Feasibility Study of Solar Energy in India
Disclaimer: This work has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional academic writers. You can view samples of our professional work here.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UK Essays.
Published: Mon, 26 Feb 2018
Solar energy in its raw form may be pollution-free, but manufacturing the devices that get the energy out of light and heat requires metal and other material, requiring mines and smelters, therein causing pollution. Maybe the most exciting thing about solar energy today is not only that the costs continue to drop and efficiencies continue to rise, but that clean solar energy is arriving at last. New technologies allow new methods of manufacturing which pollute much less and often run on solar energy. Solar heating and solar electric systems can now generate thermal and electric energy over their service life up to 100 times the energy input during their manufacture. This ratio; the energy it will produce in its lifetime, compared to the amount of energy input to manufacture and maintain an energy system, has doubled in the last 20 years for most solar technologies. The ratio of energy out vs. energy in for solar systems has become so favorable that the economic and ecological viability of solar power is now beyond question. One reason solar energy still cannot compete financially vs. conventional energy is because the value of future energy output from a photovoltaic system is discounted when calculating, for example, an internal rate of return. These economic models that put a time-value on money, making long-term receipts not worth as much as near-term receipts cannot necessarily be applied to energy. In fact, endues pricing will significantly increase customer penetration, and this will have a correspondingly positive impact on the economics of Solar Water Heating as a stand-alone profit-making business. The business views solar energy as a potential key resource to help India’s energy portfolio become greener, more diversified and more secure, while also creating jobs in the State. Solar energy can play an important role in allowing India to reach its Renewable Portfolio Standard (“RPS”) goals. As stated by the Commission, “the development of additional renewable energy resources is a long-standing energy policy objective of the State. “The Indian solar energy industry can easily rise to the challenge of bringing solar energy to the forefront to help India address the twin challenges of energy security and combating global warming and climate change.”India is particularly well positioned to reap the advantages of solar power, which is clean, free, forever and everywhere.”
Chapter 1: Introduction
India is both densely populated and has high solar insolation, providing an ideal combination for solar power in India. Much of the country does not have an electrical grid, so one of the first applications of solar power has been for water pumping; to begin replacing India’s four to five million diesel powered water pumps, each consuming about 3.5kilowatts, and off-grid lighting. Some large projects have been proposed, and a 35,000km² area of the Thar Desert has been set aside for solar power projects, sufficient to generate 700 to 2,100gigawatts. In July 2009, India unveiled a $19 billion plan to produce 20 GW of solar power by 2020. Under the plan, solar-powered equipment and applications would be mandatory in all government buildings including hospitals and hotels. 18 November 2009, it was reported that India is ready to launch its Solar Mission under the National Action Plan on Climate Change, with plans to generate 1,000 MW of power by 2013. Of the total energy produced in India, just 0.5% is solar. But with the Government of India’s (GOI) target to increase the use of renewable energy to 10% of total power generation by 2012, solar panels are set to become a more regular feature in communities across India. The GOI has been pushing solar power to households in town and cities using incentives such as discounts on energy bills if solar is installed. However, for the hundreds of thousands of people that live in rural areas of the country, solar energy is more difficult to access. It may seem surprising that solar energy as applied to heating domestic hot water – an idea that has been around for a long time – offers what utilities and their residential customers want most in a new product/service. This document not only explains how and why, it shows how to get into the business and succeed on a commercial scale. Solar is also easier to sell using end-use pricing because it eliminates customer issues of high first cost and perceived risk that have been major weaknesses in how solar has been marketed in the past.
India’s Emerging Solar Industry:
The global solar energy industry is in the early phases of what may be a 30 to 50-year expansion. By the end of 2007, the cumulative installed capacity of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems around the world had reached more than 9,200 MW, up from 1,200 MW at the end of 2000. Installations of PV cells and modules around the world have been growing at an average annual rate of more than 35% since 1998 (Solar Generation V Report, EPIA, and September, 2008). While contributing only a fraction of the world’ energy needs today, by 2060 it may be the largest single contributor to global energy production. The European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) estimates that by the year 2030, PV systems could be generating approximately 2,600 TWh of electricity around the world, enough to satisfy the electricity needs of almost 14% of the world’s population. India has the opportunity to play a major role in this global energy transformation. With significant technical and production resources, India can be a major supplier of PV cells and modules to meet the growing world demand. With the current pace of growth, India’s solar industry could emerge as the fourth largest generator of solar energy in the world after, Germany, China, and Japan. As an increasingly significant energy consumer, solar power can play a significant role in the country’s domestic energy supply. With over 50,000 villages in India without electricity, solar power has enormous potential to meet rural electrical needs, improving the lives of millions of Indians and meeting critical agricultural, education and industrial needs.
Current Situation in India:
India is already a major contributor to the global technology market. According to ISA/ Frost & Sullivan report, semiconductor and embedded design revenues are expected to grow from $3.2 billion in 2005 to $43 billion by 201 5. The India semiconductor market is expected to grow from $2.82 billion in 2005 to $ 36.3 billion in 201 5. Electronics manufacturing is estimated to reach $1 55 billion in 201 5, creating a $1 5.5 billion semiconductor market opportunity. With recent government and industry actions, India can also be expected to join the leaders in the global photovoltaic market. India will pool all their scientific, technical and managerial talents, with financial sources, to develop solar energy as a source of abundant energy to power their economy and to transform the lives of their people. Their success in this endeavor will change the face of India.” To accomplish these goals, the India government has instituted programs on both the demand and supply side for solar industry. On the supply side, ‘ast year the India cabinet approved incentives to attract foreign investment to the semiconductor sector, including manufacturers of semiconductors, displays and solar technologies. The government announced it will bear 20 per cent of capital expenditures in the first 10 years if a unit is located within Special Economic Zones (SEZs), including major economic zone in Hyderabad called “Fab City”. The minimum investment was set at 25 billion rupees (—$500 million) for semiconductor manufacturers and 10 billion rupees for other micro- and nanotechnology makers. With theses recent announcements, the solar industry has been the chief beneficiary of this incentive-based economic policy. In August, as a follow up to its semiconductor policy (the Special Incentive Package Scheme, or SIPS), the government of India received 12 proposals amounting to a total investment of Rs. 92,915.38 crore. 10 of these proposals were for solar PV, from: KSurya (Rs. 3,211 crore), Lanco Solar (Rs. 12,938 crore), PV Technologies India (Rs. 6,000 crore), Phoenix Solar India (Rs.1, 200 crore), Reliance Industries (Rs.11, 631 crore) Signet Solar (Rs. 9,672 crore), Solar Semiconductor (Rs.11, 821 crore), TF Solar Power (Rs. 2,348 crore), Tata BP Solar India (Rs. 1,692.80 crore), and Titan Energy System (Rs. 5,880.58 crore).
In late September, there were three further announcements, concerning: Vavasi Telegence, which plans to invest Rs. 39,000 crore for a solar PV and polysilicon unit; EPV Solar, which will invest Rs. 4,000 crore for a solar PV unit; and Lanco Solar, which will invest Rs I 2, 938 crore for a solar PV and polysilicon unit. In 2009, approximately I 30MW of shipments in 2009 are projected, compared with approximately 30MW in 2008. On the demand side, India has a long term goal of generating I 0% of the country’s electricity from renewable sources by 2032. In early 2008 India instituted a feed-in tariff for solar PV and/or thermal electricity generation (i.e. —$0.30!kWhr for up to 75% of solar PV output) at the national level as a supplement to more modest local incentive programs. The feed-in tariff is subject to annual digressions and is slated to be in force for ten years. Regional caps will limit total installations in a given year, but should drive solid percentage growth in 2008, with accelerating growth through 201 0. The new incentive scheme for solar power plants in January 2008 could further enable rapid market growth in the coming years. For power producers, a generation-based subsidy is available up to Rs. I 2/kWh from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, in addition to the price paid by a state utility for I 0 years. With state utilities mandated to buy energy from solar power plants, several state electricity regulatory boards are setting up preferential tariff structures. Among the states that already have proposals in place are Rajasthan (Rs. I 5.6 per kWhr proposed), West Bengal (Rs. I 2.5 per kWhr proposed), Punjab (Rs. 8.93 per kWhr), with several other states exploring such a possibility. Aside from the feed-in tariffs, the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) provides revolving fund to financing and leasing companies offering affordable credit for the purchase of solar PV systems in India. Additional incentives include, 80% accelerated depreciation, lower import duties on raw materials, and excise duty exemption on certain devices.
The role of SEMI PV Group:
SEMI is the global industry association serving the manufacturing supply chains for the microelectronic, display and photovoltaic industries. Since its inception in 1970, SEMI has been helping members explore and develop new markets for their products and services. SEMI has helped facilitate the creation of new manufacturing regions by providing advice and council, facilitating collaborations, organizing trade missions and trade events, and other activities necessary to integrate market forces, governmental economic policy, education and human capital programs, and financial support. As the semiconductor industry expanded globally and new manufacturing centers were established throughout the world, SEMI successively opened offices in Japan, Europe, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and China to support introduction to these vital new market regions. In each of these regions, SEMI has organized SEMICON expositions, to bring buyers, suppliers and other industry constituents together, and facilitate industry growth.
The SEMI PV Group was established in January 2008 to enhance support to members serving the crystalline and thin film photovoltaic (PV) supply chains. Members of the PV Group provide the essential equipment, materials and services necessary to produce clean, renewable energy from photovoltaic technologies. The PV Group is committed to lowering costs for PV energy and for expanding the growth and profitability of SEMI members serving this essential industry. With the input and guidance of the SEMI
Board of Directors and Global and Regional PV Advisory Committees in North America, Asia and Europe, the PV Group has prepared a White Paper, “The Perfect Industry– The Race to Excellence in PV Manufacturing,” that describes the ideal industry characteristics for the high-growth PV industry and describes both current and potential SEMI policies, program and initiatives designed to achieve them. By defining and communicating ideal or perfect industry end-states, equipment and materials suppliers along with cell and module manufacturers can more effectively prioritize industry-wide initiatives. The White Paper outlines four attributes of the perfect industry: long term growth; sustained profitability; environmental excellence, and global scope. Each of these attributes is examined to explain and understand their role in the industry’s formation, and to help understand and describe the necessary industry actions required to achieve the greatest impact. The SEMI PV Group beUeves that hepng grow and facilitate the global market for PV is essential to its mission and that India will play a vital role. Following a path that proved successful in the semiconductor and display industries, the SEMI PV Group believes that for the industry to achieve long-term growth, open markets and a global supply chain supported by global standards will be required. A sustainable industry committed to long term, profitable growth industry will also be one with harmonized standards for environmental, health and safety standards and guidelines that yield high-quality, low- cost products from any manufacturing location in the world. Unlike semiconductors— and virtually any other industrial segment– the importance of PV industry goes beyond the economic well-being of its participants. The production of clean, renewable energy is of vital importance to every human being on the planet.
Renewable Energy sector in India:
India has the world’s largest programme for renewable energy. Government created the Department of Non-conventional Energy Sources (DNES) in 1982. In 1992 a full fledged Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources was established under the overall charge of the Prime Minister. India is blessed with an abundance of sunlight, water and biomass. Vigorous efforts during the past two decades are now bearing fruit as people in all walks of life are more aware of the benefits of renewable energy, especially decentralized energy where required in villages and in urban or semi-urban centers.
The range of its activities cover:
- Production of biogas units, solar thermal devices, solar photovoltaics, cookstoves, wind energy and small hydropower units.
- Create an environment conducive to promote renewable energy technologies,
- Promotion of renewable energy technologies,
- Create an environment conducive for their commercialization,
- Renewable energy resource assessment,
- Research and development,
Solar water heaters have proved the most popular so far and solar photovoltaic for decentralized power supply are fast becoming popular in rural and remote areas. More than 700000 PV systems generating 44 MW have been installed all over India. Under the water pumping programme more than 3000 systems have been installed so far and the market for solar lighting and solar pumping is far from saturated. Solar drying is one area which offers very good prospects in food, agricultural and chemical products drying applications.
More than 700000 PV systems of capacity over 44MW for different applications are installed all over India. The market segment and usage is mainly for home lighting, street lighting, solar lanterns and water pumping for irrigation. Over 17 grid interactive solar photovoltaic generating more than 1400 KW are in operation in 8 states of India. As the demand for power grows exponentially and conventional fuel based power generating capacity grows arithmetically, SPV based power generation can be a source to meet the expected shortfall. Especially in rural, far-flung where the likelihood of conventional electric lines is remote, SPV power generation is the best alternative.
India now ranks as a “wind superpower” with an installed wind power capacity of 1167 MW and about 5 billion units of electricity have been fed to the national grid so far. In progress are wind resource assessment programme, wind monitoring, wind mapping, covering 800 stations in 24 states with 193 wind monitoring stations in operations. Altogether 13 states of India have a net potential of about 45000 MW.
Government has been promoting box type solar cookers with subsidies since a long time in the hope of saving fuel and meeting the needs of the rural and urban populace. There are community cookers and large parabolic reflector based systems in operation in some places but solar cookers, as a whole, have not found the widespread acceptance and popularity as hoped for. A lot of educating and pushing will have to be put in before solar cookers are made an indispensable part of each household (at least in rural and semi-urban areas). Solar cookers using parabolic reflectors or multiple mirrors which result in faster cooking of food would be more welcome than the single reflector box design is what some observers and users of the box cookers feel.
Solar Water Heaters:
A conservative estimate of solar water heating systems installed in the country is estimated at over 475000 sq. mtrs of the conventional flat plate collectors. Noticeable beneficiaries of the programme of installation of solar water heaters so far have been cooperative dairies, guest houses, hotels, charitable institutions, chemical and process units, hostels, hospitals, textile mills, process houses and individuals. In fact in India solar water heaters are the most popular of all renewable energy devices.
Solar Heating and Cooling:
Most solar water heater research is currently focused on reducing costs rather than increasing efficiency. Current work involves replacing standard parts with less expensive polymers. Examples include polymer absorbers with selective coatings, UV resistant polymer glazing, and polymer heat exchangers. The main types are glazed and unglazed flat plate types and the evacuated tube types with about 100 million units deployed worldwide with evacuated tubes making up about 25% of the market. Asian growth is predicted to continue.
Forms of Renewable Energy: Solar
Each day more energy reaches the earth from the sun than would be consumed by the globe in 27 years. Solar energy is renewable as long as the sun keeps burning the massive amount of hydrogen it has in its core. Even with the sun expending 700 billion tons of hydrogen every second, it is expected to keep burning for another 4.5 billion years. Solar energy comes from processes called solar heating, solar water heating, photovoltaic energy and solar thermal electric power.
Solar Heating – An example of solar heating is the heat that gets trapped inside a closed car on a sunny day. Today, more than 200,000 houses in the United States have been designed to use features that take advantage of the sun’s energy. These homes use passive solar designs, which do not normally require pumps, fans and other mechanical equipment to store and distribute the sun’s energy; in contrast to the active solar designs which need the support of mechanical components. A passive solar home or building naturally collects the sun’s heat through large south facing windows, which are just one aspect of passive design. Once the heat is inside, it is captured and needs to be absorbed. A “sun spot” on the floor of a house on a cold day holds the sun’s heat and is perhaps, the simplest form of an absorber. In solar buildings, ‘sunspaces’ are built onto the southern side of the structure, which act as large absorbers. The floors of these ‘sunspaces’ are usually made of tiles or bricks that release air. Passive solar homes need to be designed to let the heat in during cold months and keep the sun out in the hot months. Using deciduous trees or bushes in front of the south-facing windows can do this. These plants lose their leaves in the winter and allow most of the sun in, while in summer, the leaves will block out a lot of the sunshine and heat.
Solar Water Heating – The sun can also heat water for bathing and laundry. Most solar water-heating systems have two main parts: the solar collector and the storage tank. The collector heats the water, which then flows to the storage tank. The storage tank can be just a modified water heater, but ideally, it should be a large well-insulated tank. The water stays in the storage tank until it is needed for something, say a shower or to run the dishwasher. Like solar-designed buildings, solar water-heating systems can be either active or passive. While a solar waterheating system can work well, it cannot heat water when the sun is not shining and for this reason, homes have conventional backup systems that use fossil fuels.
Photovoltaic Energy – The sun’s energy can also be made directly into electricity using photovoltaic (PV) cells, sometimes called ‘solar cells’. PV cells make electricity without noise or pollution. They are used in calculators and watches. They also provide power to satellites, electric lights and small electrical appliances such as radios. PV cells are now even being used to provide electricity for homes, villages and businesses. Usually, PV systems are used for water pumping, highway lighting, weather stations and other electrical systems located away from power lines. As PV systems can be expensive, they are not used in areas that have electricity nearby. However, for those who need electricity in remote places, this system is economical. However, PV power is “intermittent”, that is, the system cannot make electricity if the sun is not shining. These systems therefore need batteries to store the electricity.
Concentrating Solar Power – Solar thermal systems can also change sunlight into electricity by concentrating the sun’s rays towards a set of mirrors. This heat is then used to boil water to make steam. This steam rotates a turbine that is attached to the generator that produces electricity. Solar thermal power, however, is intermittent. To avoid this problem, natural gas is used to heat the water. Solar thermal systems should ideally be located in areas that receive a lot of sunshine all through the year.
Global Warming and Climate Change:
The past few decades have seen a host of treaties, conventions, and protocols in the field of environmental protection. The Indian scientist had predicted that human activities would interfere with the way the sun interacts with the earth, resulting in global warming and climate change. His prediction was borne out and climate change is disrupting global environmental stability. Land degradation, air and water pollution, sea-level rise, and loss of biodiversity are only a few examples of the now familiar issue of environmental degradation due to climate change. One of the most important characteristics of this environmental degradation is that it affects all mankind on a global scale – without regard to any particular country, race, or region. This makes the whole world a stakeholder and raises issues on how resources can be allocated and responsibilities be shared to combat environmental degradation. One of the main human activities that releases huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is the conventional use of fossil fuels to produce energy. Scientists and environmentalists have studied, over the past few years, the impact of conventional energy systems on the global environment. The enhanced greenhouse effect from the use of fossil fuels has resulted in the phenomena of acid rain and accentuated the problem of ozone depletion and global warming, resulting in climate change. Due to the increased use of technology and mechanization in human activities, the delicate ecological and environmental balances are being disturbed. For instance, carbon dioxide is being pumped into the atmosphere faster than the oceans and flora can remove it and the rate of extinction of animal and plant species far exceeds the rate of their evolution. The reason that global warming and climate change are considered serious global threats is that they have very damaging and disastrous consequences. These are in the form of:
- Increased frequency and intensity of storms, hurricanes, floods and droughts;
- Permanent flooding of vast areas of heavily populated lands and the creation of hundreds of millions of environmental refugees due to the melting glaciers and polar ice that causes rising sea levels;
- Increased frequency of forest fires;
- Increased sea temperatures causing coral bleaching and the destruction of coral reefs around the world;
- Eradication of entire ecosystems
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was set up by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to assess scientific, technical, and socioeconomic information needed for the understanding of the risk of human induced climate change. According to the IPCC assessments, if the present rate of emissions continues, the global mean temperature will increase by 1°Celsius to 3.5°Celsius compared to 1990 levels by the year 2100. The best estimate is at 2°Celsius. Moreover, the impacts of global warming and climate change could become a source of increased tension between nations and regions. For instance, in many countries, a severe disruption of the world’s food supplies through floods, droughts, crop failures and diseases brought about by climate change would trigger famine, wars and civil disorder. Historically, it is the developed world that is responsible for most of the emissions into the atmosphere. However, it is the underdeveloped parts of the world that will suffer its worst effects. For example, as sea levels rise, a country like Bangladesh will suffer much more from the loss of valuable arable and populated lands than North American or European countries, even though, in comparison to the latter, the former would have much less emissions.
Chapter 2: Literature Review
Solar energy industry is at an inflection point with developments in technology driving down costs as fossil fuel prices head northwards. In this changing environment, those who will proactively seize opportunities through innovative business models across the solar energy value chain will emerge as winners. The threat to energy security is greater than ever perceived before. With the sub-prime crisis hitting the US and global economies and the dollar depreciating against all major currencies, crude oil prices have crossed the US$140/barrel mark on sustained demand and supply concerns. Not just oil, but other important fuels like coal and gas, has also charted the same path. Since 2002, the increase in fuel prices has been incredible: oil and coal have jumped by more than 500% and gas by more than 300%. A classic demand-supply theory may not provide enough justification for this sudden surge and it is becoming increasingly difficult to forecast fuel prices in the long term (EIA forecasts US$70/Bbl for oil and US$6.6/MMBTU for gas by 2030 in its 2008 Annual Energy Outlook report). While fossil fuel prices are sky rocketing, alternate energy sources like solar and wind look more attractive by the day. Solar industry is at the crossroads of technological developments and operational improvements bringing down its costs and of market forces that shape its demand potential.
Solar energy economics:
Solar PV (photovoltaic) and CSP (concentrated solar power) electricity generation currently costs around 15-30 US cents per kWh (depending on geographical location) against grid prices of 5-20 US cents across the world for different users. So far, governments across the world have supported solar power with subsidies and feed-in tariff incentives, which would be done away with in a gradual manner. The delivered cost per unit is a function of three important parameters: solar system capex and its financing cost; solar isolations received by the system; and PV cell efficiency. Solar module cost forms about 60% of the total solar system capex. Solar module costs have dropped significantly from about US$25/W in early 1980s to US$3.5/W now, registering a year-on-year drop of 7%. Constraints in silicon supply have restricted this trend to some extent for the last 2-3 years. If module costs drops below US$2/W, ‘grid parity’ could be achieved. The capacity of silicon production is expected to double in the next 2-3 years as more than US$6-bn would be invested by major firms through 2010. This could lead to a potential oversupplied market, putting pressure on silicon prices. Also economies of scale will lead to cost savings. Cambridge Energy Research Institute reports that the doubling of capacity would reduce production costs by 20%. Cell efficiency is expected to improve from about 15% to 20%, which will further reduce the capex per watt. Thin film and CSP technologies are reducing silicon usage in solar systems. With the combined effect of process improvements and technology developments, the cost of solar module could achieve the threshold limit of US$2/W in the next four to five years, ahead of the 2015 target for solar grid parity power set by India. A leading solar company in India is confident of bringing total solar capex below US$2.5/W. If we consider the cost of carbon emissions from fossil fuels, grid power will become more costly (about 3 US cents/unit additional cost for coal based generation). Sustained high fuel prices, accompanied by carbon emission costs, will further accelerate grid-parity time for solar power. While solar power is approaching grid parity, the solar energy industry is witnessing a changing competitive scenario. Structural changes in the industry are visible, along with shifts across the value chain by companies to capture the future value.
Solar industry’s changing dynamics:
The solar PV industry value chain consists of the following segments:
There are two clear groupings in the value chain:
- Silicon to module manufacturing group; and
- Product and system integration.
Silicon manufacturing (solar grade) is close to a US$1bn industry, while the size of the installation industry is about US$6-bn. Silicon module segment is capital intensive and technology driven. It captures most of the value in the solar value chain, as a handful of large companies are present in this segment. The fragmentation increases subsequently across the value chain. Silicon and wafer manufacturing companies enjoy about 40% profit margins, while installers typically work with about 10-15% margins. Recent activities in the solar PV value chain indicate major shifts in the industry structure:
- Companies aiming to create an integrated presence across the value chain: Sun Power, a US based solar cell and module manufacturer, recently acquired Power light, a system integrator present in US and Europe.
- Companies developing alternate technology options: Applied Materials, a semiconductor company, acquired Applied Films, a producer of thin film deposition equipment.
- Module manufacturers tying up the silicon end: Moser Baer, an Indian solar company, recently completed a series of strategic tie-ups in the silicon-cell segment to secure silicon supply and technology access.
On the application side as more and more off-grid solutions are emerging, customer interface management would become crucial. Concentrated solar power (CSP) also holds promise with ability to generate electricity on a large scale (10 to 80
Cite This Work
To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below: