Varied interests in the energy and power sector viz., CDM, carbon rating, Monitoring & Evaluation, Energy Management, Rural Development; Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy related matters; Demand Side Management (DSM), Energy Audits, Distributed Power Generation (Biomass, Wind,Solar and Small Hydro), Participatory Management.

Saturday, August 29, 2009



Posted on August 26th, 2009

By Noor Nizam – Sri Lanka Peace Activist, Canada

Wednesday 26th., August 2009.

The news article written by Garvin Karunaratne, formerly of the Sri Lanka Administrative Service under the heading "The Wind Turbines of Spain, France and Portugal" dated August 25, 2009 and published in your esteem Internet Newspaper which highlights issues concerning Sri Lanka is of great value and concern. Mr. Gavin Karunaratne should be commended for his boldness to take to task the lethargic and selfish bureaucrats on this issue of renewable energy development of electricity energy in Sri Lanka. When Mr. Gavin Karunaratne is stating that "Someone is trying to prove that wind power is not feasible and the oil lobby is so strong as to sabotage the feasibility of wind power", the message should be well taken by others too, handling national planning and development strategies to assist the little island of nearly 21 million people to come out of the rut of poverty, misery, the destruction of the civil war and the dependence of foreign powers.

 Our planners and bureaucrats should think anew. They should not work by the Plans drafted and approved by interested groups, be they aid, private sector or political, who have had their say in lobbying the big wigs in power in various countries where it was meant not to develop our countries but to give our countries Aid in a manner that the Aid money flowed back to the donor countries with interest. John Perkins' "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" should be a guiding light in our new thinking of planning and development strategies.

 But what worries me most is the statement made in the article that – "Someone is trying to prove that wind power is not feasible and the oil lobby is so strong as to sabotage the feasibilit y of wind power".

 While there is much room to believe the later, Wind Energy Electricity generation has been winning the struggle against those no-green power generation pundits of the CEB and the International lobby that has been promoting natural gas, coal power and fossil fuel power generations since 2002. In 2002, a US aided wind assessment study was launched in Sri Lanka and the final report was released in 2003. The Wind Farm Analysis and Site Selection Assistance Project report covered areas such as North and Southeast Coast – Hambantota to Buthawa, West Coast – Kalpitiya Peninsula and Puttalam, Northwest Coast – Mannar Island, North Coast – Jaffna, and Central Province – Ambewela, M. Young and R. Vilhauer, Global Energy Concepts, LLC, Kirkland, Washington, NREL were the researchers who did the study for US Aid.

 The first 3 MW grid connected pilot wind power plant was set-up in the country at Hambantota. It has been commissioned in 1999 and the monthly plant factor has been in the range of 5% to 15% in year 2006.  Sri Lankan researchers have made substantial studies on this plant to strengthen the viability of wind energy electricity generation.  Mention has to be made of the team that made this possible. The study under heading "Wind power development and its status in Sri Lanka" 2006. –  The Research project team was from Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, comprised of Sri Lankan scientist from the University of Peradeniya, supported by National Science Foundation. The scientists were – A. Atputharajah, A.P. Tennakoon, R.P.S. Chandrasena, J.B. Ekanayake, S.G. Abeyratne. This paper discusses the wind power development in the world and summarizes the status in Sri Lanka. Possible research areas, that was needed to be motivated in Sri Lanka to check the feasibility of wind power generation, havealso been discussed.

 It was subsequent to such indigenous and pioneering research studies and engagements that wind energy electricity generation has today reached its present position in Sri Lanka.

In 2006, the CEB signed Letters of Intent in mid August 2009 with four commercial developers for the purpose of building plants to produce 34 megawatts of wind power on the west coast of Sri Lanka. The proposed wind plants with installed capacity of 34 megawatts were to produce about 1 percent of total power generation in Sri Lanka. Venturing into green energy, in its continued effort to produce green energy non dependent on fossilized imported oil Sri Lanka's Hayley s Group in around 2008, built a wind power farm on the Western coast of Sri Lanka. A 10 MW wind power plant was being built at Nirmalapura at Kalpitiya in Puttlam District to augment Hayley's already existing green energy power generating plants like the Hydropower stations.

Another project in the area is the farm of wind power generators set-up by Sulunga Energy. The farm of wind power generators will have seven turbines when completed with each turbine producing 1.5 MW of power. Preparation for signing a Power Purchase agreement by the end of 2008 was completed. The venture was initiated by Sulunga Energy. Interlink Group the holding company of Sulanga Energy has substantial investment in real estate in Kalpitiya. Additional new projects were also approved and Indian wind turbine manufacturer Suzlon Energy has received orders to supply 10MW of wind turbine capacity to a project developed by Senok Wind Power in Sri Lanka. The project is supplied with eight units of Suzlon's S64 1.25MW wind turbines, will come up in the Kalpitiya region of Sri Lanka. Supply of turbines to the project already commenced and in process in 2009, with project completion slated for fiscal 2010.

Non-the-less, the HE. Mahinda Rajapaksa government has to be commended in it's thrust for indigenous resolutions to issues that are facing the Nation, specially at a time, the Nation is striving hard to pull it's self from the rut of the 3 decades of civil war that had and will never have any meaning, except to the international forces that are still committed to destroy our island in the Indian ocean – Sri Lankan, the pearl of the Indian ocean as narrated by great writers and poets.

It was indeed heartening to note that The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka granted investment approval to four companies for investments worth US $ 68 million. Chairman/Director General Dhammika Perera signed the agreements on behalf of the BOI and presented the BOI Certificate of Registration to the investors.

Two investment agreements worth US $ 37 million were signed with Vidatamunai Wind Power (Pvt.) Ltd and Seguwantivu Wind Power (Pvt.) Ltd. The companies will set up two wind power plants at Vidatamunai and Seguwantivu in Puttalam. Akbar Brothers, Hirdaramani Group and Debug Computers are the main promoters of the venture. The two wind power plants will supply 20 megawatts of power to the national grid. The ventures will utilise 13 and 12 wind turbines imported from Spain at Vidatamunai and Seguwantivu.

Director of the companies Asgi Akbarali said that wind power is a green energy and will not affect the environment. When the power plants are completed these will be the only wind power plants that are operational in Sri Lanka.

Directors of Vidatamunai Wind Power (Pvt) Ltd and Seguwantivu Wind Power (Pvt) Ltd Asgi Akbarali and Moiz Najimudeen signed the agreements. CEO Manjula Perera was also present at the occasion.

But the cream of the wind energy electricity generation is still to be announced. The project which is in the pipeline and has received the "go ahead signal in principal" from the Government of Sri Lankan, is a 134 mega watt project that will be spread in the North specially and parts of the North Eastern provinces. Proudly naming the Nation that always has been a friend of Sri Lanka at good and bad times, through they had inter-governmental relationship frictions due to political misunderstanding and HR issues, claimed as bad by certain of their national politicians, when in reality the world has begun to understand the truth slowly and with patience, Canadian consultants are working on the project planning with eagerness and dedication. The team is led by a Canadian lady who is a Production Engineer and Wind Energy Consultant with many years of experience in the field with the consulting Canadian Wind Energy Engineering Company, which is engaged in some of the innovative and largest Wind Energy Electricity generating projects in Canada. The Sri Lankan partnering company, which is already in the business of renewable energy production, hopes to engage all it's resources to make this venture a real joint success in the coming months.

The driving force of this Canadian-Sri Lankan Renewable Wind Energy Generation Project is the Sri Lankan Canadian Diaspora comprising of Sri Lankan Canadian citizens who want to contribute their best towards the infrastructure development of the North in the aftermath of the end of the armed struggle between the LTTE and the Security forces in May 2009.  Like the rise of the phoenix from the ashes, the destroyed supply of electricity in the North will arise again with green energy projects like the Canadian-Sri Lankan Renewable Wind Energy Generation Project with assistance from Canada, a friend always to Sri Lanka. As Mr. Garvin Karunaratne wishes, Wind Energy Electricity Generation will be a reality in Sri Lankan for the next generation.

Gopinath S
Chief Executive
nRG Consulting Services, Bangalore
+91 99161 29728

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


India Inc to get many incentives to save energy

Tuesday,25 August 2009, 08:58 hrs
New Delhi: The government is setting up a risk guarantee facility and a venture capital fund to improve energy efficiency in India as part of the National Mission on Enhanced Energy Efficiency approved by the Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change here Monday.

A new "Perform, Achieve and Trade" (PAT) mechanism which will assign energy efficiency improvement targets to the country's most energy-intensive industrial units is being set up under the mission. Under a provision, they will be allowed to retain any energy-efficiency improvements in excess of their target in the form of Energy Savings Certificates, called ESCerts. Units will also be allowed to use purchased ESCerts to meet their targets.

Other mission initiatives include expanded use of the carbon market to help achieve market transformation towards more energy-efficient equipment and appliances, and the creation of two funds to help channel investment into energy-efficiency projects.

One of the funds, the Partial Risk Guaranty Facility, will provide back-to-back guarantees to banks for loans to energy-efficiency projects so as to reduce the perceived risks of these projects. The other fund, a Venture Capital Fund, will support investment in the manufacturing of energy-efficient products and provision of energy-efficiency services.

Another major goal of the Mission is the promotion of Energy Service Company (ESCO) based upgrades to energy efficiency in buildings, municipalities and agricultural pumps. ESCOs will invest in energy-efficiency investments, and will be paid over several years from the resulting energy savings.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said: "This mission will enable about Rs.75,000 crore worth of transactions in energy efficiency. In doing so, it will, by 2015, help save about about five percent of our annual energy consumption, and nearly 100 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year."

The mission is the second of the eight missions under India's National Action Plan on Climate Change to be approved by the council. The National Solar Mission was approved earlier this month.

Manmohan Singh pointed out: "Our success in reducing the energy intensity of our growth will also reduce the carbon intensity of our growth. This will have a beneficial impact on our emissions trajectory. The implementation of this mission will also be a powerful signal to the international community that we are willing to contribute in a significant manner, to meeting the global challenge of climate change."

The prime minister emphasized that the mission must have "inbuilt provisions for monitoring and evaluation so as to ensure transparency, accountability and responsiveness".

The council also approved the selection of BEE as the mission implementing agency, and of a new corporate entity, Energy Efficiency Services Ltd., to carry out market-related actions of the mission. BEE will be strengthened to support mission implementation.

It is estimated that the budgetary support for mission implementation, including seed capital for the two funds, would be Rs.295 crore in the current 2007-12 Eleventh Plan period.


Gopinath S
Chief Executive
nRG Consulting Services, Bangalore
+91 99161 29728

Thursday, August 06, 2009


The Color of Oil

August 05, 2009

Ken Silverstein
EnergyBiz Insider
Read Ken's Blog

Respond to the editor.
Big Oil's reluctance to invest more of its vast resources into the green space is a function of its vision. It is seeking to meet global oil demand while at the same time protecting its shareholders by focusing on the development of fossil fuels.
Any evolution in that thinking will only occur if there is a fundamental change in global carbon policies and particularly those of the United States. Even though the Obama administration is aggressively pushing for greater fuel diversity, the oil industry is sticking closely to its core competencies and in some cases, reducing its investment in wind and solar power.
"Hydrocarbons are the most plentiful and economic forms of energy that we have," says David O'Reilly, chief executive of Chevron, at an industry conference. "And the fact is, even if the use of renewable sources doubles or triples over the next 24 years, we will still depend on fossil fuels for more than 80 percent of global energy demand."
The U.S. Department of Energy projects global oil demand to rise to 118 million barrels a day by 2030. That's compared to the roughly 85 million barrels demanded today by consumers. The oil giants allocate 5 percent or so of their capital budgets on exploration. A tiny fraction of those resources, by contrast, is spent on developing green energy.
Shell Oil Co., for example, has allocated capital to wind and solar but has recently sold off some projects. BP, meanwhile, is cutting back. According to the American Council on Renewable Energy the oil industry has invested about 10 percent of what the venture capital community has in renewable energy since 1995. That equates to about $5 billion of the $50 billion invested by risk takers.
None of this suggests that the oil sector is totally disinterested. ExxonMobil and Chevron have also made notable investments in green technologies. But some critics maintain that their approach is calculated and has more to do with the very real possibility that U.S. lawmakers will require mandatory greenhouse gas emission cuts.
The goal is to motivate companies with the resources to diversify their energy portfolios. Ultimately, the nation must be able to meet its future energy through an amalgam of sources. While oil and natural gas will remain integral, alternative fuels and energy conservation will have a place at the table.
If the goal of corporate boards is to protect the interest of shareholders, then it would be appropriate to ask those officers whether they should diversify away from oil. It's a heated topic, with some saying that they are energy companies that must get ahead of the trends and be prepared for the future. Others, though, are saying that their strategies mirror current realities and that petroleum will remain the dominant fuel source for transportation well into the future.
Lofty Goals
ExxonMobil, for example, has shelled out about $30 billion developing new oil and gas resources since about 2003. Last year, it spent slightly more buying back its shares, all to help increase the value of the company's outstanding stock. Its board clearly states that fossil fuels provide the company more bang for the buck. Its management, however, is investing in alternative fuels that include a $600 million partnership to develop algae-based bio-fuels.
While that figure represents a small percentage of its overall capital budget, champions of the alternative transportation fuel cause say that it is still more than what the federal government devotes to algae research. Many Democrats and environmental organizations counter that the ExxonMobil's profits have been "absurd" and argue that some of its tax benefits should be reallocated to developers of green energy.
Republicans generally oppose such changes, saying that the demand for energy is rising and that the country needs to do more to encourage oil and gas development. Any tax hike, they add, would deter production, diminish supply and thereby increase prices to consumers. Many Democrats point out that the oil industry recently earned $123 billion in profits and it does not need incentives to drill.
The Democrats control both chambers of Congress as well as the White House. If their leadership is able to unite its party, it can literally mandate a paradigm shift -- one that that tries to minimize the nation's carbon footprint by penalizing the fossil fuel sector.
They want to build upon the current foundation. Clean tech industries are now making a strong contribution to the American economy, providing 116,000 jobs and $19 billion in investment in recent times. The U.S. wind industry, for example, expanded by 45 percent in 2007 and contributed about 30 percent of new power generating capacity last year.
"Instead of giving oil executives another way to boost their record profits, I believe we should put in place a windfall profits tax that will help to ease the burden of higher energy costs on working families, and we should invest in the affordable, renewable sources," President Obama said on the campaign trial.
While those comments were made at time when gas prices at the pump were at $4 a gallon and he has since softened his approach, the president has nonetheless stayed true to his theme: The nation must reduce both its dependence on foreign oil as well as its current consumption levels, relying instead on alternative sources of energy to power not just the transport sector but also electric utilities.
It is a lofty goal. But the oil companies are betting for now that things won't change that much despite the party in power.

Gopinath S
Chief Executive
nRG Consulting Services, Bangalore
+91 99161 29728

Saturday, August 01, 2009


India to be solar energy leader awaits PM nod

India to be solar energy leader awaits PM nod
By    IANS
Friday,31 July 2009, 09:16 hrs
New Delhi: India's highly ambitious plan to make the country the global leader in solar energy is ready and awaits the nod of a council headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change will meet Monday to approve the programme that will add 20,000 MW of generation capacity by 2020 and make it as cheap as electricity from conventional sources.

It will need from the government Rs.85,000-105,000 crore (Rs.850-1,050 billion/$17.6-21.7 billion) over a 30-year period, a senior official told IANS.

The outlay will start with Rs.5,000-6,000 crore in the current Five Year Plan (ending 2012) and Rs.12,000-15,000 crore in 2013-2017. It proposes to raise this by taxing fossil fuels, mainly coal.

The draft plan reads: "The objectives of the National Solar Mission are to establish India as a global leader in solar energy through:

* 20,000 MW of installed solar generation capacity by 2020 and 100,000 MW by 2030; 200,000 MW by 2050

* Solar power cost reduction to achieve grid tariff parity by 2020

* Achieve parity with coal-based thermal power generation by 2030

* 4-5 GW of installed solar manufacturing capacity by 2017."

A copy of the draft plan is with IANS.

Being renewable and easily available all over India, solar power improves India's environment and energy security at the same time, the draft points out.

The problem so far has been to produce this power as cheaply as from coal or hydel sources. This is the main obstacle to be tackled, says the document, by reducing the cost of solar power generation to Rs.4-5 per KWH by 2017-20.

The plan envisions the development of solar energy in India in three phases.

"The objective in Phase I (2009-12) will be to achieve rapid scale up to drive down costs, to spur domestic manufacturing and to validate the technological and economic viability of different solar applications."

This will be done through promotion of commercial scale solar utility plants, mandated deployment of solar rooftop or on-site solar PV (photovoltaic) applications in government and public sector undertaking buildings, promotion of these applications in other commercial buildings, and mandating that at least five percent of power generating capacity being added every year will be through solar sources.

Vacant land in existing power plants will be used for this purpose, and anybody who produces solar power at home or office will be able to sell the excess back to the power distributor.

Solar PV panels will be promoted to charge invertors at homes and offices.

Phase II will run from 2012 to 2017 during which schemes which are found to work in Phase I will be scaled up.

Phase III, from 2017 to 2020, will see further scaling up with minimal or no subsidy. This envisages the installation of one million rooftop solar energy systems, plus solar lighting for 20 million households.

In the process, India will reduce its emission of carbon dioxide -- the world's main greenhouse gas that is leading to climate change -- by almost 60 million tonnes a year.

It will save 1.05 billion litres of diesel, a billion litres of kerosene and 350 million litres of fuel oil per year by 2020.

The plan advocates change in law to enable people to sell extra solar power they generate to utility firms.

A 10-year tax holiday and customs and excise duty exemptions on capital equipment and critical materials are also being proposed.

A slew of other financial incentives has been proposed, as well as the setting up of a strong research and development programme, human resources development and international cooperation.

If this plan succeeds, India will become the world's largest solar energy market.


Gopinath S
Chief Executive
nRG Consulting Services, Bangalore
+91 99161 29728