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Old 27th January 2016, 12:54   #16
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Default Re: India's Power Scenario

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The question is how much of that is being purchased by the end customers? i.e state utilities?
If the generator has signed a PPA with the state utilities, and the same has been approved by the SERC, then it is mandatory for the utility to purchase. Payment may get delayed, depending from State to State, but generally the utilities tread carefully on this issue.

Yes, transmission bottlenecks are used as a convenient excuse sometimes to avoid purchasing RE, especially wind. TN has a bad record in this. PLF of wind turbines are below 19% whereas they had invested expecting 25%+.

Long term sustainability of a business can only be on it's own competitiveness and not on Government policy, Government sops or innovative financing.
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As long as peak load problem isn't solved I don't think solar will make a big dent in our power generation infrastructure.

Coal power plants are selling power at 1.5₹/unit base load AFAIK. They are also seriously looking at increasing thermal efficiency of current coal plants to bring this down further.
What will be a game changer is probably bio mass based power generation. We generate 600 lakh tonnes of agri waste each year, that's a lot of energy being burned in the fields right now. The current govt is silently pushing this in a big way.
Let's see if it works out.
I disagree. PLFs of coal plants have fallen over the past decade from 70%+ to about 61%+ now. Main reasons are fuel supply issues and lack of demand. "Demand" has to be read in conjunction with what the utility is willing to pay for power. Most utilities prefer to shed load rather than buy power at high costs or as in the present day scenario, buy power from the exchange at low price and pay only the fixed costs to the long term generator with whom they have a PPA.

The main problem of the utilities is poor management - reasons of which need not be gone through, and which every one understands. The AT&C losses of the utilities are touted to be at 22%, which is a very tall claim.

Bio mass: Unless technology improves and capex costs decrease, this seems difficult. At most some cosmetic projects to keep the powers that be happy, would be commissioned.

Last edited by earthian : 27th January 2016 at 13:09.
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Old 27th January 2016, 13:51   #17
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Yes, transmission bottlenecks are used as a convenient excuse sometimes to avoid purchasing RE, especially wind. TN has a bad record in this. PLF of wind turbines are below 19% whereas they had invested expecting 25%+.

Long term sustainability of a business can only be on it's own competitiveness and not on Government policy, Government sops or innovative financing.


I disagree. PLFs of coal plants have fallen over the past decade from 70%+ to about 61%+ now. Main reasons are fuel supply issues and lack of demand. "Demand" has to be read in conjunction with what the utility is willing to pay for power. Most utilities prefer to shed load rather than buy power at high costs or as in the present day scenario, buy power from the exchange at low price and pay only the fixed costs to the long term generator with whom they have a PPA.

The main problem of the utilities is poor management - reasons of which need not be gone through, and which every one understands. The AT&C losses of the utilities are touted to be at 22%, which is a very tall claim.

Bio mass: Unless technology improves and capex costs decrease, this seems difficult. At most some cosmetic projects to keep the powers that be happy, would be commissioned.

I agree that sops are the worst way to go forward, the fuel issue has been sorted according to the power minister. We will only know if its true once the PLF figures come in for thermal plants.

Bio mass tech in available widely now, the problem is the focus on CO2 neutrality, which is used as a method to put down such technologies.

I think in a tropical country like India where agricultural land utilization is so low, any cash based income for farmers is a big big plus!

The interesting thing about biomass is that there are so many options, from direct biodiesel based peak power generation to just plain gassification. I personally have very high hopes for it take off.

Last edited by Diesel_convert : 27th January 2016 at 13:52. Reason: spelling
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Old 27th January 2016, 14:04   #18
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...unless you clean the modules regularly and ensure that there is no water leakage through the panels, safety is a concern, especially in solar farms that don't invest in trained manpower.
I am particularly interested in the maintenance aspect of solar PV panels because most people think "install it and forget it". Why is water leakage through panels a major concern?
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Old 27th January 2016, 16:05   #19
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Here is a slide from a presentation i had made on the reasons why public electric utilities are in such a dismal state:
India's Power Scenario-screen-shot-20160127-3.59.28-pm.png

The left bottom corner text should read "Lack of transparent systems and processes"
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Old 27th January 2016, 18:18   #20
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Default Re: India's Power Scenario

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If the generator has signed a PPA with the state utilities, and the same has been approved by the SERC, then it is mandatory for the utility to purchase. Payment may get delayed, depending from State to State, but generally the utilities tread carefully on this issue.


Long term sustainability of a business can only be on it's own competitiveness and not on Government policy, Government sops or innovative financing.


Bio mass: Unless technology improves and capex costs decrease, this seems difficult. At most some cosmetic projects to keep the powers that be happy, would be commissioned.
Any idea how much of current installed capacity is PPA based? Would be very interested to know that figure.

In a country like India, with huge inequalities of purchasing power and at the same time power becoming a living necessity, I feel government's role is essential. From an Indian energy sector point of view, I feel, we are sitting far far away to even think of no government sops. I don't see how market based competition can drive prices so low so as to be able to provide cheap access to energy to a large mass of our populace.

One of the biggest deter-ant for biomass is purchase, storage and logistics of the fuel...and that the calorific value of biomass fuel reduces with time. Technology and capex costs are issues which can be solved if this primary issue is resolved....we just don't have the infrastructure to treat biomass produce as fuel.

Last edited by rrsteer : 27th January 2016 at 18:20.
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Old 28th January 2016, 09:30   #21
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Default Re: India's Power Scenario

As far as I can see, what may make solar PV a going concern, is the use without any storage and inverter capacity. Use the power and feed surplus back into the gris, provided the supplier can get and install the two-way meter. In a PV what has the least life ins the battery, and also the battery costs a bomb. Half the cost and far less maintenance issues.
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Old 28th January 2016, 10:17   #22
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Default Re: India's Power Scenario

I have written an article on the recent national tariff policy amendments, which could be of interest as it further pushes the RE agenda in the country.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/natio...nderjeet-singh
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Old 28th January 2016, 14:18   #23
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I have written an article on the recent national tariff policy amendments, which could be of interest as it further pushes the RE agenda in the country.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/natio...nderjeet-singh
Good summary and comments. I have not seen the approved policy yet, but had studied one of the drafts. Solar was pitched at 10%, which has been cut down to 8%. Could see scheduling issues particular in West India. One thing though. You state: "Revision in tariff: The amendment has also paved way for regular (monthly / quarterly) revision of tariff, though it looks to be difficult to implement as tariff fixation is not as simple as petroleum sector commodities. If my memory serves me right, what was mentioned was the need to ensure that variations in fuel cost ( which accounts for ~ 70% of tariff) are expeditiously recovered from the customer and passed to the utility. In Gujarat and Maharashtra, The FPPPA or the FOCA or for that matter FCA has been in vogue more than a decade now and works fine.
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Old 29th January 2016, 15:26   #24
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Default Re: India's Power Scenario

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Third: How much is the cost of a private user, setting up a residential solar unit on his rooftop. I am looking at a 5kwh of panels, and connected to the grid. Can i get net metered or do i need to have batteries? As that would add to costs. I am from Rural karnataka, under Mescom.
Have been doing some research on this in recent times as i plan to get them installed at home. Roughly, each kwh generating capacity costs 90K to 1L rupees.

The costs go down a bit with each additional kwh that you install since the panels are the only cost addition at a high level.

They can be connected to the grid using a net meter and BESCOM pays consumers in case power sent to grid is higher then consumption.

Some of the providers from my research so far :
http://www.kotaksolar.com/
http://www.borgenergy.com/domestic-2/
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Old 29th January 2016, 20:27   #25
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Well this government has set a target of 100GW by RE by 2022. I think solar is mandated to achieve 65 GW of that power. We have at present about 14-15 GW of installed capacity in solar. The question is how much of that is being purchased by the end customers? i.e state utilities?
Its actually 175 GW of RE by 2022. Out of that 100 GW is solar. Out of this 100, 40GW targetted from rooftop solar.

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State utilities are mandated to purchase RE through purchase obligations. But the utilities don't have the financial muscle to pay for all the solar power that can be potentially generated and also importantly, there are huge grid connectivity issues too.
I think for the recent projects central govt has given the PPA through NTPC, which sweetened the deal for PPPs.

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There is, I find, somewhat of a flow in the government's policies to promote solar power. Almost all the installed capacity in solar is coming through utility scale projects, it has to come through small scale (roof top) - like home use etc. Thats where Germany - the most advanced in terms of solar power generation - has succeeded. Unless, roof top solar takes off in India, we as a country will not succeed in solar.
Agreed. Rooftop solar has to take off in a big way. But cost is still a big deterrent for many. Though these projects have been projected as reaching break even within few years, the threat is in govt policy, which tends to change at whims and fancies of incumbent govt when general population are concerned. What if excess power buy back scheme is diluted in a few years?

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Originally Posted by earthian View Post
Long term sustainability of a business can only be on it's own competitiveness and not on Government policy, Government sops or innovative financing.


I disagree. PLFs of coal plants have fallen over the past decade from 70%+ to about 61%+ now. Main reasons are fuel supply issues and lack of demand. "Demand" has to be read in conjunction with what the utility is willing to pay for power. Most utilities prefer to shed load rather than buy power at high costs or as in the present day scenario, buy power from the exchange at low price and pay only the fixed costs to the long term generator with whom they have a PPA.

Bio mass: Unless technology improves and capex costs decrease, this seems difficult. At most some cosmetic projects to keep the powers that be happy, would be commissioned.
Very aptly defined 'demand'.
Yes, PLFs of most plants are in 60% range. Only a few months back, power minister stated that current installed capacity is more than the demand. Which means we are a power surplus country in a skewed way.


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I am particularly interested in the maintenance aspect of solar PV panels because most people think "install it and forget it". Why is water leakage through panels a major concern?
As I understood, the solar panels need to be cleaned everyday for dust and other such debris, which hampers sun rays from falling on the panel. It can be done with water spray or brushing.

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Originally Posted by rrsteer View Post
Any idea how much of current installed capacity is PPA based? Would be very interested to know that figure.
I would like to believe all the plants of Private Power producers are PPP based, otherwise it would not make sense to build the plant at all.

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Originally Posted by rangan View Post
Have been doing some research on this in recent times as i plan to get them installed at home. Roughly, each kwh generating capacity costs 90K to 1L rupees.

The costs go down a bit with each additional kwh that you install since the panels are the only cost addition at a high level.

They can be connected to the grid using a net meter and BESCOM pays consumers in case power sent to grid is higher then consumption.

Some of the providers from my research so far :
http://www.kotaksolar.com/
http://www.borgenergy.com/domestic-2/
I think the capital cost goes up much higher if you intend to install battery backup. Batteries will also need to be replaced every 4-5 years.

Please also make it a point to buy a very good quality inverter. This will save a lot of headache and cost in the long run.

Fordday.
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Old 29th January 2016, 20:52   #26
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Its actually 175 GW of RE by 2022. Out of that 100 GW is solar. Out of this 100, 40GW targetted from rooftop solar.

I think for the recent projects central govt has given the PPA through NTPC, which sweetened the deal for PPPs.

Agreed. Rooftop solar has to take off in a big way. But cost is still a big deterrent for many. Though these projects have been projected as reaching break even within few years, the threat is in govt policy, which tends to change at whims and fancies of incumbent govt when general population are concerned. What if excess power buy back scheme is diluted in a few years?

I would like to believe all the plants of Private Power producers are PPP based, otherwise it would not make sense to build the plant at all.
Yes you are correct 175GW is the new target.

And I was incorrect in asking how many solar projects are PPA based- all projects would be PPA based. What i wanted to ask was how many are central PPA based? Basically, there are three ways solar projects can be viewed - central PPA based, state PPA based and private PPAs. If it is state PPA - I highly doubt states will meet their commitments, given the condition of dicoms, as well as transcoms.

The deal with NTPC is bundling of power - solar + coal. But most growth in installed capacity is going to and is actually coming from state PPA's - and I view their commitments as risky.
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Old 31st January 2016, 14:03   #27
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Good summary and comments. I have not seen the approved policy yet, but had studied one of the drafts. Solar was pitched at 10%, which has been cut down to 8%. Could see scheduling issues particular in West India. One thing though. You state: "Revision in tariff: The amendment has also paved way for regular (monthly / quarterly) revision of tariff, though it looks to be difficult to implement as tariff fixation is not as simple as petroleum sector commodities. If my memory serves me right, what was mentioned was the need to ensure that variations in fuel cost ( which accounts for ~ 70% of tariff) are expeditiously recovered from the customer and passed to the utility. In Gujarat and Maharashtra, The FPPPA or the FOCA or for that matter FCA has been in vogue more than a decade now and works fine.
I am trying to hunt renewable generation figures. Any sources that you can help with?
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File Type: pdf Current Power Scenario.pdf (13.3 KB, 76 views)
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Old 2nd February 2016, 22:43   #28
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I am trying to hunt renewable generation figures. Any sources that you can help with?
Generation figures are available in the PFC website. You can also go to it from the MoP website.
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Old 3rd February 2016, 08:04   #29
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Generation figures are available in the PFC website. You can also go to it from the MoP website.

Thank you earthian! Any way to get in touch with you directly? I work on these issues and am researching for a paper. Thanks.
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Old 3rd February 2016, 11:47   #30
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I do not think members are encouraged to post contact details in the forum. Get in touch via my profile details.
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