Sep 21, 2014


Recently during my visit to US, I had a chance to interact with companies and professionals engaged in deciding the future of solar energy in India as well as other parts of the world. India, a country of 1.25 billion people is having huge gap in demand and supply of energy, as a result there is frequent outage of power and people have to suffer intolerable heat in summer. Industries are also having stunted growth for want of continuous supply of electricity.  I had prepared a strategic plan for the newly formed government in India for their attention and implementation in making India energy surplus in 2-3 year's of time. I sent the strategic plan to the prime minister's office and to the office of minister in charge of coal, power and renewable energy in the month of June 2014. I received an acknowledgement from the honorable minister Mr. Piyush Goyal but received a tepid response from the solar industry. It seems to be an impossible task for them in view of the magnitude of problem India is facing in energy sector.

I am not at an engineer neither I belong from the energy sector, yet I have the wisdom to foresee and execute my strategic plan successfully. During my meeting with the professionals I could see the bewilderment on their faces, that how  am I going to achieve this target. They forgot that I am a strategic thinker and capable of preparing projects and plans for achieving this target much better than any bemused experts.

India's total generation capacity is 205.34 GW + 31.5 GW through Captive Power Generation= Total 236.84 GW. Whereas as per the Energy Statistics 2013 of India, the current requirement  is about 325 GW. It means there is a current annual shortage of 88.16 GW. This gap has been further amplified due to the lack of a network of  power grid lines and inefficient governance in states, which takes care of distribution of electricity.  Therefore their amazement was very obvious as they were unable to think out of the box in making the best use of the available technology and resources to achieve this target.

The largest Hydro Power Plant was built over Three Gorges Dam in China, produces 22,500 Mega Watts (MW) or 22.5 Giga Watts (GW) of energy. The largest Nuclear Power Plant is Kashiwazaki-Kairwa in Japan which produces 7,965 MW or 7.9 GW of electricity. The largest Fuel Oil Power Plant is in Shoaiba, Saudi Arabia which produces 5,600 MW or 5.6 GW of electricity. The largest Coal fired Power Plant is in Taichung, Taiwan which produces 7,724 MW or 7.7 GW of electricity. The largest Natural Gas fired Power Plant is in Surgut-2, Russia which produces 5,597 MW or 5.6 GW of electricity and the largest Solar Power through Flat-Panel Photovoltaic in Topaz, California has the capacity to produce 300MW or 0.3GW of electricity.

In view of the above production capacities and to fill a gap of 88.16 GW of electricity,  India will need  4 (Four) Hydro Power Plants of the size of Three Gorges of China or  12 (Twelve) Nuclear Power Plants of the size of Kashiwazaki of Japan or 16 (Sixteen) Fuel Power Plants of the size of Shoaiba of Saudi Arabia or 12 (Twelve) Coal Fired Power Plant on the model of Taichung of Taiwan or 16 (Sixteen) Gas Fired Power Plant on the model of Surgut of Russia or 294 (Two hundred ninety four) Solar Power Plants on the model of Topaz, California at the cost of billions of dollar for each power plant.

The above number of course is confusing and baffling for any expert in power industry, educated and book smart people of the world to achieve the target and that too without polluting the environment and without spending billions of dollar. Therefore my strategic plan submitted to the Government of India and posted on my other blogs,  must have looked nonsensical in the eyes of our intelligent, smart and bemused competent friends. They must have thought that I live in the world of illusion and must have advised the Government of India under intoxication.

Now I will like to discuss how my strategic plan and vision of making India energy surplus within 2-3 years of time is possible and that too without investing substantial money by the Government of India. However it is also true that without the legislative support of the government, it will not be possible for any company or a group of companies in the world to achieve this target. Government will have to mobilize people with all kinds of support  -  reform in electricity bill, tax incentives/exemption, financial support, low financing rate or loan holidays, creation of a network of active power grid etc. It will be economically beneficial to the government of India to provide above incentives instead of spending billions of dollar in equivalent rupees and mortgaging the country for building super large power plants and further pollute the environment.

To harness the power of free market system, entrepreneurial skills of people and their capacity to make India power surplus within the time frame, I have given hereunder an example of Solar Energy for electrifying homes on large scale in India.  However my focus for making Indian energy surplus within the envisaged time frame is not only based on Solar Power but other Green and Renewable Energy such as Wind Power, Geothermal and Biomass.

While working on this self imposed project, I have come across with smart solar system for electrifying houses ranging from 500 Watt to 2,500 Watt capacity. There may be other efficient system with higher capacity for homes,  but for the sake of my calculation and to demonstrate the power of power, I have taken 2,500 Watt Smart Solar System.

One Solar Panel can produce about 75 Watts per square meter of Solar energy or 7.5 Watts per square foot of solar energy per day. Therefore to produce 2,500 Watts of solar energy about 333 sq.ft of solar panel is required.

Average home consumes about 10KW of power if cooking, washing, water heating etc. are used on a daily basis. As such a 2,500Watt capacity of Solar System can feed about 250 homes with renewable energy per day or 2,500Watts x 300 clear sunny days = 750,000Watts = 750KW or 0.750MW.

To produce solar energy for homes only, we will require:

0.750MW x 1,335 solar systems of 2,500KW capacity and they will collectively produce 1001MW or 1GW of energy.

1335 solar systems x 1000 = 1,335,000 solar systems  = 10GW of Solar Energy

In order to produce 10 GW of Solar Power we will need 1,335,000 Solar Systems of 2,500 watts to create a cluster of 250 houses and that can take care of 333,750,000 houses. Now the question may be be raised that how the installation of 1,335,000 pieces of 2,500KW smart solar system will be made possible. Here professionals like us come into the picture for making strategic marketing plans and their successful execution within the time limit.

As per the Census 2011 of Census India, total number of occupied census houses in India is 306,162,799 which includes houses used as residence (236,062,866) residence cum other uses (8,578,716), shop /office (17,672,786), school / college (2,106,530), hotel/lodge, guest houses (720,806); Hospital / Dispensary etc (683,202); Factory/ Workshop/Workshed etc. (2,496,655); Place of Worship (3,013,140); Other non-residential use (33,547,747) and number of Occupied locked census houses (1,280,351).

Therefore if we are able to successfully install 1,335,000 solar systems of 2,500Watts capacity by way of making it a national event on the scale of mass scale energy revolution then 100% of census houses can have 24 hours, 365 days of solar power. An annual consumption of 0.750 MW of energy per home in smaller towns is on the higher scale as they only use couple of light bulbs and fans. As such I presume there will be plenty of mega watts of surplus energy available for contribution to the central power grid system for the industrial sector. Besides census houses (which includes shops, offices, schools, colleges, hotels, guest houses, hospital, factory buildings, workshops etc);  street lights, traffic lights, petrol pumps, cinema and theatres, public parks, bus stands, railway stations, and airports etc. can also be made energy independent with the help of renewable energy. This will take substantial pressure off the national power grid system and common public will have enough energy to cool off themselves in sweltering heat of India.

As mentioned above, this can be made possible by way of providing incentives and introducing various national schemes for the solar power system manufacturers and for the consumers.

By promoting similar incentives to other sources of renewable energy - Wind Energy (currently producing about 49,132 MW or 49 GW), and energy from Biomass (Current potentiality= 17,538 or 17.5GW) and by combining solar power energy , 100% requirements of energy can be made available to the agriculture sector. Besides tonnes of garbage produced by every town in India can further contribute towards producing energy. Geothermal can also contribute a great deal in generating electricity.

Once the majority of households, small and medium size businesses, agriculture sector, city and town lighting system becomes energy independent then energy produced by existing power plants - coal, gas and nuclear can be made available to large industries and mega cities.

Other positive effects of making this a national event would be that in the process, thousands of people will get employment opportunity in manufacturing of renewable energy system/plants, selling and marketing, transportation & logistics, installations, repairs and servicing etc. Thousand of ancillary manufacturing units related to renewable energy will mushroom in the country which will further contribute towards employment and increase in the per capita household income.

Therefore, I am convinced that this mammoth project can be achieved not only by the engineers, large corporations and the government but also by the professionals who have the ability to make strategic plans and foresee different dimensions, prepare a multi-lateral scope  statements keeping in view of the composition of towns, cities, villages, their socio-economic conditions and targets to be achieved and monitor the progress by placing Key Performance Indexes (KPI) for each layers and sectors on weekly and monthly basis. To my mind this is doable and can be made possible by the people who have the vision and passion to make it successful.

In view of this article, I will like to ask my professional friends worldwide - How to make a country like India energy surplus in a shortest possible time with the help of Green Energy? Can they suggest other alternatives?

Your comments and suggestions are welcome.

Suman Saran Sinha, CMC
Certified Management Consultant
for Strategic Planning and Execution

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