Taking ahead Jamshetji Tata's vision of clean, cheap and abundant power, Tata Power has aggressive plans of generating 26,000 MW by 2020 of which 20 - 25% maybe contributed by clean energy sources. Tata Power MD, Anil Sardana accentuates the company's endeavour to explore new opportunities in the non conventional energy segment.
In a challenging scenario, where India has to sustain rapid economic growth and also deal with the global threat of climate change, it becomes imperative to bring about a gradual shift from economic activity based on fossil fuels to one based on non-fossil fuels. Renewable sources of energy not only have the minimum impact on the environment but are also a viable solution for addressing the power requirements in remote parts of the country, where it is not feasible to extend the grid. Aligned with the government's 'Low Carbon Growth Strategy', the Twelfth Five Year Plan has outlined endeavours to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with increased dependence on new and renewable sources of energy for power.
While the total estimated medium-term potential for power generation from renewable energy sources in India is about 183,000 MW, the Twelfth and the Thirteenth Five Year Plans have envisaged an additional capacity of 18,500 MW and 30,500 MW from renewable sources respectively. Despite the government's effort to promote the sector through various tax and non-tax incentives, various renewable energy segments are facing hurdles ranging from lack of grid parity, inadequate infrastructure to payment security of supply by beneficiary discoms. However, the private sector has not been deterred by the hurdles in joining hands with the government in its efforts.
With a shared vision to promote and follow Tata Group founder Jamshetji Tata's vision of 'clean, cheap and abundant power', Tata Power has aggressive plans of generating 26,000 MW by 2020 and intends to have a contribution of 20 - 25 per cent from 'clean power sources' which will include a mix of hydro, solar, wind, geothermal and waste gas generation. The company has been working in different areas of renewable and clean power generation, across both grid connected and distributed modes. The company has joined hands with industry and policymakers in the advancement of technology, acceleration and development of cost effective energy efficiency programs along with management of consumers' demand for electricity towards realisation of this goal. India's first power plant, structured to run on hydroelectric sources was commissioned by Tata Power in Khopoli in 1915 and thus began its foray into the renewable energy segment. With a total operational capacity of 28 MW, Tata Power has commissioned a 25 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power project at Mithapur, Gujarat and a 3 MW project at Mulshi, Maharashtra. Its subsidiary, Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd, recently commissioned a 1 MW grid-connected roof top solar plant in Delhi and setup a 60.48 KWP solar power plant, which is functional atop its office in Carnac Bunder, Mumbai. The company has partnered with Sunengy, Australia to build the first floating solar plant in India by end of 2013.
In the wind energy segment, Tata Power has an installed capacity of 375 MW spread across four states - Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Karnataka and is the largest wind power producer in the country. From now until 2015, the company aims to add 100-150 MW from wind. Its South Africa joint venture with Exxaro called Cennergi has been shortlisted as preferred bidder for two wind projects of 234 MW - Amakhala 139 MW and Tsitsikamma 95 MW.
On the hydro generation front, Tata Power has an existing capacity of 447 MW in Maharashtra that feeds clean power to the city of Mumbai. Tata Power and Norway based SN Power, which entered into an exclusive JV to develop hydropower projects, are currently constructing the first 880 MW project in Tamakoshy, Nepal. The consortium also won the 'Dugar Hydro Electric Project' in Chenab Valley in Himachal Pradesh, India. In a collaborative effort with the Royal Government of Bhutan, Tata Power is implementing 114 MW from Dagachhu Hydro Project with Druk Green Power Company.
With round the clock availability, geothermal energy potentially creates large-capacities with a much lower carbon impact. Recognising this potential, Tata Power is pursuing an investment of $50 million for a 10 per cent stake in the Australian company - Geodynamics. Along with its consortium partners - Australian company Origin Energy and PT Supraco Indonesia, Tata Power has won the bid for a 240 MW geothermal project in Indonesia which is currently under development. Unique pilot projects across energy sources are in the process of evaluating different business models for distributed power generation and supply to the rural areas. These include the installation of a biomass gasification 250kW system using rice husk, at the Tata hydro power plant near Karjat. If successful, this technology can be taken to hundreds of villages. Another innovation is the Concentrated Photovoltaic (C-PV), a 13.5kW pilot unit in which sunrays are concentrated on PV cells and the assembly floats on Walwhan lake in Maharashtra in order to cool the cells. If carried out effectively, this technology can be scaled up across all the lakes that provide hydro power to Tata plants in West Maharashtra generating about 1,000 MW.
There are over 600,000 telecom towers in India that use diesel generator sets to provide power to their antennas. Motivated to bring in environmental and economic efficiency, its 100 per cent subsidiary Tata Power Solar is providing solar PV panels that can replace the diesel generators on 25 such installations. This technology of Solar Powered Telecom Towers can be upgraded to augment power to local grids. Additionally, the company is testing a 35 kW turbine mounted on a blimp that will float 333 m above the ground to catch winds that are more intense and sustained at that altitude.
It is also testing smaller, 2kW wind turbines that can be mounted on roof tops and provide power to homes. The company is working in close coordination with large global utility companies such as American Electric Power, Tokyo Electric and Vattenfall, who are evaluating clean coal technologies such as integrated gasification combined cycle plants, and testing CO2 Capture and Sequestration (CCS) processes.
In addition, it has invested $10 million for a 5 per cent stake in Exergen, an Australian company that has developed a cost effective moisture removal process for high moisture brown coal which will emit only 800 kg of CO2 per MWh as compared to the normal level of 1,500 kg. Not only do these endeavours exemplify the company's commitments to reduce the carbon impact of its thermal units, they are also reflective of Tata Power's commitment to transcending innovation in the clean energy space.
Determined to excel in the clean energy space, Tata Power continues to innovate and employ better technologies towards realisation of the country's renewable energy dream.
KfW signs 150 mn Euro loan with GoI
The German Government's development bank KfW and the Government of India (GoI) have signed a 150 million Euro (approximately INR 1,050 crore) loan agreement at the Ministry of Finance for the construction of the Shongtong Karcham Hydropower Plant in Himachal Pradesh. The 450 MW Shongtong Karcham Hydropower Plant will be developed by HPPCL as a run-of-river plant on the Satluj river in Kinnaur district. In addition to the financial resources provided by the state of Himachal Pradesh and the loan from KfW, the project has also been co-financed through a US $315 million loan from the Asian Development Bank. The KfW loan will primarily finance the electro-mechanical equipment of the 450 MW power plant, while the funds committed by ADB will be used for the civil and hydro-mechanical works and supplies. The project has to comply with KfW's and ADB's comprehensive environmental and social standards, which will be monitored regularly.
The agreement was signed by Rajesh Khullar, joint secretary department of economic affairs; Devendra K. Sharma, managing director Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (HPPCL) and Oskar von Maltzan, director KfW office, Delhi. The signing ceremony was also attended by Sabine Wuttke-Schill, first secretary, development section of the German embassy. Emphasising the need for hydropower, Maltzan stated, "Harnessing the hydro power potential of India is a vital component in transforming India's power mix, away from the strong dependence on fossil fuels. In contrast to many other plants based on renewable energy, hydropower can be used to cover the base load or alternatively to cover peak demand." The state of Himachal Pradesh has a hydropower potential of about 20 GW which is roughly one-fourth of the explorable hydropower potential of India. So far, 7 GW have been developed primarily by central/joint sector undertakings and the private sector. Due to various factors like the technical complexity of hydropower plants, sensitive social and environmental issues, lengthy procurement and construction procedures, commercial banks are hesitant in extending long-term financing to such projects.
With the signing of this loan agreement, KfW has signed three loan and financing agreements with GoI for a cumulative amount of 284 million Euro. The other two agreements were with NABARD for the second phase of an umbrella programme on natural resource management for 54 million Euro, and with the GoI for refinancing urban environmental projects for 80 million Euro.
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