Canal-top solar power impresses the UN’s Ban Ki Moon

Originally published at The Hindu, India’s national newspaper

UN chief Ban Ki Moon: India taking the lead in ending energy poverty

 Solar panels cover the Narmada canal at Chandrasan village, about 40 km from Ahmedabad. - The Hindu, India's national newspaper

Solar panels cover the Narmada canal at Chandrasan village, about 40 km from Ahmedabad. Image courtesy of The Hindu, India’s national newspaper

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday praised India’s ingenuity and cutting-edge technology while dedicating Gujarat’s second canal-top 10-MW solar power project to the nation.

The solar panels are arranged on top of the Vadodara branch of the Sardar Sarovar Project Canal, probably a first-of-its-kind project in the world to generate power.

In a brief address, Mr. Ban said he was honoured to inaugurate “this impressive project” and commended the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

I see more than the glittering panels — I see the future of India and the future of our world. This facility shows how one project can have multiple uses of conserving land and using renewables. — Ban Ki Moon

He called on India to dramatically scale-up solar power to more than 10 percent of energy mix by 2020.

For the February event on investment in renewable energy in New Delhi, he was sending his special envoy on climate change Michael Bloomberg.

He said access to energy was important to end energy poverty.

India is taking the lead in ending energy poverty and this project shows us how. — Ban Ki Moon

He praised Mr. Modi’s leadership saying this was the kind of leadership the world needed. Action and commitment can create a safer and prosperous world, he said.

S.S. Rathore, chairperson and managing director, Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, said Mr. Modi’s idea led to a one-MW pilot project being commissioned on the Sanand canal in April 2012.

The new 10-MW megawatt project is on 3.6 km of the Vadodara branch canal of the Sardar Sarovar Project Canal which passes through the city. It saves land and also prevents evaporation losses. There are nearly 35,000 solar panels and the power generated is fed into the State grid and also to operate pumping stations on the canal.

The total cost of this project is $18.3 million and is financed by the State government. It was commissioned in November 2014. The Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam is likely to expand this project and even encourage private entrepreneurs.

‘Emerging economies must help combat climate change’ — Ban Ki Moon

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said here on Sunday that while respecting the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, emerging economies such as India, China, South Africa and Brazil should take necessary action to combat climate change.

Interacting with the press after visiting a canal-top solar power project here, he said the developed countries had caused much more impact on climate than the developing nations and they had different capacities to tackle impacts.

India was taking necessary action by projects such as the canal-top power project, a creative and impressive one which all developing countries should emulate.

To questions, he said climate finance was the most important aspect to make combating climate change a success. India could play a vital role as one of the fastest growing economies.

He was catalysing funds into the Green Climate Fund, which had topped $10 billion last year. He was optimistic about arriving at a new, robust climate treaty in Paris.

IEA: Renewables Will Exceed Natural Gas And Nuclear By 2016

by Silvio Marcacci

Global renewable electricity production by region image -  IEA
Global renewable electricity production by region image — IEA

Natural gas is widely considered the bridge to take us from fossil fuel dependence to a clean energy future – but that bridge may be a lot shorter than anyone could have predicted.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts power generation from renewable sources will exceed natural gas and be twice the contribution from nuclear energy globally by 2016 – just three short years from now.

IEA’s second-annual Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report (MTRMR) forecasts renewable generation will grow 40% in the next five years despite difficult economic conditions.

Wind And Solar Power The Renewables Charge

Renewable energy is now the fastest-growing sector of the global power market, and will represent 25% of all energy generation worldwide by 2018, up from 20% in 2011. In addition, renewable electricity generation is expected to reach 6,850 terawatt-hours (TWh) and total installed renewable capacity should hit 2,350 gigawatts (GW), both by 2018.

Wind and solar photovoltaic generation is powering this jump, and non-hydro renewable power will double from 4% of gross generation in 2011 to 8% in 2018. IEA cites two main drivers for their incredible outlook: accelerating investment and deployment, and growing cost competitiveness versus fossil fuels.

Strongest Growth In Developing Countries

Even though government funding has been inconsistent, private investment has remained strong, especially in developing economies. Rural electrification, energy poverty, and rising demand have been major challenges for policymakers in these countries, and renewables have become an increasingly attractive option for diverse and non-polluting power.

Countries above 100MW non-hydro renewable capacity
Countries with non-hydro renewable capacity above 100MW image via IEA

Non-developed countries, led by China, are expected to contribute two-thirds of all renewable market growth between now and 2018, compensating for slower growth and market volatility across Europe and the US.

Indeed, non-hydro renewable power will make up 11% of gross generation in these countries by 2018, up from 7% in 2012. By itself, China will account for 310GW, or 40% of all global renewable power capacity increases over this time period.

Falling Costs, Rising Capacity

Solving energy poverty issues without harmful emissions is key to renewables growth, but the larger reason for IEA’s outlook is more likely falling costs. The report finds renewables now cost-competitive with fossil fuels across many countries and a wide set of circumstances.

Solar PV capacity additions
Solar PV annual capacity additions by region image via IEA

IEA notes wind is competitive with new fossil fuel in multiple markets, including Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, and New Zealand, and solar is competitive both in markets with high peak prices and decentralized power needs.

“As their costs continue to fall, renewable power sources are increasingly standing on their own merits versus new fossil-fuel generation,” said Maria van der Hoeven of IEA.

IEA – Policy Uncertainty Is Public Enemy #1

However, the IEA warns renewables still face a challenging future. Global investment fell in 2012, and policy uncertainties loom over clean energy technology in several important markets. In addition, grid integration challenges have materialized in some regions as renewables penetration has hit new levels.

“Policy uncertainty is public enemy number one,” said Van der Hoeven. “Many renewables no longer require high economic incentives, but they do still need long-term policies that provide a predictable and reliable market and regulatory framework.”

Repost.Us - Republish This Article

This article, IEA: Renewables Will Exceed Natural Gas And Nuclear By 2016, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

.

About the Author

Silvio Marcacci Silvio is Principal at Marcacci Communications, a full-service clean energy and climate-focused public relations company based in Washington, D.C.

.

Related Posts

blog_2013_09_24-1

An Island (Tokelau) Powered 100% By Solar Energy

World_US_RPS_3_1250w

Our Energy Transition, Away From Fossil Fuels

Image Credit: Flag of China on Yangtze River via Shutterstock.

Chinese Government Will Offer Huge Solar PV Rebate For Solar PV Manufacturers

electriccost1

What’s The Average Price Of Electricity In…