Solar energy tapping to be mandatory in Agartala

March 31, 2010
2010-03-29 21:10:00


In a bid to make Agartala a solar city, the Tripura government has decided to make solar energy tapping provision mandatory in buildings.

‘The existing building rules would be modified soon to make solar energy tapping provision mandatory in every building for reducing dependency on conventional energy,’ Tripura Science, Technology and Environment Minister Joy Gobinda Debroy told reporters here Monday.

‘The proposed compulsory provision would be applicable for both private, government and commercial buildings,’ he said.

‘Union ministry of non-conventional and renewable energy had decided to make sixty cities across India ‘solar cities’ during the next few years, which includes all northeast state capitals.

The necessary survey would be undertaken in Agartala next month to make a detailed project report (DPR) for the solar city plan, the minister added.

The Tripura Renewable Energy Development Agency (TREDA), an autonomous body, Sunday held a meeting with senior government officials, engineers, architects, public representatives, businessmen, hotel and restaurant owners, and NGOs to get suggestions.

Senior officials of the solar thermal division under the union ministry of non-conventional and renewable energy were also present in the day-long meeting chaired by the minister.

‘To encourage the use of solar energy, there would be relaxations in rules and tax collection systems,’ Debroy added.

The minister announced that the government would soon launch a massive campaigning for the use of non-conventional sources of energy in the northeastern state.


Birla Power to invest Rs 5,000 cr in thermal & solar power projects

March 18, 2010

Click here to read more..

Cheap solar on the way

March 18, 2010

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Sindicatum Capital Looks to Raise $100 Million for Clean Energy

March 18, 2010

Click here to read more

Tatas To Pump Rs.13,000 Cr. For Generating Wind, Solar Energy

March 18, 2010

Click here to read the story

Southern Company And Ted Turner Acquire Solar PV Project

March 18, 2010

by Staff Writers

Atlanta GA (SPX) Mar 18, 2010 Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO David M. Ratcliffe and Turner Renewable Energy founder Ted Turner have announced that the companies have acquired and will bring online one of the nation’s largest solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants. The 30 megawatt project, the first to result from the partnership forged by Southern Company and Turner Renewable Energy in January, will supply power to approximately 9,000 homes. The project was acquired from and will be built by Tempe, Ariz.-based First Solar. “Expanding the role renewables play in our energy mix is a priority for Southern Company,” said Ratcliffe. “Renewables, along with new nuclear, increased energy efficiency, cleaner coal technology and additional natural gas, all will be crucial to meeting this nation’s growing energy demand.” “It is great that large-scale solar photovoltaic power generation is becoming a reality in the United States,” said Turner. “Southern Turner Renewable Energy is excited to develop and own this project and we look forward to generating clean renewable energy in New Mexico.” The Southern Turner Cimarron I Solar Project is adjacent to Turner’s Vermejo Park Ranch in northern New Mexico. First Solar is the contractor for both engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and operation and maintenance for the facility. “The Cimarron I project is yet another example of First Solar’s capability to realize utility-scale solar projects,” said Rob Gillette, First Solar chief executive officer. “Combining the required technology, manufacturing, project development and EPC expertise enables First Solar to be a leader in sustainable energy development.” Construction of the solar array will begin this month with completion and commercial operation expected by year end 2010. It will consist of approximately 500,000 2’x 4′ photovoltaic modules constructed with First Solar’s patented thin film semiconductor technology. PV modules generate electricity directly from sunlight through an electronic process that occurs naturally in certain types of material, known as semiconductors. Solar energy frees electrons in these materials to travel through an electrical circuit, powering devices or sending electricity to the grid. Electricity generated by the plant will serve a 25-year power purchase agreement with the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, a not-for-profit wholesale power supplier to 44 electric cooperatives serving 1.4 million customers across Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming. With the plant’s output covered by a long-term contract, the Cimarron I Solar Project is a natural fit with Southern Company’s overall business strategy and risk profile.

Solar Prospectors Chase Italian, Israeli ‘Gold Mines’ (Update2)

March 11, 2010

(Adds SunEdison approval to build Europe’s biggest solar power plant in seventh paragraph.)

By Jeremy van Loon and Todd White

March 11 (Bloomberg) — Olivier de Vergnies quit managing family fortunes at Dexia Private Bank (Switzerland) Ltd. in 2008 to run a New York start-up at 100 Wall St. that’s trying to tap riches in solar energy.

The chief executive officer of two-year-old Prime Sun Power Inc. is hiring hundreds of workers to build solar plants in Italy, where he can sell electricity for about six times the price paid to coal- and natural gas-fired generators.

Prime Sun and developers across the globe, like prospectors staking gold or oil claims in the American West a century ago, are rushing to Italy, Israel and China to lock in the world’s highest subsidized electricity rates before they’re cut back. Governments typically trim prices a few years after they spur a burst of solar plant construction.

“Investors are looking for alternative markets where the returns are more attractive,” Karl-Heinz Remmers, chief executive of Solarpraxis AG, a German solar-engineering consultant that’s also expanding in Italy, said in an interview.

The rush into Germany and Spain has eased because they’re no longer a “gold mine” for developers, Remmers said. The two nations have reduced subsidies after together capturing about 75 percent of global installations of photovoltaic panels in 2008.

50% Global Growth

The subsidy system pioneered by Germany a decade ago, which is paid for by consumers in their power bills, has been copied by more than 30 countries. Global investment in panels that turn sunlight into power is set to leap 50 percent to $50 billion this year, Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates. The 9,000 megawatts of new capacity would be the equivalent of at least seven new, average-sized nuclear power plants.

SunEdison LLC and Siemens AG both announced plans today to build in Italy. SunEdison won approval from Italian authorities to build Europe’s largest photovoltaic power plant near Rovigo in the northeastern part of the country.

Siemens, Germany’s largest engineering company, said it won a contract from Norway’s Statkraft to build 40 megawatts of solar panels in Italy with construction starting this spring.

The above-market prices, called feed-in tariffs because panel owners feed power into the grid at premium prices guaranteed for decades, are high enough in Italy to generate average revenue of 35 euros ($48) a day for a 100-square-meter (1,076-square-foot) roof, according to Bloomberg calculations.

“The feed-in tariff drives our business plan and profitability,” said de Vergnies, whose plans include two photovoltaic plants in southern Italy that will generate enough electricity for 25,000 homes.

Developers in China

China is also attracting investors, including First Solar Inc. and Suntech Power Holdings Co., which will earn 2.15 yuan (31 U.S. cents) for each kilowatt-hour, about four times the base price for fossil fuel-generated electricity, at its power plant in the province of Jiangsu. A kilowatt-hour can typically power a toaster or an iron for 60 minutes.

First Solar, based in Arizona, plans to start building the world’s biggest solar farm in China’s Inner Mongolia region in June. The above-market rates are “critical” to the project, Chief Executive Officer Mike Ahearn said in September.

The Chinese government and those in other countries are counting on incentives working as they did in Germany, where the equivalent of about 1.5 million homes are now sun-powered.

The solar industry is “built on subsidies,” said James Britland, an alternative energy analyst at Allianz RCM in London. “This is a non-competitive industry that has to be subsidized.”

The investment rush has a downside and can lead to a boom- and-bust cycle as seen in Spain’s collapse of solar-panel installations, Phoenix Solar AG Chief Executive Andreas Haenel said.

‘Make Politicians Nervous’

“Markets that explode make politicians nervous,” he said in a March 3 interview. “I don’t like gold mines and gold rushes because they can come back like a boomerang and destroy the whole market.”

Rates are as high as 80 Canadian cents (78 U.S. cents) a kilowatt-hour in Ontario, or about 13 times what conventional oil and gas plants earn, and 43 euro cents (58 U.S. cents) in Italy, or about six times higher than wholesale rates fossil fuel plants earn.

In Israel, the government promotes solar with a tariff of 2.01 shekels (53 U.S. cents), a four-fold premium, according to the environment ministry Web site.

Coming to Britain

Even the U.K., with the least solar radiation after Sweden among the biggest European Union economies, may see a boom. From April 1, sun power will earn up to 41 pence (61 U.S. cents) a kilowatt-hour, or about 12 times what’s paid for conventional power through September. That incentive may create 100,000 jobs by 2020, said Jeremy Leggett, founder of Solar Century Holdings Ltd., a closely held seller of power equipment.

In the Czech market, premium rates highlight potential risks for investors. Sun power development is so brisk that CEPS AS, the electric grid operator, said it may have to disconnect some generators to prevent blackouts triggered by overloads.

Not all of the world’s sunniest markets are as investor friendly for solar developers as Italy, Israel and China.

While Canadian pipeline owner Enbridge Inc. and Korea’s Samsung C&T Corp. plan solar plant investments in Ontario, the Canadian province and Vermont are the only jurisdictions in North America with German-style feed-in tariffs.

The real opportunity for solar investors will come when the sunnier U.S. states offer bigger incentives, said Matthew Page, who manages about $50 million in alternative-energy shares at Guinness Atkinson Asset Management in London.

“We’re all waiting for the U.S. to take off,” he said.

–With assistance from Shigeru Sato in Tokyo and Chris Martin in New York. Editors: Reed Landberg, Randall Hackley

To contact the reporters on this story: Jeremy Van Loon in Berlin at Todd White in Madrid at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at

Moser Baer Achieves 7.3 % Module Efficiency

March 11, 2010
Press release
Source: Moser Baer India Ltd.
Tuesday, March 09, 2010 02:33 PM IST (09:03 AM GMT)
Editors: General: Consumer interest; Business: Business services, Energy companies, Information technology, Media & entertainment; Technology
Moser Baer Achieves 7.3 % Module Efficiency through its Proprietary Process, Increasing the Module Wattage from 340 Watt /Panel to 400 Watt/ Panel
Total Capacity of the MBPV’s (Moser Baer PhotoVoltaic ltd) Thin Film Plant Now in the Range of 50 MW

New Delhi, Delhi, India, Tuesday, March 09, 2010 (Business Wire India)

— Approximately 20% cost advantage on large size modules

— Scales up the single-junction amorphous-Silicon process and technology from a stable efficiency of 6% to above 7%

— Set to introduce the 400 W product on 5.7 m2 module in the market by Q2, 2010

PV Technologies India Limited (PVTIL), a subsidiary of Moser Baer India Limited (MBIL) announces successful completion of testing and validation of breakthrough process that will enhance the stable efficiency of its single junction thin film module from 6% to 7.3%. The process has been designed at PVTIL’s Greater Noida plant by its in-house research team. This improves the module wattage from 340 watts / panel to 400 watts /panel on full size modules (5.7 m2.). This landmark breakthrough has been achieved by judicious optimization of multiple layers in the device structure. This is one of the highest efficiency (and wattage) achieved from any amorphous-Silicon single junction thin film module of this size globally.

Lauding the achievement, Ratul Puri, Executive Director, MBIL, said: “The breakthrough proprietary process will improve the viability of amorphous-Silicon technology for the solar farm projects. This proprietary process is a game changer and will help us in addressing certain sections of the market by Q2 2010.” He further added, “What makes this proprietary process special is that for the first time any Indian player has achieved this level of efficiency leading to an approx 20% cost advantage in this module size.”

According to Dr. Rajiv Arya, CEO of PV solar business, “This achievement is very timely as it has already enhanced our Thin Film’s capacity from 40 MW to the range of 50 MW and will help us reach the goals set in the National Solar Mission effectively by deploying these modules in large size solar installations. I appreciate the efforts of our process team which has once again demonstrated Moser Baer’s innate capabilities in improving efficiency and introducing new products to cater to the demands of the market. These Thin Film modules can be used for rooftop installations and for solar farms.”

Editorial Notes:

Amorphous silicon (a-Si or α-Si) is the non-crystalline allotropic form of silicon. It can be deposited in thin films at low temperatures onto a variety of substrates.

About the Company

Moser Baer India Limited, headquartered in New Delhi, is a leading global technology company. Established in 1983, the company successfully developed cutting edge technologies to become the world’s second largest manufacturer of Optical Storage media like CDs and DVDs. The company also emerged as the first to market the next-generation of storage formats like Blu-ray discs. Recently, the company has transformed itself from a single business into a multi-technology organisation, diversifying into exciting areas of Solar Energy, Home Entertainment and IT Peripherals and Consumer Electronics. Moser Baer has multiple manufacturing facilities in the suburbs of New Delhi.

For press backgrounder on Moser Baer India Ltd. click here

Media contact details

Abhinav Kanchan,
Moser Baer India Ltd.,
+91 9958867269/ +91 (11) 40594175,

Balaji Krishnaswami,
Moser Baer India Ltd.,
+91 9971757474 / +91 (11) 40594338,

Vikram Group of Industries invests Rs. 100 crore in Solar Photovoltaic Module Manufacturing Plant at Falta, Special Economic Zone.

March 11, 2010


Vikram Group of Industries invests Rs. 100 crore in Solar Photovoltaic Module Manufacturing Plant at Falta, Special Economic Zone.

Shri Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, Hon’ble Chief Minister of West Bengal, is inaugurating the Solar Photovoltaic Module Manufacturing Plant of Vikram Group of Industries at Falta, Special Economic Zone, in the presence of Shri Debesh Das (Hon’ble Minister of Information and Technology and Shri S P Gon Choudhuri (Managing Director, West Bengal Green Energy Development Corporation Ltd.)

Kolkata, West Bengal, March 10, 2010 /India PRwire/ — Shri Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, Hon’ble Chief Minister of West Bengal, is inaugurating the Solar Photovoltaic Module Manufacturing Plant of Vikram Group of Industries at Falta, Special Economic Zone, in the presence of Shri Debesh Das (Hon’ble Minister of Information and Technology and Shri S P Gon Choudhuri (Managing Director, West Bengal Green Energy Development Corporation Ltd.)

Says Mr. H K Chaudhary, Chairman, Vikram Group of Industries, “Vikram Solar Private Limited has invested around Rs. 100 crores in this project, with an initial capacity of 25MW p.a. We are already in the process of expanding its capacity to 50MW by the middle of this year.”

Furthermore, Vikram Solar Private Limited has promoted a subsidiary in the name of Vikram Solar GmbH in Germany for the latest technological up gradation and to establish a Brand for Vikram Solar in the European Markets. Vikram Solar has become the first Indian Company to set a 1.05 MW Grid Interactive Solar power plant at Kottenheim, Germany.

Regarding future plans, the company has plans for backward integration in the form of Wafer and Photovoltaic cell manufacturing, within a short period, with a total capital outlay of Rs. 500 crores. Vikram Solar has already provided employment to more than 100 persons by now, and once the full expansion is implemented, will be able to provide employment to more than 800 persons directly and indirectly with a focus on skill development and training in the High Technology Solar Industry.

McKinsey & Company, in its survey ended May’09, stated that India has one of the world’s highest solar intensities with an annual solar energy yield of 1,700 to 1,900 kilowatt hours per kilowatt peak (kWh/KWp) of the installed capacity. This is similar to the US and Hawaii, the other two countries which have been ranked first along with India.

Mr. Chaudhary states that thus, India has a number of advantages over other countries when it comes to suitable conditions for solar power generation – dense population and high solar insulation. “With about 300 clear sunny days in a year, India’s theoretical solar power reception, just on its land area, is about 5000 trillion kilowatt per year. This is far more than current total energy consumption. Even assuming 14% conversion efficiency for PV modules, it will still be thousands of times greater than the likely electricity demand in India by the year 2015.”

However, the solar power produced in India is merely 0.4% compared to other energy resources. To encourage a thriving solar market, the technology needs to be competitively cheaper– i.e. attaining cost parity with fossil or nuclear energy. India is heavily dependent on coal and foreign oil, which pollute the environment and until solar energy, which is most climate responsible, becomes viable, the phenomenon is likely to continue. Regrettably, India’s grid system is considerably under developed with major sections of its population still surviving off grid. That could allow bypassing long distance centralized power delivery systems and yet bring cheaper electricity to the masses. Moreover, cost of solar power has come down significantly in the last few years.

To deliver Solar power to non-grid areas, Vikram Solar has initiated an R & D project in collaboration with Bengal Engineering and Science University (BESU) for applied research in the field of long life Solar Battery Systems to sustain a life cycle of 15-20 years. Currently the available Lead-Acid Batteries have a life of 3-5 years. This initiative has been taken up under the MNRE research proposals for the development and demonstration of electricity storage systems.

The wide use of solar energy in our country could help in providing clean, cheap and efficient source of electricity for large population of our country. Concludes Mr. Chaudhary, “Solar energy has huge potential to support the future population of our country.”

Moreover, with the launch of Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission the Govt. of India and State Governments have taken the initiative to promote ecologically sustainable growth, while simultaneously addressing India’s energy security challenge. The establishment of this solar plant is expected to provide the masses green, clean and efficient energy, thereby making solar industry the backbone of Indian economy in the near future.

Also present at the inauguration will be Sri Arun Bit (Development Commissioner, Falta), Sri Khalil Ahmed (DM, South 24 Parganas) and Smt. Chandana Ghosh Dastidar (MLA Falta) and many other dignitaries and Industrialists.

Notes to Editor

About Vikram Group of Industries:

Vikram Group first made its foot print as a small Forging Unit in 1974 at Howrah. Over the years they have become the largest Tea Processing Machinery Manufacturer of the world. They have also diversified activities in the form of Textile unit at Gujarat, Tea Factories at North Bengal, Assam and Steel plant at Orissa. The group has also established the BRCM School & Engineering College with a sprawling 120-Acre Campus in Haryana. The Chairman Mr. H.K Chaudhary is also the Founder Trustee of the well-known The Heritage School, The Heritage Academy & Heritage Institute of Technology in Kolkata.

  • For more information, please contact:
  • Heritage Institute of Technology
    • Mr. S. P. Gon Chaudhari
    • MD, WBGEDCL & Chairperson, National Advisory Committee, and NCGESD.
    • Partha Sarathi Bhowal
    • PR Executive
    • (M) 09883720370
    • Shri Manoj Sharma
    • CEO, Vikram Solar
    • (L) 33 2230 7299

Bharat Forge to go green

February 24, 2010

Bharat Forge is planning to enter into the field of green energy. The auto components company is planning to invest in renewable energy space which would include field like solar energy and biomass energy.

The company is now planning to diversify from its core business and is expanding in other fields. Talking about the organic growth, Amit Kalyani, Executive Director, Bharat Forge told a private news agency, Reuters that thesolar energy marketing is the next big thing. The company is planning to start the production with 20-30 MW as capacity and later on move over to 100 MW.

Bharat Forge has already decided upon the sites where it would be starting its projects. These sites are going to be across India.

Besides this, it is also entering into the biomass energy segment. As per Kalyani, the company has sent its proposals to many cities, but as of now, nothing has been finalized.

It has also strengthened its position in the upcoming field of nuclear energy in India. It has a JV with France’s Areva and is looking forward to produce heavy forgings. The details of the deal are being worked out.