India needs Concentrated Solar Power to achieve safer, more reliable energy future report says
The Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) has released a new report which claims CSP is essential to meeting India's overstressed energy demand.
CEEW, an independent policy research institution in collaboration with the US based Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) say CSP can play a key role in achieving a secure and diversified energy future for India. The new report “Concentrated Solar Power: Heating Up India’s Solar Thermal Market under the National Solar Mission”, shows India has jumpstarted its solar energy industry in just over two years thanks to the phase 1 of National Solar Mission.
The report, an addendum to an earlier report released on April "Laying the Foundation for a Bright Future: Assessing Progress under Phase 1 of India’s National Solar Mission", states "it would be an error to impose a false choice between PV and CSP technologies".
Seven large-scale CSP plants are underway at the moment in India, they are due to be commissioned by May 2013, but all developers have asked the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) for a 6 to 12 month extension some implementation challenges remain.
The report makes some recommendations to government, such as continue to encourage the CSP development as it offers unique attributes such as a base-load energy supply as well as peak-load, and a call on to MNRE to continue to facilitate collection of direct normal irradiance data and mandate data sharing by project developers. Storage technologies and hybrid plants should be assessed to be incentivized by MNRE.
Regarding the domestic industry, the report recommends the government should maintain a domestic content requirement or consider other support mechanisms such as no-discriminatory equipment production subsidies for Phase 2; foster R&D collaboration or subsidies to encourage CSP manufacturers to establish in India.
Attracting investments for CSP projects remains a bottleneck to the growth of the industry in India, the report says, the MNRE should lead in developing a strategy to optimize the potential role of different financial institutions and stakeholders, for CSP in particular, for CSP in particular, more available and credible data on direct normal irradiance, and access to non-recourse financing are key.