Sunday, August 28, 2005

EnY Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices

The Ernst andYoung Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices Summer 2005 is a set of indices that provide scores for national renewable energy markets, renewable energy infrastructure and their suitability for individual technologies for countries around the world. The indices provide score out of 100 and are updated periodically.

Now to the Indices and the rankings..

Long-Term Indices - The Long-Term Indices are forward looking and take a long-term view of the renewable energy technologies. The overall rankings of countries is based on individual indices that combine to form the All Renewables Index. The All Renewable Index is a combination of four different technology indices, each carrying a specific weightage -
Wind Index (85%), Solar Index (5%), Biomass & Other Resources (includes small hydro, landfill gas, wave, tidal and geothermal technologies) Index, and Renewables Infrastructure Index (10%). Each of these Technology Indices in turn consider, on a weighted basis - Power Offtake Attractiveness (19%), Tax Climate (11%), Grant/Soft Loan Availability (9%), Market Growth Potential (18.5%), Current Installed base (8%), Resource Quality (19%) and Project Size (15.5%).

Rankings based on the All Renewable Index
1. Spain - 68
2. USA - 67
3. UK - 66
4. Germany - 65
5. Portugal - 58
6. France - 57
7. Italy - 56
8. Ireland - 56
9. India - 55
10. Netherlands - 53

Rankings based on Long-Term Solar Index
1. USA - 72
2. Germany - 70
3. Spain -67
4. France - 57
5. Italy - 57
6. Portugal - 55
7. Australia - 55
8. Austria - 54
9. India - 51
10. Greece - 51

Rankings based on Long-Term Biomass & Other Resources Index
1. Spain - 64
2. USA - 64
3. UK - 60
4. Sweden - 58
5. Germany - 57
6. France - 56
7. Portugal - 53
8. Italy - 51
9. Denmark - 48
10. Ireland - 47
*India - 41*

Rankings based on Renewables Infrastructure Index
The Renewables Infrastructure Index is an assessment by country of the general regulatory infrastructure for renewable energy. On a weighted basis, the index comprises - Electricity Market Regulatory Risk (29%), Planning and Grid Connection Issues (42%) and Access to Finance (29%).
1. Spain - 73
2. UK - 71
3. Portugal - 64
4. USA - 63
5. Ireland - 63
6. Denmark - 63
7. Italy - 59
8. Netherlands - 57
9. Canada - 56
10. Greece - 56
*India - 51*

Long-Term Wind Index - The Long-Term Wind Index combines a weightage of 70% of the Onshore Wind Index and 30% of the Offshore Wind Index. Each of these indices comprises 35% of the Renewables Infrastructure Index and 65% of Technology Factors.

Rankings based on the Long-Term Wind Index
1. Spain - 68
2. UK - 68
3. USA - 67
4. Germany - 65
5. Portugal - 58
6. France - 58
7. Ireland - 58
8. India - 57
9. Italy - 56
10. China - 56.

Near-Term Wind Index - The Near-Term Wind Index takes a two-year view based on the parameters of most concern to a typical investor looking to make an investment in the near-term. The Index on a weighted basis comprises - Power Offtake Attractiveness (27%), Tax Climate (8%), Resource Quality (14%), Market Growth Potential (40%) and Project Size (11%).

Rankings based on the Near-Term Wind Index
1. Spain
2. USA
3. Germany
4. India
5. UK
6. Italy
7. France
8. Portugal
9. China
10. Canada

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Data: Evaluation of Power Distribution System

I came across an interesting set of data in the Central Electricity Authority's website. The table ranks the performance of power distribution system of distribution companies (DISCOMs)/ state electricity boards (SEBs) for the month of March 2005 of 22 urban agglomerations, with population more than 8 lakhs. Among the notable cities not in the list - Banglore, Mumbai City, Pune (due to non-furnishing of information).
The evaluation has been done based on the average number of trippings per feeder and the outage duration per tripping for 11 KV system.

Based on number of trippings per feeder
1. Kolkata (WB) - 0.13
2. Surat (Guj) - 0.16
3. Mumbai (Mah suburbs) - 0.31
4. Ahmedabad (Guj) - 0.34
5. Vishakapatnam (AP) - 0.64
6. Delhi (provider: NDPL)- 1.11

Based on outage (in minutes) duration per tripping
1. Jabalpur (MP) - 6.43
2. Coimbatore (TN) - 6.83
3. Chennai (TN) - 9.52
4. Mulund (Mah) - 9.73
5. Kochi (Kerala) - 12.19
6. Trichy (TN) - 14.93

What I was actually looking for was some data on inadequate capacity in feeder lines between newer generation centers (wind energy, etc) and load centers. The interest was sparked off by an article in The Hindu earlier this month.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Asia-Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate

In the recently concluded 12th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) meeting in Vientiane, an important international agreement was reached among some leading countries in the world. The Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (APP4CDC) comprises Australia, United States, China, India, Japan and South Korea. This agreement is in line with the Kyoto Protocol in combatting climate change, however, the partnership does not enforce mandatory limits for greenhouse emissions. The limits are self-mandated but important considering the founding countries account for around half of global greenhouse emissions. ASEAN countries are not yet part of this partnership.

An article regarding the new Partnership and a small comparison to the Kyoto Protocol can be read here. Quoting from the article..
'..the Asia-Pacific partnership recognises the unique needs of both developing nations and resources-supplying countries. It does not seek to mandate emission targets on disparate national jurisdictions and societies but seeks to promote clean energy technologies appropriate to them. And it proposes to allow a "clean development mechanism" and the workings of competitive clean energy source pricings to respond to national and international market forces.
This ensures that climate change is minimised and sustainable development aspirations are maximised without heavy impacts on national economies.

Except for the short short vision statement, not many details are available at this time.

Relevant links..
Wikipedia - APP4CDC

Please also check a short discussion about APP4CDC in Although I have my own apprehensions (unfair at this point of time!!), I would like to see something positive come out of it.

Friday, August 12, 2005

India: Power Sector Rating

I came across a report titled "Power Sector Rating: Consolidated Report to the Ministry of Power", from the Ministry of Power - Govt. of India. This report gives the performance rating of the state power sector across all the states in India. The standings from data based until December 2004 is as follows:
1. Andhra Pradesh
2. Gujarat
3. Delhi
4. Karnataka
5. Tamil Nadu
6. Goa

p.s: not enough time to write a review/brief about the report!!

Plus: Also check out a wonderful speech given by P. K. Pachuri (Director-General, TERI) at the Alliance for Global Sustainability (AGS) Annual Meeting at Cambridge, MA in March 2005.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Kyoto Protocol: Clean Development Mechanism

The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is presented as Article 12 in the Kyoto Protocol. To put it simply..
'The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is one of the two project-based flexible mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol. These mechanisms are designed to make it easier and cheaper for industrialised countries to meet the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets that they agreed to under the Protocol. The CDM is also mandated to assist developing countries in achieving sustainable development.'

India Slant:
Chapter IV of the white paper 'Financing Sustainable Development with the Clean Development Mechanism' (edited by Duncan Austin and Paul Faeth of the WRI) is titled 'India: CDM Oppurtunities and Benefits'. This part (dated March 2000) was written by Milind Pathak, Leena Srivastava and Sudhir Sharma of TERI. The study presents a preliminary prioritization of CDM projects in India based on a ranking scheme called the Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP).

An interesting e-book titled 'Sustainability Check-Up for CDM Projects' (2003) by Christoph Sutter provides a systematic overview of various approaches to assess the sustainability of CDM projects. The methodology - Multi-Attributive Assessment of CDM (MATA-CDM) - evaluates CDM projects by means of 12 clearly defined criteria. The methodology has been tested in case studies in India and South Africa and Uruguay. Pages (121-166) in the above mentioned e-book analyses a particular type of CDM project in India - the biomass power generation in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

In an article early this year in The Financial Express, Dr. P. C. Maithani, Director - MNES, Govt. of India, discusses the impact of CDM on the Indian industry (eight years after the Kyoto Protocol). The author concludes..
'In a nutshell, CDM fails on all the promised fronts of technology transfer, FDI flows and carbon money.'

Relevant Sites:
CDM Home
CDM Watch
CDM Capacity
Prototype Carbon Fund
National CDM Authority
CDM India
CDM - TERI India
CDM - Winrock India

Update: 'Why Kyoto Protocol was dead in the Water?'

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Akshaya Urja - Official newsletter of the MNES, Govt. of India
The Bulletin on Energy Efficiency - Official newsletter of IREDA Ltd.

Books: Energy Policy for India

Energy Policy of India: Towards Sustainable Energy Security in India in the Twenty First Century by Dr. S. K. Chopra
Oxford and IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd New Delhi; 2004; ISBN 81-204-1604-X

Dr. S. K. Chopra is Senior Adviser in the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources. He was formerly a Young Professional in World Bank and subsequently served the Government of India in the Planning Commission.

The only review of the book I found was by Dr. P. C. Maithani (Director, MNES) in the Akshaya Urja newsletter (p. 40).

Solar Water Heaters - Soft loans

I was looking into programs by the MNES in encouraging 'common people' to invest in non-conventional sources of energy. The Ministry has been supporting solar water heater (SWH) initiatives as part of its Tenth Five Year Plan (valid till 31/3/2007) under the Interest Subsidy Scheme.

* The scheme is open to end-users (individuals, cooperative housing societies, non-commercial organizations), intermediaries and commerical organizations through two different sources:
1. IREDA, and 2. Banks and Financial Institutions (Canara Bank, Union Bank of India, Punjab & Sind Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Andhra Bank, Syndicate Bank, Punjab National Bank)
* Rates of Interest:
IREDA - 7% for commercial organizations, 4.5% for intermediaries lending to commercial organizations, 5% for end-users, 2.5% for intermediaries lending to end users
Banks and FIs: 5% for individuals
* Loan Amount covered:
IREDA - Upto 80% of the cost of the project as apprised by IREDA
Banks and FIs: Upto 85% of the cost of the system
* Supported Technologies:
1. Flat Plate Collectors (FPC) based SWH, and 2. Evacuated Tube Collectors (ETC) based SWH
* Eligible Suppliers Information (Govt. Approved):
1. FPC based SWH - 83 manufacturers, and 2. ETC based SWH - 4 manufacturers (Detailed information on each supplier is available in the Ministry website)
* Cost Estimates:
FPC based SWH:
1 collector sytem-100 litres capacity-Rs. 18000
2 collectors system-200 litres-Rs. 35000
3 collectors system-300 litres-Rs. 50000
ETC based SWH:
75 litres-11 tubes-Rs. 14500
100 litres-14 tubes-Rs. 18000
200 litres-28-Rs. 35000
(Please check the Minsitry's site for more cost estimates)
* Maintenance guarentee: (for both IREDA and Bank loans)
Suppliers will be responsible for maintenance of the systems for 5 years and it will form part of unit cost to be financed by the banks as per above guidelines.

Relevant Information:
* All information from the Ministry's site is as of September 2003. So please verify all information.
Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources,
Block-14, C.G.O. Complex,
Lodhi Road,New Delhi 110003, India.
Phone No. : 91 - 011 - 4361604
Fax No. : 91 - 011 - 4361604
E-mail :
* Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd.,
India Habitat Centre Complex, Core-4A, East Court, Ist Floor,
Lodi Road, New Delhi – 110 003.
Tel: 24682214-21
Fax: 24682202

Plus: Motto of the MNES - "Gaon-Gaon Bijali, Ghar-Ghar Prakash" (translates to 'electricity and light to every village' in India)
Plus: National Renewable Energy Day - August 20

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Microbial Fuel Cells

An article in any science journal/magazine/newspaper that talks about new ways to produce/harness electricity (preferably 'cheap') definitely grabs my attention. And a recent article in the EETimes talked about harnessing electricity from wastewater. This time, it is from the lab of Chemical engineering Professor Lars Angenent @ Washington University, St. Louis. To simply put it in one sentence..

"Angenent's microbial fuel cell design uses the bacteria from wastewater on its anode and cathode instead of platinum, enabling it to make a fuel from the water to create electricity while simultaneously neutralizing the biological matter that would otherwise have to be purged from the water. "

For the scientific types - please visit Angenent's lab and browse through some of his work available as full texts.

Quoting from the same article..

"Angenent has applied for a patent on the stacked microbial fuel cell design and received preliminary funding from Washington University to scale up the device. The university hopes to license it commercially to existing companies or to fund its own startup."

AAh!way to go..

Relevant MFC research links..
Professor Bruce Logan's research team @ Penn State
Geobacter Project @ UMass-Amherst

Some interesting (technical) reads include..
"Electricity generation by direct oxidation of glucose in mediatorless microbial fuel cells" by Swades K Chaudhuri and Derek R Lovley.
"Electricity production by Geobacter sulfurreducens attached to electrodes" by Daniel R Bond and Derek R Lovley.
"Production of bioenergy and biochemicals from industrial and agricultural wastewater" by Largus T Angenent et al.
"Electricity generation from artificial wastewater using an upflow microbial fuel cell" by Zhen He, Shelley D Minteer and Largus T Angenent.
"Harnessing microbially generated power on the seafloor" by Leonard M Tender et al.

India Slant: (Non-MFC news..)
Just last year, Professor Ajay K Sood @ IISc (along with his doctoral student Shankar Ghosh) demonstrated that an electric current and a voltage difference can be generated merely by flowing a common gas like oxygen, argon or nitrogen over a doped semiconductor.
Quoting from Dr. Sood's paper titled "Direct generation of a voltage and current by gas flow over nanotubes and semiconductors"..

"We report here a direct generation of measurable voltages and currents when a gas flows over a variety of solids even at the modest speed of a few meters per second. The underlying mechanism is an interesting interplay of Bernoulli's principle and the Seebeck effect: Pressure differences along streamline give rise to temperature differences across the sample; these in turn produce the measured voltage. The electrical signal is quadriatically dependent on the Mach number M and proportional to the Seebeck coefficient of the solids. Results are presented for doped Si and Ge, single wall and multiwall carbon nanotubes, and graphite. Our results show that gas flow sensors and energy conversion devices can be constructed based on direct generation of electrical signals."

A Business World India article rightly put the commercial aspect of the 'Sood Effect'..

"Sood's discovery can be used to generate electricity. You could bundle several wires, and all of them would produce currents that can be added up and transmitted. Windmills generate power from winds, but Sood's technique needs no moving parts. You can put wires wherever there is a gas flow, and generate electricity. The current is proportional to the speed of the flowing gas, so the principle can be used to measure velocity directly. Velocity sensors form a multibillion dollar market. It is not out of place to mention that IISc has filed a patent application in the Patent Cooperation Treaty."

Some relevant reads..
"Carbon nanotube sensors" by Shankar Ghosh, A K Sood and N Kumar.

For readers with a non-Science background..
Bernoullis' theorem (Basic, Advanced)
Seebeck Effect
Semiconductors (doping, etc explained too)

Snippet: "Use a 10-Kilowatt Brain"
A research student of Physics was conducting an experiment using an one-kilowatt power X-ray tube. On hearing that a scientist in England was experimenting on the same problem with a five-kilowatt X-ray tube, he grew dejected. When his Professor got to know of this, he walked up to the student and with supreme confidence and a smile, said: "There is a very simple solution: use a 10-kilowatt brain on the problem.” Professor Chandrashekhar Venkata Raman was speaking from experience. He had won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1930, with simple equipment barely worth Rs 300 (approx $7), for the famous 'Raman Effect'.

  • ADB India
  • World Bank India
  • IMF India
  • UN India
  • UN Environment Program
  • NREL
  • IIEC
  • International Energy Agency
  • TERI North America
  • World Oil
  • BP World Energy Report
  • World Resources Institute
  • World Business Council for Sustainable Development
  • Govt. of India (Ministry of Power)
  • Govt. of India (Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources)
  • Govt. of India (Dept. of Atomic Energy)
  • Govt. of India (Planning Commission)
  • Central Electricity Authority
  • Wind Power India
  • NTPC
  • TERI India
  • NRDC
  • CSIR
  • India Energy Report
  • Mithradham
  • Centre for Wind Energy Technology
  • Energy Bulletin
  • Oil Analytics
  • Green Powered
  • Grist
  • Post Carbon
  • Power Frontiers
  • Wind Power Monthly
  • Auroville
  • SustainaBlog
  • Bio-Diesel Blog
  • Sustainability Zone
  • Bio-Diesel Now
  • Renewable Energy Access
  • Green Car Congress
  • Renewing India
  • Eco World
  • Cost of Energy
  • Energy Blog
  • Alt Eng
  • Alternative Energy
  • Future of Energy
  • Tree Hugger
  • Ergosphere
  • World Changing
  • Peak Energy
  • Peak Oil
  • Mobjectivist
  • FTD
  • Joel Makeover
  • The Oil Drum
  • Peak Oil Net
  • IDFuel
  • Planet for Life
  • Wind Energy News
  • Fuel Cell Today
  • Fuel Cell Works
  • Renewable Energy
  • World Energy
  • Energy Central
  • Green Biz
  • Energy Pulse
  • Winrock International India
  • Bombay Energy
  • India Solar
  • Clean Tech India
  • Labland Biotechs Private Limited
  • Indic View