Cost per MW now just Rs 3.5 crore: GERMI

Successful research and development carried out by Gujarat Energy Research and Management Institute has brought down the fixed cost of setting up of a solar power plant to just Rs 3.5 crore per megawatt.

“About seven years ago, the fixed cost attached for a 1 MW solar power plant was about Rs 15 crore, which we have brought down to Rs 7 crore. GERMI’s R&D efforts have successfully brought down the cost further to Rs 3.5 crore by using graphite and silicone in solar cells. The laboratory experiments are successful and now we are trying it for industrial scale,” T. Harinarayana Director, GERMI, said at the ongoing Sixth CII Energy Expo and “India Energy Conclave” here.

Rahool Panandiker, Partner & Director, Boston Consulting Group, said the domestic power situation in India could become more severe as the demand-supply mismatch in coal is projected to increase from 137 million tonnes in 2012 to 326 million tonnes by 2030. “So we need to increase LNG imports by ten times in order to meet the power sector needs.”

Harinarayana said India has a landmass 10 times that of Germany but had a solar power generation capacity of only 1.3 gigawatt (GW), compared to 31 GW installed capacity in the European nation. “To use this resource, we need to bring down the cost of solar energy and to serve this purpose, we should be more focused on research and evelopment activities.”

N. Srivastava, Managing Director, Uttar Gujarat Vij Company Ltd, said the huge transmission and distribution losses made it difficult to keep the power tariff at a reasonable level. However, an open access policy for large consumers will enable States to source power Rs 3.50- Rs 3.90 a unit.

(This article was published on December 6, 2013)
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