India Breaks the 2 GW Solar Barrier

by Joshua S Hill

A new update from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in India has proclaimed the country has passed the 2 GW landmark for grid-connected solar.

The figures showed that, as of September 30, 2013, the total solar installed capacity was just over 2000 MW, while off-grid power amounted to just south of 140 MW.

Grid Connected Solar PV, MegaWatts Installed -- India 2013
Grid Connected Solar PV, MegaWatts Installed — India 2013

The update was published on the MNRE website, while RESolve Energy Consultants are responsible for the graphs which follow.

Solar and Wind capacity additions 2013/2014 -- India
Solar and Wind capacity additions 2013/2014 — India

As can be seen, wind makes up a sizable portion of India’s total renewable energy makeup, with 19,881 MW of connected power. India’s wind energy target for 2013-14 sits at 2500, and they’ve already installed 808 MW so far — adding 102.5 in September alone.

Solar power doesn’t receive the same focus as it does in other countries, but it is still growing, with 395 MW deployed already in the 2013-14 time period — of which 111 was deployed in September, taking the number up to 2080 MW.

The news comes on the heels of continuous solar improvements in the country. Tuesday saw the news that Madhya Pradesh, a state in India, already has 202 MW installed and intends to “crank that up to 1,400 MW by the middle of 2015.”

And earlier this month India invited bids to build 750 MW of solar plants as part of Phase-2 of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM).

It’s the first time the country has opened up bidding since 2011, and the government is “offering 18.75 billion rupees ($303 million) in grants to the project from the National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF).”

This article, India Breaks 2 GW Solar Barrier, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Joshua S Hill I’m a Christian, a nerd, a geek, a liberal left-winger, and believe that we’re pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I work as Associate Editor for the Important Media Network and write for CleanTechnica and Planetsave. I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), Amazing Stories, the Stabley Times and Medium.   I love words with a passion, both creating them and reading them.

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Air quality forecast to get worse until 2060 – then improve

Air quality forecast to get worse until 2060 – then improve | 03/06/2013
by John Brian Shannon John Brian Shannon

Every year, large amounts of man-made (anthropogenic) greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and other, more deadly gases, are added to the Earth’s atmosphere

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Most of the world’s energy supply is fossil fuel based (86.2%). However, recent successes in renewable energy foretell a ‘cleaner’ future energy mix. Image courtesy of: http://www.drsoram.com

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, mankind has been adding evermore CO2, coal soot, wood smoke, and other airborne emissions to the atmosphere. But in recent decades have we been adding more greenhouse gases to the planet’s natural systems than they can absorb.

For example, last year, human beings contributed a total of 37 Gigatons of CO2 (and CO2 equivalent) gases to the atmosphere.

Less than half of this total was absorbed by what is termed ‘The Commons’ – which is manifested in this case, as the combined ability of the world’s oceans, forests and grasslands to absorb those emissions.

In brief, ocean plankton, the world’s forests, and grasslands, take in CO2 – and produce life-giving oxygen in return. All the world’s ocean plankton, the millions of square miles of forests and grasslands combined, remove less than 18 Gigatons of CO2 from the atmosphere per year.

Next year, we will contribute 38 Gigatons of CO2 and equivalent gases to the Earth’s atmosphere, and in 2015 we will contribute even more CO2 to the atmosphere. In 2016, and 2017, humans are projected to add even more CO2 to the air blanket surrounding the Earth.

Soon enough, ‘the commons’ will only be absorbing a third of all man-made CO2 production.

Which is why we have global warming and the negative consequences associated with global warming.

THE TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS (excerpt)
by Garrett Hardin

The tragedy of the commons is a dilemma arising from the situation in which multiple individuals, acting independently and rationally consulting their own self-interest, will ultimately deplete a shared limited resource even when it is clear that it is not in anyone’s long-term interest for this to happen.

This dilemma was first described in an influential article titled “The Tragedy of the Commons,” written by Garrett Hardin and first published in the journal Science in 1968.” — Princeton University

The present upward trend of CO2 production is expected to continue until 2060, when anthropogenic global CO2 levels will begin to fall dramatically according to the world’s major energy companies — which have predicted that solar, wind and other renewable energy will take the place of oil and gas.

The present renewable energy production is small when measured against the total amount of conventional energy. One bright spot, is that half of all new electrical energy production comes from renewable energy. And, due to aggressive clean air regulations in countries around the world (Denmark, Germany, the U.S., Japan, and others) soon, more of the world’s new or under construction, energy power plants will be powered by renewable energy.

Some may think that we are putting ‘too much effort’ into the change-up to renewable energy, but they must remember that CO2 lingers for up to 100 years in the atmosphere — while some toxic airborne pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxides, H2S, and CFC’s, stay in the atmosphere for up to 50,000 years.

GWP2

Much of the CO2 and other, much longer-lived toxic gases produced during the Second World War era, are still with us — we are breathing it now and will be for some time to come.

Think about all those Gigatons of as yet unabsorbed greenhouse gases which have been piling-up — some of which last for 100 years, while other greenhouse gases last up to 50,000 years.

And we keep adding to it. Tick, tick, tick…

Post-Fukushima: Is Nuclear Power Finished?

by John Brian Shannon John Brian Shannon

Since the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant meltdown which was initiated by an unprecedented earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, some have wondered, “Is this the end of nuclear?”

The median age of the world’s nuclear power plants is 33 years.
The median age of the world’s nuclear power plants is 33 years.

For some nations it is.

Following Japan’s Fukushima disaster, Germany investigated the status of it’s aging nuclear power stations and became the first nation to begin an orderly shutdown of all of it’s nuclear power plants by 2022 – although full decommissioning and land remediation may take until 2045. Some n-plants failed so-called stress tests which were instituted in the aftermath of Fukushima-Daiichi.

Germany has begun replacing that lost capacity by ramping-up it’s wind, solar and biomass electrical power generation via an aggressive feed in tariff scheme which has added to the growth of renewable energy manufacturing in the country.

Exports too, of wind turbines and solar panels, along with the signing of international renewable energy construction contracts worth billions, have resulted in the creation of 300,000 new jobs. Not only that, countries like the Netherlands are shutting down their traditional power plants and buying gigawatts of affordable German renewable energy.

Switzerland has decided to decommission all of it’s nuclear power stations by 2045, as decision-makers there decided that the cost to bring their n-plants up to a modern standard was unaffordable. Italy quit nuclear power in 1987, as the costs to retrofit their old n-power plants with new technology exceeded any potential profits.

After the Fukushima incident, Japan put their reactors through stress tests. The modern plants passed the tests — while the older plants may require billions to upgrade. Speaking about the age of Japan’s nuclear fleet, the first Fukushima-Daiichi unit was designed in the 1960’s, construction began in 1969 and it was commissioned into service in February of 1971.

And herein lies the problem with nuclear power. Most of the world’s nuclear plants were commissioned prior to 1990 and feature design, engineering and construction techniques of a different era — to put it politely.

But a new hope has arrived in the form of the Small Modular Reactor (SMR) which is a comparatively tiny reactor built on an assembly-line by nuclear technicians and delivered to a site by transport truck — as a fully-assembled unit.

mPower-cutaway
Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) mPower 180-megawatt Small Modular Reactor.

SMR’s can range in size from a tiny 25-megawatts (Gen4 Energy) which is enough to power a small town — up to 300-megawatt units that are powerful enough to run a small city. Most SMR’s fall within the 45-megawatt (Nu-Scale) to 225-megawatt (Westinghouse) size. The winner of a recent U.S. Department of Energy SMR funding program (all, or part, of $452 million) was the Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) mPower SMR, which is a 180-megawatt reactor.

Quite the opposite of behemoth nuclear power plants of the past, with their 1,000-acre (or more) site requirements, unimaginable water usage and huge grid and infrastructure commitment – an entire SMR facility could fit inside a football stadium, use tiny amounts of water and ‘hook up’ to normal high-tension power lines.

The best part of the SMR story is that they use many passive, redundant safety systems – quite unlike old-fashioned nuclear power plants. For example, most SMR’s will be installed underground in a room surrounded by thick concrete on all sides, while above the reactor enough gravity-fed cooling water is stored to last for a minimum of 7-days (some SMR’s store 14-days worth of emergency cooling water on-site) which activates without any human assistance whatsoever, in the event of excess heat buildup inside the reactor pressure vessel.

SMR’s are a perfect fit for renewable energy, as they can ramp-up (load-following) to meet electricity demand resulting from shortfalls in solar power output (such as night-time) or during the day (usually mornings) when wind power can be less efficient.

The modern, Small Modular Reactor can deliver safe and secure electrical power to complement the future of energy – renewable energy.

U.S. Fuel Subsidies Chart

Image courtesy of Cleantechnica.com
Image courtesy of Cleantechnica.com
JOHN BRIAN SHANNON

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Renewable Energy Big Pic: Part 1 Including 34 Charts & Graphs — Reblogged from Cleantechnica

(via Clean Technica)

As I mentioned in my article covering the latest US Solar Market Insight report (which I just published a few hours ago), I was “out of the office” today giving a presentation on solar power growth. But the presentation was actually on much, much more than that, as you’ll see in the article…

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