Energy is the prime mover of all the development process. With the advent of globalization, development process is finally ignited. India is now the eleventh largest economy in the world, fourth in terms of purchasing power. It is poised to make tremendous economic strides over next ten years, with significant economic development already in planning stage. This development is going to accelerate the demand of energy. With rapid rise in the price of fossil fuels and the anticipated shortage, there is a need to develop some sustainable resource.
Renewable sources are perennial in nature and hence can be relied upon for sustainable development. Fortunately, India is blessed with a variety of Renewable Energy sources, the main ones being biomass, biogas, solar, wind, and small hydro power. Municipal and industrial wastes can also be useful sources of energy, but are basically different forms of biomass.
In the past century, it has been seen that the consumption of non-renewable sources of energy has caused more environmental damage than any other human activity. Electricity generated from fossil fuels such as coal and crude oil has led to high concentrations of harmful gases in the atmosphere. This has in turn led to many problems being faced today such as ozone depletion and global warming.
Therefore, renewable sources of energy have become very important and relevant to todays world. They cause less emissions and cannot be exhausted. Their use can, to a large extent, reduce chemical, radioactive, and thermal pollution. They stand out as a viable source of clean and limitless energy. These are also known as non-conventional sources of energy. Most of the renewable sources of energy are fairly non-polluting and considered clean though biomass, a renewable source, is a major polluter indoors. Renewable energy technologies vary widely in their technical and economic maturity, but their common feature is that they produce little or no greenhouse gas, and rely on virtually inexhaustible natural sources.
Renewable energy markets grew robustly in 2008. Overall, renewable power capacity expanded to 280 GW in 2008, a 75-percent increase from 160 GW in 2004, excluding large hydropower. (See Figure 4 and Table R4.) The top six countries were China (76 GW), the United States (40 GW), Germany (34 GW), Spain (22 GW), India (13 GW), and Japan (8 GW). The capacity in developing countries grew to 119 GW, or 43 percent of the total, with China (small hydro and wind) and India (wind) leading the increase. A significant milestone was reached in 2008 when added power capacity from renewables in both the United States and the European Union exceeded added power capacity from conventional power (including gas, coal, oil, and nuclear). That is, renewables represented more than 50 percent of total added capacity. (Including large hydropower, global renewable power capacity reached an estimated 1,140 GW in 2008.)
An estimated $120 billion was invested in renewable energy worldwide in 2008, including new capacity (asset finance and projects) and biofuels refineries. This is double the equivalent 2006 investment figure of $63 billion.
India has the distinction of being the only country in the world to have an exclusive Ministry dealing with new and Renewable Energy sources. During the last two and a half decades there had been a vigorous pursuit of activities relating to the research, development, trial and induction of a variety of Renewable Energy technologies for use in different sectors.
The Electricity Act 2003 contains several provisions to promote the accelerated development of power generation from non- conventional sources. It provides that co- generation and generation of electricity for renewable sources would be promoted by the SERCs by providing suitable measures for connectivity with grid and sale of electricity to any person and also by specifying, for purchase of electricity for such sources, a %age of the total consumption of electricity in the area of a distribution licensee.
There has been a growing awareness of the benefits of Renewable Energy, mainly on account of sustained public awareness generation campaigns. an outlay was provided under the X plan to provide electrification to around 25,000 remote unelectrified villages and hamlets by 2007. The government has set a target of installing 15% of the additional power generation capacity in the country through grid-interactive renewable power by 2012. About 15,000 MW power is expected to be generated from renewable sources in the 11th Plan period for this purpose. By the year 2030, the target is to generate 20% to 30% of power from renewable sources.
Different Sources of Renewable Energy
Efforts are being made to reduce the capital cost of projects based on non-conventional and renewable sources of energy, by promoting competition within such projects and at the same time, taking adequate promotional measures for development of technologies and a sustained growth of these sources. The efforts to increase the share of renewables in the total power generation capacity of India have yielded results. The share has been continually rising. Renewables contribute about 14914 MW as on July 31, 2009, which represents 8.8% of the total installed capacity. The power generation capacity established so far has largely come about through private investments. Wind power contributes about 10464 MW, while biomass power and cogeneration account for 1928.3 MW and the share of small hydro power is 2461 MW.
Amongst the different Renewable Energy sources, wind energy is making a significant contribution to the grid power installed capacity of India, and is emerging as a competitive option. Wind power capacity of 998 MW has been added during2008-09 (upto January 31, 2009) taking the cumulative capacity to 10464 MW, the fifth largest wind power installed capacity in the world after USA, Germany, Spain and China in wind power generation.
Most of the wind energy based projects are located in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat.
There are well defined policies both at the central and state level. The main features of these are listed below.
- Import duty concession on specified wind turbine parts
- 80% accelerated depreciation
- Customs and excise duty relief
- Loans through IREDA
- Tax holiday for power generation projects
- Fiscal and financial incentives
- Wheeling, banking, third party sale, buy-back facility by State Electricity Boards (SEBs)
- Capital subsidies and sales tax incentives in certain states
- Soft loans from the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd. (IREDA)
Also different states have come up with their own wind policies.
Small Hydro Power
Among the various renewable sources of energy, small hydro is significant in the form of decentralised power generation, even in hilly regions where the terrain is difficult for promotion of other energy sources. All projects between 3 MW and 25 MW are considered as Small Hydro Projects. SHP essentially harnesses the energy from flowing or falling water from rivers, rivulets, artificially created storage dams or canal drops.
SHP technology was first introduced in the year 1837, in Darjeeling. The power that can be generated through a SHP project depends on two important technical parameters - available head and the speed of water flow. Based on the two parameters, the type of turbine is decided which can be Pelton (above 200m), Francis (30-200 m) and Kaplan (upto 30 m). The projects can also be classified depending on the location of project as Run-of-River, Canal fall based, Dam toe based.
The small hydro power (SHP) sector (upto 25 MW station capacity) is moving towards attaining commercial status in India. SHP projects are increasingly becoming economically viable. It has been recognized that SHP can play a role in improving the energy position in some parts of India and in particular in remote and inaccessible areas. The gestation period and capital investments are getting reduced in SHP projects. While small water streams are being tapped in the hilly areas, canal drops are being exploited for generation of power in the plain areas.
The potential from small hydropower projects of up to 25 MW station capacity is estimated at about 15,000 MW. A database has been created for most potential sites by collecting information from various sources and the State Governments. The MNRE has a database of 5,415 potential sites with an aggregate capacity of 14,305.47 MW. As a part of the UNDP- GEF Hilly Hydro Project, a detailed exercise was undertaken to prepare zonal plans for 13 participating states of the Himalayan and sub-Himalayan region as a result of which 2162 potential sites aggregating 3827 MW have been identified .A Master Plan has been prepared for the participating states to identify SHP potential in a systematic manner and state-wise strategies.
The Ministry is providing financial support to the States for identification of new potential sites and preparation of a perspective plan for the State for development of small hydro. This activity is important from the point of view of making an over all strategy for systematic development of SHP projects in the long term. The Ministry is in the process of augmenting Renewable Energy resource database and bringing it on a GIS platform. Survey of India, Indian Meteorological Department and National Remote Sensing Agency have been providing digitized data for the country including topographical maps, land use maps, time series data on precipitation, rainfall etc. A hydrological modeling for Beas basin in Himachal Pradesh has been completed which has identified all potential hydro sites including estimated discharge data and power potential. This activity is proposed to be extended for the entire country.
As there is still an unidentified potential of about 5000 MW in India, a new scheme for providing financial support to States for the identification of new potential sites and the preparation of a perspective plan for SHP development has been introduced. Financial support upto Rs 30 lakhs will be provided for the estimation of the SHP potential in a State, identification of new potential SHP sites and for the preparation of a perspective plan. Provision of incentives for Detailed Survey and Investigation (DSI) & Detailed Project Report (DPR) preparation was continued under a merged and rationalized scheme. Financial support is being provided up to Rs 5 lakhs for DPR preparation including survey. The State Governments have been advised to undertake these items of work in order to prepare a shelf of SHP Projects. Survey & investigation and preparation of DPRs of 363 potential sites under this scheme has been supported by MNRE.
MNRE provides incentives for:
- For detailed project report (DPR) preparation: Rs.1.25 lakh to Rs.5 lakh per MW (Range: 10 MW to 25 MW)
- Under special incentives for North east region and Sikkim, capital grant of Rs.7.5 crore per MW is available for SHP projects. The maximum support per project is Rs.22.5 crore.
- Financial support for renovation, modernization and capacity upgrading of old SHP stations to the extent of Rs.2.6 crore per MW or 75% of the R&M cost, whichever is lower.
- Financial support for development/upgradation of water mills is provided upto Rs.30, 000/MW or 75% of project cost, in mechanical mode and Rs.1, 00,000 or 75% of project cost in electrical/electrical plus mechanical mode.
- IREDA provides soft loans under MNRE for setting up of SHP projects upto 25MW capacity in the commercial sector.
The exploitation of solar energy has been one of the major programs. Solar energy, which is manifested in the form of heat and light, is harnessed through solar thermal and solar photovoltaic (SPV) routes for applications like cooking, water heating, drying farm produce, water pumping, home and street lighting, power generation for meeting decentralized requirements in villages, schools, hospitals, etc. In spite of the limitations of being a dilute source and intermittent in nature, solar energy has the potential for meeting and supplementing various energy requirements.
India, being a tropical country, is blessed with plenty of sunshine. The average daily solar radiation varies between 4 to 7 kWh per square meter for different parts of India. There are on an average 250 to 300 clear sunny days a year. Thus, it receives about 5,000 trillion kWh of solar energy in a year. It is environment friendly and is freely available locally. The current solar capacity installed in the country is just 2 MW (as on July 31, 2009).
India receives solar energy equivalent to nearly 5,000 trillion kWh/year which is equivalent to 600 GWfar more than the countrys total energy consumption today. But India produces solar energy in negligible amounts, a mere 0.2% of that from other energy resources. Further, the entire solar electricity generation is based on the solar photovoltaic (SPV technology. Power generation using solar thermal technology is still in the experimental stage. Currently, India has only 2.93 MW of grid-connected solar PV capacity. While India receives solar radiation of 5 to 7 kWh/m 300 to 330 days in a year, power generation potential using SPV is about 20 MW/km and that using solar thermal generation about 35 MW/km.
Solar Grid Program
As a result of development and deployment of PV technologies for more than two decades, a strong research infrastructure and a good manufacturing base for production of single and polycrystalline silicon solar cells/modules has been established in India, which ranks fifth in the world among the PV module manufacturing countries.
Although the cost of the technology is high, it has been gradually decreasing. Today, PV technology has become cost competitive to other technologies based on conventional energy for meeting power requirements of small load in remote areas. There is a need to bring down the cost of PV modules further so that PV technology becomes commercially viable.
Under the SPV Demonstration and Utilisation Program grants in aid are given to the implementing organisations for providing subsidy to the users for purchase or installation of solar home systems, solar street lighting systems, stand alone power plants, building integrated photovoltaics etc. The program is being implemented through the State Nodal Agencies (SNAs), selected NGOs, central public sector undertakings and 'Aditya Solar Shops' in India. The solar home systems have been provided to all categories of individual users and non- commercial users. The power plants are designed to provide grid quality power with better reliability to a village/hamlet or institution etc.
The solar grid power program has two components- the thermal conversion technology and the photovoltaic technology. The Solar Photovoltaic technology converts sunlight into electricity without any pollution. The solar photovoltaic (SPV) program has resulted in significant technological developments for various applications.
Although India has a negligible quantum of installations as compared to its potential, it ranks 5th in solar PV installations and 9th in solar thermal application installations in the world. Currently, India has 1012 manufacturers producing about 100 MW of solar PV cells and about 20 manufacturers with total installed capacity of 120 MW in module manufacturing. India also has a large number of integrators-cum-service providers (about 80) with total capacity of about 245 MW. India exports 160 MW of solar PV products to other developed and developing countries.
With regard to solar thermal application, India has more than 200 manufacturers of solar water heaters and 40 of solar cookers. Also, 56 manufacturers are involved in producing solar drying, cooking, process heat, and air-conditioning applications. It is expected that several players will enter solar thermal application development in the coming months. Recently, several companies such as Tata BP Solar, Signet Solar, and Moser Baer have announced multi-million-dollar plans for investment in solar cell manufacturing capacities in the country. With announcement of the semiconductor policy in March 2007, it is envisaged that several multinational companies will enter silicon manufacturing as well as solar cell manufacturing.
34 grid- interactive SPV power projects with an installed capacity of 2.8 MW have been installed and 6 more projects with an aggregate capacity of 400 KW are under installation. MNES has supported demonstration projects involving grid interactive SPV power plants. Under this program, Central Financial Assistance (CFA) in the form of grants-in-aid and subsidies is being provided to beneficiaries- State Nodal Agencies (SNAs) and SEBs for resource assessment, feasibility studies, research and development and to design, install and operate Solar Photovoltaic Power Plants in grid interactive mode.
CFA of 2/3rds of the project cost, subject to a maximum of Rs 1.2 crore for a 100 kWp system is being provided. For Special Category States i.e. North Eastern States including Sikkim, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal and unelectrified island regions the CFA is up to 90% of the project cost with maximum of Rs 1.62 crore per 100 kWp.
During the past few years, many organisations have started using the SPV systems for varied uses like power for rural telephones, railway signaling, low power transmitters, cathode protection, etc
One of the areas of Solar thermal technology is heating of water for domestic, commercial and industrial uses. India has been making and using solar water heaters for almost three decades. Solar water heating systems are becoming increasingly popular. Hotels, hostels, hospitals, and other large institutions & industries have gone in for these systems. Water heating systems with a total collector area of one million sq. m have so far been installed. State Governments have been advised to make necessary provisions in buildings to incorporate solar water heating systems.
When this solar heater replaces an electric geyser, it not only saves electricity but also reduces the peak load demands. Also a domestic water heater of 100 litres capacity can prevent emissions of 1.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.
Both solar photovoltaic as well as solar thermal technologies have several applications. These applications could be divided into two primary categories, namely grid-connected and off-grid.
National Solar Mission
Under the National Plan of Climate Change, eight National Missions representing multi-pronged long term and integrated strategy for achieving key goals in the context of climate change have been proposed. National Solar Mission is one of them. The main objective of the Mission is to establish India as a global leader in solar energy through:
- 20,000 MW of installed solar generation capacity by 2020 and 100,000 MW by 2030 or 10-12% of total power generation capacity estimated for that year
- Solar power cost reduction to achieve grid tariff parity by 2020
- Achieve parity with coal based thermal power generation by 2030
- 4-5 GW of installed solar manufacturing capacity by 2017.
The three phase approach:
The Mission envisages three phases : First phase (2009-12) proposes to achieve rapid scale up to drive down costs, to spur domestic manufacturing and to validate the technological and economic viability of different solar applications. A number of measures supplementing the objectives have been spelt out in the document. The second phase (2012-17) shall endeavor to scale up various validated applications, mainly but not exclusively, grid-tied applications. Similarly, phase three (2017-2020) envisages rapid scale up across all validated applications with minimal or no subsidy.
Biomass Energy and Cogeneration
The availability of biomass in India is estimated at about 540 million tons per year covering residues from agriculture, forestry, and plantations. Principal agricultural residues include rice husk, rice straw, bagasse, sugar cane tops and leaves, trash, groundnut shells, cotton stalks, mustard stalks, etc. It has been estimated that about 70- 75% of these wastes are used as fodder, as fuel for domestic cooking and for other economic purposes leaving behind 120- 150 million tons of usable agricultural residues per year which could be made available for power generation. By using these surplus agricultural residues, more than 16,000 MW of grid quality power can be generated with presently available technologies. In addition, about 5000 MW of power can be produced, if all the 550 sugar mills in the country switch over to modern techniques of co-generation. Thus, the country is considered to have a biomass power potential of about 21,000 MW.
To tap this potential, MNRE has been implementing biomass energy/ co- generation program for the last 10 years. The program aims at optimum utilization of biomass materials for power generation or for replacement of conventional fuels through adoption of efficient and state- of- the- art conversion technologies. The technologies being promoted include combustion/ gasification/ cogeneration, using gas/ steam turbines, dual fuel engines/ gas engines, or a combination thereof, either for generation of power alone, or for cogeneration of more than one energy form, for captive and/ or grid connected applications. The Program has two main components- a) Biomass Power/ Co-generation & b) Biomass gasification.
A few Regulatory Commissions have already come out with their formulations to promote arrangements between the co- generator and the concerned distribution licensee for purchase of power from such plants. Cogeneration system is being encouraged in a few states in the overall interest of energy efficiency and also grid stability. Notable initiatives include a biomass resource assessment program to bring out a Biomass Resource Atlas for India; facilitating fast track projects; new modes of implementation of projects in co- operative/ public sector sugar mills; and, technology development and demonstration of producer gas engines and advanced biomass gasification.
Biomass Gasification process yields producer gas as a result of a thermo- chemical reaction. This producer gas contains, by volume, 13- 15% hydrogen, 18- 25% carbon mono- oxide, 5- 10% carbon dioxide and 48- 54% nitrogen. Its calorific value is 5,500kJ/Nm 3. The gas can either be burnt directly for thermal applications or used in dual- fuel or 100% gas engines for mechanical and electrical applications.
A number of gasification and biomass briquetting technologies have been indigenously developed. Some leading institutions in India are being supported to conduct research and development to further improve these technologies. India today ranks among the technology leaders in the world. Biomass gasifiers capable of producing power from a few KW up to 550 KW have been developed indigenously. They have successfully undergone stringent testing abroad, and are being exported to countries in Asia, Latin America, Europe and USA. A large number of installations for providing power to small scale industries and for electrification of a village or group of villages have been undertaken.
Special application packages have been developed for use of biomass gasification technologies for thermal and electrical applications in Rice Mills, Cold Storages, Textile Mills, Tube and Tyre Manufacturing Companies, Plywood Industries, Steel re-rolling mills, Tea/ Coffee drying units, Brick kilns, Ceramic Industries for reducing energy costs with an attractive payback period. MNRE has been providing financial incentives in the form of capital subsidies for various categories of systems installed in the field. A significant development during 2004- 05 has been near commercialization of 100% producer gas based electricity generation systems.
During the year 2004-05 (as on December 31, 2004), 16 Gasifier Systems aggregating to around 4.00 MW equivalent electric capacity have been commissioned in 8 States while 20 new projects have been initiated. A total of 1844 biomass gasifier systems aggregating 62 MW (equivalent) have been commissioned in 22 States and UTs till December 31, 2004.
Energy from Waste
Garbage in urban areas is another non- conventional source of energy. An estimated 30 million tons of solid waste and 4,400 million cubic metres of liquid waste are generated annually in urban areas of India. In addition, a large quantity of solid and liquid waste is also generated in the industrial sector. Most of this waste finds its way into rivers, ponds, lands, etc., without proper treatment, emitting gases like methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (C02), etc, resulting in odor, pollution of water & air.
This problem can be mitigated through adoption of environment friendly technologies for treatment and processing of waste before it is disposed off. These technologies not only reduce the quantity of wastes, but also improve its quality to meet the required pollution control standards, besides generating a substantial quantity of energy.
Potential for installing about 1,700 MW of power generating capacity from urban and municipal wastes and about 1,000 MW from industrial wastes exists in India, which is likely to increase further with economic development. Projects for utilizing this energy potential are being undertaken. India has two programmes for recovery of energy from urban and industrial wastes: The National Programme on Energy Recovery from Urban, Municipal and Industrial Wastes and The UNDP-GEF Project on Development of High Rate Biomethanation Processes.
Three projects for energy recovery from Municipal Solid Wastes (MSW) with an aggregate capacity of 17.6MW have been installed at Hyderabad, Vijayawada and Lucknow. Other urban waste projects include a 1MW plant based on cattle manure at Haebowal, Ludhiana; a 0.5MW project for generation of power from biogas a sewage treatment plant at Surat; a 150KW plant for vegetable market and 400KWeq slaughterhouse wastes at Vijayawada. Another 300KW project based on vegetable market waste is under commissioning at Chennai.
National Program on Energy Recovery
The National Program on Energy Recovery from Urban & Industrial wastes, launched during the year 1995-96, has the following objectives:
- To promote setting up of projects for recovery of energy from wastes of renewable nature from Urban and Industrial sectors; and
- To create conducive conditions and environment, with fiscal and financial regime, to develop, demonstrate and disseminate utilisation of wastes for recovery of energy.
- To develop and demonstrate new technologies on waste-to-energy through R&D projects and pilot plants.
The scheme is applicable to private and public sector entrepreneurs and organisations as well as NGOs for setting up of waste-to-energy projects on the basis of Build, Own & Operate (BOO), Build, Own, Operate & Transfer (BOOT), Build, Operate & Transfer (BOT) and Build Operate Lease & Transfer (BOLT). It is being implemented through State Nodal Agencies.
Attractive financial and fiscal incentives are being provided under the National program on Energy Recovery from Urban, Municipal and Industrial Wastes for promotion and development of projects based on appropriate conversion technologies such as biomethanation, gasification, pelletisation, etc.
New and emerging technologies like Hydrogen energy, Fuel Cells, Biofuels, Electric & Hybrid Electric Vehicles, Geothermal energy and Ocean energy hold major promise for meeting the future energy needs, especially for power generation and transportation. Several advances have been made in developing new technologies. MNES is implementing broad based programs on these frontier technologies and has taken several initiatives to accelerate their development and demonstration with the participation of premier research & academic Institutions, universities, laboratories and industry.
Hydrogen & Fuel Cells
Hydrogen, high in energy content, is receiving world- wide attention as a clean and efficient energy carrier with a potential to replace liquid fossil fuels. When burnt, hydrogen produces water as a by- product and is, therefore, environmentally benign. At present, hydrogen is available as a by- product from several chemical processes, plants or industries. Hydrogen can be produced through several routes such as biological conversion of various organic effluents like distillery starch, sugar processing etc. It is produced by electrolysis of water using electricity and by thermal decomposition of water through solar energy or nuclear power. Hydrogen can also be produced through gasification of coal and by steam reformation of natural gas, naphtha etc.
Fuel cells electrochemically produce direct current (DC) electricity through reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. Emerging fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies are suited for stationary and portable power generation as well as for transportation purposes. Hydrogen can be used either directly in IC engines or through fuel cells. Fuel cells can be potentially used in domestic, industrial, transport and agricultural sectors and also in remote areas for reliable power supply. Fuel cell power systems can be used as uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems, replacing batteries and diesel generators. Low operating temperature (up to 100C) fuel cells are better suited for transport and small power generation applications. Medium and high temperature (up to 1000C) fuel cells are preferred for power generation/ combined heat and power applications.
In view of the growing importance being attached to the development of fuel cells and hydrogen, a National Hydrogen Energy Board has been set up in October 2003. The Board will provide guidance for the preparation and implementation of the National Hydrogen Energy Road Map, covering all aspects of hydrogen energy starting from production, storage, delivery, applications, codes & standards, public awareness and capacity building. A Steering Group of NHEB under the Chairmanship of Mr Ratan Tata is in the process of preparing the action plan, define goals and time frame for the specific proposals on hydrogen energy powered vehicles, power generating systems and the hydrogen energy road map including modalities for public-private partnerships.
Biofuel has been considered as one of the most preferred alternative fuel for petrol and diesel, particularly in the transport sector. Biofuels are fuels generated from biomass, which are Renewable Energy sources. There are different routes to use biomass as energy source such as directly burning it, controlled combustion to generate producer gas, anaerobic digestion to generate methane and fermentation process to produce alcohol. Oil extraction from the oilseed plants, transesterification of oil with alcohol to produce biodiesel is another way of using biomass as a fuel. While all above processes/methods generate biofuels, internationally alcohol and biodiesel have been named as bio-fuels.
MNRE has initiated a comprehensive program on Biofuels for surface transportation since 2002-03 to develop the technology for converting vegetable oils, mainly non-edible oils, to biofuels and promote the use of these biofuels in automotive sector after taking care of different aspects of the conventional diesel/ petrol engines.
MNRE has also taken up a scheme on Biofuel Pilot Demonstration Project in rural areas for implementation with the objective to provide energy through non-edible vegetable oilseeds for rural people in far-flung areas for lighting, agricultural operations and other community based stationary applications such as drinking water etc. A number of developmental activities are being taken up in India for development and production of biofuels, which include 5% compulsory blends of ethanol in petrol in 9 States and trials for 10% & above ethanol blends.
Geothermal energy, which is derived from the high temperature geothermal fluids, can be utilized for power generation and thermal applications like greenhouse cultivation, space heating and cooking. Geothermal energy has been commercially exploited by as many as 20 countries to generate approximately 9000 MW of electricity. However, for further utilization of geothermal energy, adequate infrastructure needs to be created and training needs to be undertaken.
Over the years various agencies like the Geological Survey of India (GSI), Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI), and Central Electricity Authority (CEA) have conducted studies to assess the geothermal potential in India. Valuable data has been generated through these studies for the exploitation of geothermal potential at some fields in India. As a result of systematic geothermal exploration down to depths of upto 400 meters, preliminary data has been generated for nearly 340 hot springs in India. The use of geothermal energy has earlier been demonstrated in India for small- scale power generation and thermal applications. Assessing the suitability of sites through magneto- telluric investigations and other studies are also planned.
The vast potential of energy of the seas and oceans, which cover about 3/ 4th of our planet, can make a significant contribution to meet our energy requirement. The various forms of energy from the seas and oceans which are receiving attention at present are Tidal Power, Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC), Waves and Ocean Currents. The realization of power from oceans is limited due to large technological gaps and limited resources. At the present level of technological advancement only tides can be harnessed for power generation. In India, the Gulf of Kutchh and Gulf of Cambay in Gujarat and the delta of the Ganga in Sunderbans in West Bengal are potential sites for generating tidal power. The technology required for harnessing tidal power has been demonstrated in other countries. The main barrier in its introduction in India so far is that the technology is not commercially viable.
MNES, however, has been supporting the deployment of tidal power generation in India and in this context has sponsored the preparation of a feasibility report by the West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency (WBREDA) to set up a 3.6 MW capacity tidal power plant at Durgaduani Creek in the Sunderbans area of West Bengal. During 2003- 04 an Environmental Impact Assessment study on the proposed project was completed by WBREDA. This study has covered several -aspects relating to the impact on physical, biological and human aspects such as topography, hydrology, water & air quality, forest & vegetation, fauna, aquatic ecology, rehabilitation, services, health & education etc. Based on this study, environmental clearance is being sought for the project.
The renewable energy sector in India is grappling with a few problems. Some of them are highlighted below:
- The effort put in the in house research and development of the different renewable technologies that are available are not very high. As compared to other countries the amount spent in India on research and development of renewable technologies is very low.
- Manufacturing systems with respect to the technology used and their deployment is not up to the mark. The capital cost of a solar power plant is about Rs. 12-18 per unit. This discourages developers to build plants based on such technologies.
- Large scale funding needs to be provided to the sector at low costs. Financial institutions are apprehensive in providing finance for long term to projects based on renewable technologies because of the risks in viability of the project. IREDA, the main institution for financing renewable projects has laid down stringent norms for eligibility.
- Lack of a consistent and stable policy environment.
- The incentives provided by the government for the development of renewable energy are limited.
- Renewable power is highly intermittent in nature. This characteristic of renewable energy makes it difficult to schedule the power.
- The interest from the industry has been fairly lukewarm though renewable power for all its positive factors deserves a bigger cake. The benefits of the investment in renewable power need to be percolated down in the industry.
- In most of the states the land suitable for renewables such as, wind farm development is situated in remote areas which are partly under forest land and government owned un assessed waste lands. It takes protracted time for obtaining approvals from various authorities for purchase / allotment of the land in favor of the developer.
With the advent of global warming and the increased focus on climate change renewable energy has seen renewed enthusiasm. The government is in the process of developing renewable energy certificates. Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) is being implemented throughout the country for compulsory use of minimum quantity of renewable energy. Under the Electricity Act 2003, the National Electricity Policy 2005 and the Tariff Policy 2006, it obligatory upon State Electricity Regulatory Commissions to fix a certain percentage for purchase of power from renewable energy sources in the area of a distribution licensee. Regulators in several States have issued Orders for Renewable Purchase Obligation varying from 1 per cent to 10 per cent.
- Although the potential is based on surplus agro-residues, in practice there are several barriers in collection and transportation of such agro-residues to the generation site and biomass power generation units prefer to use fuel-wood for techno-economic reasons. A potential of 45,000 MWe from around 20mha of wastelands assumed to be yielding 10MT/ha/annum of woody biomass having 4000 k-cal/kg with system efficiency of 30% and 75% PLF has not been taken into account. In order to realize this potential a major inter-Ministerial initiative involving, among others, Environment & Forests, Agriculture, Rural Development, and Panchayati Raj would be required. Further, a Biomass Atlas is under preparation which is expected to more accurately assess state-wise renewable energy potential from agro-residues.
- Potential based on areas having wind power density (wpd) greater than 200 W/m2 assuming land availability in potential areas @ 1 per cent and requirement of wind farms @ 12 ha/MW, not all of which may be technically feasible for grid-interactive wind power. In line with international practice for setting up grid-interactive wind power systems on sites having wpd greater than 300 W / m2, potential would be 5000 MW. Further, preliminary surveys do not at this juncture suggest a sizeable grid-interactive off-shore wind power potential.
- Technically feasible and economically viable hydro potential is generally accepted at 40% of the total estimated potential. Accordingly, the technically feasible and economically viable small hydropower potential could be around 6000MW.
- With new sugar mills and modernization of existing ones, technically feasible potential is assessed at 5000 MWe, not all of which may be economically viable. Furthermore, several sugar companies/cooperatives are unable to develop bankable projects on account of their financial and liquidity positions.
- With expansion of urban population post census 2001, current technically feasible municipal waste-to-energy potential is assessed at 1700 MWe, not all of which may be economically viable. However, subsidy disbursement under the municipal waste to energy programme had been kept in abeyance on the orders of the Supreme Court in the case of a PIL, in May 2005. This stay has now been vacated for setting up 5 pilot projects.
- Not all of this renewable energy potential may be suitable for grid-interactive power for technical and / or economic reasons. Further, estimate excludes potential for solar power which is dependent on future developments that might make solar technology cost-competitive for grid-interactive power generation applications.
Solar Power Technologies
Solar electricity generation can be broadly classified under following technologies-
Solar photovoltaic (SPV)
Solar photovoltaic (SPV) is the process of converting solar radiation (sunlight) into electricity using a device called solar cell. A solar cell is a semi-conducting device made of silicon or other materials, which, when exposed to sunlight, generates electricity. The magnitude of the electric current generated depends on the intensity of the solar radiation, exposed area of the solar cell, the type of material used in fabricating the solar cell, and ambient temperature. Solar cells are connected in series and parallel combinations to form modules that provide the required power.
These modules can be further coupled to form SPV array, to get desired power output to run the electrical appliances such as solar home systems, street lighting systems, small capacity SPV power plants, solar generators, building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) systems and solar lanterns.
The Photovoltaic Array converts the solar energy into electricity, which is used for running any electrical appliances or can stored in a battery. Various cell technologies are as follows
Crystalline solar cells
Most solar cells are made of a single crystal or multi-crystalline silicon material.Using high temperature diffusion furnaces, impurities like boron or phosphorous are introduced into the silicon wafers to form a pn junction. When exposed to sunlight, a current is generated in each cell. Contacts are attached to the top and bottom of each solar cell to enable inter-connections and drawing of the current.
Thin-film solar cells
Thin-film solar cells are made from amorphous silicon (a-Si), copper indium selenide/cadmium sulphide (CuInSe2/CdS) or cadmium telluride/cadmium sulphide (CdTe/CdS), by using thin-film deposition techniques.
PV modules are usually made from strings of crystalline silicon solar cells. When the PV module is in use, the terminals are connected either directly to a load, or to another module to form an array. Single PV modules of capacities ranging from 10 Wp to 120 Wp can provide power for different loads. For large power applications, a PV array consisting of a number of modules connected in parallel and/or series is used.
Stand-alone SPV power plant
A stand-alone SPV power plant is typically designed for specific requirements. The capacity of a stand-alone power plant varies from 1 kWp to 25 kWp, and in some cases even higher. These systems are used where conventional grid supply is not available, or is erratic or irregular Depending on the system voltage, SPV modules are arranged in series and parallel combinations. The standard combinations are 2, 4, 6, 10, 20 or more modules. The corresponding system voltages are in the range of 24 to 240 V.
The cost of a stand-alone power plant depends on the PV array size, battery bank capacity, inverter, etc. The approximate cost of a standalone power plant is between Rs 3.00 Lakhs and Rs 3.50 Lakhs per kW of PV capacity. Distribution costs (such as in a village) may be extra.
Solar Water Heating System consists of solar collector, insulated hot water storage tank, insulated piping, control and instrumentation etc. Solar Energy incident on the absorber panel coated with selected coating transfers the heat to the water flowing in the riser pipe underneath the absorber fins. The water passing through the raiser is then delivered to the insulated storage tank and the same water is re-circulated through the collector throughout the day till the maximum temperature is achieved.
Solar water heating system can be classified in 2 types based on the collector system.
- Solar water heaters based on Flat Plate Collectors
- Solar water heaters based on Evacuated Tube Collectors
Flat Plate Collectors:
In this type, solar radiation is absorbed by flat plate collectors which consists of an insulated outer metallic box covered on the top with glass sheet. Inside, there are blackened metallic absorber (selectively coated) sheets with built in riser tubes to carry water. The absorber absorbs the solar radiation and transfers the heat to the flowing water.
Evacuated Tube Collectors:
In this type, solar collector is made of double layer borosilicate glass tubes evacuated for providing insulation. The outer wall of the inner tube is coated with selective absorbing material. This helps absorption of solar radiation and transfers the heat to the water through the inner tube.
Solar water heating system can be classified in 2 types based on the circulation of water.
- Thermosyphon system
- Forced Flow or Forced Circulation System
In the thermosyphon system, water comes from the over head tank to bottom of solar collector by natural circulation and water circulates from the collector to storage tank as long as the absorber keeps absorbing heat from the sun and water gets heated in the collector. The cold water at the bottom of the storage tank runs into the collector and replaces the hot water, which is then forced inside the insulated hot water storage tank. The process of the circulation stops when there is no solar radiation on the collector. Thermosyphon system is simple and requires less maintenance due to absence of controls and instrumentation.
Forced Circulation System:
In the forced flow system, a pump is used for circulating water between the collectors and the insulated hot water storage tank. The forced flow systems are more efficient as compared to thermosyphon systems due to higher flow rate. Generally, the pumps are operated by differential temperature control (DTC) system, which senses the pre-setting temperature difference between inlet and outlet of the collectors.
Solar water heating systems are also further classified as
- Direct System (Open Loop System)
- Indirect System (Closed Loop System)
Open Loop System:
The Direct System is the one where the water circulates through the entire system i.e. collector to storage tank and the same hot water is used for various applications. These type of systems are generally not suitable for hard water due to the scaling problems in the risers and the headers of the collector.
Closed Loop System:
In the Indirect System, the thermic fluid is circulated between the collector and the insulated storage tank with the heat exchanger. The heat from the thermic fluid is then transferred to the water through heat exchanger in the storage tank. In this system, the thermic fluids are not in physical contact with the water in the storage tank. These systems are generally suitable for hard water. Solar water heating systems can also be used for both domestic and commercial applications.
Biomass being a product of natural resources viz. land, water, air and suns energy, gives much hope as an alternative, reliable and renewable source of energy. Biomass is an organic matter produced by plants, both terrestrial and aquatic and their derivatives. Plant materials use the suns energy to convert atmospheric carbon-di-oxide to sugars during photosynthesis. On combustion of the Biomass, energy is released as the sugars are converted back to carbon-di-oxide. Thus energy is harnessed and released in a short time frame, making Biomass a renewable energy source. Though fossil fuels have also been derived from atmospheric carbon-di-oxide, the time frame is very long - in the order of millions of years as compared to a few years in case of Biomass. Biomass can be routed through following different process of energy conversion. One of the methods is Direct Combustion.
In this process thermal decomposition of organic matter is carried out in presence of excess air, liberating heat and leaving behind incombustible ash.
Fuel + Air = Heat + Ash + Inert gasses
In the combustion mode, the biomass and air are combined under efficient and combustible conditions to provide energy for utilization. Here the combustion can be fixed bed or Fluidized bed.
Fixed Bed Combustion: In this process combustion is carried out on fixed bed combustors. The main drawback is low combustion efficiency, 70%. It also faces the problem of ash removal.
Fluidized bed combustion: In this process, a bed of fine particles id fluidized by gas stream passing upwards through it at a controlled velocity. The bed is continuously subjected to high rate of mixing and agitation resulting in high heat and mass transfer. It has a high efficiency, 95%.
It is the thermo-chemical process of obtaining energy from solid matter in gaseous form. In principle, the process is a thermal decomposition of organic matter in presence of limited supply of air or oxygen to produce combustible gasses thus converting calorific value of organic material into gaseous energy carrier. Biomass gasification is basically conversion of solid Biomass (Wood, agriculture residues etc.) in to a combustible gas mixture normally called Producer Gas or low Btu gas. The process involves partial combustion of Biomass. Partial combustion is carried out in absence of air or less air than the stroichiometric requirement of air for complete combustion.
Partial combustion produces Carbon Monoxide (CO) as well as hydrogen (H2) which are both combustible gas. Solid Biomass fuels, which are usually inconvenient and have low efficiency of utilization can thus, be converted into a high quality gaseous fuel with associated convenience etc. The technology is in nascent stage, the major uncertainty being utilizing gasified biomass in gas turbines.
System Equipment in which gasification of Biomass takes place isknown as gasifier. There are three designs of gasifiers.
- Cross draft
In Indian market generally downdraft gasifiers are available due to utilization of mechanical mode. In this type air intake and biomass is fed at the top. Biomass moves down as the process proceeds. The first stage consists of drying through pyrolysis oxidation and reduction. The hot gas coming out of the Gasifier has significant carry over of ash and soot particles. The gas is passed through cyclone and scrubber for cleaning and cooling. The clean and cool gas is than further passed through fine filter and fed into a diesel generating set to run the engine or for direct heat application. The diesel generating set operates on dual-fuel mode, typically 20% Diesel and 80% producer gas.
Indian sugar mills, both in the private and co-operative / joint sectors, have acknowledged importance of implementing high efficiency grid connected cogeneration power plants for generating exportable surplus. In fact, additional revenue stream by sale of exportable power to State Electricity Boards (or third party customers), has become the only way for achieving long term sustainability, given the fiercely competitive domestic and international sugar markets.
In simple terms, cogeneration is the process of using a single fuel to produce more than one form of energy in sequence. Cogeneration of steam and electricity can significantly increase the overall efficiencies of fuel utilization in process industries. A minimum condition for cogeneration is the simultaneous requirement of heat and electricity in a favourable ratio, which is well fulfilled in the sugar industry. The thermodynamics of electricity production necessitates the rejection of a large quantity of heat to a lower temperature sink. In normal electricity generation plants, this heat rejection takes place in condensers where up to 70% of heat in steam is rejected to the atmosphere. In cogeneration mode, however, this heat is not wasted and is instead used to meet process heating requirement. The overall efficiency of fuel utilization can thus be increased to 60% or even higher in some cases. Capacity of cogeneration projects can range from a few kilowatts to several megawatts of electricity generation along with simultaneous production of heat ranging from less than a hundred kilowatts thermal (KWth) to many megawatts thermal (MWth).
Wind Energy Technology
Wind turbines work on the Faradays second law and hence the movement of alternator blades leads to the generation of electricity. Wind turbine generally has three rotor blades, which rotate with wind flow and are coupled to a generator either directly or through a gear box. The rotor blades rotate around a horizontal hub connected to a generator, which is located inside the nacelle. The nacelle also houses other electrical components and the yaw mechanism, which turns the turbine so that it faces the wind. Sensors are used to monitor wind direction and the tower head is turned to line up with the wind. The power produced by the generator is controlled automatically as wind speeds vary.
The rotor diameters vary from 30 meters (m) to about 90 m, whereas the towers, on which the wind electric generators (WEGs) are mounted, range in height from 25 to 80 m. The power generated by wind turbines is conditioned properly so as to feed the local grid. The unit capacities of WEGs presently range from 225 kilowatt (kW) to 2 megawatt (MW), and they can operate in wind speeds ranging between 7 m/s (meters per second) and 25 m/s. Where 7 m/s is the cut in speed for the generation of electricity. Wind speed data of potential locations is compiled for a period of one to two years, to identify suitable sites for the installation of WEGs. Thereafter, WEGs are installed on the sites with appropriate distances between them to ensure minimum disturbance to one another. After the identification of sites, wind turbines generally take two to three months for installation. The equipment is tested and certified by agencies to ensure that it conforms to the laid-down standards, specifications, and performance parameters. The machines are maintained by the respective manufacturers after installation.
There are four main parts in a wind plant, base, tower, nacelle and blades.
Towers are mostly tubular and made of steel. Blades are made of fiber glass- re inforced polyester or wood epoxy.
Wind turbine can be Horizontal axis or vertical axis, depending upon the direction of the rotor.
On the basis of number of blades, they are classified as:
- Mono Bladed Rotor: These have a single blade rotor with a capacity of about 15-30 Kw. The problem with such turbine is high vibration during high speed wind.
- Twin Bladed Rotor: These have twin blade rotor with a capacity ranging from 2-3 MW.
- Three Bladed Rotors: These have a capacity ranging from 15Kw to 3 MW. These have high operation reliability. The cost of a single blade works out at around Rs.10 lakh, so the capital cost for three bladed turbines is highest.
As wind passes against the rotor blade, it cuts the blade in such a way that, wind passes more rapidly over the longer (upper) side of air foil creating lower pressure area above the air foil; hence there is an aerodynamic lift. Now this movement of blade turns the alternator for generation of electricity as per the Faradays Second law.
Small Hydro Power Technology
Hydro power is obtained from the potential and kinetic energy of water flowing from a height. The energy contained in the water is converted into electricity by using a turbine coupled to a generator. Small-hydro systems operate by diverting part of the river flow through a penstock (or pipe) and a turbine, which drives a generator to produce electricity and the water, flows back into the river. Small-hydro systems are mostly "run of the river" systems, which allow the river flow to continue. This is preferable from an environmental point of view, as seasonal river flow patterns downstream are not affected and there is no flooding of valleys upstream of the system. A further implication is that the power output of the system is not determined by controlling the flow of the river, but instead the turbine operates when there is water flow, at an output that is governed by the flow. This means that a complex mechanical governor system is not required, which reduces costs and maintenance requirements. The systems can be built locally at low cost, and the simplicity gives rise to better long-term reliability. However, the disadvantage is that water is not carried over from rainy to dry season. In addition, the excess power generated is wasted unless an electrical storage system is installed, or a suitable off-peak use is found.
The hydro power potential of a site is dependent on the discharge and head of water. It is estimated by the following equation.
SHP projects can be set up on rivers, canals or at dams. Essentially, an SHP project has the components listed below.
- Diversion weir/barrage
- Power channel
- Desalting devices
- Fore bay tank/balancing reservoir
- By-pass arrangements/spillways
- Powerhouse building
- Power evacuation arrangements
SHP projects are classified based on head as follows.
Small Hydro Projects on Hill Streams
Small streams with steep bed slopes are available in the hills, giving rise to medium as well as high head projects utilising small discharges. These schemes are normally run of the river type with a small diversion structure to divert the flows through the head regulator located in the intake portion of the diversion structure. The water conductor system would usually comprise of a diversion and head regulator, a power channel, a desilting basin, fore bay, penstock, power house and a tail race leading from the power house to the stream.
Small Hydro Projects on Canal Falls / Dam Toe
Irrigation canals carrying relatively high but assured discharges have several falls along their route. Small hydel projects utilising low heads can be constructed at such falls. Small hydel projects can also be located just downstream of a dam, barrage or similar structure to utilise the difference in the water level in the reservoir and in the canal downstream. A bypass channel to bypass the flows adjacent to the fall structure is constructed and the power house is constructed in the bypass channel. The bypass channel is suitably connected to the main channel.
The height of head is as described:
- Ultra low head: below 3 metres
- Low head: above 3 and up to 40 metres
- Medium/high head: above 40 metres
Public-Private Partnership for Renewable Energy Development Financing[March 2008]
ADB, NTPC Limited and other strategic investors plans to establish a public-private renewable energy joint venture company (JVC) that over the next five years, will develop, construct, operate and maintain a portfolio of approximately 500 MW of renewable energy projects in India. This would include wind power, industrial cogeneration, waste-to-energy, small hydropower, solar, biomass and bio-fuel projects. Initially, the JVC will focus on wind power and small hydroelectric projects. It is envisaged that NTPC would hold a 40% stake in the new company, ADB 20%, and the remaining 40% by strategic foreign investors. ADB's maximum equity investment in the JVC would be equivalent of $40 million.
India is endowed with abundant renewable energy sources - solar, wind, biomass, and small hydroelectric - and the Government of India is working proactively to develop them to reduce longstanding peak power and energy deficits in a sustainable manner. The magnitude of investment is vast - 78,700 MW of additional power generation capacity Is needed to reach that goal. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) of the Government of India has proposed exploiting the fun potential of renewable energy sources to increase generation capacity in the country. The National Electric Policy, issued by the Ministry of Power in February 2005, also emphasized the development of renewable energy sources, which in turn led more specifically to the Integrated Energy Policy, issued in August 2006, with a vision to reliably meet the demand for energy in a technically efficient, economically viable and environmentally sustainable manner.
Since its inception, India's renewable energy program has been driven by policies and promotional measures initially framed by MNRE . To accelerate the promotion of renewable energy, most state electric regulatory commissions (SERCs) have stipulated minimum amounts of renewable energy purchase obligations on licensed distributors in their states. The requirements are aligned with achieving the Government's national renewable energy target of 10% of total power generation capacity by 2012, which would equate to 22,000 MW of renewable energy based on 11th Plan targets.
Despite programs being put in place by central and state agencies, foreign investment in the Indian renewable power sector remains limited The sector continues to be dominated by wind turbine manufacturers, local investors and existing power utilities which can maximize the accelerated depreciation benefits (or must now meet state mandated renewable purchase obligations). Participation tends to be project by project without a coordinated strategic approach to efficiently meet the renewable energy standards set forth by the Government,
Though the MNRE has established tax and generation incentives that encourage private sector participation in wind power, significant barriers remain such as: (i) the absence of comparable economies of scale in renewable projects; (ii) marginal commercia1 viability; (iii) the lack of track record on regulatory Incentives remaining in place and (iv) collection and credit risk of state offtakers where additional payment security or hypothecation provisions can not be negotiated. The due diligence 'process in determining the technical merits of the projects, verifying land ownership and approvals, and negotiating offtake contracts and power evacuation can be cumbersome to less experienced investors without access to expert local resources.
Small hydropower developers without experience in managing the development process, or those with limited access to capital required to complete the derailed studies, have difficulty overcoming the technical, procedural, and cost barriers. The typical development approval process consists of obtaining a project allotment from the state nodal agency, obtaining clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests where forest land is involved, and obtaining clearances from the irrigation, water resources and state land use departments. In the absence of a streamlined single window clearance system, the process of obtaining approvals can be a setback for organizations not familiar with the process. While local banks and financial institutions may be willing to lend long term to such projects, the development and time-sensitive construction risks usually necessitate recourse to financial resources from outside the project, such as a corporate guarantee. Hence, private investment in small hydropower projects have been limited ironically to the larger infrastructure and power project developers.
Objectives and Rationale
NTPC, ADB Kyushu Electric Power Company (from Japan), and GE Energy (from the United States) propose to form a public-private JVC to combine their aligned objectives and management capacities to develop, construct, operate and maintain renewable energy projects. In both sub sectors the proposed JVC will implement a new business model that intends to leverage the partners financial strength, technical expertise and industry relationships (in India and globally) to pursue such projects on a much larger scale as an independent electric utility company solely focused on the renewable business, The success in achieving India's renewable energy target of 10% of total power generation depends in large part on private sector participation to select, develop and implement projects in a timely and cost effective manner. However, the present mode! of single private sector investors developing one project at a time is not the most efficient path to implementing renewable energy generation. Developing renewable projects in s portfolio allows the blending of credit, off take, development and technical risks, and potentially lowers the overall cost of financing and thus generation.
Investment in the renewable energy sector involves additional risks when compared to conventional energy sources due to: (i) relatively higher cost per unit; (ii) the uncertainty of equipment life and long-term maintenance resources; (iii) technical issues such as voltage control and loss optimization in remotely connected generation; (iv) commercial issues since renewable energy is not a substitute for firm capacity; and (v) a long gestation and break-even period for investments. Thus, for successful implementation of renewable energy projects, investors would need technical, project management, commercial, procurement, long-term financing, and risk-taking abilities. A combination of financially-strong electric power utilities, experienced renewable energy investors and financial institutions that can provide long-term financing would b& the best combination that could successfully undertake this task.
Background on Co-investors
NTPC Limited, owned 89% by the Government, is the premier power-generation company of India with expertise and strength in areas such as establishing, operating, and maintaining large power projects and sale of power to various state power utilities and other bulk customers. It operates over 29,000 MW of power generation capacity in India. Based on audited statements for fiscal 2008, NTPC has a turnover of Rs. 400.2 billion ($8.9 billion), net profit after tax of Rs. 75.1 billon ($1.7 billion), and a net worth of Rs. 526 billion ($11.8 billion). NTPC has developed comprehensive in-house expertise in various facets of power generation from concept Jo commissioning, efficient operation to nurturing of ecology and environment in accordance with the policies of the Government. NTPC's corporate plan envisages capacity addition of about 1,000 MW up to 2017 through renewable energy sources.
Kyushu Electric Power Company is the fourth largest electric power company in Japan, and operates 193 power generation facilities with a total capacity of 19,716 MW on Kyushu and surrounding islands. While a majority of this capacity is thermal and nuclear power, their renewable energy portfolio includes 138 hydroelectric power stations (2,676 MW), five geothermal power stations (207 MW) and two wind power stations (3.3 MW), In fiscal 2008, Kyushu had a turnover of $14.8 billion, net profit after tax of $416.4 million, and a net worth of $23.0 billion. Kyushu is dedicated to voluntarily reducing its CO2 emission by 20% from 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012 and is planning to add substantial wind, biomass and solar projects by 2017.
A business unit of GE Capital, GE Energy Financial Services provides long-term debt, mezzanine and equity finance to the energy and water sectors globally and has over $14 billion in assets, backed by GE's technical knowledge and financial strength. It invests more than $5 billion annually in two of the world's most capital-intensive industries, energy and water. It has been lending and investing for over 25 years in addition to GE's 100 years in the energy business. GE Energy Financial Services has developed a renewable energy portfolio of over $4 billion including wind, biomass, biogas, solar, geothermal and small hydro projects. It currently owns equity interest in 51 wind farms worldwide, with the capacity to produce more than 2,550 MW of renewable electricity. Through its affiliated companies, GE brings technical Knowledge from its manufacturing of high capacity wind turbine generators and off-grid distributed generation sets and experience operating and maintaining its renewable energy equipment globally.