Writing in Times of India ( 16 April 2017 / Dark Side of solar success ) , Shri Swaminathan A Aiyar makes following :
· The plant load factor ( PLF ) of coal based power plants was 76 % six years ago , but is now just 58 %
· At today’s PLF of 58 % , many coal based power plants are in trouble
· If average PLF falls below 48 % ( as is likely if Solar capacity soars to 40 GW by 2020 ), then many coal based projects will go bust
· High interest costs ( on borrowed capital ) can kill projects when the PLF falls
· Around 65 GW of NEW thermal power plants are already in pipeline
· PLF collapse could bankrupt many projects , hugely burdening lenders.
· Many banks are already staggering under enormous bad debts and now face the threat of fresh avalanche
· The notion that solar power has become cheaper than coal-based power is an illusion ( though, hopefully it will become reality if costs keep falling )
· Power storage based on conventional batteries is very expensive. Hopefully new technologies will cut the cost , but none are in sight yet
· Solar costs are falling fast, The slower we go, the more solar costs will fall. So speed is not a virtue
MISSING POINTS :
· Coal requires “ auctioning / licensing / mining / washing / transporting / storing “ – all of which are expensive / time-consuming processes .
Coal prices keep rising whereas sunlight cost remains ZERO for ever !
· Sunlight gets delivered directly on every roof-top Solar panel , FREE of cost and 300 days in a year !
· Our 196 GW thermal power plants produced 805.4 million tons of CO2 in 2015.
Solar Power produces NIL !
· Particulate matter emanating from Coal-based power plants is causing 6 LAKH premature deaths in India, EACH YEAR !
Solar Panels do NOT produce any particulate matter
· Thermal power plants consume almost 88 % of the water consumed by ALL industries put together
Solar Panels need VERY LITTLE water , for occasional washing
· If our current fleet of 200 MILLION petrol / diesel vehicles were to get replaced with Electric Vehicles ( government target is 2030 ), that will require a huge amount of electric power ( for battery charging stations )
If that power comes from Coal-based plants , CO2 emission levels and particulate matters , will get WORSE ! That power has to come from Solar !
· As far as storing of Solar Power ( generated during the day ) is concerned, TESLA has made tremendous progress with its POWERPACK batteries and even offered the Australian Government to install a 100 MW storage facility , within 100 days !
Read : Not a Day Too Soon ( 09 March 2017 )
· Only 2 days back , Japanese Consortium consisting of Suzuki / Toshiba / Denso announced plans to start manufacture of Li-ion batteries in India by end of this year , at an investment of Rs 1200 crore
Read : India , the NEW land of the Rising Sun ? ( 01 April 2017 )
· Solar PV modules are dropping in cost at 22 % per year ( it was 26 % in 2016 )
Tony Seba stands vindicated ( 16 March 2017 )
How cheap can it get ? ( 14 March 2017 )
Solar Power at Re 1 per Kwh ? ( 29 Jan 2017 )
Sun : Our Soul ( 02 Jan 2017 )
Sun is the Solution ( 13 Sept 2016 )
Unlimited Power : and round the clock ? ( 29 July 2016 )
17 April 2017
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