The increasing amounts of Wind Energy and Solar Energy will require elements of a Smart Grid.China’s electricty capacity is going to double in the next 5 years to around 1500 GW from 850-900 GW at present.This will require a huge increase in transmission capacity creating a huge market for electricity equipment giants like Siemens,ABB,Areva and Alstom.China also has the opputunity of creating a a Smart Grid as it builds Transmission Capacity form Scratch.Almost $100 Billion is going to be spent over the next 5 years attracting even IT firms like IBM and Cisco.IBM has already tied up with Chinese cities to roll out a pilot program.Note Smart Grid Technologies are still in their infancy.Chinese investment in Smart Grid will allow development of these technologies giving a huge boost to companies winning Smart Grid Projects in China.The Chinese Market despite its size is a highly competitive market with local companies competing mainly on price.Local companies that are benefiting from the Grid Investment are
China has the world’s largest hydro power capacity at 200 GW and it plans to double the capacity by 2020.China is mostly dependent on Coal Power and Hydro Power to meet the electricity demand from its fast growing economy.China has the world’s second largest electricity capacity at 850-900 GW second only to USA at ~1000 GW.This will be soon be overtaken as China continues to grow at 8-10% and its electricity per capita is still much below developed world standards.China is already the world’s biggest consumer of Energy and emitter of Greenhouse Gases.Despite rapidly investing in Nuclear and Renewable Energy,China’s voracious demand has made the growth of Fossil Fuel Energy unsustainable.It already consumes 3 Billion Tons of Coal per year and is already importing around 180 million tons per year.
Toshiba,the Japanese Conglomerate with diversified interests in Electronics,Nuclear Energy Equipment,NAND Memory is leading the Japanese Search for Rare Earth Minerals.Fears of Chinese monopoly over production of REE came true,when Exports to Japan were blocked over a shipping incident.EU and USA have long been concerned with the Chinese control of 95% of the global REE production with USA even thinking of taking China to the WTO.Japan has recently drastically increased its investment into finding new sources of Rare Earth with recent deals with Vietnam,India,Kazakhstan and others.Sojitz, a Trading Zaibatsu recently signed a long term supply deal with Lynas.Toshiba is the other Japanese firm actively scouting for Rare Earth Minerals looking for newer processes and geographies.
India has set up ambitious targets of meeting 15% of its Energy Needs from Renewable Sources up from around 5.5-6% in 2010.WIth India’s Electricity Capacity expected to rise to 450 GW from around 165 GW,this would imply that around 67.5 GW of Electricity Capacity would be needed up from around 16 GW.This would mean around 5 GW of Capacity addition every year in the next decade which is a very tall order.20 GW could be met by Solar Energy according to the Jawaharlal Nehru Solar Mission (JNNSM).Most of the rest would have to met by Wind Energy.Biomass Energy has high costs and reliability problems which mini hydro potential is only 1 GW.Note this is just the capacity I am talking about,for meeting the electricity generation,capacity additions would have to be greater as Solar Energy and Wind Energy have only 20-30% Load Factor compared to 60-80% for Fossil Fuel Energy Sources.Nuclear Energy can contribute another 20 GW.
Renewable Energy in India is growing at a rapid pace increasing its share of the total capacity from 2% in 2003 to around 10% in 2010.However the share of electricity generation is still quite low at 3% due to the lower capacity load factors of Green Energy Sources compared to Fossil Fuel Sources.The Total Installed Capacity of Renewable Energy in India is around 16 GW with Wind Energy taking the Lion’s share at almost 70% followed by Small Hydro at 15% and Biomass Energy at 12%.Solar Energy in India till now has a capacity of just 6 MW which is estimated to grow to 22 GW by 2022 making Solar Energy one of the Biggest Growth Opportunities in the Field of Indian Energy.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) has planned $2 Billion in Annual Green Investments in power hungry countries of Asia.For this the multilateral institution has sold multi-currency bonds in Japan to populate its Renewable Energy Fund.Note Green Energy is a capital intensive business and requires large amounts of low cost capital which is difficult to get in developing emerging markets of Asia.ADB is meeting this intermediary gap of funneling low interest capital from developed markets like Japan to capital deficient countries like India.Note ADB is already financing Asia’s largest solar photovoltaic plant in Thailand.
Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) Policy is starting in India tomorrow which will allow Green Energy Generators to earn additional tariff.Note the REC Mechanism is also present in different forms in Italy,USA and Australia and has proven a good incentive to promoter Renewable Energy in those countries.India’s Electricity Regulator (CERC) has been actively implementing different orders to boost Green Energy Generation.CERC had earlier mandated a 6% Renewable Energy Percentage from Alternative Energy which would go upto 15% by 2020.The REC Policy will help in achieving those targets by providing a pseud market linked mechanism to inentivize Green Power Producers.
Who will Benefit
Renewable Energy Companies and Green Utilities are set to benefit the most from this Policy.Suzlon has already welcomed the policy saying that Financing will ease for Renewable Energy Projects.Orient Green Power,the largest Green Focused Utility will also be a big beneficiary.Local Indian Wind Turbine Companies should also benefit from the Scheme.It also provides companies outside the JNNSM to get decent returns from solar generation as the REC band for Solar REC has been set between Rs 12-17/Kwh.India need to increase Renewable Energy Capacity by at least 50 GW in the next 10 year to meet the 15% CERC Target