Cheap power for all Indians by 2015

Wednesday, 11 April 2007, 07:00 Hrs
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Bangalore: Be it thermal, solar or wind energy, the Central Power Research Institute (CPRI) is harnessing all possible sources to provide electricity to all Indians at an affordable price by 2015.

Set up in 1960, the CPRI is an autonomous research body under the union power ministry that carries out applied research in electrical power engineering and has so far undertaken 300 research projects and commercialised 25 technologies.

"CPRI has envisaged a time-bound roadmap for the Indian power sector - sustainable energy system with clean power technologies in the 21st century," said CPRI director P.K. Kognolkar.

According to CPRI scientists, the power generation capacity in India has increased over the years to more than 130,000 MW and the installed capacity is expected to increase to about 300,000 MW by 2017.

"Coal is the major source of power generation in India till date and is expected to remain so in the near future. In view of the high ash content of Indian coal, the annual generation of fly ash is currently about 112 million tonnes and may double by 2017," he told a team of visiting media persons.

CPRI was instrumental in preparing the national perspective plan for R&D in the Indian power sector with a roadmap for 15 years.

According to CPRI scientists, agricultural pumpsets make up for nearly 20 percent of the energy consumption in the country and account for a connected load of nearly 30,000 MW out of the total generation capacity of 130,000 MW.

Nearly four million agricultural pumpsets are connected to the power grids of the country and the trends indicate that nearly 600,000 pumpsets get added annually to the grids.

"The energy saving efficiencies of these monoblock or submersible type pump sets are very low because these are unlabelled, non-branded and re-wounded locally. The CPRI has proposed several schemes for replacement of these inefficient pump sets by matched and energy efficient pump sets," said S.Sridhar, additional director of CPRI.

Considering the trends in global energy use, CPRI scientists have indicated a steep growth in renewable energy - 25 percent in solar energy and 30 percent in wind energy per annum.

India is among the top five nations in the world using wind energy and is rapidly picking up in solar sector as well.

"Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) is very popular in far-flung villages and human habitations where the grid power supply is erratic and the quality of power rather poor."

"CPRI has been at the forefront of SPV R&D by devising SPV lanterns, solar wind integrated systems and long-term evaluation of solar PV panels," Kognolkar pointed out.

The CPRI has also set up the Asia's first Earthquake Engineering and Vibration Research Centre (EEVRC) at Bangalore.

"The unique centre is equipped with necessary facilities for providing testing, research and consultancy services in the areas of seismic instruments and equipment for nuclear power plants and other generating stations as well as manufacturers and utilities in the field of aerospace, railways and automobiles as per international standards," explained another CPRI scientist V. Srinivasa Murthy.

The EEVRC has also successfully designed low-cost, quakeproof and fire resistant housing for the most vulnerable earthquake Zone-V areas of India like Gujarat, parts of Himachal Pradesh and the northeast.

Over the years, the CPRI has built up expertise in the areas of transmission and distribution system, power quality, energy metering, energy auditing, seismic qualification of equipment and other related fields.
Source: IANS
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