The Wind of Change

  With the aim of facilitating the setting up of 10 GW of hybrid wind-solar power plants by 2022, the government has come out with the Draft National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy. Here we’ll discuss how this policy will boost the renewable energy sector
India has set an ambitious target of reaching 175 GW of installed capacity from renewable energy sources including 100 GW from solar and 60 GW from wind by the year 2022. Various policy initiatives have been taken to achieve this target. As on May this year, the country has already crossed a mark 26.8 GW of wind and 7.6 GW of solar power installed capacity.  
The PolicyWith the aim of facilitating the setting up of 10 GW of hybrid wind-solar power plants by 2022, the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) has come out with the Draft National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy. The policy proposes to encourage new technologies, methods and way-outs involving combined operation of wind and solar PV plants.   It envisages providing a framework for promotion of large grid connected wind-solar PV system for optimal and efficient utilisation of transmission infrastructure and land, reducing the variability in renewable power generation and thus achieving better grid stability. 
Anil Sardana, MD and CEO, Tata Power said, “The policy has been drafted with the aim of reaching wind-solar hybrid capacity of 10 GW by 2022. While the country has already installed 26.8 GW of wind and 7.6 GW of solar power, such policies will further boost India’s aim to achieve 175 GW of installed capacity by 2022.”
Prasad Chaporkar, Head – Marketing and International Business, Waaree Energies Ltd comments, “The draft National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy is indeed a unique and positive policy initiative which would certainly act as one more accelerator to boost the RE sector.”
Anand Kumar, CEO, Panchavaktra Power Ltd said, “Solar and wind power being similar in nature impose certain challenges on grid security and stability. Studies have revealed that solar and winds are almost complementary to each other and hybdridation of two technologies would help in minimising the variability apart from optimally utilising the infrastructure, including land and transmission system. Superimposition of wind and solar resource maps show that there are large areas where both wind and solar have high to moderate potential. The existing wind farms have scope of adding solar PV capacity and similarly there may be wind potential in the vicinity of existing solar PV plant. Under the category of wind-solar hybrid power plants, wind and solar PV systems will be configured to operate at the same point of grid connection.”
According to Chaporkar, “There are many synergies to wind and solar generation. While solar panels generate power mostly during the day, wind turbines can generate power at any time, depending on the wind speeds. The other big advantage of hybrid farms will be the savings on infrastructure costs, especially land and power evacuation costs.” In India, land costs are quite high compared to other costs such as labour and equipment. This makes it useful to optimise the usage of land.
“A combined wind and solar farm generation will have a better round the clock availability than only a wind or a solar farm,” he adds.
States with high wind power potential and good solar irradiation such as Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu would be able to derive excellent mileage from this policy.
Hybrid wind-solar projectsIn case of new wind-solar hybrid projects, the draft policy proposes to provide the developer with the option of using the hybrid power for captive use or third party sale or sale the hybrid power to distribution company (ies) at a price determined by the respective state electricity regulatory commissions for that hybrid power project.
“The hybrid power so purchased by distribution company may be used to offset both solar and non-solar renewable purchase obligations (RPO). The hybrid power may be procured through a transparent bidding process under different mechanisms. Parameters that may be considered for bidding could be total capacity delivered at grid interface point, CUF and unit price of electricity,” the draft policy proposed. 
IncentivesThe government plans to encourage development wind-solar hybrid systems through various incentives. According to the draft policy, all fiscal and financial incentives available to wind and solar power projects may also be made available to hybrid projects. “Low cost financing for hybrid projects may be made available through IREDA and other financial institutions including multilateral banks,” the draft policy stated. 
“It would be worthwhile at the policy level to consider incentives for these types of hybrid farms to provide push to this initiative and attract interest from investors and lenders,” Chaporkar comments.
ConclusionWhile hybrid systems are viewed as a good step forward for the renewable energy sector as they stand to facilitate the efficient use of both land and transmission infrastructure, the policy needs to be clear on tariff structures and financial incentives. Anurag Garg, Vice President, Solar Business, Schneider Electric India, opines, “The success of draft hybrid wind and solar energy policy would depend on the tariff level, which might be feed-in rate-based or competitively bid-based.”
He also adds that overall regulatory clarity in terms of rate norms for hybrid projects remains key for the success of the policy.        

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The Wind of Change

  With the aim of facilitating the setting up of 10 GW of hybrid wind-solar power plants by 2022, the government has come out with the Draft National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy. Here we’ll discuss how this policy will boost the renewable energy sector
India has set an ambitious target of reaching 175 GW of installed capacity from renewable energy sources including 100 GW from solar and 60 GW from wind by the year 2022. Various policy initiatives have been taken to achieve this target. As on May this year, the country has already crossed a mark 26.8 GW of wind and 7.6 GW of solar power installed capacity.  
The PolicyWith the aim of facilitating the setting up of 10 GW of hybrid wind-solar power plants by 2022, the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) has come out with the Draft National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy. The policy proposes to encourage new technologies, methods and way-outs involving combined operation of wind and solar PV plants.   It envisages providing a framework for promotion of large grid connected wind-solar PV system for optimal and efficient utilisation of transmission infrastructure and land, reducing the variability in renewable power generation and thus achieving better grid stability. 
Anil Sardana, MD and CEO, Tata Power said, “The policy has been drafted with the aim of reaching wind-solar hybrid capacity of 10 GW by 2022. While the country has already installed 26.8 GW of wind and 7.6 GW of solar power, such policies will further boost India’s aim to achieve 175 GW of installed capacity by 2022.”
Prasad Chaporkar, Head – Marketing and International Business, Waaree Energies Ltd comments, “The draft National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy is indeed a unique and positive policy initiative which would certainly act as one more accelerator to boost the RE sector.”
Anand Kumar, CEO, Panchavaktra Power Ltd said, “Solar and wind power being similar in nature impose certain challenges on grid security and stability. Studies have revealed that solar and winds are almost complementary to each other and hybdridation of two technologies would help in minimising the variability apart from optimally utilising the infrastructure, including land and transmission system. Superimposition of wind and solar resource maps show that there are large areas where both wind and solar have high to moderate potential. The existing wind farms have scope of adding solar PV capacity and similarly there may be wind potential in the vicinity of existing solar PV plant. Under the category of wind-solar hybrid power plants, wind and solar PV systems will be configured to operate at the same point of grid connection.”
According to Chaporkar, “There are many synergies to wind and solar generation. While solar panels generate power mostly during the day, wind turbines can generate power at any time, depending on the wind speeds. The other big advantage of hybrid farms will be the savings on infrastructure costs, especially land and power evacuation costs.” In India, land costs are quite high compared to other costs such as labour and equipment. This makes it useful to optimise the usage of land.
“A combined wind and solar farm generation will have a better round the clock availability than only a wind or a solar farm,” he adds.
States with high wind power potential and good solar irradiation such as Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu would be able to derive excellent mileage from this policy.
Hybrid wind-solar projectsIn case of new wind-solar hybrid projects, the draft policy proposes to provide the developer with the option of using the hybrid power for captive use or third party sale or sale the hybrid power to distribution company (ies) at a price determined by the respective state electricity regulatory commissions for that hybrid power project.
“The hybrid power so purchased by distribution company may be used to offset both solar and non-solar renewable purchase obligations (RPO). The hybrid power may be procured through a transparent bidding process under different mechanisms. Parameters that may be considered for bidding could be total capacity delivered at grid interface point, CUF and unit price of electricity,” the draft policy proposed. 
IncentivesThe government plans to encourage development wind-solar hybrid systems through various incentives. According to the draft policy, all fiscal and financial incentives available to wind and solar power projects may also be made available to hybrid projects. “Low cost financing for hybrid projects may be made available through IREDA and other financial institutions including multilateral banks,” the draft policy stated. 
“It would be worthwhile at the policy level to consider incentives for these types of hybrid farms to provide push to this initiative and attract interest from investors and lenders,” Chaporkar comments.
ConclusionWhile hybrid systems are viewed as a good step forward for the renewable energy sector as they stand to facilitate the efficient use of both land and transmission infrastructure, the policy needs to be clear on tariff structures and financial incentives. Anurag Garg, Vice President, Solar Business, Schneider Electric India, opines, “The success of draft hybrid wind and solar energy policy would depend on the tariff level, which might be feed-in rate-based or competitively bid-based.”
He also adds that overall regulatory clarity in terms of rate norms for hybrid projects remains key for the success of the policy.        

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