Mr. Pinaki Bhattacharyya, CEO, AMP India
The Indian RE sector has seen unprecedented growth in the last few years owing to favourable policy and regulatory framework and amicable investment climate. The drive for capacity expansion in the RE sector is currently led by wind and solar with approx. 35GW and 27GW (Source: MNRE) of installed capacity as on 31st December 2018.
Considering the issues faced by both the segments are similar such as land acquisition, evacuation infrastructure and consistent supply availability. Since, solar and wind can only generate when their source of power is good, it makes sense to set up solar-wind hybrid projects. In a solar-wind project, the two sources would complement each other and help deal with the inconsistency of power supply and power can be generated from a plant almost round the clock, thus achieving better grid stability. Hybridization would also lead to the optimal and effective utilization of available resources such as land as well as transmission infrastructure which make up about 25% cost for a RE project.
India is an ideal market to set up hybrid projects considering many states such as Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have large capacities for both wind and solar installation. Superimposing wind and solar resource maps for India shows large areas where both wind and solar have high to moderate potential.
Having said that, the market for hybrids is still at a nascent stage and the government of India is also taking requisite steps to boost solar-wind hybrid adoption in greenfield and brownfield projects. The National hybrid policy has been in place for sometime and Andhra Pradesh has also issued a Wind-Solar hybrid policy. Hybrid capacities have been bid out by SECI and AP government to attract developers to set up these projects which would also act as test case projects. The interest shown by the government in promoting hybrids is an encouraging sign for the industry, which has been facing innumerable issues related to transmission and land acquisition.
AMP India is the fastest growing integrated C&I solution provider in India and with its programmatic approach to provide complete energy solution to the customer is beginning to evaluate setting up hybrid projects for its customers.
Mr. Deepak Khare, Vice President, Engie
Fortunately, there have been significant technological advancements in the energy space that give promise to fulfilling this need. At the forefront of renewable energy development is solar power / wind power/ hybrid of either two or together with energy storage. Due to limited sunlight hours during the day, a solar PV system typically have 20%
PLF. Therefore, the system would need to generate enough power in sunny hours to last 24, with the ability to store for meeting peak demand hours . When a wind machine that can make power around the clock is added to the solar system, the size of the solar and, more importantly, the storage system can be dramatically reduced, resulting in lower cost with higher energy density and a smaller carbon footprint (fewer chemical batteries good for the environment).
Other benefits of combining solar, wind and storage, there are other factors that come into play depending on the blend of local conditions of sun, wind, rain, clouds, etc. a) When the sun is strong and temperatures are high, wind tends to be weak. b) Conversely, when wind is strong and skies are cloudy with rain and moisture, sunlight is minimal. Therefore, a combination of wind and solar will likely increase energy production during any cycle.
We all know that LCOE (tariff)would be crucial factor for driving hybrid tenders either with Solar PV+Storage OR Solar PV+Wind OR all three PV+Wind+Sorage together, where PLF can be maximized with optimum capex & opex . Combining both Solar PV and wind powers will minimize the storage requirements . Major challenges of hybridization is higher project development cycle “from site selection, land acquisition (combination of scattered land for WTG footings and PV system installation) to design integration” point of view when compared to standalone systems .Hence , upcoming hybrid tenders shall consider 3-4 months higher time for project development cycle till COD when compared with standalone RE projects.
Mr. Manoj Kumar Upadhyay , Founder & Chairman, ACME Group.
With the increased renewable landscape, Indian electricity sector is under transition phase and thus needs cautious and proactive initiatives towards characterizing this energy to firm nature. The grid related issues such as Duck Curve and negative pricing faced by developed markets such as Germany and California in recent times due to large penetration of renewable energy sources makes it imminent for India to have energy storage components being tied – up with renewable energy sources.
Now a days, solar plants are designed to achieve CUF up to 30% and if this is being coupled with the storage facility, the CUF could be increased to 45%-50% which means firm power for 10-12 hours a day. The storage based solar power, if compared with the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) of new thermal power plants (~INR 5-6 per unit), makes it economically comparable even now.
We expect Govt. agencies coming up with solar tenders coupled with partial storage facilities (3-4 hrs) thereafter transforming towards increased storage component-based tenders. In fact, we suggest govt. to formulate scheme wherein it incentivises the existing solar plants for having partial storage facility. This would make the solar power from existing plant better in terms of forecasting and dispatch ability.