Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Indian Solar Radiation Measuring Network, Atlas Out in the Open

Solar Radiation Measuring Network, Atlas Out in the Open

By Jonathan Ananda

Published: 04th June 2015; the New Indian Express, Chennai

CHENNAI: What's the use of building solar power parks if your place is in a site that doesn't get enough solar radiation? It is to rectify this hole in available data that Chennai's own National Institute of Wind Energy, an Institute under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, has launched India's first and the world's largest solar radiation measuring network and atlas.

Built over a period of three years and a cost of nearly 40 crore, the solar radiation measuring network will be the basis on which the Indian Solar Radiation Atlas will function on. According to officials at NIWE - Solar Radiation Resource Assessment wing(SRRA) 121 ground stations would measure the three parameters of Solar radiation - Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI), Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI) and Diffuse Horizontal Irradiance (DHI) to give a highly accurate measure of solar radiation in a particular region.

"India's solar power projects have relied on satellite data so far to site themselves. But satellite data is not very reliable when it comes to measuring actual available solar radiation. It is because of this mismatch that a lot of projects which expect to be generating a 1,000 MW per annum end up producing less than 750 MW," pointed out G Giridhar, Director, SRRA - NIWE.

The implementation of the Atlas and network is also a vital cog in the government's solar energy policy, as confirmed by Tarun Kapoor, Joint Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. "The aim of the Central government is to have 100 Giga Watts of solar power generation by 2022. This project will be a vital cog in implementing it," he said.

The network is also one of the most accurate on the global front, with data derived from both ground and satellite measuring units. "The data that streams into the data centre in Pallikaranai here is evaluated and validated using satellite data too - India is too large a country to be covered by just 121 ground stations. We use this to remove any bias and come out with an average annual radiation measurement that is highly accurate," said Giridhar. The Atlas boasts the top position in spatial resolution, 3km x 3km, of any existing radiation network in the world.

The Atlas is currently available across India for public access through the website and provides annual radiation values for every 3 sq km grid. However, this is merely the starting point — in the coming months SRRA will make several value additions to make it more useful to projects. The level of infrastructure and grid connectivity for a particular area, its protected/non protected status and more detailed radiation data will be incorporated into the Atlas soon.

Built through the cooperation of GIZ, Germany under the Indo-German Energy Programme, the Atlas launch was attended by GIZ Programme Director Dr Wineries Damm, Achim Fabig, Consul General of Germany and S Gomathinayakam, Director General - NIWE.



Indian Solar Radiation Atlas released in Chennai

DC Correspondent | June 04, 2015, Deccan Chronicle, Chennai

Ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) has set a target of capacity addition of 15,000-17,000 MW in 2015-16.

Chennai: With the ambitious goal of adding 1 lakh mega watt of solar power to the grid by 2022, the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) has set a target of capacity addition of 15,000-17,000 MW in 2015-16, said its joint secretary, Tarun Kapoor."This year, we are planning to scale up solar mission in a big way. Keeping in mind the target of achieving 1 lakh MW of solar power by 2022, we are planning to call for tenders along with state government to add 15,000 MW to 17,000 MW of solar power this fiscal year," said Mr Kapoor after releasing Indian Solar Radiation Atlas prepared by the national institute of wind energy with technical assistance from GIZ here on Wednesday.

Mr Kapoor said from next year, the addition should be at least 10,000 MW to achieve the 2022 target. He added that as on date, tenders are in various stages of process for 4,000-5,000 MW projects across the country. Pointing out that of the 1 lakh MW solar power target, 40,000 MW would be through rooftop and rest from ground-mounted plants, he said ground-mounted solar projects should not happen only in few states alone. "All states should be covered.

Every state should be able to meet their renewable purchase obligation from the power generated in their own state," he said. The MNRE official said solar radiation data reveals that general radiation is good and seems to be uniform across the country contrary to the belief that western parts of the country have better radiation. "It shows that every district and every state can generate good amount of solar power and use for their own," he said.

C. Narasimhan, president of Indian Solar Association, Achim Fabig, consul general of German Consulate, Chennai, and Dr Winfried Damm, programme director, Indo German Energy Program, GIZ, spoke.



NIWE Press Release:

Chennai May 28th, 2015

Indian Solar Radiation Atlas is launched by National Institute of Wind Energy from Germany

One More Step towards Realizing the Full Potential of Solar Energy


With a view to realizing the immense potential of solar energy in India further, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) together with the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) have established the world's largest so in 119 locations across India. Measuring and recording from these locations have been used to create the maps, combined with satellite derived estimates, and validate a solar radiation atlas that will help solar power developers, policy makers and financial institutions to identify the preferred locations for solar power development and support energy estimations. This is an important step in making the use of solar energy in the country more efficient and allowing the policy makers to identify potential areas, estimating the region's potential and setting up the required infrastructure projects. Germany has through the German International Cooperation (GIZ) provided technical support for solar measurements, data analysis, quality control and the preparation of maps. This is another milestone in Germany's ongoing support to enhance the use of renewable energies, especially in the "Green Energy Corridors" here in Tamil Nadu. The Indian Solar Radiation Atlas will have presence of the Joint Secretary Tarun Kapoor, MNRE, GIZ Programme Director Dr. Winfried Damm and Achim Fabig, Consul General of Germany in Chennai.



For any further information you may contact Dr. Indradip Mitra at

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