Learning curve proving steep for the Indian CSP industry
Phase 1 of the National Solar Mission aimed to provide India with a learning curve for its first steps into CSP, with recent developments suggesting that there are many lessons to take into the next phase.
In a recent interview Tarun Kapoor, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), attributed delays in CSP project development to problems in the supply of critical materials and dust-clouds affecting solar radiation.
From a supply chain perspective, the key issue for CSP developers has been securing the heat transfer fluids from overseas – but this is not a new issue. In July 2012, Mr. Kapoor told CSP Today that “some of [the Phase I developers] have asked for extension of time mainly because of delay in availability of heat transfer fluid.”
Similarly, doubts have been cast over the accuracy of solar irradiation measurement on offer in India for a number of years. In response to this, the Centre for Wind Energy Technology (C-WET), an autonomous research and development institution under the MNRE, has initiated a major project on Solar Radiation Resource Assessment (SRRA) across the nation to assess and quantify the solar radiation availability along with weather parameters.
Despite the negatives, experts have pointed out that Phase 1 of the National Solar Mission was specifically designed by the MNRE to provide industry lessons when moving forward. Indeed, the official mission document stated that “The ambitious target for 2022 of 20,000 MW or more, will be dependent on the ‘learning’ of the first two phases, which if successful, could lead to conditions of grid-competitive solar power. The transition could be appropriately up scaled, based on availability of international finance and technology.”
At CSP Today India 2013 (12-13 March, New Delhi) developers, Government officials and industry leaders will be assessing the lessons of Phase 1, addressing themes such as finance, technology comparison and cost reduction. Experts from the MNRE, C-Wet, Abengoa India, Godawari Green Energy, Cargo Power, the NVVN, KVK Energy Ventures and more will be showing attendees how to prove the ROI of their CSP business to win more funding & market share in India.
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