Jan 17, 2015

Oil at USD 20 per barrel ! Solar Scenario

A research study doing the rounds suggests that the oil producers are deliberately reducing prices, to counter the rising use of renewables. And to make this less attractive to deploy.

Will this help a lost cause ?

Preliminary analysis shows clearly so - and will accelerate the development of new and viable models, to deploy renewable energy solutions in mature markets. New financing models shall emerge faster and with greater efficiency, albeit with lesser margins. This is likely to be compensated through greater volumes of deployment as large tranches of power requirements move to renewable.

The producers seem to realize that is it better to consume oil to the maximum extent possible - and the oil producing economies realize that it perhaps may be imprudent to wait forever, and try and outlast the other oil producers as regards production and reserves are concerned. This seems to be a smart strategy then.. !

Imagine the world economy moving to a scenario where oil is at USD 20 ( or 25) ? A resource which is clearly not going to be around forever - moving to lower rates is currently unthinkable. We are yet to find other examples of similar resources or use cases, where this has happened. Typewriters ? Cassette tapes ? Walkman ? Sure... but natural resources - we cant think of any !

Jan 14, 2015

Loans on Rooftop Solar Power - Solar Financing

It seems that the government is banking on financing of rooftop solar projects to achieve the ambitious target of 40,000 MWp of Grid-Interactive Rooftop Solar PV Plants during the next five years.

The interesting part is that the rooftop solar PV plants will be set up in residential, commercial, industrial, institutional sectors in the country ranging from 1 kWp to 500 kWp capacity. Haryana has already come out with a polciy on all new construction where 3-5% of rated load needs to be powered via renewable. Also, for industry, such rooftop plants have become economically viable as they produce clean electricity from the solar energy at about Rs. 7.0 per kWh without any subsidy. Notably, the subsidy percentage is coming down, and the Government is providing a subsidy of 15% on these plants to the beneficiaries which makes it further attractive and viable. Earlier this subsidy used to be 30% and the benchmark price also used to be higher.

What remains to be seen is the banks perspective and if this can be financed readily on their part. This massive target can be achieved with support from banks to provide loans for
installation of Grid-Interactive Rooftop Solar PV Plants to the loan seekers as a part of home
loan/ home improvement loan. Such loans can be taken at normal home loan / home improvement loans that are offered by banks in normal course.

In compliance, so far, eight Public Sector Banks namely Bank of India, Syndicate Bank,
State Bank of India, Dena Bank, Central Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Allahabad Bank
and Indian Overseas Bank have shown interest and sent instructions downwards to the respective branches.

Write to us at contact@urjaunlimited.in to know more about this option or visit the contact us page on our website www.urjaunlimited.in and mention financing as an interest area for more options.

Jan 2, 2015

HAREDA's new policy for solar rooftops in Haryana

State shall promote installation of small capacity roof top grid connected Solar Power Plants on the roofs of Industries, public and private Institutes, schools, colleges, commercial institutions/establishments, Charitable Trust Bhawans, Hospitals and residential buildings etc. for their captive use and for sale to power utilities. Apart from 30 % capital subsidy available to Solar Projects under MNRE schemes, the State DISCOMS shall procure the solar power generated at a fixed feed in tariff. During the tenure of this policy, State shall install aggregate 50 MW capacity of roof top grid connected Solar Power Plants.
The building owners shall also be encouraged to install the small capacity rooftop solar power plants (5KW to 100KW) at their own cost on net metering basis. The power generated shall be used by building owner as captive use and if any surplus power is generated than it shall purchased by DISCOMs of Haryana on the tariff fixed by HERC for roof top SPV power plants (the grid connectivity near the solar installation to be provided by DISCOMs subject to the condition that the individual building owner is the existing consumer of DISCOMs).The State Govt. shall provide financial assistance @ 40 % of the cost of system to the beneficiaries (including financial incentive being provided by Ministry of Renewable Energy, GOI under JNNSM i.e. if 30% financial assistance is provided by MNRE, than additional 10% shall be provide from green energy fund)
Haryana has very little by way of solar installations in a country where solar energy has become the main thrust of the national solar energy policy. Every state is competing with others to attract solar investments and increase the use of solar energy for electricity. The country which saw its solar demand plummet by almost 30% last year, is set to see a strong rebound this year. The highest ever solar installations in states such as Rajasthan and AP outdo each other by doing gigawatt deals. The central government has already sanctioned thousands of crores to promote giant solar parks, solar canals etc.
Now Haryana has joined the solar party, with the government starting to implement its solar policy which was notified in September 2014. The new order makes it mandatory for all buildings with size greater than 500 sq. yards to install solar panels. They would have to install a minimum of 1 kW or 5% of their power requirements whichever is higher. This would lead to a giant rush in small rooftop solar installations as every building has to complete this order by September 2015. Even assuming that there will be delay, I think this could easily lead to a sale of 50 MW of solar power systems in the small space.
This would not lead to a big increase in absolute installations but would help turbo charge the rooftop installation space, which has not seen much traction as most subsidies have been given to large ground mounted solar installations. The total rooftop market in the countrycumulatively has been just 125 MWHaryana could become the pioneer in the small rooftop space with this initiative.