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madhav chowdhary posted: Are you interested in Investing in Solar Power Projects to be deployed in rural parts of India to supply power to Cold Storage, Milk Cooling, EV Charging 1 year ago

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Shiv Vembadi posted: How much of the world is currently powered by renewable energy? What would be the case in 2020? 1 year ago

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Narasimhan Santhanam . Thanks for the question, Shiv. And a pretty important one too at that,

Before I answer, I would like to spell out what I mean by Renewable energy. In addition to solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and ocean based (tidal/wave), hydropower is also renewable energy, though many do not consider it while discussing renewables, owing to a confusion between alternative and renewable sources (hydro is not alternative energy as it has been a conventional source for long, but IS renewable).

If we agree on the above definition, the total installed capacity of renewable energy sources end of 2016 was around 2.3 TW (2300 GW), with hydro contributing about 60% in terms of installed capacity (about 1300 GW), and the rest of renewables contributing about 1 TW (1000 GW). Of the non-hydro renewable sources, solar and wind will claim a large share (about 900 GW).

Given that the total global installed capacity of electricity is about 6.4 TW, the total % share of renewable power capacity is about 35%, quite a substantial share. However, when it comes to power generation (and not just capacity), the share of renewable will be a shade under 20% - my best estimate is somewhere almost 20%, with hydro contributing about 16.5, wind about 2%, solar and biomass giving about 1.5% together.

So, currently, in terms of installed capacity, renewable sources of power has about 35%, and in terms of generation, about 20%.

But as you can see, the elephant in the room is hydro power. If you take hydro power from the equation, the % share of renewable energy sources to the world's electricity consumption comes crashing down to just 3.5%.
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Shiv Vembadi . Mr. Narasimhan, that's a lot of useful information. Thank you. So, if solar and wind are currently only about 3% to the total electricity demand, when do you think that could become 10% or 30%? Like

Narasimhan Santhanam . @Shiv - a difficult thing to predict. All I know in terms of formal estimate is that IEA thinks solar power will be the single largest generation source for electricity by 2050 - solar PV and CSP combined could contribute about 27% of total - Link />
Of course, 2050 is too far into the future to predict, or for that matter, bother about for the ordinary I and you.

If I were to take a guess, consider it a guess and no more, by 2020, renewables (excluding hydro) would be contributing about 4.5%-5%, and by 2025, possibly about 8%. A 10% contribution could take until close to 2030.

A 30% for solar and wind together would perhaps happen around 2040-2042, if we go with the above IEA estimates.

Prediction far into the future is a nice game isn't it? It's so far away, no one is gone to point fingers at you when I'm wrong - because it will take some 25 years to find out if if I am :-)
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Pruthiraj Swain posted: Is Hydrogen based fuel cells comes under renewable sources of energy ? 1 year ago

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Narasimhan Santhanam . Hi Pruthiraj. Thanks for your question.

Technically, hydrogen cannot be classified as a renewable energy source, but more as an energy storage medium.

Why?

Consider the key renewable energy sources - solar, wind, biomass, geothermal etc. These are all present in nature around us, and all we need to do is to recover useful energy out of these (electricity from solar & wind, heat & biofuels from biomass, heat & power from geothermal).

On the other hand, hydrogen is not present around us in pure form, and hence has to be generated using other forms of energy - which could be renewable energy or a fossil energy source!

So, it can easily deduced that hydrogen is neither a direct source of energy, nor can it be definitively called renewable.

However, as a storage medium, hydrogen is a great idea. Solar & wind are infirm sources, so an effective way to make them reliable is to use them to generate hydrogen and recover this energy on demand.

Hope I made sense. Thanks again for asking.
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Bhaskar Varun Prasad Konduri posted: What is the cost break-up of manufacturing PV cells and modules in India & in China? 1 year ago

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Narasimhan Santhanam . My answer may not be able to do justice to the good question, but here it goes: For solar cells, for raw materials, labour, or capital costs, the costs for India are same as what they are for China. Cost of power and interest costs are lower in China, but these are subsidised prices. So, if not for govt meddling in China, their cost of solar cell making will be the same as what it is for India. Like

Narasimhan Santhanam . For a solar module made in India, the rough cost break up is: 60% of total is the cell cost, about 25% other raw material and consumables cost, only about 10-15% of total for the rest - electricity, labour, other indirect overheads and amortization. Like

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Divya Prabha M.V posted: Why is solar thermal based electricity not growing fast like Solar PV? 1 year ago

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