UNIDO prepares roadmap for 100 MW concentrated solar thermal

Kolkata: The UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) is preparing a road map for 100 MW (megawatt) concentrated solar thermal (CST) capacity for the next five years in India, a top official said. "We are preparing a road map for 100 MW (megawatt) concentrated solar thermal (CST) capacity for the next five years in India," said UNIDO's National Project Manager Anil Misra on Saturday. Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) asked the organisation to prepare the roadmap and preparation of it is expected to be completed by the next two months, he said.  CST technologies are sufficiently suited for heating, drying and cooling applications for industrial processes and useful for cooking and domestic purposes. The organisation has shortlisted 14 sectors, Misra said. "Presently, about 250 CST systems, which are off-grid, are operating in India," MNRE's Joint Secretary Tarun Kapoor said.  In order to popularise and promote CST power, the MNRE has floated its own programme and as a supplementary to it, there is another programme, GEF (Global Environment Facility)-UNIDO-MNRE project.  "We submitted a proposal to GEF and got the fund from them. The project is coordinated by the Ministry," he said. Kapoor also said the ministry provides 30 per cent subsidy for installation of CST.  "Under the project, we are offering additional 5 per cent interest rate subvention. This 5 per cent comes to additional 20 percent subsidy and the net subsidy almost becomes 50 per cent," he said.  According to Misra, the project aims to facilitate the installation 45,000 sq.m of installed concentrated solar (CS) collector area through 15-25 demonstration and 60 replication projects. Direct emission reductions from these projects during its five-year period are estimated at 39,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide, Misra added. "UNIDO will provide $ 1.8 million for demonstration projects and to support manufacturing of CST component in India," Misra said. About Rs 18,000-20,000 was needed to be invested for per sq.m of CST area with single and double axis collector and Rs 12,000 is the estimated cost for the non-imaging collector, he noted. One sq.m of CST produces 3.5-kilo calories. Solar thermal's efficiency is around 40-50 per cent while the same for solar PV is about 15 per cent. Thus, land requirement for CST project is one-third of solar PV project.