RENEWABLE ENERGY SCENARIO IN INDIA
A generalised overview...
ENERGY SCENE IN INDIA
Anything tangible or intangible, that costs money is evaluated very carefully and used equally carefully in India. This means expenses are controlled and kept as low as possible. The scenario in energy consumption in India is no different. It is not surprising that the per capita energy consumption figures are very low inspite of high rate of development now taking place. The per capita consumption in India is in the region of 400 KWH per annum.
In the ninth five year plan (1997-2002) energy strategy is divided into short term strategy, medium strategy and long term strategy.
SHORT TERM STRATEGY
MEDIUM AND LONG TERM STRATEGIES
RENEWABLE ENERGY SCENARIO IN INDIA
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. 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.
The range of its activities cover
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.
Solar water heaters have proved the most popular so far and solar photovoltaics 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.
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.
So where do we stand and where are we heading to?
information is gleaned from various publications and cannot be assumed to be cent per cent accurate and should only be taken as guidelines or indications.