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India: “Test centres will educate manufacturers on quality measures”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 26, 2013

From railway management to solar thermal technology: this is the how the life of Veena Sinha took a new path in December 2012. Sinha had worked with Indian Railways at the middle management level for 15 years. She had handled matters ranging from technology and human resources issues to project implementations in the field of electric traction and rolling stock before she started as Director – Solar Thermal at the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in December 2012. Solarthermalworld.org spoke with her about the market’s development and the quality assurance measures of the MNRE.

India: MNRE Assures Quicker Subsidy Disbursement

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 15, 2013

Tarun Kapoor, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in India, had invited all channel partners of the federal incentive programme to a meeting in New Delhi on 31 January 2013. Out of the 68 partners, 42 followed the invitation to discuss the pending subsidy payments and the targets in fiscal year 2013/2014. Kapoor assured that all subsidy claims would be settled as soon as possible. He set the target for 2013-2014 at a newly installed collector area of 2 million m² (see the attached report). “This ambitious target will generate a sense of confidence for future business activities in the Indian solar thermal sector,” the Joint Secretary said at the meeting.

India: Federal Subsidy Scheme Is High Financial Burden for Channel Partners

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 3, 2013

There are always two sides to each story: On the one hand, the 30 % investment subsidy scheme has brought most solar thermal system suppliers enormous growth rates since it was implemented by India’s federal government in June 2010. The chart above shows the results from a survey carried out by the Indian Malaviya Solar Energy Consultancy among the leading 22 Channel Partners. These 22 partners control almost 70 % of the market. On the other hand, the same Channel Partners must put together a minimum of 1,000 m² of collector area before being able to claim subsidies from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) on behalf of their clients. This has put a lot of pressure on the pre-financing capacities of manufacturers which barely have the money to grow. In addition, Channel Partners with even superior rating are required to apply for a minimum of 10,000 m² per subsidy claim.
Figure: Malaviya Solar Energy Consultancy

India: Web-based Software SOLARWHIN Monitors Subsidised Systems

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 30, 2013

The solar thermal sector seems to appreciate SOLARWHIN, the new database of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). Of the 98 Channel Partners who are eligible to directly apply for subsidies on behalf of their clients, 47 have already registered online since the software was launched in August 2012. So far, the database, which is hosted on one of the ministry´s servers, includes the details of around 65,000 systems. The web-based tool was developed by the MNRE to monitor subsidised systems and to gather more information on the market. SOLARWHIN is short for SOLAR Water Heater Installations in India. Only accredited Channel Partners have access to the online database (see the screen shot).

India: Solar Mission Phase II Targets 8 Million m²

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 4, 2013

In December 2012, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in India published its plans for Phase II of the National Solar Mission (NSM). The 58-page document outlines the policy for the second phase, including targets, the role of the states and an implementation strategy (see the attached document). The overall aim is to install around 8 million m² of collector area between March 2013 and March 2017 – in addition to the 6.07 million m² of collector area which had already been commissioned until November 2012. The cumulative target until the end of Phase I (March 2013) is 7 million m², and the country will, in fact, be on course to reach this number. Since the start of Phase I of the NSM in June 2010, the country has witnessed the installation of close to 2.5 million m² of collector area totally. The photo shows a solar water heating unit in central India.
Photo: Jaideep Malaviya

India: MNRE Releases Guidelines for High-Rise Buildings

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 27, 2012

With a growing demand for all urban structures to fulfil solar bye-laws on hot water supply, the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has released guidelines on how to install solar water heating systems in high-rise and multi-storey buildings.These guidelines include recommendations for system sizes, as well as quality measures for the hydraulic and mounting system. The photo shows the Federal Minister of New and Renewable Energy, Dr Farooq Abdullah, at the national solar water heating workshop on 23 August in Dehli.
Photo: Jaideep Malaviya

India: Flat Plate vs Vacuum Tube Technology

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 19, 2012

Until now, the Indian solar thermal market has been dominated by flat plate collectors (FPCs). FPCs have several advantages, with the main being robust and long-lasting. In a price-sensitive market such as the Indian one, however, vacuum tube collectors (VTCs) have gained a foothold over the last years because the systems are 30% to 40% cheaper if the glass tubes are imported from China. Although there is no official data available, VTCs are said to have reached a 35% share in the Indian market. In the fiscal year 2011/2012, market volume reached a newly installed collector area of 1 million m² (see interview with Tarun Kapoor). The photo shows flat plate collectors on high-rise, residential buildings in western India.
Photo: Kaushal Solar

India: HIMURJA as Inspirational Model for Market Development

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 9, 2012

The Himachal Pradesh Energy Development Agency (HIMURJA) has recently received the award  for the best state-based nodal agency in the areas of promotion and market development of solar water heaters from the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). The state of Himachal Pradesh in the north of India has so far achieved a collector area of 12,550 m2. Nearly 75% of these installations have been set up over the last 3 years. The region’s scenic and peaceful landscape makes it a popular tourist spot. Most of the territory is more than 1,000 meters above sea level and is covered by mountains. The photo shows the collector installation on the roof of the Apple Country Resort in Manali, Himachal Pradesh.
Photo: Jaideep Malaviya

India: “Solar thermal is a government priority”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 7, 2012

India is one of the most dynamic solar thermal markets worldwide. Solarthermalworld.org spoke with Tarun Kapoor, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India, about the fast-growing market in general and the difficulties with the market statistics in particular. Kapoor passed the Indian Administrative Service in 1987 and can look back at 24 years in government service as Director and Managing Director of departments dealing with renewable power generation. The Electrical Engineer headed the Department of Energy in the state government, before he took over as Joint Secretary at the MNRE two years ago.
Photo: Jaideep Malaviya

Final Report on Market Assessment of Solar Water Heating Systems in Industrial Sectors (2011)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on August 3, 2012

This report was commissioned by India’s Ministry for New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to estimate the realisable market potential for Solar Water Heating (SWH) systems in India’s different industrial sectors, and to prepare action plans for future development. The MNRE concluded that the industrial penetration of SWH would need scalability, innovative marketing, financing and service delivery mechanisms.

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