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By:

Dr S.M ALI
SREEPTA MOHANTY
KIIT University , BBSR
Electrification of remote villages
y Besides food, shelter, clothing, and employment,
the next priority in villages is affordable energy
for cooking and lighting.
y The first important task, a gigantic task, will be
to build a network for cooking with LPG
(liquified petroleum gas) to do away with the
drudgery and unhealthy practice of cooking.
y The second important one will be to provide
electricity to improve the living conditions to act
as an essential catalyst in alleviating poverty.
y Moreover, 20 000 villages have been identified as
unapproachable from the grid line and will have to
depend on alternative sources of power.
y These alternative sources could be solar or wind
energy, biomass, biogas, or micro- hydel energy,
which may be locally available to be harnessed in a
useful manner.
y Incidentally, only these sources have been found to
be technologically and commercially viable until
now, especially in villages that are situated beyond
a certain distance from the grid line.
Application of solar power
y A solar power plant of the size 10100 kW (kilowatt),
depending on the load demand, is preferable
particularly with a liberal subsidy and low-interest soft
loan from financial institutions, to raise the quality of
life of the people subjected to poverty in these areas.
y Centralized power generation and distribution,
individual DLS (domestic lighting systems) are also
common in many rural un electrified houses.
y The plants in Sagar Island(West Bengal) started
with the unique feature of training people to
operate and maintain the plants, besides
generating an awareness through interaction with
prospective consumers who at a later stage could
take up the management on a cooperative basis.
y Biomass-based power plants have also been set up
in that area.
y The four important components in a solar power
system are solar modules, battery, inverter, and
charge controller, besides other BOS (balance of
system)/components. These four components
incur more than two-thirds of the total cost.
y In fact, 50% of the project cost is invested on the
solar modules.
y In October 1998, regular electrification of villages
through off-grid solar plant started. So far, 11 such
plants have been set up, covering electrification of
more than 25 villages in Sagar Island. (Detailed
analysis are given in Table 1).
Table 1: Cost of module and percentage of total cost
Name Month
and year
Installation
capacity
(KWp)
Module
(RS. in
1000)
Per Watt
cost
Total
(RS. in
1000)
Percentage
total
Kamalpur Feb 1996 25 4617 174.25 7345 63
Mrityunjay Oct 1988 25 5141 185.24 9218 56
Khasmahal May 1999 25 4317 173 7968 54
Gayenbazar May 1999 25 4317 173 7968 54
Mahendra Aug 1999 25 4317 173 7968 54
Natendrapur Aug 2000 25 3375 135.5 7098 48
Haradhanpur Nov 2000 25 3375 135.5 7098 48
Mandirtala Dec 2000 25 3375 135.5 7098 48
Mousuni-I March
2001
25 8175 153.8 15379 53
Mausuni-II April
2003
110 17111 156 29842 57
ParthPratim March
2004
110 16112 146.46 31373 55
Analysis of Cost and output in India
and Germany
y In India, the price of battery varies between Rs.27
per watt and Rs.41 per watt.
y The cost of an inverter has increased considerably
by almost 33% from Rs.42 to Rs.55 contrary to the
price of electronic items which are generally
decreasing .
y Charge controllers are on a declining trend.
y From Tables 2 and 3(given in the next slide), it
appears that the cost of the SPV stand-alone power
plants with an additional battery to store energy for
supply in the evening hours to meet the villagers'
need is 285 000 rupees (6264 dollars) / kWp.
y In Germany, the cost of a roof-top or other type
grid-connected units, exclusive of a battery in the
range of 50120 kWp of capacity, of a solar plant
is 289 760 rupees (6368 dollars).
y The cost of a module in Germany is above 70%
of the total cost as against 50%55% in India.
The cost of an inverter is around 12% of the total
cost in Germany, whereas it is nearly 19% in
India.
y The SPV (solar photovoltaic) mode of
electrification started in 1998 after a system on a
trial basis was commissioned in Kamalpur village
in 1996.
Table 2: Cost of battery, inverter,
and charge controller
Name Total project Inverter Charge
controller
Batter y
Kamalpur 294 35 10 34
Mrityunjay 369 42 13 39
Khasmahal 319 63 3 41
Gayenbazar 319 63 3 41
Mahendra 319 63 3 41
Natendrapur 284 58 12 27
Haradhanpur 284 58 12 27
Mandirtala 284 58 12 27
Mousuni-I 280 34 Not quoted 37
Mausuni-II 284 71 71 41
ParthPratim 285 55 16 40
Table 3 :
Cost of solar power in Germany
and its Annual Generation
Region of
Germany
No. of
installations
Total capacity
(KWp)
Annual generation
(KWh/KWp)
North-West
South
Capacity Range
50-120 KWp
453
895
Module cost
74.3%
1215
2250
Inverter cost
11.8%
732
860
Cost in Euro per KWp
5307
Comparative analysis between
Conventional and Non-conventional
sources of power
y Overall cost per watt has reduced by nearly 23% as seen in
the competitive bidding in West Bengal in India.
y Capital cost of thermal generation is as low as 40 000
rupees per kW.
y Compared to this, decentralized solar power generation is
285 000 rupees per kW or 3.5 times higher.
y Cost has reduced by 50% over two decades and should
descend further by 50% so that conversion of solar
power to electricity is commercially viable for general
application.
y There is an additional element of fuel charge in the
tariff connected with thermal power due to dangerous
repercussion frompollution and health hazards.
y Instead, solar power happens to satisfactorily
addresses this serious issue free from recurring cost on
fuel to provide clean energy.
y Ironically, though the SPV system is utilized to help
poor people in remote areas in third world countries.
y The same technology works for well-to-do people in
urban areas in the developed countries.
y In both the cases, states finance the schemes through
incentives or some formof a grant.
y Therefore, it is little wonder that Japan, Germany, and
the US, have several SPV installations with hundreds
of megawatts in capacity as against only a few
installations with tens of megawatt capacity in India
and Africa, though they both have enough sunshine.
THANK YOU