An insight into India’s Energy Transformation

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India has gained global attention for its ambitious clean energy targets. India is now expected to play a major role in global energy transformation, by maintaining its own pledges, holding to account the developed world and thus, building global confidence.

India has become a frontrunner in energy transformation

  • India added more renewable energy (RE) capacity than conventional generation capacity in 2016-17.
  • RE tariff in the country dropped to a level that is cost competitive with coal-fired generation.
  • According to EY’s renewable energy country attractiveness index, India pipped the US to become the second most attractive country for RE investments.
  • According to government data, the share of renewable energy in the total installed capacity was 13% at the end of financial year 2016. But it is expected to increase significantly in the coming years, with solar a big driver.

Ambitious targets

  • In 2014, the domestic RE target was revised to 175 GW of installed capacity by 2022.
  • In 2015, in its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC), India made a global pledge to achieve 40% cumulative installed capacity from fossil-fuel-free resources by 2030.
  • The country already has 33% fossil-fuel-free generation capacity, and as predicted by Central Electricity Authority, it may achieve the INDC target sooner.

Ashok Chawla Committee on Natural Resources

  • Creation of national database of natural resources
  • Allocation of natural resources, if possible, through e-auction
  • Measures for benefit of stakeholders in mineral rich areas

Need for conserving Conventional Energy Resources

  • Are limited in supply and cannot be renewed easily.
  • Due to population explosion, modernization and industrialization the demand for energy resources is increasing day by day
  • To control energy crisis there is need to conserve conventional energy resources.
  • There is also an eminent need to explore alternative sources of energy

Energy Crisis 

  • A situation in which resources are less than the demand
  • In the past few decades due to high demand, there is shortage of energy resources, which has created energy crisis.
  • Major causes for Energy Crisis:
  • Rapid Industrialization
  • Over Population
  • Transfer losses
  • Rise in oil prices
  • Problems in Middle east
  • Wastage of energy resources.

Coal

  • Quality of coal is determined by its carbon content
  • Major problems of Indian Coal –
  • Low Carbon content
  • High Ash content
  • Low Calorific Value
  • Major coal producing areas in India  Jharkhand > Odisha > Chhattisgarh > West Bengal
  • Chhota Nagpur Region   Hub of 90 % of Indian minerals (esp.in Coal & Iron  Ruhr of India)
Major types of Coals
Anthracite 

  • Best quality coal
  • Approx. 90 % carbon content
  • Found at J & K only in India
  • Very little smoke & ash content
  • Burns without flames
Bituminous

  • 70 – 90 % carbon content
  • Most common in India
  • Used in making coke
Lignite

  • 40 – 70 % carbon content
  • Known as brown coal
Peat

  • 1st transformation of wood into coal
  • ~ 40 % carbon content

Coke

  • Formed by destructive distillation of coke
  • Heating of coal in the absence of oxygen to burn of volatile gases
  • High in carbon content

Petroleum / Mineral oil

  • Found in sedimentary rocks of marine origin
  • Formed by decomposition of tiny marine creatures, plants & vegetation under mud, silt & sand
  • Over the years, it underwent chemical changes to form crude oil & natural gas under the action of heat & pressure
  • 20 % of India’s crude oil & gas demand is produced domestically & 80 % is imported
  • Jamnagar Refineries of Reliance industries is world largest refinery complex

Natural Gas

Mainly contains methane & found in association with mineral oil ( 75 % lies in Bombay high & Bassein oil fields) Largest share of NG is as follows –

40 % Production of chemical fertilizers
30 % Power generation
10 % LPG (Cooking Gas)
Conventional sources  Shale gas, Coal bed methane, Methane Hydrates, Tight sandstones

Bio-Fuels 

  • Fuel derived from Non fossil plants
  • In India, mainly centers around cultivation & processing of Jatropha plant seeds, used in production of Bio – Diesel
  • Encouraged only on wasteland / government / forest land
  • Not allowed on fertile land
  • To produce ethanol from sugarcane (Bio-ethanol)
  • National Bio-fuel Policy – Targets minimum 20 % biofuel blending (both bio-diesel and bio-ethanol) across the country by 2017

Electricity in India   Thermal > Hydro > Wind > Nuclear

Thermal Energy

  • 67 % of total energy production
  • Generated by using fossil fuels (Coal, Petroleum, Natural gas)
  • No Geological conditions required
  • Limited reserves, Rising demands (cost) & non – ecofriendly
  • Largest Producer → Maharashtra
  • To boost Thermal power production gov. has promoted Ultra Mega Power Projects (4000 MW & above)

Hydroelectricity

  • 18 % of total energy production
  • Eco-friendly, Clean & Renewable
  • Small hydel power projects < 25 MW
  • Are counted under New renewable energy sources
  • Largest Producer  Andhra Pradesh
  • Central electricity authority (CEC) has estimated Hydel power potential of 84000 MW at 60 % load factor from 39000 MW at present

Nuclear Energy

  • 26 % of total energy production
  • Energy obtained from atomic minerals viz. Uranium, Thorium, zircon, beryllium
  • Provide colossal energy through a small quantity of substance
  • Thorium  Found as monazite sand in lakes & sea beds
  • Thorium   AP > TN > Kerala > Orissa constitutes 30 % of world reserves
  • Largest Producer    Tamil Nadu
  • Very economical; does not produce green-house gases that pollute atmosphere

Wind Energy

  • Non-conventional Renewable source of energy
  • 5th largest installed wind power capacity in the world
  • Largest Producer    Tamil Nadu
  • High cost as compared to the efficiency of power generated
  • Nagercoil (TN) and Jaisalmer (Rajasthan) are well known for effective use of wind energy in the country

Solar Energy

  • Non-conventional Renewable source of energy
  • Thermal + Photovoltaic   Sunlight to energy
  • High cost as compared to the efficiency of power generated
  • India plans to add 20000 MW of solar energy by 2022 under Jawahar Nehru National Solar Mission
  • The largest solar plant of India is located at Madhavpur, near Bhuj, where solar energy is used to sterilise milk cans.

Tidal Energy

  • Non-conventional Renewable source of energy
  • Oceanic tides can be used to generate electricity.
  • Floodgate dams are built across inlets
  • During high tide water flows into the inlet and gets trapped when the gate is closed.
  • After the tide falls outside the flood gate, the water retained by the floodgate flows back to the sea via a pipe that carries it through a power-generating turbine.
  • In India, the Gulf of Kutch, provides ideal conditions for utilising tidal energy.
  • Experimental plant (150 kw) at Vizinjam (Thiruvananthapuram) & 900 mw at Kutch.

Geo Thermal Energy

  • Refers to the heat and electricity produced by using the heat from the interior of the Earth
  • Exists because, the Earth grows progressively hotter with increasing depth
  • Groundwater in such areas absorbs heat from the rocks and becomes hot.
  • It is so hot that when it rises to the earth’s surface, it turns into steam.
  • This steam is used to drive turbines and generate electricity.