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Utilisation of Hybrid Energy Services in Island and

Rural Communities: Indian and European

An OPET international action

" Studies on RES market, including hybrid systems"

Prepared by

Tata Energy Research Instiute (TERI) Agency for Environment and

OPET-India Energy Management (Ademe)
Habitat Place 27, Rue Louis Vicat
Lodi Road 75737 Paris Cedex 15
New Delhi – 110 003 France
Utilisation of hybrid energy services
in Island and rural communities:
Indian and European scenario

1.0 Background
Since mid ‘80s renewable energy options such as solar power, small wind generators and
hydro power have become a viable alternative to the engine generator for remote or off-
grid locations. The initial cost of a stand-alone renewable energy option of a stand alone
renewable energy option is higher than a conventional engine driven by fossil fuel, but
has less or negligible operating cost. As the advantages of renewable energy became
more, both on the technology reliability & cost front, system designers started looking for
ways to combine both generators (renewable and fossil fuel based into one system and
get the best of them – more commonly known as hybrid systems). The term hybrid
power system is used to describe any power system with more than one type of
generator. Usually one of the generators employed is a conventional one (which
necessarily does not depend on renewable energy resource) powered by a diesel engine,
while the other(s) would be renewable viz. solar photovoltaics, wind or hydro.

This report on hybrid power systems puts across the current status, barriers for its
commercialisation and outlining the void for a case of technology transfer. As a part of
this international work package a study tour was carried out by Mr Chintan Shah of
TERI (OPET – India), while the outcome of this report is a joint effort put in by Tata
Energy Research Institute (TERI), Ademe (French National Agency) and Insula/ITER
(from Tenerife, Canary Islands). The work was done as a part of the International work
package commitments, co-funded by the European Commission under the 5 th RTD of the
Organisation for Promotion of Clean Energy Technologies (OPET) for the year 2000-
2001. The scope of this paper is limited to power generation options.

2.0 Introduction
In rural areas particularly of the developing world, where most of the population – up to
80% is located, more than 1 billion people lack the essential energy services needed to
satisfy the most basic needs and to improve economic status. The cost of grid for rural
electrification in rural area extension, sometimes very high, leads often the various
organisations to explore alternative solutions. In case of India, with considerable growth
in the Indian economy and increased mechanisation of agriculture and allied activities
over the last two decades, the commercial energy consumption including electricity has
grown rapidly. The state-run utilities have historically satisfied customer demand by
generating electricity centrally and distributing it through an extensive transmission and
distribution network. However, once demand reaches a certain level, the capacity of the
generation, transmission and distribution system becomes constrained. The traditional
utility response to these constraints is to build new facilities, leading to a very high
marginal cost. However, due to limited resources, such an approach is not feasible in
India, therefore, over the past decades the power consumers have been badly hit by
intermittent power. While, the laying of grid lines to service energy needs in far off areas
can prove to be a very expensive proposition.

Renewable energy sources, such as solar (photovoltaic), wind energy or small scale
hydro, provide a realistic alternative to supplement engine driven generators for
electricity generation in off-grid or far off areas. It has been demonstrated that hybrid
energy systems (renewable coupled with conventional energy source) can significantly
reduce the total life cycle cost of a stand alone power supplies in many off-grid
situations, while at the same time providing a reliable supply of electricity using a
combination of energy sources. Numerous hybrid systems have been installed across the
world, and expanding renewable energy industry has now developed reliable and cost-
competitive systems using a variety of technologies. Research in the development of
hybrid systems focussed on the performance analysis of demonstration systems and
development of efficient power converters, such as bi-directional inverters, battery
management units (storage facilities), optimisation of different sources of energy
sources, etc.

3.0 Country report: India

India has a large potential for renewable energy (RE), an estimated aggregate of more
than 100,000 MW. In addition, the scope for generating power and thermal applications
using solar energy (since most parts of the country receive sunlight almost throughout
the year) is huge. However, only a fraction of the aggregate potential in renewable, and
particularly solar energy, has been utilised so far.
Table 1 Renewable energy potential & current status in India
Sources/Technologies Potent Installed
Units* ial capacity
Wind Power Mwe 45 000 1 267
Small hydro (upto 25 MW) Mwe 15 000 1 341
Biomass power MW 19 500
Biomass Gasifiers 16 000
Biomass 3
Cogeneration 500
Urban & Industrial Waste- Mwe
1 700 15.20
based Power
Solar photovoltaics MW/sq km 20 47 MWp
Solar water heating (million
140 0.55
Biogas plants Million 12 3.1
Improved cookstoves Million 120 33
*MW – Mega Watt, sq km – square kilometer, sq m – square meter
Source: MNES Annual Report 2000-2001

3.1 Institutional set up

The federal ministry of India, namely Ministry of non-conventional Energy Sources
(MNES)1 is the nodal ministry for all matters relating to non-conventional and renewable
energy, through drafting out policies and programmes at the national level. While the
policies are made at the central/federal level, the programmes are implemented at the
state (province) level, through state nodal agencies (SNAs). Administratively, the SNAs
are under the control of the respective state governments, but they receive financial
support from MNES for programme implementation. MNES also implements certain
programmes through NGOs. In 1987, MNES established an autonomous financial
institution – the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), in order to
promote Renewable Energy Technologies (RETs) on a commercial basis.

3.2 Renewable energy policy

The Prime Minister of India has announced a goal of 10 per cent share or 10,000 MW in
the new capacity additions through renewable energy, upto 2012. This was the outcome
of the draft comprehensive renewable energy policy 2, formulated by the MNES. The
broad objective envisaged in the policy are
?? Meeting the minimum energy needs through RE

Under review by several government agencies
?? Providing decentralised energy supply in agricultural, industry, commercial and
household sectors in rural and urban areas
?? Grid quality power (either in decentralised or grid connected mode)

3.3 Foreign investment policy

In order to commercialise renewable energy, there has been a development of a
conducive foreign investment policy by the government of India, the salient features of
the same are as follows.
?? Foreign partners can enter into a joint venture with an Indian partner for financial
and or technical collaboration and for setting up of RE based power generation
?? Proposal for upto 74 per cent foreign equity participation in a joint venture qualifies
for automatic approval
?? Hundred per cent foreign investments as equity is permissible with the approval of
the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB)
?? Foreign investors can also set up a liaison office in India
?? The government of India also encourages foreign investment to set up RE based
power generation projects on BOO (Build Own & Operate) basis. Various chambers
of Commerce and Industry associations in India provide guidance to the investors in
finding appropriate partners.

4.0 Hybrid energy systems

Renewable energy based hybrid systems (RE-hybrids) can be stand alone or in some
instance grid connected, but the scope in this report is limited to first option. As
mentioned before, they involve a combination of a diesel generator with battery inverted
sub-systems and incorporating renewable energy sources like solar/wind/hydro
whatever appropriate. Coupling solar/wind/hydro resource with diesel generators offer
unique diesel fuel saving advantages while simultaneously ensuring reliable or least cost
power supply.

India has started deploying hybrid energy systems in isolated locations, aggregating to a
couple of kWs’ capacity, which is minuscule to the current potential.

4.1 Rural & Island electrification potential

There are more than 80,000 villages in India that are not electrified, of which, there are
18,000 villages, which are un-electrifiable3. Energising these villages by extending grids
or by way of diesel generators alone is non-economical. Moreover, with current resource
crunch with Government of India these villages receive low priority for grid extension
due to the low economic return potential (shown in figure 1).

Stand-alone or decentralised renewable based hybrid systems can provide technically

viable, least-cost/reliable solution in meeting such local energy (electricity) needs. Some
of such promising areas include:
?? Electrification of mountainous, forest and desert areas where grid extension is
uneconomic with low population density limited commercial activities and poor
incomes. Principal potential sites are in the north eastern states and Himalayas (viz.
Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Jammu & Kashmir)
?? Electrification of delta areas of Ganges, Brahmaputra, etc., and islands like
Lakshwadweep, Andamans & Nicobar, Bet-Dwarka etc. with many operational diesel
?? Electrification of households at inland rural areas through distributive grid based on
the concept of electricity supply companies (ESCOs)

4.2 Rural Industries

Encouragement of small-scale industries contributes significantly to the rural economy
(which is very important for a country like India and other developing countries). As far
as possible, these should be based on locally available raw materials, talent and energy
sources. The reliable power provided by the hybrid power systems could result in the
improved economic productivity of the rural industries in the following ways:
?? RE-hybrids powered handicraft industries would allow for varied and increased
production (cottage or home produced items can be made during off-peak seasons of
agricultural cycles)
?? RE-hybrids would provide employment opportunities, especially for women, in
commercial non agricultural industries (women with reduced homemaking chores-
with electricity, will be able to earn much needed extra income either on full-time
basis or part-time basis)
?? RE hybrids could provide market/stores utilising refrigeration-decreasing spoilage of
perishable especially in a tropical country like India.
?? Development of small industries to meet created demand for simple electrical

Not accessible, viz. island communities, forest & hills etc.
?? Employment opportunities created by co-operatives, contractors, auditing and
accounting firms.

4.3 Hybrid systems in India

Hybrid renewable energy 4 systems are defined on the basis of 100% renewable energy
sources (no fossil fuel back up). As mentioned before, the hybrid power installations in
India is in the range of couple of kWs’, while the potential is tremendous. In order to
propagate hybrid power deployment the government of India offers some lucrative
schemes both in combination of capital subsidy and low interest financing for the users,
as follows :

4.3.1 Capital subsidy

In order to promote hybrid power systems, an upfront capital subsidy to a maximum of
Rs 0.2 million ($4400) or 80% of the project cost is available (whichever is the lowest)
for community applications and government bodies. On the other hand, it is Rs 0.125
million ($2700) or 50% of the project cost (whichever is the lowest) for private
companies & individual users. The cap on the cost limits the project size in the range of
400-500 Watts, making it ideal for domestic or light load applications.

4.3.2 Fiscal incentives & Low interest loans

Apart from the capital subsidy, there is a provision of fiscal incentive in terms of 100%
accelerated depreciation in the first years, which leads to a tax savings in the tune of
about 35% of the project cost. This is aided with a soft loan from Indian Renewable
Energy Development Agency (IREDA) to a maximum of 85% of the project cost. The
repayment period is 10 years (with one-year moratorium on the capital recovery), at a
low interest rate (2 to 5% per annum5).

4.3.3 Hybrid industry

The current market for hybrid power systems is essentially driven by the government led
incentive mechanism, targeting rural electrification and island communities. This has led
to culmination of about 9 entities in to hybrid systems manufacturing, of which are
government owned public sector units (PSUs), namely Central electronics limited (CEL)
& Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL). The private sector is represented with
Unitron Systems, Tata BP (India) limited and others. More information on the same can
be found at .

Generally wind-solar hybrid
The market rate of capital in India is in the range of 12-14%.
Country Case-study: France
France has a particular position in the international country panel, no real fuel resource
exist in France and the development of electricity production has been mainly based on
Nuclear energy: 78 % of the electricity comes from nuclear energy, 12 % is provided by
large hydro power plants, 8% by fossil fuels and only 2 % are generated by alternative
solutions which include Renewable Energy Sources.

But, in the other hand France has one of the largest renewable energy potential among
the European countries. French forests cover the largest surface in Western Europe, the
wind resource is second ranking (60 TWh on earth, 90 TWh including off shore The .
hydraulic and geothermal potential is large, France takes benefit of a temperate climate
which favors solar applications.

In that context, both rural electrification and off-grid application in France is very
limited. It can be evaluated that no more than 5000 households are worthwhile to be
equipped with a stand-alone system (which in this case is mainly a hybrid system). On
the other hand, there is no need for additional power to meet France’s total consumption
(500 TWh/year for 60 millions of people in 1999).

Table 1 France energy production (sources IEA, Observatoire de l’Energie)

Sources Type of installations Production
Nuclear Nuclear power plants 380 TWh
Large hydro Barrages 70 TWh
Fossil fuels Thermal power plants 50 TWh
Small hydro Weirs Paddle wheels
Bio mass Wood Waste 10 Mtep
Geothermal Heat grids 3 TWh
Solar heating Water solar heaters 450 m²
Wind Wind generators 25 MW
PV Off-grid Grid connected Total : 9

But the situation changes dramatically if overseas territories are included in the France
experience. In this case, the national grid is supplied with thermal power plants, whose
price is higher and quality lower. A large potential exists for renewable, potential, which
is supported by legislative advantages both for the system supplier and the end-user.

In addition, French companies have participates for years to the development of the
French cooperation actions in Developing Countries which are within the French sphere
of influence (Africa, French-speaking countries). In that extend, most of the experience
in renewable energy for rural electrification can be found abroad.

5.1 Renewable energy policies in France

French policy regarding Renewable is included in part of several frameworks:
?? the law for the electricity public service modernization (10th February 2000), which
translate the European directive for the insider electricity market
?? the new European directive for the promotion of Renewable

In February 1998, the French Government formally approved a policy regarding energy
management and development of renewable energy sources. The Cabinet acknowledged
that renewable energies could contribute to sustainable development, to limit green
house effect, to save non-renewable resources, to create jobs and to contribute to local
and regional development.

The government organization, ADEME with its partners from industry and public
research set up new programs of activity.

The Solar electricity case

Solar resource is generally quite good in France. However most other forms of energy are
low cost and abundant. Photovoltaic (PV) power systems are not cost competitive with
conventional technologies as a base load source. Nevertheless, several factors triggered
the development of a competitive industry:
?? few well-motivated small and medium companies,
?? tradition of public research in solar energy,
?? demand for a diversification of energy sources in French Overseas Departments
(Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion, Guyana) where energy is expensive to produce
?? the entry of the national electricity utility Électricité de France (EDF) into the field in

National programme
The French Agency for Environment and Energy Management (ADEME) -a Government
Organization- is in charge of promoting the development of renewable energy sources
including photovoltaics (PV). The ADEME's promotion strategy is twofold:
?? to support research and technological development (RTD) on PV components,
photovoltaic systems and applications
?? to subsidize demonstration and dissemination projects
ADEME's four-year RTD programme on PV system components aims at reducing the
manufacturing costs and improving performance and reliability. The European
Commission also contributed to the RTD and demonstration/dissemination of
photovoltaics in France. ADEME has put in place mechanisms for promoting national
cooperation between industry and public research and share the financial costs (up to
50%) of applied research and technological development projects on all the components
of PV systems and their application. ADEME sponsored the first photovoltaic hybrid
power systems conference organized by Genec in Aix en-Provence (7-
8 September 2000).

ADEME also participates with its partners in international activities such as those of the
International Energy Agency (IEA) cooperative programme on photovoltaic power
systems or those of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for

5.2. Renewable energy industry: France trends

There are three photovoltaic cell and modules vertically integrated manufacturers in
France: Photowatt International S.A., Free Energy Europe S.A. and Solems S.A. There
are four main system companies: Total Énergie, Apex, Fortum AES and Sunwatt, two
battery manufacturers: CEAC/Fulmen and Hawker and one electricity utility, Électricité
de France (EDF).

Transénergie, Cythélia, PHK, IED, SERT and Tecsol are active companies of consulting
engineers specialized in PV technology and project management. They participate in
strategic, feasibility and marketing studies funded by the European Commission,
development banks, utilities and ADEME. Other actors are also involved who combined
the technical and social aspects of rural development (Fondem).

Battery manufacturers have designed storage batteries that are more suitable for the
charging regimes associated with photovoltaic and hybrid applications. CEAC/Fulmen
Company is developing with photovoltaic system firms and Genec new concepts of
energy management of photovoltaic lead-acid storage batteries.

Legislation pieces
The main legislative framework that favors the development of the French PV market is
supported by a law which allows the owner of a PV system to declare its investments
(accelerated depreciation) and thus decrease its tax level. This law is still valid until 2006
and only applicable in French overseas departments and territories (Guadeloupe,
Martinique, Reunion, Guyana, and Polynesia).

As far as in European countries, the main application for Renewable is grid-connection,

the French legislation is somewhat delayed with respect to what has happened in
Germany, the Netherlands, Spain or Italy. However, within the framework of the
European directive dealing with Renewable (for which the amount of Renewable in the
energy production must be increased from 15 % to 21 % of the total energy production)-
France is going to promote the use of renewable in the grid. The incentive is to award a
buy -back price of 1 French Franc (1 FF = 0.15 USD) per one kWh, and 2 French Francs in
the French overseas territories.

Since 1993, ADEME, in collaboration with EDF, has launched a large program (FACE
programme: electrification taxes sinking fund) to finance the realization of low-voltage
local grid extension,. The programme promotes renewable energy powered energy
installations. Each such project is evaluated on the basis of the comparison of the
electricity grid extension costs and the costs of the service-equivalent stand-alone PV,
wind or micro-hydro installation.

Électricité de France (EDF) plays a role in remote area power supply markets. The
agreement signed in 1993 between ADEME and EDF, to promote the use of PV in sectors
where it proved to be commercially viable, allowed photovoltaic power systems to access
to a public source of subsidy called FACE. By the beginning of 2000, EDF acknowledged
that photovoltaic electricity would be paid 0.096 Euro per kilowatt-hour (corresponding
to net metering system) to the on-grid PV system owners.

Market development
The main stream of photovoltaic activity in France is that of off-grid applications where
PV has proven to be a cost-effective solution. The ADEME and the Regional Authorities
along with FACE fund and the tax exemption contracts in Overseas Departments are
contributing to the growth of domestic applications that represent 60% to 70% of
installations. The off-grid non-domestic (also called professional) market represents
30% to 40% of business and does not receive any public subsidy. The grid connected
built-integrated applications are an emerging market through demonstration operations
(400 kWp installed). The total installed capacity in continental France and its overseas
departments/territories is around 10.5 MWp, while the average annual installation is
pegged at 1 MWp per year.
ADEME's policy consists of implementing conditions for preparing efficient products
offering quality service to users who are beyond the reach of electricity networks. The
implementation of suitable structures taking up concessions through EDF on PV
installations, and the access to various sources of financing (FACE fund, Tax exemption,
Regional Authorities, etc.) were decisive factors of progress.
Photovoltaic rural electrification programmes are financed up to 95% with FACE fund.
FACE (Fund for amortization of electrification costs) is a public fund traditionally
devoted to extending and reinforcing electricity networks in French rural areas.

Until the end of 1999, grid-connected PV domestic power systems were not promoted by
ADEME and EDF as a priority but a private initiative of a user's association installed
around 230 "PV roofs" in the peak-power range of 1 kWp with partial funding from the
European Commission. By the beginning of 2000, ADEME set up a targeted
demonstration programme on dispersed on-grid built-integrated photovoltaic systems in
cooperation with European Commission program (DG TREN) aiming at installing in
continental France 500 kW in three years.

The International Energy Agency has made a detailed collection of installation in France:
?? off-grid installations : 8772
?? grid-connected installations : 349
?? Centralised PV- power plant : 0

In the recent past, ADEME was involved in rural electrification cooperation projects in
Morocco (training programmes), selected African countries and Indonesia (Transindo
project of 4 hybrid PV/diesel village power systems).

5.3. Hybrid energy systems: French experience

The experience of leading French companies in the field of hybrid energy systems can be
divided in to four typical applications
?? Rural electrification
?? Island power supply
?? Village power supply
?? Decentralized power systems

5.3.1. Rural electrification (FACE)

Rural electrification or off-grid application deals with the electricity supplied to isolated
households. In this case, the system is mainly designed with a combination of PV system
with a diesel generator. In many cases the diesel generator existed before the PV system
was installed. As a whole, the system is fully off-grid and deliver electricity to a single or
more than one household.

More than 500 sites have been equipped with photovoltaic installations within the
French FACE program. Amongst them, a majority uses a diesel generator owned by the
user, while the rest are the property of EDF.

A recent balance of the project showed that:

?? 1383 projects have been accepted
?? 95 % of the projects are PV (most of them are hybrid PV/diesel), 5 % are wind
?? 66% are located in France, while the rest in French overseas territories.

As an example, of a typical isolated household supplied by a hybrid PV/Diesel system.

The system is installed in the “Corbières” Mountains in southern France. It is a private
house of retired people. The technical description of the system is :
?? 900 Wp of PV modules
?? 15 KVA Genset
?? 12 KWh of storage

?? all appliances for domestic applications (lighting, cooking, washing equipped with an
energy dispenser)

Figure 1: PV/Diesel installation in the Mountains

of the southern France in winter

In addition, a large number of installations are located in overseas territories both for
private houses or professional applications (telecommunications, Hotels, Departmental
administration). The local authorities and Europe dissemination programmes fund these

Another example, of a typical isolated house

equipped with a hybrid PV/Diesel system is
given in the next picture. The installation is a
coaching inn located at the top of the “Pîton de
la fournaise” volcano in the reunion island. It
serves as the starting point of the expedition
for the volcano. It is composed of :
?? 6 KWp of PV modules
?? 10 KVA Genset
?? a 115 KWh of storage
?? all appliances needed for an hotel, included an electric owen

Figure 2: PV/Diesel installation in the top of

the “piton de la fournaise” volcano in the Reunion island

5.3.2. Island electrification

Island electrification is of a major concern for French companies, mainly in overseas
territories in which a lot of small islands need electrification (Polynesian islands, Fiji
islands). In such case the design of the system includes a wind generator, to take the
opportunity of the Aeolian (wind energy) potential of the island, a PV system and a diesel
generator set to provide a continuous service. The whole set-up behaves like a mini
power plant and a local grid delivers electricity to a limited number of houses.
Several systems have been installed since 10 years, whose size ranges from 1 to 20 KWp
PV modules, 1 to 20 KW wind generator, 5 to 40 kVA diesel generator set and batteries,
according to the end-user specifications. France also participates to European projects
for which islands electrification is the target (mainly in the Mediterranean Sea).

One typical example of an island hybrid system installed in the French Brittany
(Northwest Atlantic ocean), in a preserved area called “Les Glénans” island. The center
serves as training center for sailing and diving, along with an ornithological reserve in

The system is composed of :

?? 11 kWp of PV modules
?? 10 kWh of wind generator
?? 32 kVA of Genset
?? It supplies electricity to more than 20 houses.

Figure 3: Wind energy based

hybrid system

5.3.3. Village power

The concept of village power can be elaborated by the model project, called “TransIndo”
for “Transmigration Indonesia” in which a lot of French actors have participated
(Photowatt, Total Energie, Transénergie, Genec and ADEME). The operating principle of
the project was to consider a location (limited area) having a high density of households
enough to make the operations profitable, in opposition to install solar home systems.
Such a situation is economically viable as soon is end-users themselves are involved, to
evolve a well adapted scheme.

In addition, this solution could be seen as a temporary situation waiting for the national
grid, in this case, the extension of the grid is facilitated and the quality of the service
provided by the final grid will be higher than in the case of a star-extension grid.

Some other projects have been also leaded by French companies in Africa (Mauritania,
Morocco and Madagascar), which try to take advantages of the lessons learned in the
TransIndo project, aiming at standardized the components of the system and reproduce
the exploitation scheme.

By 1997, in the framework of a inter-governmental agreement between France and

Indonesia, four Indonesian villages (300 to 400 households each) were equipped with a
large hybrid system, whose prototype was tested in Genec. Each system is composed of :
?? 23.5 KWp of PV modules
?? 40 KVA gen set
?? 360 KWh of storage bank
?? a local 3-phases mini grid
?? domestic and craftsman appliances

Figure 4 : PV/Diesel installation in Indonesia

5.3.4 Decentralized power systems
A recent approach has been emphasized in Europe with the coming of new energy
sources, which aim at integrating Renewables in the national or private large electricity
grids. Within this approach, apart from hybrid energy systems, combined heat and
power systems, fuel cells and other storage technologies, biomass, micro hydro is being
studied in the context of distributed generation. Also, French utility EDF and research
centers are actively participated to research projects and also thematic networks
(EnirDG where Genec is involved).

5.4. Research and development activities

France has a well-established research base in the field of photovoltaic. Collaborative
efforts are pooled in to maximize technology advancement under ADEME's financial
incentives. Apart from ADEME, other organisations like CNRS, CEA and EDF are also
the financial contributors to PV RTD projects, and some selected research topics receive
pre-competitive RTD funding from the European Commission programmes (DG

Main goals of ADEME's RTD programme are cost reduction for photovoltaic cells and
modules by decreasing their manufacturing costs and by increasing their conversion
efficiencies through innovative manufacturing processes or technical optimization of
existing low cost processes.

Thin layers of (micro or poly-) crystalline silicon or so-called poly-morphous (a mixture

of amorphous and microcrystalline) silicon material deposited on foreign substrates
(glass, ceramic) are a priority topic for CNRS public research laboratories (involved in a
jointly funded CNRS-ADEME multidisciplinary research programme called ECODEV).

In addition, ADEME supports small and medium size photovoltaic companies in

developing new products for domestic and export markets. Companies such as Apex and
Total Énergie have developed microprocessor-based energy management units that not
only incorporate battery charge/discharge controllers but also new functions with
varying degrees of sophistication and built in diagnostics including advanced data
logging and remote communication capabilities.

Specific studies and testing of photovoltaic components including PV modules (energy

rating approach), lead-acid storage batteries aging and other PV related products are an
important part of the ADEME's programme. Hybrid PV/diesel village power systems are
studied by Genec and Armines for testing and standardization purposes. Other studies
carried out by Genec, EDF and partners contribute to the drafting of International
Energy Agency's reports on recommended practices (IEA-PVPS cooperative programme,
Tasks 1, 2, 3 and 9) and pre-normative work that feed elaboration of international
Standards within the International Electrotechnical Commission/Technical Committee
82 (IEC/TC82).
In the field of hybrid systems, the research
and development activities in France are
mainly gathered in two research institutes:
Armines and Genec. Both are located in
southern of France, where the averaged daily
irradiation is 4.5 KWh/m². The main topics
?? Rural electrification development programs (SIG)
?? Design and architecture of hybrid systems
?? Energy and storage management
?? Electronic devices for hybrid systems

Genec is playing an active role in monitoring the results of the TransIndo project in
Indonesia, right from the design of the system to the optimization of the energy
management algorithm. Functional and performance tests have been performed in the
Genec solar platform to evaluate and improve the overall efficiency of the system and its
components, both in the lab and on-site.

5.0 Study tour on hybrid energy installations

Under the current work package under International actions, Mr Chintan Shah of OPET -
India (TERI) did a study tour to France & Canary Islands. The tour was made to have an
insight on the technological developments in the field of hybrid energy systems, testing
standards, field installations and co-operation between EU and India in the field of
renewable energy based hybrid energy systems. The study tour also presented the Indian
scenario to European actors and stakeholders.

Mr Chintan Shah visited hybrid energy facilities and installation in the France and
Canary Islands. The visit consisted of a visit to laboratories and facilities of Ademe and
Genec in France and ITER in Canary Islands.

Genec Laboratory, Cadarache (near Aix en Provence), France

Genec is a laboratory housed in CEA (French Atomic Energy Authority). Genec has been
working in the field of PV based hybrid energy systems, battery/storage technology &
solar thermal energy from about 20 years. Currently, the laboratory is optimising a PV
and diesel generator based hybrid energy systems at the test station in Cadarache.
Further, the laboratories has a separate group work on battery technology, and have
improved upon lead-acid type of batteries for hybrid system applications, such, that the
battery life has been enhanced from an average of 6-7 years to 12-13 years.

A detailed discussion with Dr Pascal Boulanger, was done, by presenting scenarios for
hybrid energy applications in respective countires. It was concluded that the experience
and technologies developed by Genec, can be judiciously applied in India. It was
suggested to test run the prototype PV-diesel generated based hybrid energy systems for
Indian conditions, by inducting wind energy generator at a test site in Mithapur in India.
TERI has its own testing facility in India for wind battery chargers and hybrid energy

Further, Genec has extensive experience in interphase electronics used in hybrid energy
systems. There is felt a huge vaccum of such components for the applicability of hybrid
energy systems in India, hence its possible to have a trans-national co-operation in this

Ademe, Valbonne (near Nice), France

Ademe is an apex organisation of the government of France in the field of renewable

energy and energy efficiency, housing more than 3000 professionals. Ademe has a
number of centres, almost one per province,
and the Valbonne centre is dealing in the field
of renewable energy, including hybrid energy

A meeting was done with Mr Jean-Michel Sers,

who represents Ademe (OPET), and Mr Fabrice
Juqouis of Valbonne centre. Ademe is keen to
work in the field of hybrid energy sy stems and
its applications in India. This is in continuation
with a MoU signed with the government of
India in February 2001. In this regard, it has
been decided to carry and prepare a detailed
action plan for energisation of Lakshwadweep
isalnds through hybrid energy systems in India.
In this regard, Ademe also showed willingness
to co-finance a hybrid energy demonstration
project, involving French companies. The
Figure 5: Control panel of a
Hybrid energy test station
system can be tested for Indian conditions by coupling it with a wind energy converter.

Meeting with other French companies showed a positive response in tying up with TERI
for Indo-French co-operation project in the field of hybrid energy systems.

6.0 Insula OPET – Tenerife, Canary Islands

Figure 6 : Mr Cipriano Marin of Insula & Mr Chintan

Shah of TERI (OPET -India) at ITER facilities in Tenerife

A visit was made to Tenerife, Canary Islands, along

with Mr Cipriano Marin and representatives from ITER
(Institutio Technologia de y Energie Renovables). The
Cabildo (local government) formed ITER in 1990, with
a mandate to maintain the demonstration wind farm,
and earn revenue from the sale of electricity. Over the
years, the revenue surplus from the wind farms has
lead to expansion of the institute (about 70 people) and
more wind farms.

The main activity ITER is in the field of wind energy,

photovoltaics, hybrid energy systems and desalination.
Together with other island organisations (viz. In Italy
and Greece) they have formed a consortium known an
INSULA (International Scientific Council for Island
Development), to exchange and work together in island communities. ITER has been
working with the local government for 100% electrificationFigure 7: Experimental
in Tenerife islands. Darrius
wind turbine at ITER

ITER has been working in the field of hybrid energy systems, and they have also
developed an interphase electronics for the same for hybrid energy systems for both off-
grid and grid connected applications under the COPERNICUS programme of the
European Commission.

The climatology parameters and economic development in the Canary Islands is

comparable to most of the island communities in south Asia (including India), along
with the energy resource and demand. Hence, ITER is keen to work with TERI for
developing an action plan for island communities in India, along with Ademe.

It was also learnt that AECI (Agencia Espanola de cooperacion internatiocional or

Spanish International Development Co-operation Agency), may co-finance
demonstration projects for hybrid energy systems by involving spanish

7.0 Conclusions
The hybrid energy market in India is chiefly driven by government led incentives, while
they are not designed with the economic returns of the populace at the local level. Such
an approach would create the dependence of the hybrid market on the subsidy
mechanism. Further, the restriction of hybrid power systems to 100% renewable energy
back-ups is also no logical, for hybrid systems of bigger sizes6. During the study tour to
different facilities in the France and Canary Islands the following things came out.
1. Genec, has developed a PV-Diesel hybrid power systems, which is currently under
monitoring & testing, possibly such a system can be tried out in India by coupling
with wind generators
2. There is a requirement felt for transfer of know-how and technology in hybrid energy
systems to be used for rural electrification. Possible joint proposal for setting up
demonstration units for rural electrification should be tried out.
3. ITER in the Canary Islands have put up hybrid based desalination plant and suitable
electronics for power generation. The transfer of technology in the balance of
electronics in the hybrid systems is not fully developed in India developed.

Where wind-diesel makes a greater sense
4. List of contacts

1. Dr Pascal Boulanger, Genec
2. Mr Jean-Michel Sers, Ademe
3. Mr Fabrice Juquois, Ademe
4. Mr Guy Oliver, Total Energie
5. Mr Lecourt Marc, Sunwatt France
6. Mr Jean-Christian Marcel, Transenergie

Tenerife, Canary Islands

1. Mr Cipriano Marin, Insula
2. Mr Guillermo Galvan, ITER