Author(s): Ishan Purohit, Pallav Purohit
The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) of the recently announced National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) by the Government of India aims to promote the development and use of solar energy for power generation and other uses with the ultimate objective of making solar competitive with fossil-based energy options. The plan includes specific goals to (a) create an enabling policy framework for the deployment of 20,000 MW of solar power by 2022; (b) create favourable conditions for solar manufacturing capability, particularly solar thermal for indigenous production and market leadership; (c) promote programmes for off grid applications, reaching 1000 MW by 2017 and 2000 MW by 2022, (d) achieve 15 million m2 solar thermal collector area by 2017 and 20 million by 2022, and (e) deploy 20 million solar lighting systems for rural areas by 2022. The installed capacity of grid interactive solar power projects were 6 MW until October 2009 that is far below from their respective potential. In this study, a preliminary attempt towards the technical and economic assessment of concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies in India has been made. To analyze the techno-economic feasibility of CSP technologies in Indian conditions two projects namely PS-10 (based on power tower technology) and ANDASOL-1 (based on parabolic trough collector technology) have been taken as reference cases for this study. These two systems have been simulated at several Indian locations. The preliminary results indicate that the use of CSP technologies in India make financial sense for the north-western part of the country (particularly in Rajasthan and Gujarat states). Moreover, internalization of secondary benefits of carbon trading under clean development mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol further improves the financial feasibility of CSP systems at other locations considered in this study. It may be noted that the locations blessed with annual direct solar radiation more than 1800 kWh/m2 are best recommended for installation of CSP systems. The results obtained can be used as preliminary indicators for identifying niche areas for immediate/short-term utilization of solar energy for concentrating solar power generation in India.