Daily Archives: June 10, 2011
In order to promote generation of power from Solar Energy, the State Government hereby makes the Rajasthan Solar Energy Policy, 2011 as attached.
SHIMLA: World Bank on Sunday signed an agreement with Himachal Pradesh government for what is to be the world’s largest and India’s first clean development mechanism (CDM) project. Under this, the bank will buy carbon credits from the new forests being developed on degraded lands under a watershed management programme. In presence of chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, the agreement was signed by Hurber Nove Josserand, deputy country director, World Bank, on behalf of International Bank for Reconstruction & Development: World Bank Bio Carbon Fund, and Sudripto Roy, additional chief secretary forests on behalf of the state government. The agreement would be in force till December 2018. Speaking after signing of the agreement, Josserand said the project would impact an area of 4,003.07 hectares. The figure for the area surpasses the 3,500 hectares for CDM project of China, to make it the largest project of its kind in the world.
A strategic weakness of Google(GOOG) has been complete reliance on advertising. The company has worked for years to break out of the mold. In 2010, it sank 12.8 percent of its revenue into R&D. So far, no great luck. But one new area that might prove promising is solar power.
Last year Google announced a new mirror system for concentrating solar radiation. Now Google’s patent application for the technology has surfaced and the company is hiring three technical positions for a new R&D group “to develop electricity from renewable energy sources at a cost less than coal” at “utility scale.” The question is whether the new venture will receive the support it needs as CEO Larry Page tries to more effectively focus the company’s efforts.
One problem with solar energy has been the inefficiency of conversion cells that turn light into electricity. The devices have been expensive enough that the resulting cost of electricity is too high compared to standbys like coal. That leaves one of two possible fixes: make the cells a lot cheaper, or increase efficiency.
Google is clearly going down the efficiency road with a strategy to increase the amount of light hitting a device and boost the resulting amount of energy. The patent application is for a heliostat system that keeps mirrors trained on a device that receives the light. The twist is that Google’s system uses a camera to measure the brightness of the light and appropriately adjust the collector mirrors.
But the specifics of the device are almost beside the point. Google has had a practical interest in energy costs for years, given the amounts it uses in server farms. The company has invested in energy firms for some time and has also indulged in some energy-related development before, like its PowerMeter software. In addition, Google conducts R&D for its own infrastructure, like developing its own storage technology.
Getting into solar power that the company could apply to its data centers seems like an extension of efforts. But this is a significant shift. The planned hires — a technical program manager for the heliostat project, as well as a renewable energy engineer and mechanical engineer — may be small potatoes for the company, but they underscore how Google may be taking the topic more seriously.
The question is whether such an initiative can last. Page is trying to bring more focus to the company and a number of recent efforts, like Wave and Buzz, went nowhere. However, an energy R&D group has one thing that many of Google’s would-have-beens never offered: a chance for hard savings. Even a small reduction in expense could pay for the group many times over, making it a tactical necessity, even if not a strategic one.
International Finance Corporation (Ifc) on Thursday announced an investment of $4 million to build the country’s first large scale grid connected thin-film solar power plant, which will help bolster clean energy locally and provide additional electricity to about 11,000 people.
The investment by Ifc, a member of the World Bank Group, into Sapphire Industrial Infrastructures, a subsidiary of Moser Baer Clean Energy, will support the construction of a 5-megawatt solar plant at Sivaganga in Tamil Nadu.
“Ifc recognises the potential of large-scale solar power generation to help meet India’s enormous energy needs,” country head-Solar Farms at Moser Baer Clean Energy Rajya Ghei said.
The learning from this project will help us replicate similar projects in other Indian states, Ghai added.
The solar plant will have the capacity to produce eight million units of power annually, and is expected to avoid approximately 6,600 tonnes of greenhouse-gas emissions per year.
Grid connected solar electricity has received lukewarm response from the private sector in India due to higher initial investment and generation costs as compared to conventional energy sources.
“The successful commissioning of this first large scale thin film solar photo-voltaic plant demonstrates private sector’s ability to rise to the challenges associated with achieving a balanced energy mix,” Ifc director, Infrastructure Asia, Anita George, said.
MHS Energy Pvt Ltd, a newly launched infrastructure company offering outdoor power solutions for telecom industry, announced its joint venture with Germany-based b+w Electronics Systems to provide outdoor power solutions with low maintenance costs in India. It would invest Rs 150 crore in the initial stage to set up a manufacturing unit and to supply solar power solutions.
Plans are to install and run six systems in the first three months of operation and to increase installation to 500 units per month for the next 12 months, said Sajjan M Sharma, managing director, MHS Energy Pvt Ltd.
“We will install a total of 6,000 units of the solar power products in 12 months after the pilot project of six units. A combination of one solar power cube and a solar energy cube makes a unit,” he said. The first 6,000 units would be imported and assembled in India, while the company would later set up a manufacturing facility with a capacity of 6,000 units per month.
As per the agreement, b+w Electronics would provide the technology while MHS Energy would facilitate manpower, manufacturing capacity and investment.
Heinrich Walterfang, chairman and CEO, b+w Electronic Systems, said that the solar power units are tested and verified for proper functioning in Indian conditions and could replace the existing power sources including diesel power generators to cut down energy consumption by around 77 per cent.
It could bring down the operational expenditure from 28,032 kilowatt per hour per annum in a conventional shelter to 52,580 kilowatt per hour per annum, in a solar power solution unit. Out of the total 3.3 million towers in the country, around 166,129 towers are running on assisted power, said Sharma.
MHS Energy, launched today, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tenstar Infratech Pvt Ltd, which focuses on clothing, infrastructure and energy industries.