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National Solar Mission

India: National Housing Bank Grants Subsidised Loans

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 2, 2014
SWH IndiaOn 31 March 2014, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and the National Housing Bank (NHB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide subsidies for private households when they purchase solar water heating and solar lighting equipment. The beneficiaries can only receive funding for equipment approved by the MNRE. 30 % of the benchmark costs of solar thermal systems (40 % in Special Category States) are covered by the grant, as in the federal state programme of the National Solar Mission (see database of incentive programmes). The grant is capped at a maximum capacity of 500 litres per day and house. The NHB scheme will run until December 2015. 
Photo: Malaviya Solar Energy Consultancy

Germany: Programme of SMEThermal 2014 available

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 30, 2013

The development of Europe’s solar thermal industry is posing great challenges: While the residential market has been declining, there has been an increasing demand for complex industrial solutions and new business models are necessary. The international solar thermal industry conference, which will take place in Berlin on 18 February 2014, intends to address these key issues facing the industry. SMEThermal is organised by Solarpraxis AG along with the trade papers Sonne Wind & Wärme and Sun & Wind Energy. 160 stakeholders and key players from the solar thermal sector are expected to participate.

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. spoke with her about the market’s development and the quality assurance measures of the MNRE.

India: Drop Vacuum Tube Collector Subsidy?

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 14, 2013

To protect local solar photovoltaic manufacturers, the Indian government has made it mandatory in its National Solar Mission to use locally made cells and modules. There is no such rule for the solar thermal sector, in which the state subsidises 30 to 60 % of the price of a solar water heater, although a growing number of vacuum tubes have been imported from China. First assessments of the database of the national incentive programme SOLARWHIN show that 75 % of the applications include vacuum tubes and only industrial applications have used flat plate collectors (FPCs). Malaviya Solar Energy Consultancy has asked a few of the leading manufacturers if the subsidies for solar water heaters based on vacuum tubes should be removed, in order to protect the local industry and also to reduce the government’s financial burden with the subsidy scheme.
Photo: Jaideep Malaviya

India: NABARD Scheme Successful with Buyers

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 24, 2013

The subsidy scheme of the Indian National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has grown into a successful programme since its implementation in August 2011. NABARD has already received 4,364 applications from rural households. Applicants can choose between a subsidy covering 30% of the benchmark costs or a low-interest loan (5 % interest rate) lending them 80% of the benchmark costs. The flat 30% subsidy scheme, however, financed at a commercial lending rate of close to 11%, has found more supporters than the 5% interest loan because of the shorter payback time of the first option. The benchmark cost per unit depends on the technology used. Solar water heaters based on flat plate collectors receive a 30 % subsidy of Indian Rupee (INR) 22,000, which adds up to INR 6,600, and solar water heaters based on vacuum tube collectors are granted a 30 % subsidy on IND 20,000, which makes INR 6,000 (INR 1 = EUR 0.01).

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: 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: Conference Calls for Concerted R&D Efforts

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 24, 2012

 IWCRECC 2012 In the first week of April 2012, the School of Energy, Environment and Natural Resources at Madurai Kamaraj University hosted an International Workshop and Conference on Renewable Energy and Climate Change (IWCRECC 2012). Its topic: “Exploring Opportunities for Sustainable Development”. The aim was to motivate young entrepreneurs to choose a career in renewable energy and pursue the national targets goals by developing cost-effective technologies. Participants agreed that more research needs to be done in order to reduce the costs of renewable technologies. Today’s high upfront investments are seen as strongly hampering the growth of the sector.
Photo: Jaideep Malaviya

India: New national Helpline for Solar Water Heaters

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 28, 2011


As part of the Global Solar Water Heating Market Transformation and Strengthening Initiative (GSWH Project), the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has started a voice-activated National Helpline on Solar Water Heaters to raise awareness of the technology and answer the questions of consumers. The service, which has been operating since 15 September 2011, is managed by the Solar Thermal Federation of India (STFI). It has a toll-free number (1800 2 33 44 77), with service hours from 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM between Monday and Friday, and 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM on Saturdays. The two employed call centre agents offer help in both Hindi and English.

India: Sufficient Raw Materials for strong Market Growth

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 16, 2010

 Aluminium fins” Aluminium fins by Indian company Maharaja Techno Chromes: According to the manufacturer, the laser-welded fins are nearly 60 % less expensive than copper ones and market acceptance is satisfying. Efficiency is certainly still a bit lower.
Photo: Jaideep Malaviya


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