The importance of renewal energy
Canal and dam-based rooftop plants can not only produce power but can also potentially save 25 % of water evaporation losses in India where water is a critical infrastructure, says a joint study done the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) and Ernst and Young (EY).
Besides, higher maintenance cost comes with less or no cost of land and water and energy security are addressed simultaneously, noted the study titled ‘Road to 100 GW: Grid integration & power market perspectives.
The study also states that addressing both adequacy of resources and system quality is essential to maintain reliability of power at least-cost while the power sector shifts from being dominated by conventional power to renewable.
“Renewables are seen not only as sources of energy but also as tools to address many other pressing needs including energy security and access, reducing the health and environmental impacts associated with fossil and nuclear energy and mitigating greenhouse gases (GHG),” says ASSOCHAM secretary general D S Rawat.
“As per the present estimates, India has an estimated renewable energy (solar and wind) potential of about 895 GW from commercially exploitable sources with 750 GW solar power potential assuming only 3% wasteland is made available. Investment requirements for solar power development itself will be nearly $ 100 billion US in the next five years. To meet the financing requirements, more and more foreign investors are being attracted owing to the potent natural resources, large scale investments opportunities and attractive government incentives,” he says.
“The study highlights that rising shares of variable renewable is making resource flexibility, effective demand side management, generation forecasting and accurate load forecasting an investment consideration as well as an operational one,” says Rawat.
These phases will lead to the development of a market where 100 % solar power can potentially be sold at the exchange and it will also lead to a well-established ancillary services market, says the study.
Low-cost measures like investment in transmission, introduction of shorter scheduling intervals for increasing accuracy of schedule, enabling regional balancing of power and others can help mitigate operational challenges posed by growing shares of variable renewable energy before introducing flexibility in generation portfolio, suggested the study for facilitating accelerated growth of solar power.
It should be ensured that existing power market is designed and operated to extract all cost-effective flexibility services available from all existing resources (consumers and generators).
Besides, all qualifying demand-side management options should also be fully able to participate in the market, both directly and through aggregators.
Going forward, large shares of variable and intermittent renewable energy requires that investment is done to ensure system quality through CERC (Central Electricity Regulatory Commission) regulation on ancillary services and also through introduction of a fully functional control reserves market to ensure provision of ancillary and balancing service.
The ASSOCHAM-EY study has recommended establishing a procedure for combining gross demand forecast with renewable energy generation forecast to derive a net demand forecast.
Use this net demand forecasts to assess on a periodic basis, the demand for critical flexibility services thereby taking into account the available dispatchable resources to provide these services, it said.
The study also suggested establishing a methodology for setting maximum value to the upcoming generation both conventional and renewable energy depending on expected future peak load forecast and system reliability requirements.