An Indian delegation lead by Mr. Gireesh Pradhan, Secretary of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, visited some Spanish Concentrating Solar Thermal Power plants and met with Protermosolar the 18th April.
Mr. Pradhan was very positively impress by the visits to the solar thermal plants and declares the strong commitment of India with solar energy (both PV and STE). The biggest issue in India in terms of energy is to provide electricity to the 40% of population which have no access today.
Regarding the ongoing Solar Mission program he is convinced that the first set of 500 MW CSP plants will be a success in spite of the big criticisms that India has received from many countries regarding the bidding process over the FiT.
Luis Crespo, General Secretary of Protermosolar and President of ESTELA express his fully confidence on the commitment of the relevant Indian companies which are promoting the first projects in order to make them happen.
Crespo presented the big advantages of CSP plants for India regarding potential, dispatchability, grid estability and macoreconomic impacts. He foresees a major role of CSP in the future Indian generation mix.
He also said that Spain made a big effort in supporting the first generation o new plants and now countries like India have an easier task although continuous support is still needed in order to profit from CSP technology as soon as possible.
The example of Spain will be very relevant for India as all the support that might be provided to CSP will be returned to the State and the Society at a lager extend in terms fuel savings, taxes and employment.
Some Spanish companies like Abengoa, Acciona and ACS attended to the meeting as well. They expressed their interest and commitments to collaborate with he Indian Government and local partners in the deployment of CSP in the country.
Protermosolar and ESTELA offered a complete disposal to provide information and advice to the Indian Government. They will keep in touch regarding the future Indian plans in terms of both technology development and plant deployment.
India has embarked on the programme of generating 10,000 MW of solar power. Out of this 3000 MW will be supported by a mechanism that assures guranteed offtake at a fixed price for 15-25 years.
The balance 7000 MW will be funded by the tradable renewable energy certificates (RECs) that the distribution companies will be obliged to buy from the solar power producers. All the CSP players wish to get a large sub quota fro solar thermal from the 3000 MW.
Logically, the shares of CSP and PV should have been equal but the present environment of cheaper PV prices may disturb the historical parity.