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Solar Energy Corp gets electricity trading licence

Solar Energy Corporation of , which has been set up to develop the solar power sector, has received inter-state electricity trading licence. 

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has approved ‘Category III’ inter-state power trading licence to the company. 

Among others, an entity should have a net worth of Rs 5 crore to be eligible for trading licence under Category III — where there is some limit on volumes of electricity that can be traded. 

“We are satisfied that the applicant company meets the requirements of the (Electricity) Act and the Trading Licence Regulations for grant of inter-state trading licence for Category III,” the regulator said in an order dated April 1. 

The licence has been issued subject to certain conditions including limit on trading volume. In exceptional circumstances, SECI can undertake trading in electricity up to the maximum of 120 per cent of the volume of trade authorised under the licence granted to it. 

Electricity is traded on power exchanges. 

Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), set up in September 2011, comes under the administrative control of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. 

Mandate of SECI allows wide ranging activities to be undertaken to facilitate implementation of JNNSM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission) besides it has the objective of solar technologies and inclusive solar power development in the country, according to its website.

SunPower Charges Solar Leasing Program With $42 Million

US manufacturer SunPower has secured $42 million that will be aimed at escalating its solar leasing program. The California-based company now has 20,000 American households signed up for solar leasing, a trend initially led by others that SunPower has jumped into.

This $42 financial investment comes from Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital, Inc. (NYSE: HASI) in the form of “non-recourse debt.” Non-recourse debt, according to Wikipedia, “is secured by a pledge of collateral, typically real property, but for which the borrower is not personally liable. If the borrower defaults, the lender/issuer can seize the collateral, but the lender’s recovery is limited to the collateral. Thus, non-recourse debt is typically limited to 50% or 60% loan-to-value ratios, so that the property itself provides ‘overcollateralization’ of the loan.”

The bottom line, however, is simply that SunPower sees solar leasing as a good continued business strategy.

“The SunPower Lease program offers our customers financing under highly competitive terms for their SunPower solar panels, the most efficient on the market today. When coupled with our unprecedented level of energy assurance, the SunPower Lease program delivers more value to the homeowner,” said SunPower CFO Chuck Boynton. “Among our portfolio of financing options, solar lease remains one of the more popular choices by consumers and our innovative partnership with Hannon Armstrong will allow us to further fund the program’s growth this year.”

California installed more solar power in 2013 than in the previous 30 years combined, and a lot of that was installed via solar leasing.

SunPower Charges Solar Leasing Program With $42 Million

illion that will be aimed at escalating its solar leasing program. The California-based company now has 20,000 American households signed up for solar leasing, a trend initially led by others that SunPower has jumped into.

This $42 financial investment comes from Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital, Inc. (NYSE: HASI) in the form of “non-recourse debt.” Non-recourse debt, according to Wikipedia, “is secured by a pledge of collateral, typically real property, but for which the borrower is not personally liable. If the borrower defaults, the lender/issuer can seize the collateral, but the lender’s recovery is limited to the collateral. Thus, non-recourse debt is typically limited to 50% or 60% loan-to-value ratios, so that the property itself provides ‘overcollateralization’ of the loan.”

The bottom line, however, is simply that SunPower sees solar leasing as a good continued business strategy.

“The SunPower Lease program offers our customers financing under highly competitive terms for their SunPower solar panels, the most efficient on the market today. When coupled with our unprecedented level of energy assurance, the SunPower Lease program delivers more value to the homeowner,” said SunPower CFO Chuck Boynton. “Among our portfolio of financing options, solar lease remains one of the more popular choices by consumers and our innovative partnership with Hannon Armstrong will allow us to further fund the program’s growth this year.”

California installed more solar power in 2013 than in the previous 30 years combined, and a lot of that was installed via solar leasing.

Stanford scientists model a win-win situation: growing crops on photovoltaic farms

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Growing agave and other carefully chosen plants amid photovoltaic panels could allow solar farms not only to collect sunlight for electricity but also to produce crops for biofuels, according to new computer models by Stanford scientists.

This co-location approach could prove especially useful in sunny, arid regions such as the southwestern United States where water is scarce, said Sujith Ravi, who is conducting postdoctoral research with professors David Lobell and Chris Field, both on faculty in environmental Earth system science and senior fellows at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment.

“Co-located solar-biofuel systems could be a novel strategy for generating two forms of energy from uncultivable lands: electricity from solar infrastructure and easily transportable liquid fuel from biofuel cultivation,” said Ravi, the lead author of a new study published in a recent issue of the journal Environmental Science and Technology that details the idea.

Photovoltaic (PV) solar farms run on sunlight, but water is required to remove dust and dirt from the panels to ensure they operate at maximum efficiency. Water is also used to dampen the ground to prevent the buildup and spread of dust.

Crops planted beneath the solar panels would capture the runoff water used for cleaning the PV panels, thus helping to optimize the land. The plants’ roots would also help anchor the soil and their foliage would help reduce the ability of wind to kick up dust.

Computer simulations of a hypothetical co-location solar farm in Southern California’s San Bernardino County by Ravi and colleagues suggest that these two factors together could lead to a reduction in the overall amount of water that solar farms need to operate.

“It could be a win-win situation,” Ravi said. “Water is already limited in many areas and could be a major constraint in the future. This approach could allow us to produce energy and agriculture with the same water.”

But which crops to use? Many solar farms operate in sunny but arid regions that are inhospitable to most food crops. But there is one valuable plant that thrives at high temperatures and in poor soil: agave. Native to North and South America, the prickly plant can be used to produce liquid ethanol, a biofuel that can be mixed with gasoline or used to power ethanol vehicles. “Unlike corn or other grains, most of the agave plant can be converted to ethanol,” Ravi said.

The team plans to test the co-location approach around the world to determine the ideal plants to use and to gather realistic estimates for crop yield and economic incentives.

“Sujith’s work is a great example of how thinking beyond a single challenge like water or food or energy sometimes leads to creative solutions,” said Lobell, who is a coauthor on the new study. “Of course, creative solutions don’t always work in the real world, but this one at least seems worthy of much more exploration.”

Total capacity of solar projects in India soared 177.8%

Figures now stand at 2632MW. According to reports, the solar capacity of India persists on rocketing, as was evident in data that was revealed by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. In the report, it was shown that the total capacity for commissioned projects at the end of 1Q14 had reached almost 2632 MW. These projects are under India’s National Solar Mission. This figure represents an impressive 177.8% jump as compared to the year before with figures standing at 947.5MW. – See more at: http://asian-power.com/project/news/total-capacity-solar-projects-in-india-soared-1778#sthash.2t2zuRmP.dpuf

Let’s Harness The Suns Energy For Better India

When God decided to create days and nights, and blessed the earth with sunlight, he must have assumed that humans could easily figure out how to use that light to meet all their energy needs. Although the Homo sapiens claim to be the most intelligent ‘species’ on Planet Earth, it seems their intelligence has evolved more slowly than most. Look around and be humbled as plants and shrubs have already sorted it. They thrive on solar energy and less water, harness both and grow without a murmur! As for humans, they have simply taken thousands of years to realise that solar energy could be their ultimate answer to energy needs.

But jokes apart, India is among those countries which have caught the fancy of the world. With its futuristic use of technology (like wind turbines that power Tirupati Complex and low cost mission to Mars), this tropical country, blessed with ample sunlight, is capable to fend for itself and its ever-growing population.

Due to its rapid economic expansion and futuristic policies, a traditional country like India has to meet its energy requirements by leveraging fossil fuels such as coal. Nearly 70% of the energy consumed is generated from coal, followed by crude oil (24%) and natural gas (accounting for a mere 6%). It is, therefore, not difficult to comprehend that India is largely dependent on fossil fuel imports – so much as that by 2030, more than half the country’s energy needs will have to be met with large energy imports. Our own limited fossil reserves have long threatened the country’s stability as far as energy needs are concerned.

With a vast population of 1.1 billion and the urban areas housing the majority of industries and labour forces, India is moving dangerously close to the greenhouse effects with every passing year. While carbon emissions are getting high, the agricultural land is also getting increasingly barren and arid due to the indiscriminate use of pesticides and chemical fertilisers. The effects of global warming in this highly populated country are for everyone to see. From Tsunami in the past to the Uttarakhand floods in the recent years, from progressively botched up summers to extreme winters, the calamities are too many and India is bound to emerge as one of the foremost nations being affected by global warming.

India’s energy experts have been warning against the high use of exhaustible energy resources bought from other countries, which is causing a serious dent in the country’s exchequer.

Almost 400 million Indians (nearly a third of the country’s population) have no access to electricity. And this power deficit compels more than 100,000 villages to live in the dark ages, quite literally. Lack of energy sources has also left India in a rather vulnerable condition as far as growing basic infrastructure is concerned. Its per capita energy consumption stands at just 639 KWh (Kilo Watt per hour), which is among the lowest.

This apart, what compounds India’s energy problem is the fact that three quarters of the electricity is produced by burning coal and natural gas. India may well boast a steadily growing GDP, but what has also been dangerously steady, and progressively high, is its carbon emissions. During the last decade, India turned out to be one of the biggest carbon-emitting countries, touching 1.6 million kilotonnes in 2007 alone.

Plagued by crippling energy crises that cannot be dealt with if the same pattern of energy generation, import and consumption continues in the near future, India has started experimenting with alternative energy sources. Being blessed with a tropical climate and intense summers, the country is naturally predisposed to receiving abundant solar power for the major part of the year.

The country has already entered a solar partnership programme with the US, under the US-India Energy Partnership Programme called SERIIUS. This initiative will also enable India to take the fullest advantage of its deserts and arid lands, and reap energy benefits without harming Mother Nature. India can even supply this energy to other countries, thus encouraging bilateral trades and adding to the country’s robust economic growth. However, India will require at least $13 billion in the next three years to fund this second phase of the solar energy generation unit.

Solar projects are already generating a lot of energy for some states in India. Most of these plants are located in Gujarat, with some spread across Orissa, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, among others. While Gujarat has been the bellwether in the solar projects space in India, Rajasthan will be home to the world’s largest solar plant very soon. That solar photovoltaic power plant will have an estimated life of 25 years and is expected to generate 6.4 billion kilowatt-hours per year, as per official figures.

Gujarat has been clocking about 823.9 MW, with its biggest success being the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. What has boosted the power scenario here is the state’s pro-solar policies and its subsequent access to a consistent flow of clean energy. Encouraged by the positive growth, Gujarat has also launched about 75 solar projects over two years. Moreover, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi has always been a believer in entrepreneurship. Therefore, harnessing the solar power is the most sensible thing the Modi government has done for the state, which is high on industrial production.

India currently does not have an over-reaching energy strategy, but what it has in place could be called disparate policies. With the country being blessed with 5,000 TWh (Terra Watt per hour) of solar insolation annually, India stands to gain a lot as far as clean energy production goes. It can also set up independent energy generation units to make its villages and cities self-sustainable.

Solar energy plant to power IIT-Kanpur

While, the 50 KW power plant was meant for research work and had been set up on experimentation basis, the 1,750 KW power plant will be fully used for meeting the power needs of the premier IIT-Kanpur. Prof RS Anand, Principal Research Engineer, Department of Electrical Engineering of IIT-K, informed that roof-top solar power plant of capacity 1750 KW (1.75 megawatt) will be installed here in the institute. “Initially, we are in the process of setting up 350 KW solar power plant. This will take six months from now after which the 1,400 KW capacity plant will be installed. The 50 KW plant is already functional. It is giving 250 units of power each day which is supplied to the grid but this much of power is too less for an institute like IIT-K, therefore, larger capacity power plant will serve the purpose to a broader extent,” said Prof Anand of IIT-Kanpur.