Commercialisation of solar energy in urban and industrial areas
Title: Commercialisation of solar energy in urban and industrial areas (ComSolar)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India (MNRE)
Overall term: 2009 to 2016
The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), one of eight missions under India’s National Action Plan for Climate Change, is pursuing the ambitious goal of achieving 22 GW of solar energy capacity by the end of 2022. It aims to create an enabling policy framework that attracts industry to invest in solar energy applications. By the end of the mission’s first phase in 2013, the installed capacity of grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) had passed the two gigawatts mark. The second phase (2013–2017) foresees the installation of a further 10 GW capacity, as well as off-grid solar plants with a capacity of one gigawatt, and 15 million square metres of solar collectors for low temperature applications.
As part of Phase II, through a scheme to promote the uptake of rooftop PV installations, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy aims to encourage the deployment of a further gigawatt capacity. To facilitate the commercialisation of solar energy in urban and industrial areas, it is necessary to run a number of successful pilot projects, and to set up a regulatory framework that includes appropriate feed-in tariffs and net metering schemes.
Business models have been developed and tested, to make solar energy commercially viable in urban and industrial areas. These have been disseminated widely and are helping India to achieve its ambitious targets under the Solar Mission.
In a multi-level approach, the project is piloting successful business models locally, while also acting at the policy level to help improve the regulatory framework.
Firstly, pilot projects are selected that are commercially feasible with a good market potential. The partners involved must show a high level of commitment, and the projects should bring significant potential for CO2 reduction. Support is provided for development partnerships with private companies as a means of involving German technology providers and promoting beneficial transfers of technology to India. Progress made by the pilot projects is publicised through information campaigns aimed at the relevant target groups and by way of a dedicated project website.
The project organises training programmes to enhance the skills of relevant groups for the planning, integration and implementation of solar projects for urban and industrial applications. At the same time, work is ongoing to establish a better regulatory framework to encourage the use of rooftop PV installations, as these are one of the most important means of commercialising solar power systems.
Results achieved so far
A number of measures have so far been carried out or initiated to promote the use of solar PV and solar thermal installations:
- Solar Guidelines, a web-based tool to encourage the deployment of solar energy and promote investments in the sector, has now gone online.
- The project has provided policy support for rooftop solar, working through MNRE to assist state governments with the development of a rooftop PV implementation framework.
- A number of pilot PV installations have been established by the project. For instance, it helped the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and Karnataka State Cricket Association to install multi megawatt rooftop solar PV plants. Rooftop PV systems have also been built at the German School and the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce.
- IndiaOne: A 1 MWe (3.5 MWth) plant using ‘concentrated solar thermal’ dish technology has been set up at Mount Abu, Rajasthan
- SolLad: for rural areas in Ladakh the project has developed a low cost solar air heating concept, for which it has also carried out dissemination measures.
- A study has been completed into the solar process heat sector to identify industrial promising sectors for the commercialisation of solar energy and the promotion of solar interventions
- The project has supported capacity building measures in the field of concentrated solar power (CSP), including a train-the-trainer initiative in solar thermal power plant technology, in cooperation with the private sector at the Indian Institute of Technology Jodhpur.