Sunday, August 25, 2013

Rajasthan Government laid foundation stone for World';s largest Solar power plant

Government of Rajasthan has laid the foundation stone on 21st August, 2013 for the World's biggest solar power plant at Bhandla of Jodhpur District in the state.  The Solar plant will have a generation capacity of 3000 MW and will be commissioned in a phased manner.

The foundation stone for the Solar Park was laid by The Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Shri Ashok Gehlot.  He said this energy park would create a history in the development of the state.  The Solar park would generate 1000 MW in the first phase.  The solar park would be established in an estimated area of 10000 hectares land and a loan of 3000 crores is being provided by Asian Development Bank for development of transmission lines for this solar park.

M/s Clinton Foundation would be providing the technical assistance for the solar park as per the agreement between the Rajasthan Govt. and Clinton Foundation in 2010.   Three more solar parks would be coming in Jaisalmer, Barmer and Bikaner districts with the help of the same company.  Some of the key features of the solar park are listed below.

Key Features of the Solar Park

  • 3000 MW capacity of solar power plant will be set up
  • 10000 hectares of land identified for the solar park
  • 58 cusec of water reserved from Indira Gandhi canal
  • Construction of 400 KV GSS under progress
  • Work for setting up of 7 solar power projects of 75 MW has started
  • Construction of road from Nure ki Bhurj to Bhandla has started
  • MoU signed between Rajasthan Government and M/s Clinton Foundation in 2010 
MOU signed with Clinton Foundation in 2010

Delhi Government planning to offer incentives for Solar Energy

Are you generating power from your roof top solar panels?  Delhi Government is planning to provide incentives for generation of solar power.   Delhi has a new solar policy called "production based sibsidy" which means that the Government will pay you for the units of energy you are saving using solar power.  At present there is a "capital subsidy" scheme in Delhi state which provides a fixed amount on installation of solar waters.

This policy  will definitely inspire consumers to invest in solar energy, but some guidelines are to be framed by the Government on net metering system.  If the consumer is generating more than his requirements, then excess power can be returned to the Grid.

As per the scheme, the consumer is paid for the units he generates in excess. The Delhi Govt. also is planning to give small subsidy to producers of solar power.  Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) is yet to fix the tariff and net metering system before getting approval from the cabinet.

The problem with solar water heaters is that even though the capital subsidy was provided to the people, they were not using it.  People are not maintaining the solar water heater systems and stop using them after some time.   So the Government though that if the subsidy is generation based and customers are reimbursed every month, they will maintain it.

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission already prepared the guidelines on net metering which may be released next week.  The guidelines include every detail on net metering, energy accounting and how the transactions can be done. Any State Govt. can use these guidelines straight away.  These guidelines are based on net metering in Germany and USA.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Solar Cooking Tips

'Solar cookers'  or  'solar ovens' are increasingly becoming popular through out the world in recent times.  The solar cookers are used to reduce the people's dependence on firewood and other fuels.  Even if you have electricity, a solar cooker can be an energy saving option to your cooking needs.  So let us see some tips on solar cooking.

Solar cooling is not much difficult and it is very easy to master the skill of solar cooking.  Many of the skills which we use for traditional cooking methods are applicable for solar cooking too.  The only factor which will have much effect on solar cooking is that the time required for cooking and also the weather as well as efficiency in preparing and putting all the ingredients together.

Tips for Solar Cooking

 Here are some tips while solar cooking.

  • The most ideal time for solar cooking is between 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  This is the ideal time during summer season when the Sun is directly overhead for longer period of the day.  In the middle of Winter season, the ideal time would be between 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM. 
  • You need to decide on your menu ahead of time; You should plan in advance about which meal you want to prepare in solar cooker and then start cooking.
  • Prepare most of the ingredients ahead of time and even one day before so that they are ready when the sun light comes for cooking.
  • Pre heat your solar cookers one or two hours before before using them
  • You can use a food thermometer if you are not sure of temperatures for proper food safety
  • The number one factor for best cooking results is to make sure that you start cooking your food as early as possible.  It takes longer time for most of the foods
  • Dry beans and other legumes can take all day long to cook, where as pastas normally take 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Soups, stews, chilli and meats can be left all day long in a solar cooker to slow cook
  • Rice normally cooks within half an hour to one hour.  If you pre heat your cooker and water, this applies to pasta also.
  • The more times you uncover the solar cooker, the longer it takes to cook.  So take out the lid as little number of times as possible
  • If time is a major factor, consider cooking your dishes in stages, even over a two day period, refrigerating ingredients until final cook stage.
  • The size and amount of food affects the cooking time.  So do not fill the cook pots more than 2/3rds full and cut the food portions into small pieces as possible
  • The foods which have moisture content do not need added water to cook.. Water only increases the cooking time.  So you can add water only to the food which need water like rice, pasta etc.
  • Use a thin, shallow aluminum or steel cooking vessels for faster cooking and do not over load them.
  • In order to have more concentration and retention of heat inside the solar cooker, use over cooking bags to enclose the jars and pots.
  • Keep your reflector panels and the transparent door cover clean, free from dirt and food marks.  This ensures more effective concentration of the sun rays onto the cooking pot and food.