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Clean Power Mughal Architecture in Madhya Pradesh.

Image Credit: f9photos/Shutterstock.

Published on October 29th, 2013 | by Nicholas Brown

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Next India Solar Leader, Madhya Pradesh, Aims For 1,400 MW Of Solar By 2015

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October 29th, 2013 by
 
At the moment, Madhya Pradesh, a state in India, has 202 MW of solar PV power capacity installed. However, it intends to crank that up to 1,400 MW by the middle of 2015. That is a bit ambitious. However, India has even bigger solar plans than that, such as a 4,000 MW plant, which would be the world’s largest. It also made a huge leap from 2 MW PV capacity in April 2012 to 202 MW today, and that is expected to increase to 220 MW by the end of 2013.

18 MW isn’t a tremendous increase, although it can still power 6,000 houses.

“In the second quarter of 2013, 191 MW of solar capacity was added in India, of which 145 MW was added in Madhya Pradesh, which is almost 80%,” said Mohanty.

According to PV Magazine, that is part of a much larger renewable energy initiative which involves the installation of 3,800 MW of clean energy projects planned for 2015. 1,900 MW of that will be wind power. Biomass will account for 300 MW, and small hydroelectric power stations 200 MW.

Mughal Architecture in Madhya Pradesh.
Image Credit: f9photos/Shutterstock.


If this initiative is successful, 21.11% of the state’s electricity production capacity will be from renewable energy. In 2012, renewable energy stood at 5%.

S R Mohanty pointed out that: “There are currently 206 projects under execution, which will generate more than 4,000 MW of power through renewable energy.”

Some may argue that India has too much poverty to justify spending money on solar, and that the environment will have to wait. However, solar power costs have dropped tremendously in recent years and solar is actually the cheapest option for new electricity in locations off the grid all across the developing world. Off-grid installation and microgrid installations can take advantage of solar’s distributed and ubiquitous nature. With its solar resources, in India solar power is now cheaper than diesel. (It actually has been since 2011.)

Also, considering the economy, why should they spend even more money on imported  oil (which requires foreign exchange of cash) while they have so much poverty? A major step to getting out of a bad financial situation is owning your own property. That is the same reason why one may save to buy a house, rather than pay rent for the rest of their lives.

If India is going to become economically strong, it should use its tremendous solar and wind resources to make sure it is generating as much of its own energy as possible.

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About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is: Kompulsa.com.



  • Bob_Wallace

    Hey! I just noticed, that’s the Gwalior fort. Great glazed tile work on the walls. One large section is yellow duckies marching along. I had a friend in the Peace Corps who lived in the town below in the ’60s. She took me there about 30 years ago.

    Along the back entrance the road climbs past some very large Jain priest sculptures carved into the the mountain face. Sky-clad Jain priests in their full “glory”. No Kens, them.

  • anon

    Wind and solar are both totally unrealistic.

    http://www.cepos.dk/fileadmin/user_upload/Arkiv/PDF/Wind_energy_-_the_case_of_Denmark.pdf

    90% of Danish wind industry employment crowds out other technology sectors- almost no net job creation

    http://www.ewea.org/fileadmin/ewea_documents/documents/publications/Wind_at_work_FINAL.pdf

    There is an “acute shortage” of skilled labor in the wind industry

    http://www.eesi.org/fact-sheet-jobs-renewable-energy-and-energy-efficiency-01-jun-2011

    http://www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag211.htm

    [img]http://www.eesi.org/files/images/ee_jobs2.jpg[/img]

    [URL=http://s1284.photobucket.com/user/mustang1912/media/MCI_HW71_zpsaa1dbed9.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1284.photobucket.com/albums/a569/mustang1912/MCI_HW71_zpsaa1dbed9.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

    Renewables require a similar amount of labor as the oil & gas industry while producing virtually no energy. Powering the US on renewables would require millions of wind installations and hundreds of millions of solar installations, the largest engineering project in history repeated every 30 years.

    Solar currently provides 0.1% of US energy consumption and employs 90,000 people. If we extrapolate this to 25% of energy consumption, solar would require 22 million workers. If we assume half of those can be automated or whatever, that’s still 10 million.

    Wind is a bit better, it’s about a tenth as labor intensive. But that’s still 1 million workers or five times the size of the oil industry, which is already having labor shortages.

    http://www.npr.org/2012/04/20/150871935/as-workers-age-oil-industry-braces-for-skills-gap

    Despite what cleantechnica.com says, wind and solar are the only real, scalable renewables and both are necessary to deal with intermittency. Without one or both, enjoy, like, not having power in the middle of the day.

    • Bob_Wallace

      “Renewables require a similar amount of labor as the oil & gas
      industry while producing virtually no energy. Powering the US on
      renewables would require millions of wind installations and hundreds of
      millions of solar installations, the largest engineering project in
      history repeated every 30 years.”

      Come on. You post foolishness.

      Wind is on track to produce 5% of all US electricity in 2013. It’s growing at about 1.5% per year. That’s far more than “virtually no”.

      In 2010, the US used 4,143 TWh (terawatt hours) of electricity. (11,300,000 MWh per day.)

      The average wind turbine is around 3 MW in size and median capacity is now 43%. So, 3 MW x 24 hours x 43% capacity = 30.1 MWh per day from each 3 MW turbine.

      11,300,000 MWh / 30.1 MWh per turbine = 375,415 3MW turbines would generate 100% of the US’s electricity. Well less than half a million.

      • JamesWimberley

        Try the same thought experiment with solar. PVwatts gives the annual output of 5KW of fixed-tilt panels in Wichita 7Mw.hr/yr. The city is near the geographical centre of the contiguous states, so it’s decently representative. To get Bob’s 4.1 petawatt-hours/year, we would need 600 million of these. With a more realistic three-way split between types, we would need 200 million 5kw house roofs, 2 million 500 Kw commercial roofs, and 20,000 50 Mw utility plants. That is just within the bounds of feasibility, even with today’s technology. Throw in 30% other renewables and 20% cell efficiency gains, and the area shrinks by half.

        • Bob_Wallace

          I suspect we’ll end up with something like 80% wind and solar and the other 20% hydro, geothermal, tidal, and biofuels.

          The prices of wind and solar are likely to be close to the same, there’s only so much room below 5c/kWh. It’s almost certain that direct usage will be cheaper than storing the very cheapest.

          Since the wind blows a lot more hours per year than the Sun shines that may tip things more toward wind with something like a 45% wind/35% solar mix. Solar has the advantage of closer matching peak demand hours.

          Don’t take the numbers seriously, Very rough guesses early in the game. Just trying to think out the approximate mix.

    • JamesWimberley

      What Bob said. Also, wind and solar are fairly labour-intensive in installation, but not at all in operations and maintenance. Contrast the hundreds of thousands of miners, refinery workers, oil tanker drivers and gas station attendants needed to keep the fossil fuel industry going. Your 90,000 solar workers can instal 3 GW in 2012, another 3 in 2013, and so on for ever. The reason wind has a much higher output-to-job ratio than solar is simply that it’s been around longer.

      As German standards of productivity spread, and technology improves (as with ACPV panels), the labour requirement per GW will fall, possibly quite a lot.

      BTW, what has your rant to do with India? You are threadjacking.

      • anon

        “Also, wind and solar are fairly labour-intensive in installation, but not at all in operations and maintenance.”

        Actually, for solar PV the labor is at least 1/3rd O&M. Table 2.

        http://rael.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/WeiPatadiaKammen_CleanEnergyJobs_EPolicy2010_0.pdf

        How much can this be economized on without severely hampering operation?

        • Bob_Wallace

          O&M for solar is very low. One third of very low is not a lot of money.
          I would bet that a good bit of the “labor” cost is simply the security guard.

          We now have robotic cleaning machines, but many solar farms never get cleaned. I suppose if there’s an issue with plants growing among the panels and eventually shading them they could turn a few robotic lawn mowers loose.

          In a 30 year study of a large solar array 2% of all the panels had to be replaced in the 30 year period. That’s not a lot of labor and one would not have a maintenance crew standing by year after year waiting for a panel to go sour.

          I simply can’t think of much for people to do at solar farms other than keeping other people from screwing things up.

          • anon

            “I simply can’t think of much for people to do at solar farms other than keeping other people from screwing things up.”

            When you’re installing millions of panels, the technicians to operate cleaning and inspecting equipment is a significant task. Well, let’s hope the numbers are wrong.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Why would anyone need to be inspecting panels? If a string is not producing as much power as expected someone would go take a look but that would be rare. And cleaning simply isn’t done at many sites. Even a small angle lets rain wash panels.

          • anon

            I’ve cited my information, hopefully you’re correct. Any skilled labor shortages that the US runs into will be magnified in developing countries with low human capital.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Installing solar is not rocket science. It requires common construction skills once the system design is finished. Teaching someone to bolt racks together and to attach panels to racks takes hardly a day of supervised labor.

            Installing wind is not any different from building a big building. It’s building forms, pouring footings, bolting stuff together.

            Some people with low level specialization will be needed. A few months or a couple of years education past high school.

            Some people with advanced degrees will be needed. Those people can be trained in a normal college education program and then finished off with a couple years of on the job experience.

            There is absolutely no shortage of bright people who would love to get advanced training and obtain a good job.

            Labor costs are lower in developing countries. Land values are generally lower. That should more than offset the cost to bring in some outside knowledge to get the process started.

            As of the end of 2012 99 of the world’s countries have installed commercial wind.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_by_country

            Solar is probably up and running in every country in the world. Micro-solar systems are being installed in the most remote of places by the hundreds of thousands. Bangladesh has somewhere between 500,000 and a million micro-solar systems running.

            In the least developed places the pattern will likely install millions of very small standalone solar systems which will, over time, expand and as that process happens most of the population will know how to install solar.

          • anon

            “Installing solar is not rocket science. It requires common construction skills once the system design is finished. Teaching someone to bolt racks together and to attach panels to racks takes hardly a day of supervised labor.”

            Thank you for the information, I’m still concerned that this disagrees with what I’ve heard from other pro-renewable energy sources.

            http://www.cleanedison.com/blog/renewable-energy-and-the-creation-of-permanent-jobs-3134

            “The Portuguese example offers a clear picture of the renewable energy industry’s capacity to create and sustain jobs. A reasonable estimate of the amount of jobs created from the renewable energy and energy efficiency industry is 55,000-65,000 (in a country with only ten million people that is nearly 10% of the workforce).”

            Bear in mind that vehicles still run on gasoline in Portugal, and it avoids a lot of manufacturing labor by importing Vestas and Enercons.

            Civilization does not have a choice, we will have to try to implement renewable energy. I’m just not too sure it will work out. At least in countries like India it will create jobs to keep skilled labor from fleeing.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Getting concerned over whether a lot of permanent jobs will or will not be created should not be part of the discussion to quit fossil fuels.

            Installing the turbines and panels we need will keep a lot of people employed for a lot of years. If we get very serious about getting off fossil fuels we can have the “what do these workers do next” discussion 20 years from now.

  • JamesWimberley

    You don’t mention coal, the reason this happening so fast. The liberalization policy of the last decade left Coal India alone, so it’s a Fabian-socialist nationalised monolith and as inefficient as you’d expect, regularly missing its production targets. The official energy plan in India is still to build tens of GW of new coal plants. However Indian politicians have realised that there is no way Coal India can supply them. While Indonesia and Australia would be glad to step in, the price is too high for the cheap electricity Indian voters expect. India is a democracy, and power cuts lose votes – India had the all-time world record one in July 2012, affecting 620 million people (!). Indian politicians are embracing renewables because they can provide power, even unreliably, before the next election.

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