India taps solar, storage to ensure all homes have power in 2018 | RenewEconomy

India taps solar, storage to ensure all homes have power in 2018

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Whither coal? India’s new electrification scheme will dedicate 80% of $2.5bn budget to solar and battery banks for rural and remote homes.

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Source: India Energy Storage Alliance

The Indian government has pledged to broaden the roll-out of solar and battery storage to households without power in rural and remote towns and villages, as a part of a newly launched $2.5 billion project to electrify all of the country’s households by the end of 2018.

At the launch of the project on Monday, Indian PM Narendra Modi said around one-quarter of all homes in the country were yet to be electrified, meaning about 300 million of India’s 1.3 billion people are still not hooked up to the grid.

As part of the program, the government will identify households eligible for free electricity connections, with no fee charged for the connection of “poor citizens,” the PM said.

But the majority of the program’s budget – more than 80 per cent – would go towards rural households, where solar power packs of 200-300W will be added with battery banks to un-electrified homes, along with LED lights, a DC fan and a DC power plug, and repair and maintenance for five years.

As PV-Tech reports, Modi’s latest announcement appears to be a major extension of the plan announced last December by former energy minister Piyush Goyal, that more than 16,000 Indian households across 800 remote villages would be given a solar panel, with an eight-hour battery storage backup.

When the government first started rolling out its rural electrification program, known as DDUGJY, there were more than 18,000 villages identified as un-electrified.

The scale of the new plan, and its focus on solar and battery storage, also undermines one of the federal government’s key arguments in favour of digging up and exporting more Australia coal: that it is a vital source of “cheap electricity” for India’s poor.

“India has a massive program of expanding electrification across the country and Australian coal has a very big role to play in that,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in April when he visited the sub-continent and met with Indian coal billionaire Gautam Adani, whose company is, still, deliberating its final investment decision on the $21-billion Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee basin – Australia’s largest, if built.

But that’s not the view of many reports and energy industry analysts. In February, for instance, a report from The Energy and Resources Institute (Teri) in New Delhi, suggested that renewables and batteries could undercut coal in India in less than a decade, as long as costs of the technologies continued on their current trajectory.

And if that happens, the report adds, it will reduce the country’s carbon dioxide emissions by about 600m tonnes, or 10 per cent, after 2030.

One of the key goals of India’s solar and battery storage roll-out, which will be coordinated by the state-run Rural Electrification Corporation, is to cut use of kerosene in rural and remote areas, which is both a fire risk and a heavy pollutant.

The states are expected to complete the electrification by December 2018.

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  1. Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

    All I can say is well done India. Thank God you got a Modi instead of an Abbott.

    Disregard the above on all things cricket.

    • Sylar 3 years ago

      India doing well in cricket too! 😀

      • Joe 3 years ago

        ..doing far, far too well in the cricket at the very moment.

  2. David Martin 3 years ago

    When this plus China’s plans are factored in Australian coal looks dead in the water. How can the government continue to claim India needs Australian coal now? Even Australia no longer needs Australian coal. Solar and wind plus storage at ever cheaper cost are becoming cheaper than just the cost of transmission. If electricity from coal is FREE it can’t compete with dispersed production after transmission costs are added in!

  3. Andrew Roydhouse 3 years ago

    So much for a strong Australian Dollar.

    Makes you wonder when the financial markets will start factoring in the effective decline of coal exports.

    Likely the equivalent of Banana Republic reaction.

    If the forecasts are anywhere near correct then LNG exports will not look so healthy either.

    Will certainly make it interesting for economics of renewable power in Australia if AUD does drop back to BR levels of 47 to 53 cents vs USD.

  4. Joe 3 years ago

    Hmm…… Aussie Coal was meant to lift hundreds of millions of Indians out of ‘energy poverty’… so the mantra went from The COALition. Perhaps Two Tongues Turnbull, Joshie F. and Bananabee can now explain to us where Aussie Coal fits in with India’s solar and battery rollout. That environmental abomination, ‘The Adani Mega Coalmine’, has nowhere to go…and praise be for that.

  5. Brunel 3 years ago

    DC power plug? I would like to see that!

    USB C is good for up to 100 watts of power. Should install USB A sockets in all hotel bathrooms and rooms. That would A) make life easier and B) avoid the conversion losses occured by going from DC to AC to DC.

    • GregS 3 years ago

      Wondering how long it will be before homes will be wired with both AC and DC circuits

      • Miles Harding 3 years ago

        It’s loud and annoys the neighbors!

        Oops, wrong AC/DC

        AC is popular because it can be easily transformed and safely switched. By contrast, a 240 volt DC circuit produces long and persistent arcs when interrrupted, suggesting that 12 or 24 volt would be more appropriate, which limits its use to efficient lighting and few other applications.

        Battery 12V lighting is something I intend to do on the next build. It makes lighting control a matter of cheap (and tiny) Arduinos, JFET semiconductors with momentary contact ‘elevator style’ switches programmed to operate on the various lighting circuits. It’s a lot cheaper, about 10% of the cost of a C-bus setup.

        • GregS 3 years ago

          Yes I meant low voltage DC, and then just AC for the big stuff.

    • Miles Harding 3 years ago

      I think the idea is that torches and phones can be charged. In terms of cost to the people, kerosene is likely the top, then followed by primary batteries. Many of these areas use a lot of batteries for radios, torches etc. and this can be greatly reduced or eliminated, also reducing pollution caused by discarded batteries.

      • Brunel 3 years ago

        It should be illegal to throw batteries in the rubbish bin – no matter how big or small.

        • Roger Brown 3 years ago

          My local dump has a recycling section for old oil , batteries , cans , bottles , green waste etc etc

  6. Miles Harding 3 years ago

    Malcolm Trouble must be very very angry with the Indians (as well as AGL, Whyalla steel, the states, the people etc) for ignoring his steam age reform agenda.

    I would hazard a guess that renewables and batteries are cheaper now if the cost of the delivery infrastructure is included. These areas of india are poor and can’t afford to be ‘lifted out of poverty’ in the way envisioned by our dinosaurs on the hill.

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