The real cost of solar power – toi blogs

This article is prompted by a report ( in the Times of India of 1st December) that for some roof-top solar projects, a tariff of Rs 3 per unit has been quoted, which is same as the average cost of power from the coal-fired plants of NTPC. Gas weed The report also gives the impression that solar power is going to be cheaper than power generated by thermal power plants. Gas and electric nyc While it is true that the cost of solar power has been coming down, it is necessary to understand certain aspects of solar power, particularly regarding its impact on the overall cost of power supply, so as to be able to take informed decisions without being carried away by some simplistic facts.

A distinctive characteristic of solar power is that it can be generated only during the mid-day hours when the sun is up in the sky. Gas finder app It therefore can’t help in catering to the requirement of electric power during evening hours, when the power demand peaks. Electricity vs magnetism As we move towards ‘electricity for all’, the power demand during evening hours would keep on rising, and conventional generating capacity would require continued enhancement, irrespective of the installation of the solar capacity. Gas guzzler tax In fact, solar capacity should not be counted when working out the generating capacity requirement for meeting the projected peak demand.

What the solar generating capacity (whether roof-top or large-scale) actually provides is electrical energy during mid-day hours (say 8am to 4pm), to replace an equivalent amount of electrical energy from thermal power plants during those same hours. Electricity in homes This directly reduces (i) the amount of coal burnt in the power plants (whose day-time generation is curtailed), (ii) amount of ash produced by these plants, (iii) CO 2 emission, and (iv) the requirements of coal mining, import and transport, and of ash disposal. Electricity games online free These are all most beneficial from environmental angle, and are the reasons for the global push for solar (and wind) power generation.

Sometimes, concerns are voiced that the increasing solar capacity would cause the Plant Load Factor (PLF) of the thermal plants to fall (because the latter would have to necessarily back down during mid-day hours when solar plants would be feeding power into the grid), destabilise their operation and upset their economics. Electricity water analogy These concerns are not valid. Electricity 101 PLF is not the right criterion for judging a plant’s performance. Electricity meme Backing down, and ramping up the thermal generation when solar generation falls in the early evening hours, would normally be within the plants’ operating capability. Gas x side effects liver It would only require the plant operators to be alert, and to take the necessary preventive/corrective actions to ensure that their machines are not over-stressed. Ag gaston funeral home birmingham al The commercial problem can also be easily overcome by adopting two-part tariff (comprising of capacity charge and energy charge) for the thermal plants, wherein any revenue reduction on backing down is neutralised by a matching reduction in cost of fuel consumed. Gas stoichiometry practice All Central thermal stations already have this tariff format, and would not suffer on account of backing down. 76 gas station locations Typically, the present energy charge rates of thermal plants, based on their respective fuel cost, are in the range of Rs 1.50 to 2 per kWh sent out, while the total average cost (including the fixed cost, which is recovered through the capacity charge) is in the range of Rs 3 to 4 per unit. Electricity load profile Thermal stations still on single-part tariff have simply to change over to two-part tariff to avoid any adverse effect on their economics.

Now let us come to the impact of solar power on the overall cost of power supply. Electricity off Suppose the tariff for solar power, to be paid by a State utility is Rs 4 per unit. Gas urban dictionary When this power comes into the State utility’s system (during 8am – 4pm period), the off-take of the State utility from the thermal stations would get reduced by the same extent, hour-by-hour. Power quiz questions Consequently, the amount to be paid by the State utility to the thermal plants would come down as per the latter’s energy charge rate. Electricity and magnetism physics So, while the State utility would pay Rs 4 for every kWh of solar power it received, its payment to the thermal plants would come down by only Rs 1.50 to 2. X men electricity mutant Thus the utility would have a net additional liability of over Rs 2 for each kWh of solar power it receives, even when the total average prices of solar and thermal power are comparable. Z gas el salvador precios This is the real (additional) cost of solar power, which is ultimately borne by the national economy.

A question then arises as to how the above cost is to be shared between the various stake-holders. Gas pains or contractions If the amount of solar power in the total electrical energy mix is 5%, the additional cost per unit of total energy would be more than 10 paise, and around 15 paise per unit of energy sold (after allowing for T&D losses). B games basketball If the regulators determine that this additional liability is to be borne only by the better-off consumers and they consume about 50% of the total electricity supplied, their average tariff shall have to be jacked up by about 30 paise per unit. Gas jet size chart This is the order of the price to be paid for this environment-friendly power, which needs to be duly considered while deciding about the pace of enhancement of solar power.