New UNDP-MNRE Collaboration to Tap India’s Vast Solar Energy Potential Launched in New Delhi

18 May 2012

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched a new project today that aims to enable greater use of concentrating solar heat (CSH) technology systems to meet India’s rising industrial heating needs.

India’s industrial sector is the second largest energy consuming sector in India. Much of the industry’s low-medium temperature heat requirements is currently provided by fuel oil, coal and biomass. Recognizing the country’s significant solar energy potential of around 5-7 kWh/m2/ day, this joint project by MNRE and UNDP aims to strengthen capacities, and remove market and financial barriers to promote the use of CSH technologies. CSH technologies can play a crucial role in generating medium temperature heat to produce steam or hot air in key energy utilizing industries and other applications such as food processing, metal treatment and space cooling. The project will demonstrate a range of approaches to integrate CSH systems in industrial units.

Speaking at a day-long inception workshop held today, Caitlin Wiesen, Country Director, UNDP India said, “This project will complement MNRE in its efforts to promote the use of CSH technologies in small and medium industrial units. By expanding the application of renewables to new sectors and strengthening the financial viability of these small-medium units, it will support these engines of growth that are crucial for the Indian economy.”

A website on solar water heaters (www.solarwaterheater.gov.in), developed as part of another UNDP-MNRE supported GEF funded project on ‘Transforming and Strengthening the Global Solar Heating Market’ to raise awareness of the benefits of solar-powered water heating systems was launched by Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Minister of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India.

In line with the global initiative ‘The Sustainable Energy for All,’ led by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the India CSH project is expected to increase annual CSH sales to 15,000 square meters per year by 2016. This five-year project, supported by UNDP is financed by the Global Environment Facility. CSH systems installed in the demonstration and replication units will supplement the use of fuel oil, coal (for larger heat loads), biomass, and electricity, which will further result in 32,900 tons of carbon dioxide reduction during the five-year project duration.

With the 12th Five-Year Plan aiming to double the capacity addition of renewable energy and with solar energy expected to be the second largest contributor amongst the renewables during the 12th Plan, the project will not only expand the utilization of renewables in small-scale industrial activity, but will also strengthen the financial viability of these small-medium units which are key to inclusive growth in India.

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For more information contact:

Srinivasan Iyer
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