Daily Archives: May 19, 2011

Solar Pv For Telecom Towers – Promising Business Opportunity In India | Solarplaza | The global solar energy (PV) platform

Solar Pv For Telecom Towers – Promising Business Opportunity In India | Solarplaza | The global solar energy (PV) platform.

India is presently one of the largest telecom markets in the world, second only to China, with 250,000 mobile phone towers serving over 670 million subscribers. Factor in the country’s advancing Solar photovoltaic (PV) initiative, the National Solar Mission, and the fact that power and fuel expenditures account for 35% of the operating cost of each mobile phone tower, and one can easily deduce that solar PV and telecom should develop a more symbiotic working relationship. Such a relationship would result in a better overall telecom business model, especially since both factors (PV and telecom) are key elements in India’s future growth and role as a global innovator.

By Jaideep Malaviya, Research Analyst

Solar PV for Telecom Towers – Promising Business Opportunity in India

That deduction would be wise. Solar (PV) for India’s vast proliferation of telecom towers, as demonstrated below, is the proverbial ‘writing on the wall.’ As it well should be.

Is such proliferation of telecom towers realistically sustainable?

The CAGR in the past 5 years is about 31% and this figure is likely to grow almost 1.5 times in the coming 5 years. Analysts estimate that by 2015 India will have nearly one billion users and they will be served by about 554,000 transmission towers, 30% of them in rural regions.

Power and fuel are, as mentioned, the primary expenditures which account for 35% of operating costs, both for passive components (such as steel towers, base tower station shelter, power supply system, etc.); and active components (such as spectrum, switches, and antennas).  BTS requires un-interrupted power in order to serve the signals continuously. Due to the unreliability of electricity in India, Diesel Generators are used as back-up in a Hybrid mode. India, as a net importer of crude oil, faces an inherent dilemma in that its Diesel is linked to International pricing and presently is close to €¢ 70 per litre, with each litre providing approximately 3.5kWh, yielding a cost of about €¢20/kWh. Furthermore, the Diesel supply in most of India’s rural areas is uncertain, at best. This makes use of Solar (PV) power ideal as a supplementary source; and, in fact, the best solution for continued sustenance. The implementation of Solar PV as the primary supplemental source in this realm could also, potentially, solve other problems related to diesel. (The total carbon emissions released by the current diesel generators is the equivalent of 5.3 million tons a year.)

For the GSM Technology, it requires an average of 6 BTS to operate one tower – each requiring 10 Ampsof current. Each shelter has two (1.5 ton) air conditioners which offer 1,000W capacity for the key maintenance of the temperature for the shelter’s electronic systems. The DG set is typically 15 kVA capacity, which consumes an average of 3 litres of diesel per hour. Table 1, below, shows how Solar PV is more efficient than diesel and provides better IRR, making it a superior supplement to diesel during day-time hours.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is under the process of preparing a consultation paper on “green telecom,” which addresses critical issues such as the increasing carbon foot print-contribution of the telecom industry, the need for carbon credit policy for the sector at-large, available methods/options to reduce the carbon foot print, standardization of Green Telecom equipment and increased incentive for their adoption. A framework for monitoring carbon emission and corrective action for the telecom sector is also in discussion.

As a first step the government will make it mandatory for mobile phone towers to be powered by solar energy, a move which will reduce pollution and greatly scale down a key driver of diesel consumption in the country. The Indian government will also extend 30% subsidy, applicable as per the guidelines laid out in Phase I of the National Solar Mission.

Telecom operators and infrastructure providers are already aware of the kind of benefits and advantages of switching over to solar power. As a result of rapid scale up, as well as technological developments, the price of solar power is likely to attain parity with grid power in the near future and this will enable accelerated and large-scale expansion thereafter. The telecom players are now investing heavily in energy efficient systems which will involve a domestic trading scheme for energy efficiency, certified under the National Mission on Enhanced Energy Efficiency under the National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC). Assuming 30% of 500,000 rural towers use Solar PV then by 2015 @ ` 3 million per tower, the business magnitude is ` 450 billion (equivalent €7.5 billion)

100 Watt’ LED Bulbs Lighting Up

‘100 Watt’ LED Bulbs Lighting Up

May 18, 2011 — First there was the incandescent bulb. Then came the compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs. Now, light-emitting diodes — the tiny bulbs already used in automobile headlights and tailights — are available for use in household and office lighting.

Osram Sylvania, based in Danvers, Mass., and Switch Lighting, based in San Jose, Calif., have both announced that they have an LED bulb that’s as bright as a 100-watt incandescent bulb, but consumes just 14 watts of energy. This is huge news for anyone looking to save money on their utility bills. Where a CFL bulb provides three to four times the energy savings of an incandescent bulb, LEDs offer 10 times the savings of a CFL and last 25 times longer. In fact, they have an operational life of 100,000 hours, or 11 years of continuous operation. LEDs produce less heat and do not contain trace amounts of toxins, such as CFLs.

The cost of LED bulbs is still much higher than CFLs. Those coming to market from both Osram Sylvania and Switch Lighting (as well as Philips, who has a bulb that’s about as bright as a 75-watt incandescent bulb) cost between $40 and $50, while CFLs cost under $5 each. But as more manufacturers get into the act, the costs should come down. This kind of bulb could be extremely attractive to large office buildings, where electricity and the cost to maintain it (that is, changing thousands of light bulbs) can cut deeply into an owner’s pocket.

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U.S., India announce funding for clean energy research and development

Fulfilling an important step of the Partnership to Advance Clean Energy announced by President Obama and Prime Minister Singh

last November, India and the U.S. have announced funding commitments of 25 million dollars each to support the U.S.-India Joint Clean Energyesearch and Development Center (JCERDC).

According to U.S. Ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer, “This is the first collaborative research effort of its kind, where Indian and U.S. researchers will be jointly selected. It elevates the U.S.-India clean energy cooperation to a new level and is a testament to the strength of our continued strategic partnership. We look forward to closer cooperation on clean energy between the technical experts of our two knowledge societies, and sharing the benefits of the collaborative research.”

The United States and India will provide awards in three priority areas: biofuels, building energy efficiency, and solar energy. These awards will support joint consortia of U.S. and India private sector companies, non-governmental organizations, research labs, or other organizations. Selected consortia will leverage government resources by contributing matching funding, totaling an additional 50 million dollars.

The JCERDC will be located in existing facilities in both countries.

Applications are due by August 16, 2011, with selections expected later this fall.

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The New Breed of Indian Green Techies

There’s a new breed of technology entrepreneurs in India. They are not tech gurus or computer geeks, but passionate innovators who see green as the way of the future. These entrepreneurs have started with a germ of an idea and developed it into a feasible product. Some of these start-ups have succeeded in taking a product to market, but many of them still rely on the generosity of family and friends to stay afloat. Deals India took a close look at three such companies at various stages in their development cycle.

SuRe Energy Systems Pvt. Ltd.

Sure Energy SystemsOne of Sure Energy’s prototypes is a small, solar-energy based light.

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Founders: Mushtaq Ahmed and Anupam Kunwar

Founded in: 2009

Funding: $150,000 from friends; looks to raise second round of funds through convertible debt from existing investors.

Product: SolarMax CAL is developing a low cost, solar lighting product that is designed to illuminate dark interiors and exteriors inside warehouses or perimeter walls.

Idea: SuRe found technology that uses a certain type of material to create a lower cost solar panel that can generate 20% more energy.

Profile: Mushtaq Ahmed and Anupam Kunwar were friends since childhood and after stints abroad decided to return to India and start a company. They set up a lab in Hyderabad and developed prototypes, completing design work for their pilot line with seed funding of $150,000. SuRe uses a third-generation photovoltaic technology called “dye solar cells” to develop solar panels that absorb light that work even in dark interiors and exteriors.

SuRe Energy Systems is looking to raise over $1.34 million to help undertake more research and development before they start a pilot-scale production line.


HMX Systems Pvt. Ltd.

[ihmx0517] HMX SystemsA large energy-efficient heating and cooling system installed at an automobile company by HMX Systems.

Founder: Vaidyanathan Anandhakrishnan

Founded in: 1998

Funding: HMX received a soft loan from USAID; in 2008, it became a subsidiary of the A.T.E. Group, a family-owned conglomerate with companies in several manufacturing sectors.

Product: Ambiator, a low-cost product that uses carbon-based cooling technology to cool large office space and meeting centers.

Idea: Mr. Anandhakrishnan, who worked in companies that made industrial heating and cooling systems, realized that air-conditioners were an expensive luxury that also were not energy efficient. He devised a system that made air-conditioners less cold and less dry.

Profile: Mr. Anandhakrishnan after more than 20 years as a senior manager at various companies decided to turn entrepreneur. He started the Bangalore-based company, initially known as Sumaya HMX Systems until the investment by the A.T.E. Group, with an idea to create ‘comfort conditioning’ that was energy efficient. Its first innovative product called Ambiator consumed 60% less energy than similar air-conditioning systems. Its various partnerships have helped the company manufacture these products that are now sold to large companies and factories. Its clients include Wipro and Saint Gobain. The next step for HMX is to develop a system that works in cities with high humidity like Mumbai or Chennai, and a combined heating and/or cooling system.


Green Tech Aqua

[igreentech0517] Greentech AquaAn image of Green Tech Aqua’s pilot plant’s initial phase which could to generate water using a cheaper and cleaner technology and process.

Founders: Kumar Subrahmanyam

Founded in: 2010

Funding: Family and friends for first phase; tie-up with Mazda Ltd. of Ahmedabad in the second phase.

Product: A technology called pneumatic saturation and condensation process and system, which uses water present in exhaust gas of power plants to desalinate seawater and release water present in the fossil fuel, which is the source of energy.

Idea: Mr. Subrahmanyam was visiting a power plant near Chennai when he found out that coal contained 30% moisture. It was at a time when the southern Indian city was in the midst of a severe water shortage, so this struck a chord.

Profile: Mr. Subrahmanyam, a chemical engineer by training, came up with a three-step process to tap into the excess water in fossil fuels, and at the same time use the heat generated to desalinate sea water. This, if his pilots go well, will provide a cheaper option of treating water and at the same time finding an effective byproduct of expensive power plants. Mr. Subrahmanyam founded Green Tech Aqua last year with the intention of proving his technology. He obtained a government loan and raised the rest from his friends and family to build a facility at a cost of 6 million rupees. He found a willing industrial partner in DCW Ltd., a chemicals company, which allowed him to set up his pilot plant on the premises of its Sahupuram unit along the coast of the southern state of Tamil Nadu. The second phase of the plant, which will test whether the process can generate 40 tons of water from a 25 mega watt power plant, is under construction. Mr. Subrahmanyam, initially, could not find funds but later found an engineering company, Mazda Ltd. of Ahmedabad, in the western Indian state of Gujarat, was willing to take the risk with the guarantee that the company would get the resulting work order.

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Intersolar India 2011 Announced

Intersolar India 2011is scheduled to take place at the Bombay exhibition Centre 14-16 December 2011 with 250 exhibitors and 6000 visitors.

Since its establishment in 2009, the exhibition and conference have developed into the premier platform for the solar industry in India. Intersolar India, focuses on photovoltaics and solar thermal technology and has quickly established itself among manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and service providers as a vital international industry meeting point.

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India has sufficient land to allow solar power to make major energy contribution

A groundbreaking report on Concentrating Solar Power has concluded that India has sufficient land to allow solar power to make a major contribution to its energy mix.

“India’s strong track record of technical success in every field that it has seriously engaged in, from wind turbines to car manufacturing, make it clear that a major player position in concentrating solar power is feasible,” the report states.

Jointly commissioned by the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Resources (MNRE) and the Australian Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, the report was prepared by the UK based IT Power Group, a specialist engineering consultancy focusing on renewable energy and energy efficiency.

“This report is an excellent example of how India and Australia can work together to address our shared need for solar power,” said Acting High Commissioner Lachlan Strahan. “Both our countries have good solar resources and we can benefit by sharing technology and expertise in solar energy. We will now look for practical ways to work with MNRE in considering the ideas in the Report.”

A formal launch of the report will occur on Wednesday at a workshop on Concentrated Solar Power Plants to be held at Claridges Hotel, Surajkund, Delhi, from 9.30am. Dr Ashvini Kumar, Director, MNRE, will be the special guest for the launch of the report.

The report was presented to the Secretary of MNRE, Deepak Gupta on May 13 by its principal author, Professor Keith Lovegrove, Head of Solar Thermal with IT Power and Solar Thermal leader at the Australian National University.

Gupta welcomed the launch of the report and its recommendations, many of which he said the ministry could endorse.

Funding for the report came from the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) under its program to link government agencies and universities in Australia with their counterparts in India. (ANI)

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