Archive for December, 2016


Indian power scenario and the renewables

Installed power capacity in India grows three-and-a-half-times, from 290 GW in 2014 to over 1 075 GW in 2040. This growth in 2020 is equal to the present day generation in European Union. Coal will be the major source of energy, accounting 41% of the total share…..from the current share of 60%. This is compensated by nuclear that jumps from the current share of 2 to 4 % in 2040. All these happens only when India implements the New Policy Scenario discussed and debated by all the countries in the CoP meetings. The out come of the next meeting being held in Morocco in November 2016 will not bring any change in the over all New policy scenario. Solar PV, though shows improvement in its share, from the current 1% to 17% in 2040, the generation will not exceed 182 GW, although the country is boasting of lifting this number to 400 to 500 GW. The current plan is to bring the Solar PV capacity to 100 GW in 2022. Even this will be a herculean task. Ambition is good but in reality the country has face challenges in terms of land acquisition, network expansion, and most important….. money. Indigenous solar panel manufacturing capability may not grow to meet the demand, from the current 2.8 GW per year. China is always there to dump its panels, as it is doing now, but this undermines the very basic political slogan of “make in India and made in India”. In addition to land, (solar pv requires 7 to 8 hec for 1 MWe) clean water is major deterrent for achieving this target. The future wars will be for water….. If India is not able to solve the problem of river water now and there is no hope of solving this problem by 2020 with the current political set up of keeping the water under States’ purview. According to IEA analysis the solar PV capacity may reach 40GW in another 5 to 6 years. Ambition should be weighed with reality. It is high time the country looks at other, potential energy source…geothermal. By 2020 plasma drilling technology will be on the shelf for any one to buy and this offsets conventional drilling and cuts cost by 30 to 40% or more. Depth of drilling is not ma constraint. The country may not have sufficient hydrothermal sources but it has volumes of granites that are waiting to be harnessed for power generation. While solar depends on Sun’s energy, geothermal depends on Earth’s internal heat. There are perennial energy sources that will meet all the energy the country needs…from electricity generation to drinking water to desert countries. War for water will engulf the Gulf countries as these countries are putting their food security out their respective country. Classic example is Saudi Arabia that has stopped cultivating wheat and increased imports due to lack of fresh water for cultivation. This is true with other oil rich Gulf countries. Their investment in agriculture in other countries has increased considerably over the last few years and by 2020 it will be at its peak.