India's power sector has a total installed capacity of approximately 1,46,753 Megawatt (MW) of which 54% is coal-based, 25% hydro, 8% is renewables and the balance is the gas and nuclear-based. Power shortages are estimated at about 11% of total energy and 15% of peak capacity requirements and are likely to increase in the coming years. In the next 10 years, another 10,000 MW of capacity and investment of about Rs. 24 lakh crore are required.
Fortunately, India lies in sunny regions of the world. Most parts of India receive 4-7 kWh of Solar radiation per square metre per day with 250-300 sunny days in a year. India has abundant Solar resources, as it receives about 3000 hours of sunshine every year, equivalent to over 5,000 trillion kWh. India can easily utilize the Solar energy or Solar Power. Today the contribution of Solar power with an installed capacity of 9.84 MW, is a fraction (< 0.1 percent) of the total renewable energy installed 13, 242.41(as on 31st October 2008 by MNRE). Solar power generation has lagged behind other sources like wind, small hydropower, biomass etc. But now realizing the potential of Solar energy, Prime Minister of India unveiled a National Climate Change Action Plan in June 2008. The plan will be implemented through eight missions with main focus on Solar energy in the total energy mix of the country.
Development of alternate energy has been part of India's strategy for expanding energy supply and meeting decentralized energy needs of the rural sector. The strategy is administered through India's Ministry of New Renewable Energy (MNRE), Energy development agencies in the various States, and the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA).
MNRE – Ministry of New Renewable Energy is the nodal Ministry of the Government of India for all matters relating to new and renewable energy. In 1982 Department of Non-conventional Energy Sources (DNES) was created to develop and deploy new and renewable energy for supplementing the energy requirements of the country. In 1992, DNES became the Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources. In October 2006, the Ministry was re-christened as the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. The Ministry has been facilitating the implementation of broad spectrum programmes including harnessing renewable power, renewable energy to rural areas for lighting, cooking and motive power, use of renewable energy in urban, industrial and commercial applications and development of alternate fuels and applications. In addition, it supports research, design and development of new and renewable energy technologies, products and services.
IREDA – Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency is a Public Limited Government Company established on 11th March, 1987, under the administrative control of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to promote, develop and extend financial assistance for renewable energy and energy efficiency/conservation projects. IREDA has been notified as a “Public Financial Institution” under section 4 ‘A’ of the Companies Act, 1956 and registered as Non-Banking Financial Company (NFBC) with Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
SEC - The Solar Energy Centre (SEC), established in 1982, is a dedicated unit of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India for development of Solar energy technologies and to promote its applications through product development. The institute was set up with a view to encourage research in the field of Solar technology as a viable alternate energy system. The centre itself is built taking into account principles of passive Solar design to reduce energy consumption in the building. This is achieved by reducing heat gain in summer, encouraging effective ventilation, natural cooling and effective insulation to prevent heat loss during the winter, thus reducing both heating and cooling costs.
Involvement of various players in the energy sector,...