. All of these coupled together will allow for a cohesive and
integrative supply chain management.
Mr Yogender Singh, Post-doctoral Fellow, and Prof. Y K Yadav, Director, Sardar Swaran Singh National
Institute of Renewable Energy, Kapurthala, India.

June 2015 | Akshay Urja | 31

RE State

Rooftop Solar Power Plants in Kerala

Madhu S gives the details of the Government of Kerala renewable

energy scheme. In this scheme, the state government pledged
to install 10,000 solar power plants in 14 districts across the state.
He discusses how the peoples participation was ensured during
the implementation phase of the scheme and the post-installation
proceedings are being conducted to achieve complete user
satisfaction and promote clean-green renewable energy in Kerala.

he gap between demand and availability in the is a land of eternal beauty, covering only 1.18 per cent
power sector of Kerala is increasing day by day. of entire area of the country. Therefore, the Agency for
Kerala depends mainly on hydro power for its Non-conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT)
energy needs. As a result of space constraints decided to venture into the rooftops for installing the
and environmental problems, the state could not add to solar power plants. To begin with, it was decided to install
its existing generation capacity in the last few years. This 10,000 rooftop solar power plants of capacity 1 kW each.
has added to the woes and it is at this juncture that the Under this programme, ANERT intended to light up 10,000
significance of Renewable Energy (RE) surfaces. homes or buildings of the state using solar power plants.
Kerala is blessed with abundant sunlight almost With a total aggressive capacity of 10 MW and an estimated
throughout the year. This makes it convenient for tapping cost of over N 175 crore, it is the first project of its kind
energy (both light and heat) from sun, which is available and size in India.
free-of-cost. But again the problem lies in the availability The matter was taken up with the Ministry of New
of space for installing the solar power plants. The state and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India for
is located between latitudes 818 North and 1248 technical and financial support. The MNRE had readily
North and longitudes 7452 East and 7222 East. Kerala agreed for both and sanctioned a financial support equal

32 | Akshay Urja | June 2015

Ten Thousand Rooftop Solar Power Plants in Kerala



to 30 per cent of the system cost if the systems were to

be installed through the channel partners of the MNRE.
System specifications, as prescribed by the MNRE, were
adopted and ANERT invited Expression of Interest (EoI), Picture 3: Awareness programme
with some state-specific conditions, from the channel
partners. It was clear that a single firm would not be able to The MNRE had given this programme due importance
take up installation of all the targeted systems, in the state, and this was evident from the fact that Dr Farooq Abdullah,
especially as the installation sites are spread out in all the the then Honble Union Minister, himself launched the
14 districts. Hence, it was essential to shortlist a number programme at a glorious function held at the capital
of firms who would meet the specification requirements city of Thiruvananthapuram. Other dignitaries included
at the acceptable price bid. Thus, 25 firms were shortlisted the Honble Chief Minister of Kerala, Shri Oommen Chandy,
from among the 55 firms who participated in the EoI Honble Minister for Power, Shri Aryadan Mohammed,
process, as the empanelled agencies for undertaking Honble Minister for Health, Shri V S Sivakumar,
the installations. However, the price quoted by these Shri Ratan P Watal (IAS), the then Secretary, MNRE,
empanelled agencies varied from N 1.77 Lakh to N 2.5 Lakh. Government of India, and Shri M Sivasankar (IAS),
So, it was necessary to fix the quantum of central financial Secretary, Power, Government of Kerala (Pictures 12).
assistance available to each unit as 30 per cent of the Enormous publicity (Picture 3) was given to the
lowest quoted amount of N 1,77,540 (instead of programme through all the media and by organizing
30 per cent of unit price of the unit), i.e., N 53,262 per exhibitions, seminars, and other awareness programmes
unit, for ensuring uniformity in financial assistance. The throughout the state, especially at prominent venues, to
state had decided to give N 39,000 to each system as state ascertain maximum participation of the general public.
financial assistance and thus the total financial assistance Registration forms were made available at the ANERT
for a unit system of capacity 1 kW was fixed as N 92,262. website. Once registered, the beneficiary could select any

Pictures 12: Inauguration of 10,000 Rooftop Solar Power Plants Programme. Dr Jayaraju M, Former Director, ANERT; Shri M Sivasankar
IAS, Secretary, Power Department, Government of Kerala; Shri Aryadan Mohammed, Minister for Power, Government of Kerala;
Dr Farooq Abdullah, the then Union Minister, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy; Shri Oommen Chandy, Chief Minister, Kerala;
Shri V S Sivakumar, Minister for Health, Government of Kerala; and Shri Ratan P Watal, IAS, Secretary, MNRE.

June 2015 | Akshay Urja | 33

RE State

of the firms from the list of names approved by ANERT. It THIS INITIATIVE IS THE BEGINNING OF
was decided to adopt front-end subsidy scheme for the
programme so that the beneficiary had to pay only the
amount equal to the cost of the system (specified by the STATE. IN THE FORTHCOMING YEARS, IT
concerned firm and approved by ANERT) minus the subsidy IS EXPECTED THAT APART FROM THE OFF-
amount of N 92,262. After installation, the concerned GRID SYSTEMS INSTALLED UNDER THIS
district office of ANERT would conduct an inspection and
if the system was found in tune with the specifications, PROGRAMME, ON-GRID SYSTEMS WOULD
would recommend for release of financial assistance from ALSO BE INSTALLED ON A LARGE SCALE. THE
To avoid delays in the process due to manpower
shortage, ANERT had constituted a technical team of
experts. Altogether 56 experienced engineers were
selected from the state and imparted training to conduct
the Technical Compliance Verification. Once the firm For the smooth and efficient implementation of the
submitted the Installation Report, the technical team programme, a Call Centre was set up at the headquarters.
members conducted the inspection and submitted the Beneficiaries were able to register their complaints
report to the concerned district office. Ten per cent of and clarify their doubts at anytime during office hours.
these systems were also inspected by the district engineer. Meetings of all the registered firms were convened
The headquarters conducted the inspection of 1 per cent bi-monthly to review the progress of the work and sort
systems in all the districts. out the issues they might have faced in the field.
From its beginning, the registration process for the As a follow-up of this initiative to promote solar
scheme had crossed 13,000 beneficiaries and by the electricity generation, the Kerala State Electricity
end of January 2015, nearly 6,400 beneficiaries entered Regulatory Commission (KSERC) had introduced a new
into an agreement with the empanelled companies for system of incentive for off-grid power generation from
installing the system and thereafter, these systems were solar power. According to this newly proposed programme,
commissioned. Table 1 shows the district-wise distribution the beneficiaries using electricity generated from solar
of beneficiaries in the state. The installation and power plants will get an incentive of N 1 for each unit of
commissioning process is still ongoing and it is expected consumed solar electricity, as a deduction in their grid
that the target of 10,000 rooftop power plants would be power consumption bill.
achieved by the end of this year. This initiative is the beginning of the Solar Power
Revolution in the state. In the forthcoming years, it is
Table 1: District-wise distribution of beneficiaries in the state

Sl. No. District No. of Beneficiaries

1 Thiruvananthapuram 833
2 Kollam 573
3 Pathanamthitta 319
4 Alappuzha 361
5 Kottayam 573
6 Idukki 106
7 Ernakulam 901
8 Thrissur 790
9 Palakkad 373
10 Malappuram 540
11 Kozhikode 509
12 Wayanad 83
13 Kannur 261
14 Kasaragode 178
Total 6,400
Picture 4: Field level training on installation, repair, and
Source: ANERT maintenance of SPV power plants

34 | Akshay Urja | June 2015

Ten Thousand Rooftop Solar Power Plants in Kerala


The need to have a sustainable
SINCE THE POWER IS CONSUMED AT THE energy supply necessitates
GENERATING SITE ITSELF, NO TRANSMISSION the exploration of available
energy sources, and among
these, renewable resources
WHICH OVERLOAD THE GRID, IS are at the forefront. It is now
(renewable energy) can be an
IS ABLE TO SAVE 34 UNITS OF GRID POWER integral part of sustainable
ON A NORMAL SUNNY DAY. ON COMPLETION development because of
OF THE PROJECT, THE STATE WILL BE SAVING its inexhaustible nature and
environment-friendly features.
ABOUT 1 CRORE UNITS OF GRID POWER RE can play an important role
EVERY YEAR. in resolving the energy crisis in
urban areas to a great extent.
Today RE is an established
sector with a variety of systems
expected that apart from the off-grid systems installed and devices available for
under this programme, on-grid systems would also be meeting the energy demand of
installed on a large scale. The KSERC has taken steps to urban inhabitants, but there is a
introduce a net metering system. need to create mass awareness
With the SPV systems in full swing, ANERT expects about their adoption. Akshay
a shortage of manpower for proper maintenance and Urja is an attempt to fulfil this
upkeep of the installed systems. Repairs may also be a need through the dissemination
problem once the warranty periods are over. With this in of 20,000 copies (bilingual) in
mind, ANERT is planning to set up workforces in all districts India and abroad. The magazine
to cater to the needs of the beneficiaries. Accordingly, publishes news, articles,
80 aspirants (all having a minimum qualification of research papers, case studies,
ITI Certificate in Electrical or Electronics) had already success stories, and write-ups
been given on-field training on installation, repair, and on RE.
maintenance of solar photovoltaic systems and devices Readers are invited to
(Picture 4). Before the end of this financial year, at least 100 send material with original
more people will be imparted similar training. This will also photographs and statistical
data. The photographs should
help in equipping the youth for self-employment.
be provided in high resolution
The 10,000 Rooftop Solar Power Plants programme is
files on a CD or through
one of the major programmes being taken up by ANERT
email. Akshay Urja will pay an
with the whole-hearted support of the MNRE. The motto
honorarium of N 2,500 to the
of the programme is to transform each and every home in
authors for each published
Kerala to become self-sustained with respect to the needs article of 1,500 words and above.
of electric power, i.e., Our House A Power House. The publication material in two
It may be noted that 6.4 MW generating stations were copies, along with a soft copy on
installed in no time, without causing any pollution or CD/DVD/email may be sent to:
environmental issues. Since the power is consumed at the
generating site itself, no transmission loss occurs. Use of TERI PRESS
normal inverters, which overload the grid, is completely TERI, Darbari Seth Block, IHC Complex
eliminated. The beneficiary is able to save 34 units of Lodhi Road, New Delhi - 110 003
grid power on a normal sunny day. On completion of the Tel: +91 11 2468 2100, 4150 4900
project, the state will be saving about 1 crore units of grid Fax: +91 11 2468 2144, 2468 2145
power every year. Email:
Mr Madhu S, Programme Officer, ANERT Headquarters, Web:
Thiruvananthapuram. Email: &

June 2015 | Akshay Urja | 35

RE Feature

A Green Initiative by Indian Railways

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, while inaugurating Shri Mata

Vaishno Devi Katra Railway Station last year, had set a vision to
make that holy place a symbol of clean and green energy. The
Railway Board Chairman took up this vision and started a project
to install solar photo-voltaic panels at the Katra Railway Station.
In this article, R K Chaudhary says that the project has been
commissioned and the Katra Railway Station generates surplus
energy. He also discusses some significant technical details of
this major renewable energy project.

36 | Akshay Urja | June 2015

Grid-Connected Solar Power Plant at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra Railway Station: A Green Initiative by Indian Railways

uring the inauguration of UdhampurKatra section, Honble Prime Minister THE INDIAN RAILWAYS
Shri Narendra Modi had mentioned that Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra
Railway Station can be converted into a solar railway station to make it
environment-friendly; in this way, it will become a part of the National FUND ABOUT 10 MW
Solar Power Mission. Thereafter, the Chairman of Railway Board had committed SOLAR-BASED LIGHTING
to commission a solar power plant at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra Railway Station SYSTEMS AT ABOUT
to make it a part of environment-friendly movement. Accordingly, a decision was
taken for the installation of 1 MW Solar Power Plant at Katra. The feasibility report of
this project was prepared by M/s Gansun Global Solutions India Pvt. Ltd, Tata Power ACROSS THE COUNTRY,
Solar Limited, and Solar Energy Corporation of India Ltd after a thorough study. 4,000 LEVEL CROSSING
The Railway Board Chairman directed the UdhampurSrinagarBaramulla Railway
Link (USBRL) Project team to complete this task by March 2015 and communicated
the same to the Prime Ministers Office through the Ministry of Railways. In a LIGHTS, THE RAIL COACH
governmental setup, 1 MWp solar power plant work was taken up on war-footing FACTORY RAEBARELI,
through an open tender process and work was awarded to M/s Rajasthan Electronics 50 OFFICE BUILDINGS,
& Instrumentation Ltd (REIL), Jaipur at a value of N 8.52 crore. Subsequently, the
Solar Power Plant (Pictures 15) was commissioned on March 27, 2015.
Indian Railways has executed a solar power plant of such a major scale, i.e., 1 HEATERS (6.7 LAKHS
MWp, at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra Railway Station in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) LPD), ETC. TENDERS FOR
for the first time. Also, it is the largest solar power plant installed in J&K. THE PROCUREMENT
Indian Railways Solar Mission OF ABOUT 6 MW OF
The Indian Railways has planned to fund about 10 MW solar-based lighting systems
at about 500 railway stations across the country, 4,000 Level Crossing (LC) gates, RAILWAY STATIONS AND
400 street lights, the Rail Coach Factory Raebareli, 50 office buildings, and solar 26 ROOFTOP LOCATIONS
water heaters (6.7 lakhs LPD), etc. Tenders for the procurement of about 6 MW of
solar plants at 200 railway stations and 26 rooftop locations are under evaluation.
Solar mission of railways for harnessing 1, 000 MW solar energy
To achieve the target of harnessing solar energy of 10 per cent of Indian Railways'
(IR) electricity consumption by 2020, solar projects of 1,000 MW are planned Picture 1: PV modules on platform
in Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model without any investment by the IR. 1 of Katra Railway Station
Accordingly, the IR has planned to harness 1,000 MW solar plants in railway/
private land and rooftop spaces of railway buildings through the Railway Energy
Management Company (REMC), a joint venture of the Ministry of Railways and the
Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES), and Solar Energy Corporation
of India (SECI), a public sector unit of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy
(MNRE) in the following four phases over the next five years:
Phase I: 200 MW ground mounted in private land with Central Financial Assistance
(CFA) of N 1 crore per MW from the MNRE.
Phase II: 150 MW at rooftop of railway buildings with a subsidy support of 30 per
cent of capital cost from the MNRE.
Phase III: 500 MW ground mounted in railway/private land with Viability Gap
Funding (VGF) support up to N 2.5 crore per MW under National Clean Energy
Fund (NCEF) under the Ministry of Finance to be processed by the MNRE.
Phase IV: 150 MW ground mounted in railway/private land with VGF support up to
2.5 crore per MW or CFA of N 1 crore of MW as approved by the MNRE.

Request has been made to the MNRE to extend VGF/subsidy support for harnessing
solar energy by the IR for 1,000 MW. The IR initially plans to harness solar energy in
those states where the cost of power is higher.

June 2015 | Akshay Urja | 37

RE Feature

MODULES ARE Details of 1 MWp Solar Power Plant at Katra Railway Station
MOUNTED ON A NON- Table 1 shows technical details of the solar plant recently commissioned at the Shri
CORROSIVE SUPPORT Mata Vaishno Devi Katra Railway Station.

STRUCTURE SUITABLE Table 1: Technical details of solar power plant at Katra Railway Station
Sl. No. Technical detail Specification or value
1. System power rating 1 MWp
2. Type of solar PV module Mono/Poly Crystalline silicon
3. Module capacity 250 Wp
ENERGY OUTPUT. 4. Length of module 1,658 mm

HOWEVER, ONCE 5. Width of module 997 mm

INSTALLED THERE IS NO 6. Weight of module 22 kg

PROVISION OF TILTING 7. Type of module mounting structure Aluminium mounting structure for platform
shelter and galvanised MS structure for roof
THE STRUCTURE. top of buildings

8. Weight of aluminium structure 15 kg/kW

9. Type of inverters String inverters of 50 kWp capacity each

10. Package type sub-station 2 630 kVA, 415 V/11 kV

11. Support structure, design, and Wind pressure up to 30 m height (kg/m2)-195,

foundation wind withstanding wind speed 200 km per hour

12. Total connected load of Katra 3.13 MW

Railway station

13. Average annual solar global 5.09 kWh/m2/day

radiation (as per SEC-NREL)

14. Annual electric energy 1,445,000 units

generation expected

15. Expected annual saving N 1 crore (approx.)

Picture 2: String inverter at platform no. 1, Katra Railway Station

38 | Akshay Urja | June 2015

Grid-Connected Solar Power Plant at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra Railway Station: A Green Initiative by Indian Railways

Execution Details THE PANEL FRAME

Type and quality of SPV module STRUCTURE IS CAPABLE
Table 2 shows the specifications of the Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) modules. The total OF WITHSTANDING
SPV array capacity is of 1 MWp. Mono/Poly crystalline silicon type solar PV modules, A WIND LOAD OF
manufactured by REIL, have been used in this project. Modules, which are supplied by
REIL, have the following warranties:
Manufacturing process is in compliance with the standards approved by the MNRE
and has the IEC 61215 certification. INSTALLATION. ON
The amount of power of supplied module does not vary more than 35 per cent BUILDING ROOFTOPS,
from the specified power rating of the modules. MOUNTING STRUCTURES
Bypass diodes are mounted on each module terminal.
Channels for frame are of anodized aluminium and electrolytically compatible with
the structural material used for mounting the module.

Table 2: Specifications of the solar PV modules

Technical detail Specifications

Type 250W 60
Peak Power Output 250 W
Maximum Voltage 30 V (DC)
Dimension in mm 1658 997 42
Type of cell used Mono/Poly Crystalline

Mounting structure
The mounting structure consists of the following specifications:
The module-mounting structure over platform sheds is made up of aluminium to
avoid rusting and keep lighter on-sheet roofs.
Modules are mounted on a non-corrosive support structure suitable for site
conditions with suitable inclination as per site requirement to maximize annual
energy output. However, once installed there is no provision of tilting the structure.
The panel frame structure is capable of withstanding a wind load of 200 km per
hour, after grouting and installation.
On building rooftops, mounting structures are of galvanized mild steel.

Picture 3: PV modules of rooftop of Katra Railway Station

June 2015 | Akshay Urja | 39

RE Feature

Execution methodology of REIL

The following methodologies or activities were covered for the execution of the
project by REIL:
REIL carried out the in-house coordination activity of various departments such as
design production, material management, and quality assurance departments.
It completed the process of identification and finalization of vendors for Balance-of-
System (BOS) items such as mounting structures, inverters, transformers, wires, and
cables from approved vendors and also finalized various other vendor services.
It submitted data sheets of various items to IR for timely approval.
REIL engineers visited the site of work for planning and ascertaining on-site
Picture 4: PV modules on pathway requirements.
of Katra Railway Station
REIL submitted the report on pre-dispatch inspection schedule and inspected
material by railway consultants at manufacturers works.
It supplied material at the site.
REIL engineers supervised the installation and commissioning of systems in
consultation with the IR representatives and handed over the project within the
THE IN-HOUSE timeline set for the project.
Picture 5: 11 KV Solar Supply Panel
Advantages of Solar Power Plant at Katra Railway Station
The advantages of the installation of solar power plant at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra
AS MOUNTING Railway Station are as follows:
STRUCTURES, Generation of clean and green energy in a power deficit area of the J&K state
INVERTERS, Annual generation of 1,445,000 units of electricity
TRANSFORMERS, Annual reduction of 10,000 tonnes carbon dioxide

WIRES, AND CABLES Annual saving of N 1 crore (approx.) on the energy bill
Environmental awareness for general public which visits this important railway
station for paying obeisance to the holy Shri Mata Vaishno Devi shrine.
FINALIZED VARIOUS The work of solar power plant at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra Railway Station was
OTHER VENDOR awarded and executed in a record time in a government setup. There is a need to
spread this initiative at a larger scale in all Indian Railways to harness the benefits of
SERVICES. solar energy and contribute to make our nation an energy surplus state.
Mr R K Chaudhary, Chief Electrical Engineer, Northern Railway, USBRL Project. Email:

40 | Akshay Urja | June 2015

RE Event

Senior Fellow & Area Convenor, RETA,
TERI, and Mr Pranav Mehta Chairman,
National Solar Energy Federation of
India, among others.
In his Keynote Address, Shri Tarun
Kapoor emphasized on the business
potential of grid-connected rooftop
solar power in India and highlighted
the importance of facilitating ease of
finance, standardization of products,
and addressing the challenge of grid
connectivity and integration.

The delegates agreed that the
n April 14, 2015, the the sector participated in the event. banks are now ready to support the
Ministry of New and Overall, about 250 participants manufacturing and installation activities
Renewable Energy (MNRE) attended the event. of grid-connected rooftop solar plants
and The Energy and The Inaugural Session was graced in residential as well as industrial
Resources Institute (TERI) organized by Shri Tarun Kapoor, IAS, Joint sectors. The companies working in such
a one-day conference on grid- Secretary, MNRE, Dr Leena Srivastava, solar plants are placing more trust in the
connected rooftop solar power with Acting Director-General, TERI, discoms where they advise that proper
an aim to bring diverse stakeholders Mr Shirish Garud, Associate Director, training of employees is required.
together and hold a dialogue on the TERI, and Ms Mohua Mukherjee, They also said that discoms would
challenges faced by the sector, as Senior Energy Specialist, The World have to show their commitment
well as possible interventions and Bank. Panellists in the subsequent towards adopting installation of net
success strategies for sectoral growth sessions included Mr Ashish Khanna, metering or smart metering devices
and development. People belonging CEO & Executive Director, Tata at the consumers end so that energy
to the central and state government Power Solar, Mr Praveer Sinha, CEO & efficiency increases and energy losses
agencies and regulatory bodies in Executive Director, Tata Power Delhi decrease.
addition to project developers, banks, Distribution Ltd, Mr Pawan Agrawal,
Adwit Kashyap, Research Associate, RETA, TERI.
multilateral/bilateral institutions, President, Corporate Finance, Email:
consultants, and new entrants into YES Bank, Dr Ujjwal Bhattacharjee,

June 2015 | Akshay Urja | 41

RE Institution

Picture 1:
Ms Smita Kundu Women
discusses the excellent about
work done in the field components

of renewable energy by
an NGO, where illiterate
rural mothers and
grandmothers acquire
proper training to
become solar engineers
and thus solar electrify
their own villages
across the globe.

he Social Work and activities of the college. It is a college THE BAREFOOT COLLEGE
Research Centre, the Non- in India where traditional practical
Governmental Organization knowledge, current skills of villagers,
(NGO) that established and local wisdom are accorded more SUNJIT BUNKER ROY IN
the Barefoot College, is a voluntary value and importance than that of 1972, IN AJMER DISTRICT,
organization working in the fields the modern-day qualified experts
of education, skill development, such as, MBA, etc.
health, drinking water, women Here, illiteracy is not considered a ONE OF THE LAST PLACES
empowerment, and electrification barrier to learning. How to apply IN INDIA WHERE THE LIFE
through solar power for the upliftment and benefit from sophisticated
of rural people. The Barefoot College technology, i.e., solar energy, in
was founded by Mr Sunjit Bunker Roy order to help the poorest of the poor OF MAHATMA GANDHI IS
in 1972, in Ajmer district, Rajasthan, is taught at the Barefoot College. STILL ALIVE, RESPECTED,
India. It is one of the last places in Illiterate barefoot professionals are
India where the life style and work todays architects, designers, water
style of Mahatma Gandhi is still alive, and solar engineers, communicators, ACTIVITIES OF THE COLLEGE.
respected, and applied in all the teachers, and doctors of this village.

42 | Akshay Urja | June 2015

Unique Solar Engineers of Barefoot College
Picture 2: Demonstration of a solar water heating system



All of them have demonstrated that difficult to train. Men, it was found, Here, they learn how to light up solar
impossible is possible. were normally restless, ambitious, home units, make solar lamps, and
compulsively mobile, and wanted charge controllers. In this way, they
Solar Electrification at a paper certificate. Once they had become solar engineers.
Barefoot College a certificate, they would leave their Firstly, women from different rural
remote village within days, looking areas are allowed to mix and adjust
The Barefoot College is the only fully
for a job in the cities. to their environment and within their
solar electrified college based in a
Thus, the Barefoot College came group for a month. The Barefoot
village of India. The college, spread
up with a new policy wherein the College understands that for women
over eight acres, runs entirely on
illiterate/semi-literate middle-aged who have rarely left their village, it
solar energy and is maintained by the
mothers and grandmothers from requires undeniable courage and
barefoot solar engineers.
villages were trained. Here, an patience to leave their homes and
The college has been electrified by
illiterate trainer can train an illiterate families and stay in the campus for
setting up 60 kW of solar panels and
trainee. Inability to read or write is six months. It is observed that these
five battery banks of 764 deep cycle
not a deterrent for the very poor; women adapt to new food, shelter,
800 Ah batteries with 15 invertors
rather, they, through their hard work, and clothing due to their eagerness
between 35 kW. These were installed
qualify as successful solar engineers. to learn new techniques for
by the barefoot solar engineers from
The qualification of solar engineers economic development.
1989 onwards. These equipment
immensely benefitted the poorest of As far as communication is
power the entire campus that consists
poor rural families who used to live concerned, the village women are
of 700 lights and fans, film editing
at less than 0.50 cents per day in the trained to use sight, sound, and sign
machines, photo copying machines,
past. The first solar engineer passed
40 computers, a dentists chair, lights FOR THE SOLAR
out in 1997 from the college.
in the library, and a dining hall for
100 people. The solar components
such as invertors, charge controllers, Training of Illiterate VILLAGES, THE BAREFOOT
battery box stands were all fabricated Rural Women at COLLEGE ANNUALLY TRAINS
in the college itself and installed by Barefoot College ABOUT 100 GRANDMOTHERS
the barefoot solar engineers under the
For the solar electrification of villages, AND MOTHERS FROM INDIA
supervision of a priest who had barely
the Barefoot College annually trains AND 80 GRANDMOTHERS
passed secondary school. Thus, by
about 100 grandmothers and mothers
implementing solar electrification in AND MOTHERS FROM
from India and 80 grandmothers and
their own college, they walk the talk. INTERNATIONAL RURAL
mothers from international rural villages
located in the least developed countries VILLAGES LOCATED IN
Qualification to Become as per the United Nations norms. THE LEAST DEVELOPED
a Solar Engineer at The trainees complete a
comprehensive six month solar
Experiences in the Barefoot College engineering training programme at UNITED NATIONS NORMS.
show that men are relatively the Barefoot College campus in India.

June 2015 | Akshay Urja | 43

RE Institution

language. The need for expression

has given birth to a unique language
of gestures, signs, and broken English
cutting across all language barriers
in the training centre. Despite the
initial concerns over the language
and communication problems due to
Picture 3: Hearing by doing
the presence of people from different
areas and nationalities, there is a very difficult but once they start qualified solar engineer. This training
positive environment in the Training developing an understanding of the eliminates the dependency on
College due to the cultural diversity. colour codes, it becomes easy and urban experts.
The trainees adjust to their new they can identify the components By getting the communities to pay
environment quickly. Sign language for the making of solar lamps and every month for the use of the solar
is considered as an integral mode for other solar products. units (thus reaching out to the poorest
communication. Usually, the training of the poor who cannot afford to buy
is normally imparted in Hindi, English, Upon completion of the training, these systems even in installments),
Swahili, and Spanish languages. the women return to their village the financial commitment is assured
Some of the main features of to electrify up to 250 households for the purchase of replacement
womens training are as follows: with solar lighting units. They also components and payment of the
Learning by doing has long been assume the responsibility of repair and monthly salary of the woman solar
the philosophy adopted by the maintenance of the solar systems for a engineer. This salary provides the
college for training. Practical minimum of five years. They play a key incentive for the woman solar
demonstrations, hands-on role in sustaining and replicating solar engineer to work and look after the
experience, and regular repetition technology in rural communities by units regularly.
help trainees to get familiar with training other women and managing Each household agrees to pay a
terms, tools, equipment, and the finances of their solar workshop. fee between $5$10 a month for the
components used in the solar The programme breaks a critical solar lighting, roughly what they used
technology (Picture 1-3). With each myth associated with solar technology to spend on kerosene, candles, and
passing day, their level of hesitancy and learning. It proves that paper flashlight batteries. Today, the model
decreases and confidence and qualifications are not required to of community-owned, managed,
technical dexterity increases. become a practical solar engineer. and financially sustained household
solar light systems is replicated in
Photos in manuals are another
more than 54 countries, empowering
method of teaching illiterate Sustainable Development
more than 600 women Barefoot Solar
women from rural belts, as even due to the Barefoot
Engineers and providing clean energy
if they cannot read or write, they Colleges Initiative access to 450,000 people in nearly
can visualize the requirements of
The Barefoot Approach was designed 1,650 communities throughout India,
solar panels.
to demonstrate the first technically Africa, Latin America, the Pacific,
Teaching technicalities: A class is and financially self-sufficient, solar and Asia.
conducted in a large, rectangular electrified rural villages in Asia, The Barefoot College has not
workshop, with a long worktable Afghanistan, Bhutan, and Africa. only helped harness solar energy
running through the middle, The target constituency has been for electrification, but has also
around which the women sit with the rural poor families, living on less helped create employment for the
their individual colour sheets and than $1 per day in rural communities unemployable. In this way, it has
panels. Neat rows of solar lanterns where the women spend hours boosted income for the poor. It
line shelves, while charts detailing fetching wood or kerosene, or rely has also helped in saving the
the colour codes hang on the on candles and flashlight batteries for environment by reducing carbon
walls. One of the teachers calls the lighting at very high costs. After the emission. In addition, the college has
women to the blackboard to read food, lighting makes the highest share helped save the enormous amount
out the colour codes. One of them of the expenditure by a family. of kerosene being burnt. Most
uses her knowledge of English By training the illiterate rural importantly, it has provided self-reliant
to help her compatriots learn the grandmothers and mothers to be solutions within village life.
words for the colours in their local a fully competent solar engineer, Ms Smita Kundu, DGM, NTPC.
language. In the beginning, it is there is no need for an urban paper- Email:

44 | Akshay Urja | June 2015

RE Success Story

Cairn Centre of Excellence

Vocational Training Center
Established by Cairn India at Jodhpur, Rajasthan

he International Labour Organization(ILO), Ensures the industrys participation to
in its recent report, states that the levels of develop the curriculum and ensure placement
unemployment in India are on the rise, in spite linkages for trainees, making them job-ready; v
of the fact that general levels of education have Offers strong curriculum to meet both specialized highly
been increasing. This dichotomy either points towards a skilled and semi-skilled requirements of the industry.
lack of opportunities for educated youth or lack of quality
education that produces unemployable graduates. Cairn Centre of Excellence (CCOE)
Industry has often pointed to the mismatch between
Cairn India, one of Indias largest private sector oil and
demand and supply in the job market, particularly in
gas companies, has established and recently commenced
terms of the required skill levels. The lack of vocational
activities at its flagship Corporate Social Responsibility
training in the country is a major reason for the lack of
(CSR) initiative, the Cairn Centre of Excellence (CCOE)
competitiveness and productivity of the workforce in India.
in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Cairn India has engaged the
The deprived sections, that is, the socio-economically
internationally renowned training service provider,
weak, are the most affected, with relatively lower access
TUV Rheinland, Germany to deliver courses at the CCOE.
to opportunities and are often the first to drop out of the
The main objective of this institute is to provide top-
formal education system, thus creating a vicious cycle for
class training facilities to the youth of the country,
the underprivileged households.
especially Rajasthan, in vocational skills so as to provide
The need of the hour is establishment of a Training
them a linkage to employment opportunities within and
Facility that has the following features:
outside the country. This is in line with the vision of the
Responsive to the industry requirements, practical Government of India and Rajasthan to promote skill
training, and an employer-oriented curriculum; development among the youth.
Provides specialized training and opportunities The venture is a Not-for-Profit initiative from the
for skill upgradation through short-term companys perspective, where the initial capital investment
certificate courses; has been contributed by Cairn India. The institute now

June 2015 | Akshay Urja | 45

RE Success Story

aims to operate independently on a financially sustainable

model. Cairn India will continue to support the cause
of training for students through appropriate Scholarship
programmes, especially for the youth from Cairns areas
of operations.

CCOE Vision
The Centre represents a unique collaboration between
industry and a global training provider. The institution
has globally accepted curriculum and certification and
strong linkages with the industry, leading to high level of
employability. The Centre aims to train a large number of Picture 2: Workshop
unemployed youth every year.
the proposed CCOE. CCOE has 10 classrooms, five large
workshops for practical training (Pictures 1-2), a hostel
The Institute will cater to the following segments:
that can accommodate more than 150 students, a mess,
Up-skilling workers already employed in the energy seminar rooms, and an administrative block.
sector, who will be able to move up the value chain
and increase income levels; Courses Offered
Providing specialized courses for Industrial Training
TUV has designed and delivered vocational courses in the
Institute (ITI) graduates to ensure direct employability
disciplines of:
in specialized technical roles;
Advanced Welding
Offering basic courses for 10th/12th pass youth or
Renewable Energy (including modules on wind
below, leading to direct employment.
and solar energy)
The objective of the Institute is to address the current Basic and Advanced Automobile Repair & Maintenance
mismatch that exists between what employers are looking Retail
for and what existing training courses have to offer.
Students will be charged a fee depending on the
Location and Setup duration of the course. They will also be offered hostel
accommodation on the premises for a nominal fee.
CCOE is located in Jodhpur, Rajasthan on the Nagaur
For the delivery of the courses, Cairn has sourced world-
Highway (NH-65). The city has already emerged as an
class equipment from the best equipment suppliers inside
educational hub with a number of world class institutions:
and outside the country as per the advice of TUV. These
a new Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), National
include the following:
Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), National Law
School, etc., are also under construction in the vicinity of Welding machines from Kemppi, Finland
Solar and advanced automobile training kits from Lucas
Nuelle, Germany
Advanced fume extraction system from Kemper,
Germany to ensure dust-and particle-free environment,
meeting European standards in the welding labs

In addition, TUV will deliver a number of short-term,

in-house, and open courses to earn revenue so that the
institute is monetarily self-sufficient. These include courses
such as Lead Auditor, Balanced Scorecard, Six Sigma,
etc., which will cater to the community as well as those
already employed and looking to upgrade their skills.
The Centre has already obtained a number of Letters
of Intent from well-known companies who are interested
in recruiting from CCOE; these include Gamesa, Suzlon,
Areva, TVS, Sun Edison, Schneider, etc.
Picture 1: Workshop for practical training Sidharth Balakrishna, Executive , Laira Media.

46 | Akshay Urja | June 2015

RE Product

panels, they still create an adequate
trickle charge for the LiPo phone


Charging Performance
The size, type, and overall output of
the battery for each device are as

important as the panel. A few of the
solar smartphone charger the crystalline silicon variety devices have different functionality.
is not just another charging They have varying efficiencies for Where most are charged directly
cable. If youre like most generating electricity from sunlight. from the battery, not all of them have
people, you keep a It ranges from the highest at 10 the same relationship with the panel.
smartphone charger anywhere you per cent to the lowest at 4 per cent. Of those that have a battery.
know youre going to be for a long A few second-generation devices Source:
period of time. Theres likely one for
are thinner than first-generation
your home and another in the car. In
panels, and they are made up of
such a situation, a single solar charger
Epoxy Resin and Copper Indium
can replace them all.
Gallium DiSelenide (CIGS),
On the most basic level, a solar
the latter of which is
panel left in a well-lit area converts
actually a film
light energy into electricity that
charges an internal Lithium Polymer that can be
(LiPo) battery. The battery then stores applied to
the energy from which you can flexible surfaces.
charge your smartphone or other Even under low
mobile device. light, overcast
conditions, all
of these panels
Main Features of Solar produced a
Smartphone Charger minimum of
Some of the main features of the solar 1V. While these
smartphone charger are as follows: are not as
The first generation solar efficient as the
smartphone chargers comprises crystalline-based

Akshay Urja (bilingual) is widely circulated

to all stakeholders of renewable energy.
We invite advertisements (in colour) from
interested organizations, manufacturers,
with US institutions, etc. The advertisement tariffs
are as follows:

Ad Position Single Issue Three Issues Discount Offer Six Issues Discount Offer

Inside front cover (N ) 50,000 150,000 142,500 300,000 276,000

Inside back cover (N ) 50,000 150,000 142,500 300,000 276,000

Inside full page (N ) 40,000 120,000 114,000 240,000 220,800

Interested organizations may write to

TERI PRESS | TERI, Darbari Seth Block, IHC Complex | Lodhi Road, New Delhi -110 003
Tel. +91 11 2468 2100, 4150 4900 | Fax: +91 11 2468 2144, 2468 2145 | Email: | Web:

June 2015 | Akshay Urja | 47

Children's Corner

The Essence of Suryakumbh

t Simplified Technologies for Life, we believe that Experienced by over 25,000 children till date, Suryakumbh
in a situation when we are heavily dependent on has been recognized as the Worlds Largest Solar Cooking
fossil fuels, a single breakthrough technology or Festival by the Guinness Book of World Records, Limca
invention in renewable energy is not sufficient; Book of Records, Asia Book, and India Book of Records.
we need to have a series of such inventions. These should The following points establish the simplicity of the process
be backed by mass level participation of billions of people. and the experience of participating in the worlds biggest
A serious and scary projection of the global climatic solar festival:
problems will never energize people to pursue an eco- Children come to the ground wondering how they
friendly sustainable lifestyle. Humans need a positive frame would be making a box-type solar oven, which is being
of reference, a hope, and a deep sense of achievement taught for decades in every school, in a short span of
that would lead to happiness to engage in any action that 2 hours, forget about cooking in it.
requires change from the routine. And for doing that, we
But as the volunteers explain and demonstrate, they are
need to innovate radically and simplistically.
surprised, and also confused, to see that a simple foam
With that belief, we designed Suryakumbha Solar
sheet, aluminium pot, and a carry bag when assembled
Cooking Festival where thousands of children and adults
in a particular fashion within few minutes will work as a
gather at a common ground, explore the art and science of
powerful solar oven.
harnessing solar energy by making their own solar ovens,
and cook their lunch using it. The activity of Suryakumbh Having assembled, they begin the cooking by inserting
is designed to arouse a childs interest from theory, to the pot in the oven. But being doubtful, they frequently
practical, to hands-on working, to sharing the fruits of touch the vessel to ensure that it is at least heating the
the labour (immediate feedback of how he/she did), and pot if not cooking the food. And as soon as they sense
most importantly to transform the follower into a leader by a high enough temperature, they turn optimistic about
inviting them to propagate the experience to many more cooking too.
by conducting their own Suryakumbhs. When the time arrives and children open their vessels,
the joy and smile on their faces is so viral and so
wonderful that you know the festival has touched
their hearts.
As in a festival you share the prasad and not consume
it alone, in Suryakumbh too every child celebrates the
power of Sun God by sharing their solar-cooked prasad
with others.

Thus, by igniting the minds of the millions of children,

we believe this simple act of Suryakumbh will help unleash
the hidden energy that will help us to lead and create a
happy, beautiful, sustainable, and all-inclusive future.
Mr Vivek Kabra, Founder & CEO, Simplified Technologies for Life and
Alumni of Department of Energy Science and Engineering, IIT Bombay.

48 | Akshay Urja | June 2015

Children's Corner

The air temperature inside concrete buildings which are
directly exposed to sunlight is more as compared to the
buildings that are surrounded by, as well as fall under, the
shadow of trees. Lets find it out through an experiment.

Materials Required
2 thermometers
2 shoe boxes or small cardboard boxes
Various types of plants in pots
1 reflector lamp with 100 W incandescent light bulb in it

Steps of Experiment
In order to ensure that the same amount of light falls
on the two shoe boxes, keep them at an equal distance
This is solar
from the lamp.
photovoltaic (SPV)
Put one thermometer in each of the boxes. panel and solar water
heating (SWH) system.
Now, put the plants between the lamp and place one of What
Our electricity bill has
the boxes in such a way that the plants shadow covers is this?
reduced more than half
the maximum area of the box, i.e., the house. since we started using
these renewable
Next, turn the lamp on.
energy devices.
Finally, measure the air temperature of each box after

Figure 1: Direct exposure to Figure 2: Sunlight is blocked

the sunlight; hence, inside air by the plant; hence, inside air
temperature is more temperature is less

Result and Conclusion

The air temperature inside the box covered under plants'
shadow is less than the inside air temperature of the box
exposed to light coming from the lamp (Figures 1 and
2). The same stands true for our houses. Plants can act Please have
as shades to block sunlight and help us keep our homes laddus. Today,
cooler. During summers, a tree with leaves provides shade just like you, we Congratulations.
have also installed Henceforth, your
to the house, thus reducing the amount of sunlight striking
SPV panel and electricity bill will
the building and keeping it cooler. During winters, when SWH system. also be reduced.
a tree sheds its leaves, the sunlight is not blocked; but the
rays directly fall on the building, keeping it warm.
Illustration: VIJAY NIPANE

June 2015 | Akshay Urja | 49

Web/Book Alert

Indian Wind Energy Association (InWEA)
The Indian Wind Energy Association (InWEA) was set up in 2002 as a not-for-profit organization under
the Societies Act. The InWEA, with more than 300 members, is dedicated to the promotion and development
of wind power in India. Since its inception, InWEA has consistently worked towards removing barriers to
wind power development and creation of an enabling regulatory and policy environment for investments
in this sector. The association is also a member of several international and national industry bodies such
as the World Wind Energy Association, the European Wind Energy Association, CII, FICCI, and ASSOCHAM,
among others.

Wind Turbine Towers, Update 2014 Global Market Size, Average

Price, Competitive Landscape and Key Country Analysis to 2020
Publisher: Global Data | 130 pages
Wind Turbine Towers, Update 2014 Global Market Size, Average Price, Competitive
Landscape and Key Country Analysis to 2020 is the latest report from industry analysis
specialist, Global Data. It offers comprehensive information and analysis of the global wind
turbine tower market. The report provides clear understanding and deep insights into the global wind turbine tower
market. It explains the key drivers and challenges impacting the market, and also provides data regarding historic and
forecast growth of the wind turbine tower market, average prices, market segmentation, and competitive landscape,
globally, as well as in key wind power countries such as Germany, Spain, the UK, the US, Canada, China, and India.

Energy Statistics 2015

Central Statistics Office (CSO)
Publisher: Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India | 103 pages
Energy Statistics is brought out every year by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and this is the 22nd
publication in this series. The latest data on reserves installed capacity, potential for generation,
production, consumption, import and export, and wholesale price of different energy commodities
are included in this publication. The chapters of this book discuss the topics such asreserve
and potential for generation, installed capacity and capacity utilization, production, foreign trade,
availability, consumption, energy commodity balance, price indices, and world production and
consumption of crude oil.

2015 World Energy Issues Monitor

Energy price volatility: The new normal
Publisher: World Energy Council | 103 pages
Energy is among the top strategic issues shaping the global agenda in 2015. 2015 World Energy
Issues Monitorhelps to define the world energy agenda and its evolution over time. It provides
a high-level perception of what constitutes issues of critical uncertainty, in contrast to those
that require immediate action or act as a developing signal for the future. As such, it has
developed into an essential tool in understanding the complex and uncertain environment
within which energy leaders must operate and a tool through which decision makers can
challenge their own assumptions on the key drivers within the energy landscape.

50 | Akshay Urja | June 2015

Forthcoming Events

June 1112, 2015 | Ahmedabad, India

Green India Energy Summit

June 1921, 2015 | Chennai, India

Solar South

July 23, 2015 | New Delhi, India


3rd Renewable World Convention 2015


July 2931, 2015 | New Delhi, India

Govt Achievements & Schemes Expo

August 2123, 2015 | New Delhi, India

World Renewable Energy Technology Congress & Expo

September 1820, 2015 | Bengaluru, India

Electrical Electronics & Energy Expo & Conference

June 30July 02, 2015 | Shanghai, China

Shanghai Solar Cum Photovoltaic Solar Thermal & Building Integrated Exhibition

July 12, 2015 | Birmingham, UK

UK AD & Biogas Exhibition

July 1416, 2015 | San Francisco, USA

Intersolar North America

August 46, 2015 | Olinda, Brazil

Green Expo
Website: ebsite:

August 1820, 2015 | Guangzhou, China

Guangzhou International Solar Photovoltaic Exhibition

August 2426, 2015 | Honolulu, USA

Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit and Expo

June 2015 | Akshay Urja | 51

RE Statistics


Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investments

Sector wise Investments in Renewable Energy

Geographical wise Investments in Renewable Energy

(Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance "Global Trends in Clean Energy Investments", January 9, 2015)

52 | Akshay Urja | June 2015

June 2015 | Akshay Urja | 53
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