Concentrated solar thermal based technologies must be promoted


Chronicle Reporter, Bhopal Madhya Pradesh progressed a lot in Solar Photovoltaic Technology and has already installed 1200 MW capacity of solar projects and work on 1100 MW is in progress, said new and renewal energy department principal secretary Manu Srivastava. He was addressing a meeting organised for promotion of concentrated solar thermal based technologies in the state. A delegation of experts from Tokyo University, Japan, researchers from IIT Jodhpur, officials from United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Industry participants were present in the meeting. Srivastava, however, accepted that not much has been accomplished in the field of Concentrated Solar Thermal technology (CST) in the state. The meeting was organised to assess various applications of CST based technologies, such as in industrial processes, space cooling/heating, power generation, etc. Supplementing the heat requirement of industries operating in the state by CST based technologies will reduce the dependencies on fossil based fuels and will result in lower carbon emission. The delegates also discussed the viability of this technology. Currently Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) provides a 30 per cent subsidy on the benchmark cost of the concentrated solar based systems. CST uses mirrors to concentrate (focus) the solar radiation and converts it into heat to create steam which can be used in an industry. United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) provides soft loan for such systems. An interest subsidy of 5 per cent is provided to borrowers through IREDA. Borrowers can also avail bridge loan from UNIDO for the MNRE subsidy component, since the MNRE subsidy is provided after the system is commissioned. UNIDO has identified 14 industries where CST technology can be put to use. Most of these industries have industrial boiler as a key component which is used for generation of heated steam.