Solar Mission and Climate Revolution Initiative (was: Press Release: Fearing Criticism...)

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Manu Sharma

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Mar 11, 2010, 3:31:39 PM3/11/10
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Hi Moresh,

Sorry for the delay in responding. You raise a number of important issues. 

I'm copying my reply to a couple of friends who're not on the list and who have an interest on this issue.

The 8% figure you quote for renewables is in terms of power generation capacity, not annual energy generation. It's incorrect to compare renewables with coal in MW or GW terms because their capacity factors differ. As you may know coal power plants in India typically work at 75% PLF but the figure for large wind and flat panel solar ranges from 15-20%. 

This is not to deningrate these technologies, but when you're measuring, it's apples and oranges. To do any meaningful comparison you must compare annual kWh from renewables to the total annual kWh generated in India. The share of renewables in total electricity generated in India may not be more than 2-3%. Perhaps less.  

As to the solar mission, while commendable, I have a number of problems with it. For one thing, govt. support for the mission is not as strong as it seems. There were wide disagreements within PM council on this mission -- this could be one of the reasons proceedings of the council meetings have not been released in our RTI filings. 

Second, it's unclear where all the money for it will come from. Many members of the PM council argued that it must be financed by the developed world. No clarity here.

Third and most importantly, here's an analogy: say, you're the head of a poor family with five hungry kids and very little money. Do you go out and buy them expensive sweets that will keep them fed for a few hours or do you buy flour and bake bread at home that keeps them fed for weeks? 

The point is, when you have only a limited amount of finance available, it is foolhardy to favor the most expensive energy generation technology so strongly at the expense of all others. The three primary yardsticks for where the finance for renewables should go ought to be a) cost per unit energy generated, b) cost per unit emissions sequestered and c) jobs created per unit of energy delivered. 

So, when you have an option that would cost $X to generate say 1 MW of electricity, how much sense does it make to spend $10X to generate the same amount using another technology? Sure, all energy generation technologies have their advantages and limitations but all must be pursued on equal footing. 

You know from my posts favoring the SunCube that I'm not anti-solar but when you have a grid that leaks 30-40% of what you put into it, I'm not so sure it's the right time to pursue grid-tied energy generation technologies. Fix the T&D losses first, go for smart grid and by then solar (perhaps CPV devices like SunCube) would be much more cost competitive as well. It'd be a mistake to venture into grid-tied rooftop solar with high feed-in tariffs this early -- you'd be putting a very expensively generated energy into a leaking bucket. 

Until then we have a plethora of distributed renewable energy technologies out there that will generate much more energy for the same money put into them. And I haven't even talked about energy efficiency. A substantial investment into seriously pursuing energy efficiency alone can give us several years' lead. 

Likewise, most of the other things you read in papers that the government is doing on this issue do not stand a careful scrutiny. Take the 20-25% emission intensity cuts announced on the run up to Copenhagen, for example. A scam of the highest order. MoEF's own studies released a couple of months earlier clearly show that emission intensity would be automatically reduced by that percentage in models that require *no new action*. It would happen over the natural course of time as less efficient equipment / machinery / appliances gives way to more efficient equipment / machinery / appliances even if the government goes for a vacation (no new policies to reduce emissions).

The same projections show that India's emissions would increase at least three times over the next 20 years. How relevant is historical responsibility in this scenario? And if they argue that its all the West's fault, what are they doing to force *them* to reduce emissions? Nothing, of course. Our environment minister happily claims that he has no problems with the US's position.  

Now, most people don't have a way of knowing all this. They hear the minister of environemnt and the PM say nice things on TV and they sleep contently thinking that the government is doing good things. One of the (several) problems with Indian media is that there are very few journos / columnists / experts out there who point these things out. There's very little good quality critical debate and analysis happening in this space. Most drink the government cool-aid without question. 

Finally, as to what are the demands of Climate Revolution Initiative in terms of policy changes, our position is that change must be driven by the demands of science. If you've read our position statements on science on our website, the picture is very bleak. it's clear that the changes would have to be large, radical, quick and immediate if we're to aim anywhere close to zero probability of dangerous climate change. And that's the only place to aim. Details about our specific demands would be made public over the coming weeks. 

Thanks,
Manu


On Thu, Mar 11, 2010 at 6:12 AM, moresh kokane <mor...@gmail.com> wrote:
Manu

Actually our Union Government is taking some steps. In Wind energy we are already fourth largest producer in the world. And the Government has already instituted policy which targets renewable energy to constitute 10 % of our energy basket. We are already close to 8 %.

The JNNSM has already provided a very good policy support for Solar energy. The last Union Budget has imposed a cess of Rs 50 per Tonne of Coal produced in India to fund the renewable initiatives.

Unlike China which is directly investing in large Solar plants, our Government has a more appropriate policy of Feed in Tariffs and it does not try to select technology winners.

More needs to be done, but its not all bleak. Also we point out that our per Capita emissions are low compared to the developed countries. But our population size effectively negates that. For the land area we have we actually are a much higher contributor to Climate change than Europe or US. We can talk about historical responsibility and how movement of manufacturing to the developing world has skewed matters, but the fact is there is some work to be done on our side.

Finally can you or some one from your initiative put in lay mans terms what exactly you want the Government in terms of policy support. Please note that I appreciate the efforts you are taking and I am simply trying to understand your position better.

Moresh




On Wed, Mar 10, 2010 at 12:50 AM, Manu Sharma <orang...@gmail.com> wrote:
The second disclosure under a comprehensive RTI campaign undertaken by Climate Revolution Initiative is now online. It shows that the govt. is withholding key climate policy information. Full press release included below.

Content on the previous disclosure on climate science has also been updated on RTI Initiative section of Climate Revolution website. It now features the actual RTI applications and their replies in an easily accessible manner. 
 
Thanks,
Manu 
  
  
 
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moresh kokane

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Mar 11, 2010, 8:06:34 PM3/11/10
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Thanks Manu

The coal cess should go some way in building the National Clean energy fund corpus.

I disagree with you on the following

"The three primary yardsticks for where the finance for renewables should go ought to be
a) cost per unit energy generated, 
b) cost per unit emissions sequestered and 
c) jobs created per unit of energy delivered."

Reasons being cost per unit of energy generated is not a static figure. Innovation happens. Whats costly today becomes cheaper tomorrow. Fledgling technologies require some amount of state support with an eye on the future. A small nudge is enough to push the growth of technology in the right direction. The world is moving towards renewable esp. solar, if we apply the yard stick of current cost for generation and energy sequestered then you are removing any incentive for innovation. We will be left behind and forced to import all the technologies from other countries. Capacity building is a must.

Secondly the criteria of job creation is a big no no. If we use that logic we would have still been using handlooms and would have never moved to power looms. As technology improves automation is introduced. This directly reduces jobs that were being done manually but it also increases efficiency. Higher efficiencies means more profits which frees up capital. This capital can be directly invested in starting new businesses. And these businesses actually boost the overall employment. Everybody gets a better quality of life. Introducing artificial barriers in the growth of our economy is a sure fire way of hampering job growth. Protectionism is not the answer, we have tried this logic for sixty years and it doesn't work.

Also when we say a nudge is important it just has to be limited to a nudge and we must not try to hold hands and direct the growth of the industry. Which is why I am pleased with our Governments overall movement towards becoming an enabling state rather than one that tries to fix all our problems.

Finally since the core issue is tackling climate change then why not strike at the root. Instead of providing feed in tariffs for solar or going by the above mentioned criteria why not put a cost on carbon ? A cost on Carbon will directly hamper the use of coal and fossil fuels and promote movement towards cleaner energy. Also it does not try to select technology winners or tries to solve ethical and moral dilemmas of whether that action generates jobs. Why not leave it to market forces which are a more efficient and reliable means of addressing this issue ?

The Kyoto treaty tried doing that, but it exempted us. We need an Intra-National Carbon Trading mechanism that should prep us for our future accession as an equal responsibility member to Kyoto.

BTW, I agree with you on the need for raising awareness of the issue and having a rational debate on the issues at hand. Your group is doing a good job in utilizing the RTI. Citizens need to hold their Governments accountable.

Regards
Moresh



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Swapan Mehra

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Mar 11, 2010, 11:36:34 PM3/11/10
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Hi Moresh/ Manu,

Based on your emails, I have a few comments on the National Solar Mission and generally the Climate Change mitigation movement in India:

1. I do agree with Manu that solar power is highly capital intensive, also also the PLF's for solar are low. Also, other renewable sources are cheaper and also that Energy Efficiency is a good alternative to promote Energy Security in India, there is no reason why we must have an exclusive approach and not all inclusive. The Government of India parallel to the Solar Mission has also launched a very ambitious National Mission on Enhanced Energy Efficiency, which seeks to promote capacity avoidance of around 19000 MW of power by 2015. Also, a very positive move from the Government is to try and achieve this by establishing market based mechanisms. The Mission will establish a P
--

chakrawarthy

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Mar 12, 2010, 12:26:02 AM3/12/10
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hi,

          I completely agree with Manu's analysis.

Energy efficiency and a more practical/realistic approach is needed for  Solar-power. With so many other "developmental" projects eating into
the resources---the FM is unlikely to allocate funds to realise the proposed targets. 

The MNRE is unique, has professional scientists manning different divisions. I could easily approach the Thermal-div head (and much to my delight
enquiring about me from another senior professional in Hyd :).
How much say the professional's have in framing policies is not clear---civit service people are known to override them.

What will probably take-off is: Preparing professionals for Energy engg (for eg, in IIT Mumbai, there is big push to train large number of people in Solar-science) and also
managers--this very forum had enquired about energy-pros' for  teaching requrements at a Management inst.
Such an approach has worked in Nuclear and Space sciences---of course in IT as well !

We also need to contend with the fact that we are a very diverse nation and convergence (ideas/policies) does not take place easily.

cheers
Srinivasa Chakrawarthy

Swapan Mehra

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Mar 12, 2010, 12:43:09 AM3/12/10
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Hi Moresh/ Manu,

Based on your emails, I have a few comments on the National Solar Mission and generally the Climate Change mitigation movement in India:

I do agree with Manu that solar power is highly capital intensive, also also the PLF's for solar are low. Also, other renewable sources are cheaper and also that Energy Efficiency is a good alternative to promote Energy Security in India, there is no reason why we must have an exclusive approach and not all inclusive. 

Also, as most members in this forum would be aware, Solar Power and Energy Efficiency, relative to Biomass Power, Wind Power and Hydro Power have attracted much lesser investment as tools to combat climate change. 

The Government of India parallel to the Solar Mission has also launched a very ambitious National Mission on Enhanced Energy Efficiency, which seeks to promote capacity avoidance of around 19000 MW of power by 2015. Also, a very positive move from the Government is to try and achieve this by mobilising market based mechanisms. 

he Mission will establish a Perform Achieve Trade (PAT) initiative, which will create a market for tradable Energy Efficiency Saving Certificates. Large energy intensive industries will be given specific energy consumption targets based on the energy intensity of the plant. The targets will be set under section 14 of the Energy Conservation Act, 2001. Within a three-year period  the designated industries will have  to reduce their energy intensity according to their target. Those who are able to perform better than their targets, will be allocated Energy Saving Targets (ESCs) which they can then sell via the power exchanges to other industries who were not able to meet their targets. The carbon market, which is the largest environmental market in the worlds right now, is testament to the fact that markets deliver scale. An energy efficiency market, based on the same principle of incentivising good practices is positively is a good move forward. 

National Mission will also create two financial instruments: a) Partial Risk Guarantee Fund (PRGF) and b) Venture Capital Fund for Energy Efficiency (VCFEE). The PRGF will will provide a partial coverage of risk exposure against loans towards energy efficiency finance to commercial banks. I think this will substantially enhance the outlook of lenders and financiers towards energy efficiency as their risk perception will change. The VCFEE aims to ease capital availability to the ESCOs (Detailed role still not clear). In addition, in a first move,  there is going to be tax exemption for Savings and profits for ESCOs. The mission is being coordinated by the BEE and  in all seeks to mobilise investments close to Rs.74,000 Crore towards EE. Notably, most of this capital mobilization is sought by creating markets and a conducive environment for investments in Energy Efficiency as against direct subsidies and grants.

Secondly,given the high capital requirements, it is important to analyze how the Government is structuring the solar mission. Under the guidelines for the mission, which aims to install 20,000 MW of Solar power by 2022, there is no or very little component of capital subsidies. The entire investment will be mobilised by private investors. The power producers will receive a high tariff  which along with Renewable Energy Certificates (Another market being created, which might even be made fungible with the EEC market) and potentially carbon finance, makes the project viable. The offtaker for the entire power would be NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN), who would then blend the power with the large quantity of thermal power they trade, thereby minimizing the additional cost to be passed on to end users. The mission plans are seeing a very positive response and many large Indian and Industrial corporations/ investors have expressed keenness to invest in Solar power in India. Also, since the technology and performance risk lies on private investors, I feel that this will spur lot of innovation and R&D to improve on the very relevant issues that Manu mentions. 

Hence, although it might be the case that the entire National Action Plan and the missions, when they were being developed, were not highly publicized, one of the reasons could be to speed up the process as consensus is hard to come by in our system of governance 


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Swapan Mehra

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Mar 12, 2010, 1:13:56 AM3/12/10
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I agree.. a large technically well equipped workforce can be a great resource for successful implementation of plans. Great to know IIT Bombay already is servicing this potential

Regards,
Swapan
Iora Ecological Solutions




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Manu Sharma

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Mar 12, 2010, 1:56:11 AM3/12/10
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Hi Moresh,

 you wrote:

The coal cess should go some way in building the National Clean energy fund corpus.

The cess of Rs.50 / ton of coal translates to a measly less than half dollar of per ton of CO2 emitted. The market price of carbon in the trading indexes itself is several times more than this so this is not really of much significance as far as emission controls are concerned. 

 
cost per unit of energy generated is not a static figure. Innovation happens. Whats costly today becomes cheaper tomorrow.

There's no reason why government incentives, in whatever form, can't be linked to this. 

 
Fledgling technologies require some amount of state support with an eye on the future.

Again, this assumption comes from the conventional thinking that renewable energy technology is not ready for mass deployment. As we've shown repeatedly on Green-India this is not really true. We have enough technologies and resources available for a 100% transition of electricity generation from renewable energy today. Any such transition of course would not happen overnight but would take decades. Technologies will also evolve and mature as we go along. That we need some cutting edge invention or innovation to get started is not really true. 

 
if we apply the yard stick of current cost for generation and energy sequestered then you are removing any incentive for innovation. We will be left behind and forced to import all the technologies from other countries.

Where did you get that idea? What technology transfer do we need to pursue biomass based decentralised power generation? What technology transfer do you need for biogas based cooking? What technology transfer do we need for CHP? We have everything we need. There's nothing wrong with technology transfer per se and I'm all in favor of using the best tech out there but these are not really hi-tech solutions.   
 

Secondly the criteria of job creation is a big no no.

Moresh, as we phase out conventional technologies in favor of new ones we will have to ensure that the workforce that loses jobs in the coal mines and coal power plants finds employment in the new job creation opportunities so it will have to be an important factor.

 
If we use that logic we would have still been using handlooms and would have never moved to power looms.

Once again old and obsolete thinking. When I mentioned in a previous post about paradigm shift and changing definitions of development, this is exactly what I meant. It's easy to nod to that but difficult to understand it because we've been told from the day we arrive in this world that industry is good, automation is good, big car is better than small car, two cars are even better, high-tech is always better than low tech, unlimited economic growth is good, consuming more and more is good, greed is good, industrial efficiency is the only god to pursue. 

Climate change shows all of those beliefs and values were deeply mistaken. So all of that has got to change. At Climate Revolution Initiative we have a seemingly impossible task ahead - to pursue these changes in the mindset. But I still think it's doable. 

To come back to your point, I'm not arguing for a switch to low-tech but that there is a need to bring balance to single minded pursuit of efficiency / automation / high-technology at the expense of their social and environmental effects.

 
Introducing artificial barriers in the growth of our economy is a sure fire way of hampering job growth.

Again an economy centric view. We need to realise today that GDP as the only yardstick to development must give way to reduction of CO2 concentration as the only measure of growth. Big words, yes, but we're staring at our own extinction if we don't change that. 


Also when we say a nudge is important it just has to be limited to a nudge and we must not try to hold hands and direct the growth of the industry.

Exactly and I disagree that the solar mission is only a nudge. It is, in my view, a strong push forward. Subsidies are not good in any form.  
 

Finally since the core issue is tackling climate change then why not strike at the root. Instead of providing feed in tariffs for solar or going by the above mentioned criteria why not put a cost on carbon ?

YES YES and YES. This is what I've been arguing with the Climate Revolution proposals for the past one and a half years to whoever I've shown them to. Rather than sector specific regulation, a broad, transparent and bold revenue-neutral carbon tax will automatically create incentives for renewable energy and emission reduction without favoring any particular technology or solution pursued. 
  
 
A cost on Carbon will directly hamper the use of coal and fossil fuels and promote movement towards cleaner energy. Also it does not try to select technology winners or tries to solve ethical and moral dilemmas of whether that action generates jobs. Why not leave it to market forces which are a more efficient and reliable means of addressing this issue ?


Yep. There are even greater benefits. A revenue-neutral carbon tax means all the money collected from it is distributed back to the people -- divided equally to the population. So let's say if Rs.1 Lakh crore is collected every month is divided equally among 100 crore people, each person's share is Rs.1000.  

Which means, if a rich person, who consumes a lot of energy had paid say Rs.10,000 in terms of carbon tax -- extra cost incurred on energy made expensive -- then he has a loss of Rs.9000. He will naturally do all he can to save energy.  

A person with average energy consumption, having spent Rs.1000 in higher energy costs will get all his money back and he'd be able to even save some if he pursues energy efficiency.

A poor person who consumes very little energy, having spent only Rs.200 in higher energy costs will actually have a profit of Rs.800 - a substantial sum for him.  

So carbon tax can actually alleviate poverty in India by moving money from the rich to the poor, reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions and incentivising renewable energy.  There goes the govt argument that climate change and poverty alleviation cannot be pursued together. 

There's no better and simpler mechanism than a revenue neutral carbon tax to tackle all these
problems at once.

We need an Intra-National Carbon Trading mechanism that should prep us for our future accession as an equal responsibility member to Kyoto.

We don't need anything at UNFCCC level. UNFCCC can't address this problem as our position statements on international response show. We can constitute a carbon tax on our own and it doesn't involve any trading. 


BTW, I agree with you on the need for raising awareness of the issue and having a rational debate on the issues at hand. Your group is doing a good job in utilizing the RTI. Citizens need to hold their Governments accountable.


Thanks, Moresh. Some of our RTI filings cover carbon taxation as well to find out what has government done on this issue. More on that soon. 

Manu

Climate Revolution Initiative



Manu Sharma

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Mar 12, 2010, 2:04:27 AM3/12/10
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Thanks Mr. Chakrawarthy. I too agree that a push into education is much needed - both in terms of changes in curriculum and in creation of new vocational training opportunities.

Manu

On Fri, Mar 12, 2010 at 10:56 AM, chakrawarthy <chakra...@gmail.com> wrote:

Manu Sharma

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Mar 12, 2010, 2:16:42 AM3/12/10
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Hi Swapan,

The energy efficiency mission is again one of those areas that has not been very well scrutinised yet. My impression is that it has serious flaws and is incredibly complex. The PAT system is designed on the lines of CDM which has notoriously been fraught with corruption and fraud. It leaves out 40% of the industry and it's unclear yet how effective the efficiency caps will be or whether it will work at all or not. 

A carbon tax on the other hand is incredibly simple mechanism that guarantees emission reductions. Cap and trade is great at moving massive amounts of money around but does not actually reduce emissions. The rate of growth of emissions tripled in the 2000's for example, despite implementation of Kyoto which made a lot of people rich at the expense of future generations who will have to bear the consequences. 

We can't afford to repeat the mistake with Perform Achieve and Trade. We've filed some RTI's in energy efficiency area and will be making disclosures on it in near future.

Manu

Swapan Mehra

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Mar 12, 2010, 2:24:35 AM3/12/10
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Hi Manu,
On account of fraud i think both the carbon tax and a cap and trade are similar as in the role of regulators, monitoring agencies and governments.  So if there is a taxation policy, but the target audience can escape taxes by way of fraudulent reporting, there would still be no guarantee of emission reduction. I think you are right that we need transaprency in terms of disclosures about actual actions. In the carbon markets also if only the caps and targets are gotten right, and monitoring and reporting is authentic, the system itself is working beautifully. These issues could definitely arise in case of taxes.
 
I think the BEE is starting with a small set of industries and would then include the rest 40%. However, would be interesting to know if there is any other reason to leave out these industries (which could be an outcome of your RTI?)
 
Regards,
Swapan Mehra
Iora Ecological Solutions

Sandeep Shriya

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Mar 12, 2010, 2:37:53 AM3/12/10
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HI all,

 

The Budget has imposed a cess of Rs. 50/ PMT on coal to be used to fund the MNRE.

 

The Solar Mission in Phase ONE does not require any budgetary support since it is being supported by the unallocated power of NTPC. So what will this cess be used by the MNRE for?

 

Any information?

 

Thanks,

Sandeep Shriya

 

P Please don't print this e-mail unless you really need to.

Manu Sharma

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Mar 12, 2010, 2:52:09 AM3/12/10
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On Fri, Mar 12, 2010 at 12:54 PM, Swapan Mehra <swapa...@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi Manu,
On account of fraud i think both the carbon tax and a cap and trade are similar as in the role of regulators, monitoring agencies and governments.  So if there is a taxation policy, but the target audience can escape taxes by way of fraudulent reporting, there would still be no guarantee of emission reduction.


Hi Swapan,

Carbon tax is not applied on the consumer level, it would be applied far upstream at the point where fossil fuels are extracted, imported or processed  -- in mines, drilling stations and oil refineries -- simply on the basis of their quantity.  

So, a carbon tax of, say,  $37 / ton of carbon emitted by a particular fuel would translate into higher price that particular fuel. Petrol might get expensive by say two Rs., electricity by a few paisa, LPG by a small amount and so on, depending upon the carbon content of that fuel which is a known figure. All of the money collected can then be divided equally among the population and given to them as direct bank transfers. 

It'd be a very transparent process and not susceptible to fraud in a similar manner as an income tax. Much simpler than a complicated cap and trade scheme which requires the govt to determine sector / industry wise caps and regulate their trading and so on.  More information on it is available on this excellent resource: Carbon Tax Center.

Thanks,
Manu


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moresh kokane

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Mar 12, 2010, 10:14:55 AM3/12/10
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A bit confusing to follow the mail chain now with all the inline replies :)
 
But yes, I agree with you that a Revenue neutral Carbon tax applied at the source is probably the simplest thing the Government can do right now and it will also deliver the biggest bang for the buck. Same goes for the Internal Carbon exchange. An internal exhange will benefit domestic enterprises from domestic revenues.
 
On job creation/saving, we have clear cut differing view points. I believe in supply side economics, least interference from Government and the ability of the people to solve their problems themselves. Either way it is an honest difference of opinion and I respect your position.
 
On Coal cess, it is going to be applied on both imported as well as internally mined. Even though the amount may be considered small, one has to take in account the huge volumes. I dont have the figures but it would be interesting to find how much revenues will be generated from this. Coal after all constitutes the bulk of our energy generation. Also the cess is expected to cause a price increase of 5 - 6 paisa per unit of electricity. The FM has to keep one eye on inflation on price rise when he insitutes policy.

Moresh

moresh kokane

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Mar 12, 2010, 12:05:19 PM3/12/10
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On a side note, I hear this line tossed about often that "the PLF for Solar power plants is low."
 
Can someone elaborate why exactly is this ? Simply trying to understand.

Manu Sharma

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Mar 13, 2010, 11:14:26 AM3/13/10
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On Fri, Mar 12, 2010 at 10:35 PM, moresh kokane <mor...@gmail.com> wrote:
 
On a side note, I hear this line tossed about often that "the PLF for Solar power plants is low." Can someone elaborate why exactly is this ? Simply trying to understand.


Plant Load Factor or capacity factor of an energy generation technology simply refers to its average capacity utilisation. 

It can be calculated as "total energy the plant produced during a period of time and dividing by the energy the plant would have produced at full capacity."
 
To give an example, if a 1kW PV module system works at full capacity year round 24/7, it would produce (1 x 8766) kWh annually where 8766 is the number of hours in a year. 

But we know that solar panels don't produce energy 24/7. At a good site in India, a panel may produce say, only 1700 kWh annually. 

So solar's capacity factor or PLF in this case turns out to be 1700 / 8766 x 100 = 19.39%.

Since coal plants do work 24/7 and have to be closed only for routine maintenance, they have a much higher capacity factor, typically around 75% in India but could be higher.

Among the various renewable energy technologies geothermal has the highest capacity factor, sometimes even comparable with coal plants. 

Manu 



Manu Sharma

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Mar 13, 2010, 11:17:42 AM3/13/10
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On Sat, Mar 13, 2010 at 9:44 PM, Manu Sharma <orang...@gmail.com> wrote:
 
At a good site in India, a panel may produce say, only 1700 kWh annually. 


Correction:

At a good site in India, a 1kW system may produce say, only 1700 kWh annually. 

moresh kokane

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Mar 13, 2010, 11:36:07 PM3/13/10
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I guess I understand why the PLF is low, but I am trying to add up some numbers. Assuming PV works for only 8 hrs a day that brings down the PLF to 33%.

And remove a couple of months for overcast skies. That would bring it down to .33 X 300/360

which is 27.5

What brings it down to 20 % from there ?


Manu Sharma

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Mar 14, 2010, 10:48:30 AM3/14/10
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Moresh,

No solar PV device works at its nameplate capacity all the time the sun is out. So you can't assume that a 1 kW module would generate 1kWh each hour it is exposed to the sun. 

The rated capacity is measured by creating / assuming full sun conditions i.e, 1000W / sq.m radiation availability. 

But the amount of solar radiation actually reaching the panels in real world condition is rarely 1000W / sq.m even during high noon due to various reasons. 

Thanks,
Manu

moresh kokane

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Mar 14, 2010, 7:22:10 PM3/14/10
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True, for the solar energy incident is more close to 700 W per sq mtr than 1000.

But the insolation in India is around 5 kWh per sq mtr per day. So if
we have a 33% efficient system like suncube, then it should deliver
1.65 kWh per day i.e 1.65 units of electricity per day.

Multiply that by 300 sunny days and the figure is more close to 500
units per year. For a 1 KW system you would potentially need 3
Suncubes rated at 330 Watt each. That will give you 1500 units of
electricity ever year.

Am I completely of in my calculations or close ?

Moresh

chakrawarthy

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Mar 14, 2010, 10:59:17 PM3/14/10
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Moresh,

              300 sunny-days/year is very high ! Non-rainy, but partly cloudy days is common for atleast 2-3 months---over and above the
unpredictable monsoon. You also have to contend with dust on the PV-panels. 
-Chakrawarthy

deepak kelkar

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Mar 15, 2010, 1:21:32 AM3/15/10
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Hi All,

I understand the PLF factors as below:

1.  number of units generated annually divided by 8760 MWH or kwh as case may be.  Incase of MW level plant it will be MWH or incase of KW level plant it will be kwhs.

2.  All the Si based modules have STC ratings and the efficiencies are calculated at 1000 watt/sqmtr; AM 1.5 and at 25 deg Celcius.

3.  All Si based modules only absorb or are able to convert to electricity in very narrow bandwidth of blue light.  In case of clouds or sky light the conversion is very low.  YES it generates but will it be able to fire grid interactive inverter?  Probably NO under cloud or sky light.

4.  Inverter operate from 300VDC to 600VDC typically in case of 250kw inverter taking power from modules through MPPT devices.

5.  Consider under  6kwh/sqmtr/day solar site exactly working under STC conditions then 16% of this will be converted to electricity DC side :  meaning 0.16 X 6 = 0.96 kwh DC will be generated.  Now we need to consider the efficiencies of inverter and cabling loses + transformer losses to put the production in 33kv line and at best efficiencies of equipment we may lose 15% of 0.96 DC KWH this means that only 0.;816 kwh will be pumped into the system.

My question is how can 16% crystalline module or 7% thin film can give 19% PLF on real time situation?

YES CPV is the answer with 31% modular efficiency.

Deepak Kelkar

--
Deepak Kelkar
Director
Square Engineering Pvt Ltd.
Pune
Cell: 9422310250

Rangan Banerjee

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Mar 15, 2010, 1:26:19 AM3/15/10
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PLF is actual annual generation of the plant divided by maximum
generation if operated at rated output. In the case of PV the PLF is
15-20%. depending on the variability in the site insolation conditions.
Hence PLF would depend on the location.
PLF for renewable energy is different from conventional fossil fuel
plants because for renewables the PLF is supply constrained (e.g for
Indian wind average PLF is 14%, though there are wind farms with PLF of
30% in Tamil Nadu).
Rangan

Dr. K.K. Sasi

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Mar 15, 2010, 6:46:05 AM3/15/10
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Prof Banerji,

In the case of windfarms 14% PLF is very much on the lower side today. No windfarm set up in the recent past in Tamilnadu works at a PLF below 25%. Many are above 30%. The maximum PLF reported in 2009 in South India was 40% from Karnataka. These data can be verified from C-WET.

Sasi

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Manu Sharma

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Mar 15, 2010, 7:57:26 AM3/15/10
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A leading wind power resource directory of India reports that average PLF in wind farms over the last few years has ranged from 18-30%. 

Manu

Lakshmanan subas chandra bose

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Mar 15, 2010, 8:03:12 AM3/15/10
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Dear Manu,

You are right it is between 18-30%. It depends on the wind at the particular site and other related conditions like grid availability etc. Basically these wind farms are concentrated in one place mostly (Rural) where the connected loads (Consumers) are less. So the evacuation of power from such remote place to other places becomes bottle neck this (down time of grid) also attributes to the PLF

Rangan Banerjee

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Mar 15, 2010, 10:42:45 AM3/15/10
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Dear all,
I had done the numbers a few years back. It is easy to check. Please take
the aggregate installed capacity of grid connected wind + the actual
generation in a particular year to work out an average PLF. Maybe this
has improved from 14 %. I agree that new wind farms are likely to have
better PLFs.
Regards,
Rangan

moresh kokane

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Mar 15, 2010, 1:17:16 PM3/15/10
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I am hardly an expert on this but from what I gather PLF has nothing to do with efficiency of your module. Simply put its what your system actually produces divided by what it can produce if the sun shines 24 X 7 and everything else worked optimally.
 
Moresh

Manu Sharma

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Mar 15, 2010, 1:23:25 PM3/15/10
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On Mon, Mar 15, 2010 at 10:47 PM, moresh kokane <mor...@gmail.com> wrote:
I am hardly an expert on this but from what I gather PLF has nothing to do with efficiency of your module. Simply put its what your system actually produces divided by what it can produce if the sun shines 24 X 7 and everything else worked optimally.
 

Moresh, 

Wouldn't PLF be directly proportional to the efficiency of a system if it's based on "what your system actually produces?" 

Manu


moresh kokane

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Mar 15, 2010, 1:42:16 PM3/15/10
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No.
 
Efficiency here is the rated performance.
 
So for CPV systems it would be 33% and regular PV close to 15%
 
We take the actual output and divide it by the output which would have been generated if the fuel (sun shine) was there 24 X 7. Efficiency in both numerator and denominator would be the same. So it does not matter whether you are CPV or PV.
 
Other factors would impact like dust, lack or availability of tracking.
 
But not the rated efficiency.
 
Now I could be completely off, so correct me if I am wrong.
 
Moresh 
 

 

Manu Sharma

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Mar 16, 2010, 7:06:48 AM3/16/10
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Moresh, thanks for correcting me. Only main thing affecting PLF in solar is insolation. Tracking, if not an integral part of the system would enhance PLF but if it's integrated with the panel when the panel is rated then tracking wouldn't increase PLF. 

Manu

moresh kokane

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Mar 17, 2010, 11:55:29 AM3/17/10
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Actually can the PV panels provide 1700 KWh per year without tracking ? Because for optimum output in PV tracking is required. If you dont use tracking your peak will be hit only when your panel is directly facing the sun.
 
Most PV installations on roof tops are static, it would be interesting if any one can share any figures they have for their per year ouptut with static panels.
 
Moresh

Dr. K.K. Sasi

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Mar 17, 2010, 11:20:05 PM3/17/10
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"If you dont use tracking your peak will be hit only when your panel is directly facing the sun."

You are only referring to sun tracking. The maximum power from a given irradiance is possible only for a particular load impedance; otherwise we need to use a maximum power point tracker (MPPT). The panel operates at its rated efficiency only at the maximum power point in its I-V characteristics.

sasi

----- Original Message -----
From: "moresh kokane" <mor...@gmail.com>
To: green...@googlegroups.com
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 9:25:29 PM
Subject: Re: [Green-India] Solar Mission and Climate Revolution Initiative         (was: Press Release: Fearing Criticism...)

Actually can the PV panels provide 1700 KWh per year without tracking ? Because for optimum output in PV tracking is required.
 
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