Mergers & Acquisitions in India

Indian companies have been expanding aggressively by taking over companies and assets abroad. A number of big bang acquisitions have been made such as taking over of Jaguar by the Tatas and Novelis by the Birla Group. A large number of coal companies and mines had been bought by a number of major Indian industrial groups to fuel their thermal power plants at home.

Though India too faces some environmental opposition, massive ultra mega power plants with capacity of 4000 MW are getting built by new Indian private utilities.

With domestic coal production rising at a snail’s pace, these companies are racing to secure coal supplies at whatever price they can get. Steel companies too are hungry for coal as it forms a major component of their product. Lanco Solar, Adani Power, Reliance Power, Tata Power, Tata Steel, Coal India have all bought or are in the process of buying coal mines and coal companies in foreign countries.

However a number of these projects have run into teething problems. While some of these problems are due to bad economic decision making, many are due to plain bad due diligence of geopolitical risks.

The latest Indian company to have squandered millions of dollars is the Jindal Group which was building a huge steel plant in Bolivia taking advantage of a big iron ore asset there. After 4-5 years in which the company failed to build the plant due to gas supply issues with the local government, the company has pulled the plug. The relations between the Jindal Group and the Bolivian Government has deteriorated to such an extent that the company is complaining of its employees getting harassed and jailed.

Risk Management in India

Note the Indian Government is notoriously bad at protecting the interest of its companies and citizens unless they are VVIPs. Note the Jindal Group which had been growing exponentially during the boom period till 2008 has started facing problems both at home and abroad. The company which started out as a steel pipe manufacturer had spread its wind to the whole steel industry. The stoppage of illegal iron ore mining by the Supreme Court has starved its domestic steel plants of the essential raw materials leading to large losses. While the going was good it was investing money like water everywhere including a $8 billion coal to liquid plant. But now it is failing to build a normal run of the mill steel plant.

Indian companies badly need better overall risk management as they commit billions of dollars in investing in foreign assets. Don’t think much thought is going into evaluation of risks much less geopolitical risks.

WSJ

In a statement, the company said the government action, taken Friday, “shows that the Bolivian government is taking recourse to criminal proceedings and its intent is to victimize the company and its employees.” It called on the Bolivian government to “ensure the safety and security of all our employees and assets that legally belong to us.”

Bolivian officials couldn’t immediately be reached to comment.

Jindal said it has written to India’s foreign minister, S.M. Krishna, about the matter but has yet to receive a response. A spokesman for the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement: “This is a complex commercial dispute. Our Embassy and Ambassador in Peru (which also covers Bolivia) is assisting in the matter and has been directed to follow up with Bolivian government on the latest issues.”

A Jindal spokesman said two female managers were arrested at its office Friday in Puerto Suarez, where the project is located, and were accused of removing property. They were taken to a police station where they were questioned then later released. The spokesman said the allegations by the Bolivian authorities were “frivolous” and that the intent of the action had been to intimidate the employees.

China Solar and Wind

China’s renewable (solar & wind) manufacturing industry has generated a massive global oversupplying leading to a price crash in solar panels and wind turbines. This had made these two primary forms of green energy seeing increasing adoption globally as prices reach grid parity. However despite this glut of Chinese green manufacturing, the country’s carbon emissions keep growing, as the overall growth far outstrips the growth in green energy capacity. Despite installing around half of the world’s wind energy capacity last year and projection to become the world’s largest solar installer, China will still manage to increase its renewable energy generation to 16% of its electricity requirements by 20%. This means that the increasing power demand will be met by Coal which is very damaging to the environment. As coal power plants are being shuttered down in the West, they are growing exponentially in China and India. China is said to install a thermal power plant each week ironically making Coal a great future investment.

After overtaking USA in Carbon Emissions,China surpasses USA in Energy Consumption as well

China surpassed the USA as the largest emitter of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) in 2006 when it produced 6.2 billion tons of CO2 overtaking the USA at 5.8 billion tons. It has only increased the gap with the USA in the intervening 4 years as the Chinese economy has grown roughly at a 10% average. Now International Energy Agency (IEA) has said that China has also become the world’s largest consumer of energy overtaking the US with a lead of 4%. IEA said that China consumed the 2.252 Billion Tons of Oil Equivalent overtaking USA at 2.17 Billion Tons. BP in its statistical overview had said the same thing a month ago. The increase in Energy Consumption by Emerging Countries like India and China is going to result in substantial increase in the prices of energy.

China which is the world’s largest emitter of GHG emissions will increase its Greenhouse effect by another 40% . There are reports that China may be producing even more GHG emission than reported. China could be under reporting its GHG emissions by 20% . This means that by 2020, China’s GHG missions would be almost 10 billions tons of CO2 equivalent which is a truly alarming figure. This means despite its effort in the cleantech sector, global warming is set to become even more acute. A truly alarming situation given the global leadership has given up on its responsibility on climate change.

 Grey with tints of green

 By contrast, the structural barriers to greening China’s economy are imposing. An addiction to energy-intensive heavy industry ranks high among them. Persuading local officials, who are graded on their economic performance, to risk sacrificing growth for the sake of the greener good is another systemic stumbling-block. Probably the biggest reason for pessimism, however, is China’s abundant reserves of (cheap) coal—the third-largest in the world.

Coal’s kingdom in China is set to grow. The current five-year plan (2011-15) pushes a scheme to build up 14 large “coal bases”. In relative terms China’s coal use will dip from 66% now to 59% at decade’s end, according to the EIU. Yet China will burn more of the sooty fuel as its overall energy needs expand. On the EIU’s measurements, renewable-energy (including burning waste for energy) plus nuclear will provide over 16% of China’s energy mix by 2020, up from around 12% in 2010. But overall carbon emissions will nevertheless rise by more than 40% this decade.

The different forms of Renewable Energy are Solar,Wind,Nuclear,Hydro,Tidal,Biomass and Geothermal Energy. Renewable energy sources are more environment- friendly with less pollution & global warming effects. There is an unlimited supply & hence the costs are also low.

The Indian government has given the plan for Renewable Energy Generation targets over the 5 year period between 2012 and 2017. According to the plan, around 30 GW of renewable energy power will be added over the next 5 years. With a total power addition target of 100 GW , this implies that 30% of the power will come from green sources. Considering that India currently has only 12-13% of its power capacity coming from cleantech sources, this is a major change. Wind and Solar Power will be taking the lead with 15 GW and 10 GW of power capacity with around 2-3 GW each from small hydro and biomass.

However even this target is quite small considering that in Europe, the majority of the new power capacity is being added from renewable energy sources. Europe added nearly 20 GW from solar power alone in 2011. Compared to China, the target looks even smaller because the Chinese have a target of adding 20 GW each year from wind power alone . This means that India’s entire power capacity build up in a year will be matched by Chinese wind power capacity build. India with a massive power deficit, needs to increase its growth target for not only green power but the total power as well. Currently India’s Electricity comes mostly from Coal and Hydro Based Energy. Almost 50% of Energy Requirements and 53% of the Electricity is generated from Coal. Renewable Energy forms only 7.7% of the Capacity with around 11 GW of the 16 GW from Wind Energy. Nuclear Energy is around 3% of the total capacity at around 4.5 GW. The country’s top Power companies are growing exponentially.

Green Investing in India makes a great theme but investing in specific CleanTech companies is a tough task. Some of the biggest Renewable Energy Companies have led to serious losses. However Renewable Energy in India has a great future and a rising tide will lift all boats. Note the list of solar power companies is growing by the day while there a number of wind energy companies in India as well. Suzlon Energy is the biggest Wind Energy Company by far with 4-5 Gigawatts of WTG Capacity per year. Moser Baer, primarily a Solar Panel Production Company has also made a big bet to get into the Power Production Space as well. Tata BP Solar, which is the biggest private utility in India, has big plans for Clean Energy as well. NTPCthe biggest utility in India will obviously be a big renewable energy generator in the future.

Wind Energy is one of the success stories in the Renewable Energy sector in India accounting for almost 70% of the total green energy capacity. India also has the 5the largest wind power capacity in the world with numerous wind equipment factories providing employment to thousands. The advantages of wind power turbines are many & outweigh its disadvantages. However the myriad subsidy schemes which come and go without warning has made the investment climate for wind industry in India highly uncertain.

Accelerated Depreciation
For a long time accelerated depreciation was the biggest incentive scheme to boost wind farms in India. However, this subsidy boosted wind investment more without aiding the optimization of  wind power generation. The reason was that depreciation made investors get all the subsidy during the initial capital expenditure period. After that the investor did not have much incentive in generating power from his wind assets as the returns were not too high. This made the quality of wind turbines suffer along-with the maintenance of the wind farms. This scheme has been discontinued in 2012.

Wind Energy Companies in India that will be affected since its discontinuance are:

1) Suzlon Energy – Suzlon Energy is the biggest Wind Energy Company by far with 4-5 Gigawatts of WTG Capacity per year.Its subsidiaries Hansen Transmission and RePower are also big players in the Wind Energy in Europe.The Company has seen its revenues and profits take a huge hit in recent times but has been recovering slowly.

2) RRB Energy – The company has a long history and manufactures Wind Turbines at its plants in Tamil Nadu.The Company has a capacity of 300 MW which it is expanding to 700 MW.The Company makes only 2 models with power rating of 600 Kw and 1.8 MW.Merill Lynch has made a small investment in this company.

3) NEPC India – This company was one of the wind energy heavyweights and a stock market darling earlier.However It no longer remains an active player in the Indian market .Heavy Debt and Bad Management drove to this company to the ground despite being a pioneer in the Indian Wind Power Market.

4) Auro Mira Energy – The company is more of a Green Utility rather than a full fledged WEG manufacturer.It has made plans to manufacture Wind Turbines in the future.It has attracted funds from Baring and IFC to push forward its Green Plans.Auro Mira Energy is a Tamil Nadu based Green Utility backed by a clutch of PE investors like IFC etc.

5) Regen Powertech – It is a small scale WTG Supplier like RRB Energy which recently set up a small 300 MW manufacturing facility in Tada,Andhra Pradesh recently.The company licenses technology from Vensys to manufacture 1.5 MW gear-less Wind Turbines.The company has managed to supply both big and small wind farms over the last 2 years.The company is supported by the PE arm of Future Group.

6) WinWind – The company is not exactly a domestic company rather one with a Finnish Origin.It is owned by the Abu Dhabi Masdar ,Siva Group and the government of Finland.It has recently established a 1000 MW capacity in Venga,Tamil Nadu and also has a 500 MW plant in Finland as well.The company plans to producer 3 MW Turbines at its Indian plant as well.

7) Pioneer Wincon – The company is a JV between the Pioneer Group and Wincon of Denmark.It makes small 250 KW Turbines and is a bit player with 30 years of operations in India.The Company remains a small static player in the Wind Energy Market of India.

8) Chiranjeevi Wind Energy – A Small bit player like Pioneer Wincon which engages mostly in the sale of small 250 KW Wind Turbines.Like Pioneer Wincon it has sold a number of these Turbines to small companies mainly in the Southern Part of India.

9) Lietnar Shriram Limited – The company is a 50:50 JV betwen the Shriram Group of India and Lietnar of Italy.The company makes gearless turbines of 1.5 MW capacity and has supplied to small farms in Maharashtra.The company has a major inhouse customer in the form of Orient Green Power which is building a 300 MW farm in Tamil Nadu using Lietnar Shriram Wind Turbines.

10) Kenersys – The company is part of the Baba Kalyani Group which is a major forgings manufacturer in India.It was bought over in 2007,when the Kalyani Group and PE firm First Reserve bought over the German company RSB Consult.The Company mainly  makes 2 and 2.5 MW turbines and has production facilities both in India and Germany.It has wind design capabilities between 1-3.6 MW.

Generation Based Incentive (GBI)
Since Wind Power is traditionally more expensive to generate than fossil fuel power such as coal,gas etc.,a Generation Based Incentive (GBI) of 50 paise or 1c/KwH was started in 2009. This was supposed to help wean the wind industry in India off the accelerated depreciation. However even this small amount has been withdrawn in favor of Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) scheme which started a year ago. Though currently the returns from Wind RECs are quite high at Rs 2.70 or 5.5c/KwH , the problem is the uncertainty over the prices in the future. The industry wants the GBI scheme to be restarted .

Renewable Energy Certificate (REC)
To promote the use of renewable energy in India and get to a rate of 10% generation of power in India from green energy, the government started the REC scheme. The details of the scheme are given below.

Note : the BIGGEST PROBLEM with the REC Scheme is that the states are not mandated compulsorily to meet their RPO obligations. If the big states do not meet their RPO targets, then the prices of RECs could collapse leading the renewable energy companies in limbo.

Summary

Wind Energy is currently the cheapest form of renewable energy and has the largest base as well. Newer technologies is allowing wind farms to be constructed on offshore as well as in low wind areas. More than 3 GW of wind energy capacity was put up last year making it the biggest year for wind in India. To keep the pace of wind growth at the same level, long term subsidy schemes should be put in place so that investors can be certain of making a decent returns on their wind farms.

 

Smart Grid Companies

A smart grid is an electrical grid, that is digitally enabled to procure & distribute information in order to improve the efficiency, reliability and sustainability of electrical devices. It involves the application of digital processing and communications to the power grid. A smart grid replaces analog mechanical meters with digital meters that record usage in real time. It improves the electronic control, metering, and monitoring.  It uses the smart meter, which is an electrical meter that records consumption of electricity and communicates that information for monitoring and billing purposes. These meters communicate continuously so that monitoring can be done real time.

One major benefit of the smart grid is its ability to enhance a utility’s capacity to connect with and empower its customers. A robust customer engagement platform is at the heart of that enhanced relationship, providing a multitude of ways to educate, entice, and excite customers. Today, consumers can take advantage of direct savings by better monitoring and controlling their energy usage. This will enable service providers to capitalize on new revenue and cost-saving opportunities.

Benefits of Using Smart grid Technology

The smart grid will make use of technologies that improve fault detection without the intervention of technicians. Thus there is more reliable supply of electricity, and reduced vulnerability to natural disasters or attack. Classic grids were designed for one-way flow of electricity. Smart grid technology enables distributed generation of energy flows & the systems can even control multiple energy flows from different sources. If a network generates more power than it is consuming, there can be a reverse flow, which can endanger safety and reliability.  However, a smart grid is designed to minimize these situations.  The overall effect is less redundancy in distribution lines, and greater utilization of energy flow, leading to lower power prices. Moreover customers can play an active role as both power consumer and power producer and can control their power consumption in a cost-optimized and environmentally responsible manner. When properly implemented, these technologies will increase efficiency in production, transport and consumption, improve reliability and economic operation, integrate renewable power into the grid, and increase economic efficiency through electricity markets and consumer participation.

Smart Grid Companies

Here is a list of some of the Smart Grid Companies:

  1. ABB – is a global leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. ABB operates in more than 100 countries. ABB is playing a fundamental role in the evolution of power systems. The most advanced smart grid technologies are in electrical transmission, and ABB is the market and technology leader in many of them – Flexible Alternating Current Transmission Systems (FACTS), High-voltage direct current (HVDC), Wide area monitoring systems (WAMS), Supervisory control and data acquisition systems (SCADA). ABB technologies, for smart distribution networks and buildings include smart meters, building automation systems, electric vehicle charging equipment, low-voltage solar inverters, high-efficiency distribution transformers; substation and feeder automation.
  2. Schneider Electric – One of the biggest electrical and energy equipment suppliers in the world, the company provides energy efficiency solutions to residential market, buildings, Industry & Infrastructure, and data centres. The company’s range of services and products is quite awesome and provides a holistic solution to its customers. The company’s visualizes Smart Grid as a more complex, interconnected, and interactive model as compared to the traditional electrical network which was simple and linear & hence users will require connectivity, simplicity, and security & a reliable and safe energy source that guarantees optimal operation of their installations and equipment. Schneider Electric has the foresight, the offers, and the willpower necessary to be a major player within this energy revolution.
  3. GE – is one of the biggest players in the Green Industry globally. It generated $18 billion in Ecomagination revenues in 2009 with $1.5 Billion in Investment. General Electric like other industrial conglomerates like Siemens,Areva and others are in fact low risk plays in the Green Investing sector. GE is strong across most of the Green Sectors today particularly in the area of Smart Grid and Energy Efficiency. GE entered the Smart Meter market & with its overarching scale it has quickly won a number of contracts like the one with FPL.
  4. Siemens – is the world’s biggest Green Company reporting 28 Billion Euros from its Environmental Portfolio. Siemens has a dominating presence in Renewable Energy (Leading Position in Offshore Wind), Lighting (OSRAM), Green Building Solutions, Energy Transmission and Distribution. It has a massive technological advantages in Energy and Industrial Sectors which are not easy to replicate. Smart-Grid-solutions from Siemens blaze the trail to the future of the energy business. There are innovative technologies and services in the fields of IT, data communication, energy automation, and rail electrification. Many Siemens products and solutions already master tasks that are of great importance for Smart Grids. In the field of Smart Grid technologies, Siemens customers mainly include power producers, grid operators, industrial companies, multi-utilities, cities, and rail operators.
  5.  Itron – is the leading provider of energy and water resource management solutions for nearly 8,000 utilities around the world. It offers end-to-end solutions that include electricity, gas, water and thermal energy measurement and control technology; communications systems; software; and professional services. With more than 9,000 employees doing business in 130 countries, Itron empowers utilities to responsibly and efficiently manage energy and water resources. Itron holds the top spot for market share in North America and worldwide. Its products and services include SmartMeters and GridRouters that immediately IP-enable the grid, software solutions and a host of other professional services for utilities and their customers. Very recently the company acquired SmartSynch. Very soon after this, Itron has also closed a major smart grid deal with Entergy Corporation, parent company to a handful of utilities bordering the Gulf Coast.
  6. Silver Spring Networks – As a smart grid solutions company, it enables utilities to achieve operational efficiencies, reduce carbon emissions and empower their customers to monitor and manage their energy consumption. Its program enables consumers to download their detailed energy-usage information, enabling them to  shift or lower their energy usage, save money, and reduce their environmental impact. Silver Spring Smart Energy Platform is the open, IP-based utility networking infrastructure that makes the smart grid possible. The company’s intelligent endpoints encompass electricity and gas meters equipped with network interfaces that link to both the utility and the home area network. These intelligent endpoints also include the bridges that relay communications from Distribution Automation (DA) devices.
  7. Tropos Networks  – Based in Sunnyvale, California the company is positioning itself as a provider of the underlying network infrastructure for community-wide networks of smart meters. Tropos Networks develops technology and products used to create reliable, secure and scalable wireless IP broadband networks for the Smart Grid and other outdoor industrial applications. The company was founded in 2000 & has more than 850 customers in over 50 countries. Very recently in January 2012, – Tropos Networks announced the Tropos 1410 wireless mesh router and wireless bridge for field automation applications. The new product line extends advanced enterprise-class security to utility and industrial applications that monitor and control field automation devices. Tropos offers two product variants in the new line, the Tropos 1410 and the board-level Tropos 1410-B. The Tropos 1410-B is a module suitable for integration into Smart Grid devices such as smart transformers and intelligent electrical devices as well as into a wide range of industrial process controllers and SCADA devices.
  8. Tendril – delivers end-to-end consumer engagement products, applications and services powered by Tendril Connect – an open & secure medium that takes the complexities out of the Energy system and creates a communication channel between energy service providers and their customers. The company is based in Boulder, CO. It allows its customers to manage their energy usage and costs. As the foundation for the connected home, the Tendril Connect platform helps product and service providers to better address consumer needs, provide simple and flexible solutions. It has recently landed a multi year deal with with Houston-based Reliant, which will enable it to sell ‘ various devices into homes in the markets served by that giant utility.
  9. Nexgrid – Enables its customers and utilities to manage and monitor a smart grid or smart home network with the help of its products & services. These solutions utilize high speed, standards-based communications to provide the most reliable energy data communication networks. It thus enables energy management and utility operations in real time. Nexgrid is a manufacturer and integrator of self-managing devices that offer unrestricted monitoring and control of metering. Nexgrid’s customers include utility companies, consumers, and systems integrators. Nexgrid’s solutions deliver considerable amount of savings. Nexgrid products are designed to provide the most future proof smart grid network. This is accomplished through standards-based real-time two way communication for the management, monitoring, and control of the electric distribution grid.
  10. BPL Global Ltd.– The Pittsburgh-based company was founded in the year 2004. The company provides software solutions and services to electric utilities, enabling an intelligent grid to efficiently manage demand, integrate distributed energy resources, improve service reliability, and optimize cost and capital productivity.  BPL Global works together with local utilities, internet service providers, equipment suppliers and financiers to create end-to-end solutions. It thus integrates the best options in software, communications, hardware and managed services. Since they are a part of the clean technology sector, their applications provide a coordinated, intelligent grid to deliver energy more efficiently for a cleaner & greener environment.
  11. Ecologic Analytics – Located in Bloomington, MN,  is a leading provider of meter data management software solutions and decision management technologies. It transforms volumes of AMI (advanced metering infrastructure) data for electric, natural gas, and water utilities into valuable information that can be used by the entire organization to make quality business decisions. Meter Data Management System software that is used by the  company permits a utility to separate the collection of meter data from its use.
  12. GridPoint, Inc.– Based in Arlington, VA,  GridPoint was founded in 2003. offers an open software platform for distributed energy systems. It provides real time load management, integrated software for renewable energy & grid, software to manage the two-way power flow and energy storage integration. The company is known for demonstrating various Smart Grid technologies and wiring up the city of Boulder, to a smart grid.

Smart Grid Market Share

TechNavios analysts forecast the Global Smart Grid market to grow at a CAGR of 20.5 % over the period 2011-2015. The Global Smart Grid market has also been witnessing rising demand for energy. However, lack of strong interoperability of standards could pose a challenge to the growth of this market. Visiongain calculates that global smart grid market in 2012 will total $33.91bn.

According to GBI Research, a leading business intelligence provider the cumulative number of units installed in – the American smart meters market is expected to grow from 18.34 million units in 2010 to 133.82 million units in 2020 at a CAGR of 22% & those in the in-home displays market is expected to grow from 142,000 units in 2010 to 20,367,073 units in 2020 at a CAGR of 64.3%. The US long term goal for smart grid technology is to reduce the energy demand by 20% by 2030. The cumulative number of smart meter units installed in Europe is expected to grow from 7.6 million units in 2010 to 105.99 million units in 2020 at a CAGR of 30.2%. The smart grid market in China is also witnessing emerging trends & innovative technology. The big energy companies have taken a plunge into the smart grid technology, which proves that it is very promising. Global companies like ABB, GE, Schneider & Siemens offer an array of products & services in this segment helping their customers to be more smart, making the industry more efficient & in turn creating a cleaner & greener environment.

Smart Grid Industry

To modernize the electric power grid, a major overhaul will be required to significantly move from the old & outdated model to the smart grid companies. This massive re-engineering project will create significant investment opportunities. Smart grid companies that have established themselves in key smart grid related industries will have an abundance of business opportunities. The government of America plans to distribute up to $11 billion to smart grid companies through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to help move the effort forward. There have been More Smart Grid M&A in the recent times. Cisco goes all out to win the Smart Grid Market through Alliance with No.1 Smart Meter Maker Itron and Alta Rock Acquisition. The market is also picking up though gradually in India.

Some of the major key players working on Smart Grid in India are Capgemini, HCL Infosystems,General electric, Power Grid, Larsen & Toubro, ABB, CISCO, IBM, Infosys, Siemens, Schneider electric etc. Smart Grid as a Clean Technology Industry is gaining traction in the West and countries like China, South Korea.

Wave and Tidal Energy have been the poor cousins of Solar and Wind Power in the Alternative Energy Domain. I have written about the wave energy devices and advantages and disadvantages of tidal power in the past as well. But the investment opportunities in this area of clean energy have been limited because the technology is still in its infancy. Dr. Ashok has come out with a plan to build a 100 MW device using wave energy and needs funding to develop it. Below is a description of the Plan and the Funding required . Interested Investors can do their due diligence and contact the inventor directly.

Introducing Dr Ashok

Dr Ashok Kundapur has  completed M.SC in Zoology from Central College, Bangalore and Doctorate at Institute for Research in Reproduction  of Mumbai.Concern for ever deteriorating environment turned his attention to Alternate Energy use. His web site http://www.solcooker.net has won me an acclaim as International Solar cooker Expert.  My web site has been adopted by Solar Cooker International of USA and EOLSS of UNESCO.He has now turned his attention towards wave energy coming out with the design to build a 100 MW device.

Business Plan

THE TEAM
1. Dr. Ashok Kundapur, M.Sc., Ph.D., Inventor & Promoter.

2. Dr. Narasimha Bhat, M.S., Ph.D., Partner & Business Advisor, (CEO, Manipal
Dot Net, Manipal, leading one on the successful Industries in Manipal,
specializing in manufacturing complex switch boards and components )

3. Mr. M J Thomas, BE., Partner & Technical Advisor,(Formerly with KMC,
Manipal, served in Medical Instrument Maintenance of KMC, well versed
with control systems and components)

4. Mr. Prabhakar D H., BE., First Financial Partner, (Engineer in an Oil
Company NRI at Abu Dhabi, Highly experienced in various aspects of Oil
exploration and also Marine structurals).

Bhagirata

Tropical seas are low energy seas, and hence I felt is was essential to store Energy. In fact this appears to be a worldwide feature, in all Seas for that matter. Hence experts feel that my system to store Wave energy would perform better and will be a success.  The low energy sea also posed several problems for me initially. For example,  the sea recedes for over 200 m in some part of the coast. So I had to think of a device to work from on shore to near shore under water.  Many other important parameters – like corrosive nature of Sea Water- had to be addressed.   Another important aspect is the interest of stake holders like Fishermen and Sports lovers. As a Biologist I was also aware of and have taken special care to avoid any possible pollution from the system which would affect Sea life. Many of the other systems invented so far produce power in small quantity and thus they require costly converting and integrating units. My system totally avoids all these, and is capable of generating Grid interactive power of 100 MW or more power. Thus I feel I have devised a system which in all likely hood would be a successful Invention World over.

The system is simple. The newly  invented Three Tire Composite Hydraulic Pump forms the crucial part of the whole system. This complex system, though small,  has demonstrated its power and ability successfully. This unit will be almost 10 times larger in the commercial installation.

First tire of pump will be under water, and buoys – which heave up and down due to the action of wave movement, operate the pump. Such small pumps will be connected to another complex, which will be installed over the shore. This has two parts, the lower part receives pressurized hydraulic fluid from smaller pumps, and ‘builds up pressure’. This in turn pushes a piston in the third tire of the pump and pushes water to a height of over 150 meters.

Bhagirata will have more than 2000 such pumps and will push adequate amount of water to the reservoir on top of the hillock. From there the water is brought down to the Hydroelectric generator to produce 100 MW of Grid interactive power. It is estimated that about 20,000 sq.m of space is required in the sea to produce 100 MW. That means One sq, km area of sea can produce almost 5000 MWs of power. Even if we assume that just half of this that is 2500 MW would be feasible, that too just for 50% of India’s coastal area (7,500 kms) , an incredible 9 million MW of power can be produced – without any pollution or burning even a single kilo of fossil fuel. Fresh water used in the system is not allowed to flow into the sea but conserved.

Though this system, at present,  is designed for hilly area near the sea ( from Shiroor to almost beyond Jaitapur and Mumbai of Konkan area, as well as several areas on East coast) with some experience and developments, the system can be adopted to coastal areas without such hills.

Cost of establishment of the system in India is estimated at Rs 7.5 to 9 crores per MW. This is very close to a Coal based Thermal power plant which costs 6 to 6.5 MW.  But it should be noted that because the Wave Harnessing system does not burn any fuel, returns on investment will be very fast, well within 5 to 6 years, and profit margin will be very high. No Social costs like pollution, contamination of well water, or contamination of sea water with ash and the like. Pure and Clean power till the Sun and the Moon last. (Fairly detailed Business Plan is ready and can be presented at the time of further
discussions)

CONTACT DETAILS

Name: Dr Ashok Kundapur, (age: 67)

Kalashree, Hayagreva Nagara, Udupi -576 102.

arkundapur@yahoo.com,