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Potential Unlimited: Green Indian Textile Industry


India has plans of taking its economic growth to the next level, but for that to happen, access to quality, reliable and aff ordable energy is of utmost importance. Today, the country is seen as a potent market for renewable energy and this has been possible due to consistent support from the policy makers and other stakeholders. As the impact and role of renewable energy continues to grow, a plethora of new opportunities have come to the fore and the country has embarked upon numerous initiatives.

Renewable energy therefore, not only promises to be a good source of generating clean electricity by setting up power plants, but it also has its employability in various other sectors as well. Right from providing clean cooking systems to back-up power through rooft op solar panels, the role of renewable energy technologies (RETs) is making its presence felt in various energy-intensive sectors, viz- transport, agriculture, telecom, industrial heating, internal security environment and wildlife conservation to name a few. Th e advantage of negligible fuel expenses, very low operation and maintenance costs usually off set the initial capital costs of the RETs. Energy Next takes a look at the prospective use of RETs in diff erent aspects of life and the impact that it would have in the long run— both from the point of view of economic benefi t and climate change issues.


ComSolar, GIZ and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s (MNRE) joint project under Indo-German Energy Programme on commercialisation of Solar Energy in Urban and Industrial areas, carried out a study to identify promising industrial sectors for solar energy technologies.

The study resulted with the identification of five sectors as the most promising for solar intervention, including the textile sector, wherein it was found that if the energy replacement potential (ktoe/ annum) was 403, the estimated monetary savings would be ` 8,432 million per annum. It concluded that the textile (finishing) sector is one of the most promising, with regard to the use of primarily solar thermal technologies for various applications which are commercially attractive in terms of internal rate of returns (IRR) and payback-times. The commercial viability of solar technologies is much higher for industries using fuel sources such as furnace oil, coke or diesel.

Stating how the use of solar energy can help, the study added, “Textile processing requires a lot of hot water in the range of 40-110°C at various stages of the production process. The requisite heat can easily be generated through solar energy. Around 383 ktoe/annum of conventional energy consumption can potentially be substituted, resulting in monetary savings of about ` 7.7 Mio per annum. Textile spinning and weaving is also very important in terms of output, investment and employment. ASI statistics show that this sector consumed 3.34 Mtoe of primary energy in 2007-08. One of the processes involved in weaving, called sizing, requires hot water at a temperature between 80-85°C. Hence, it is estimated that solar thermal interventions are possible in this process throughout the industry in a range of 27ktoe/annum, saving ` 740 Mio per annum.”



The Indian textile industry is believed to be the second largest in the world, also the oldest and largest sectors of the country, accounting for around 30 per cent of exports. Moreover, it is also the second largest employment generator after agriculture. At the same time, it is also one of the highest energy consuming sectors in India. About 23 per cent energy is consumed in weaving, 34 per cent in spinning, 38 per cent in chemical processing and another 5 per cent for miscellaneous purposes.

Across the country, some textile companies are opting for renewable energies such as solar. One such instance is that of Jharcraft, which has found a visible change in production, by opting for solar power.

Dr B C Prasad, general manager, operation, Jharcraft, reveals, “Earlier, the weaving was done manually, so the production was less. As we work in villages, where there is no power, we had little choice. But after 2010, ever since we began using solar power on a large scale, things have been streamlined.”

The textile industry in Tamil Nadu is among the largest investors in wind energy and accounts for over 3,000 MW of captive wind power capacity out of the total 7000 MW in the state. Estimates of the capacity being backed down, (the wind mill power is not being utilised), range from 30 per cent of the capacity, according to the South Indian Mills Association (SIMA), to over 40 per cent as per wind energy associations.

The textile sector has also been identified as a designated consumer by Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). As per statistics provided by the Annual Survey of Industries (ASI), the primary energy consumption in the sector was 4.46 Mtoe in 2007-08. Textile processing steps range from singeing (removal of protruding fiber) to finishing and printing of the fabric and manufacturing, polyester, polyester filament yarn, acrylic, nylon, viscose, cotton, etc. Competition is fierce, hence reliable and affordable energy supply is crucial for this industry.

SOLAR ATMs – Transforming Rural Banking


In India, semi-urban and rural areas that contribute to a majority of the landscape, are often impacted by the lack of power and non-availability of ATM fit notes. Since normal ATMs consume high power, require air-conditioners and ATM fit currencies, banks find it difficult to deploy ATMs in such places.

In order to address this problem, Vortex developed a solar ATM that not only consumes less power, but is also operational without air-conditioners. Moreover, it takes care of soiled teller grade notes as well.

According to the CEO of Vortex, Vijay Babu, more and more banks are now coming forward to deploy these ATMs. In the initial stage, at least 400 solar ATMs called gramatellers, were installed in 17 states of the country. The State Bank of India, owing to its exemplary performance and substantial energy savings, played a pioneering role in promoting it.

IndusInd Bank was the first private bank in India to launch the solar-powered ATM at their Opera House branch in Mumbai. While the Catholic Syrian Bank has placed an order for 50 gramatellers, Bank of Maharashtra and City Union Bank are adopting solar ATMs too. From 2010 to 2013, the number of such ATMs has increased to 100 and now, they are present in different parts of the country.

Vortex, which is looking to venture into Asia, is likely to install 5,000 solar ATMs in India by 2015. Elaborating on the measures that need to be taken to reduce the cost of deploying ATM machines, Babu adds that there is a need for technological advancements to address such issues.

Solar ATM

In order to function smoothly, all that the gramateller requires is merely five hours of good sunshine per day, as it uses solar panels to convert sun rays into electrical energy. During the day, the facility uses solar power and in the same time, spare batteries are also charged. These batteries provide power to the ATM in the absence of sunlight, while the extra power generated during the day is exported to an internal grid for other uses. It is the solar inverter and charge controller which manages the switch between solar, battery and grid power. The complete functioning of the system is monitored from a distant area. A single gramateller unit saves over ninety per cent of the annual expenditure of maintaining a traditional ATM, half of whose annual bill of ` 1,44,000 (US$2,530) goes in air-conditioning, electricity and generator running prices.

The ATMs survive power fluctuations too since there is a built-in battery back-up for four hours. They can also function in temperatures ranging from 0 to 50 degree centigrade and without air-conditioning.

According to reports, the government is now planning to start a mini-banking facility in each of India’s 600,000 villages, with an aim of opening about 25 million savings accounts in villages.

Meanwhile, Washington-based World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) has predicted that by 2015, the ATM market in India is expected to grow three-fold.

“Solar Power” to take-over Coal this decade in India

Coal contributes 60 percent to India’s power mix today; solar is less than 1 percent. But what was a factor-of-seven difference between the cost of coal and solar two years ago shrank this summer to just a 1.8 x gap. Can solar catch up within the next ten years?

The answer to this lies in domestic solar power, both centralized and distributed, built relatively fast at any size and requiring less than 1 percent of the nation’s land. Four factors have to come into play, though, for solar to truly supplant coal in India in the next decade.

– Looking at longer-term costs: Getting solar costs down to INR 5/kWh in the next couple of years, and lower beyond that, will require improved materials, production, and efficiencies, but long-term solar costs are heading downward. Costs of non-replenishing fossil fuels including coal, meanwhile, will increasingly depend on foreign supply and demand markets.

– Costs of infrastructure and grid management: As an infirm power source, solar’s higher incorporation will require extra investments in a number of areas from storage to demand response. On the other hand, adding more coal plants and imports will mean more infrastructures in mining and a supply chain for imports. It’s still unclear how those all will compare.

– Measuring externalities: Beyond simple end market pricing, coal has several arguable cost-adders that should be factored in, most notably pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, water usage, soil degradation, etc. Factoring in all costs will increasingly be important.

Sambhar Ultra Mega Green Solar Power Project

Sambhar Ultra Mega Green Solar Power Project

India’s government has unveiled plans to build an “ultra mega” 4 GW solar power plant in the northwestern state of Rajasthan.

According to the government, the plant will be built on a 23,000-acre (9308 ha) site close to Sambhar Lake, about 75 km from Jaipur, the state capitol.

“Being the first project of this scale anywhere in the world this project is expected to set a trend for large scale solar power development in the world,” the government said in a statement. The plant’s proposed capacity is around three times India’s current total solar power production.

The project, called the Sambhar Ultra Mega Green Solar Power Project, is the brainchild of the Ministry of Heavy Industry, which said it expects to complete the 1-GW first phase – 10 times larger than the largest operational Indian solar power plant – by the end of 2016.

“The first phase of the project is expected to be implemented through a joint venture company to be formed with equity from BHEL, Solar Energy Corporation of India, Power Grid Corporation, Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam and Rajasthan Electronics and Instruments Ltd,” the ministry said. The five companies are state-owned.

“Based on the experience gained during implementation of the first phase of project, the remaining capacity would be implemented through a variety of models,” the ministry continued.

The majority of solar projects in India, developed under the auspices of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, are located in Rajasthan. The state is India’s largest, with high insolation, a strong grid and state-owned land banks for grid-connected solar projects.

India aims to install around 20 GW of grid-connected solar power by 2022. According to reports, theMinistry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has outlined a plan to produce large amounts of solar power in the desert regions of Rajasthan and Gujarat in the next 10 years.

The Prime Minister’s office has reportedly authorised an investigation into areas of desert “wasteland” suitable for building 1-GW solar projects. According to MNRE, India’s entire electricity demand for 2012 could be met if “mega” solar projects were built on just 5 percent of the nation’s unused desert land.

India is expected to add 2.8 GW of solar capacity in 2014, the result of solar power auctions in 2012 and early 2013. Rajasthan has auctioned 75 MW of PV capacity this year, with projects to be commissioned by 2015.

The nation currently has a total of 1761 MW of grid-connected solar capacity.

Feel Proud to be an INDIAN..!!

Solar Power in INDIA

Charanka-Solar-Park-panorama view

India is densely populated and has high solar insolation, an ideal combination for using solar power in India. India is already a leader in wind power generation. In the solar energy sector, some large projects have been proposed, and a 35,000 km2 area of the Thar Desert has been set aside for solar power projects, sufficient to generate 700 GW to 2,100 GW. Also India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has released the JNNSM Phase 2 Draft Policy,[1] by which the Government aims to install 10GW of Solar Power and of this 10 GW target, 4 GW would fall under the central scheme and the remaining 6 GW under various State specific schemes.

In July 2009, India unveiled a US$19 billion plan to produce 20 GW of solar power by 2020. Under the plan, the use of solar-powered equipment and applications would be made compulsory in all government buildings, as well as hospitals and hotels. On 18 November 2009, it was reported that India was ready to launch its National Solar Mission under the National Action Plan on Climate Change, with plans to generate 1,000 MW of power by 2013. From August 2011 to July 2012, India went from 2.5 MW of grid connected photovoltaics to over 1,000 MW.

According to a 2011 report by BRIDGE TO INDIA and GTM Research, India is facing a perfect storm of factors that will drive solar photovoltaic (PV) adoption at a “furious pace over the next five years and beyond”. The falling prices of PV panels, mostly from China but also from the U.S., has coincided with the growing cost of grid power in India. Government support and ample solar resources have also helped to increase solar adoption, but perhaps the biggest factor has been need. India, “as a growing economy with a surging middle class, is now facing a severe electricity deficit that often runs between 10 and 13 percent of daily need”.



With about 300 clear, sunny days in a year, India’s theoretical solar power reception, on only its land area, is about 5000 Petawatt-hours per year (PWh/yr) (i.e. 5000 trillion kWh/yr or about 600 TW). The daily average solar energy incident over India varies from 4 to 7 kWh/m2 with about 1500–2000 sunshine hours per year (depending upon location), which is far more than current total energy consumption. For example, assuming the efficiency of PV modules were as low as 10%, this would still be a thousand times greater than the domestic electricity demand projected for 2015.




The amount of solar energy produced in India in 2007 was less than 1% of the total energy demand. The grid-interactive solar power as of December 2010 was merely 10 MW. Government-funded solar energy in India only accounted for approximately 6.4 MW-yr of power as of 2005. However, India is ranked number one in terms of solar energy production per watt installed, with an insolation of 1,700 to 1,900 kilowatt hours per kilowatt peak (kWh/KWp). 25.1 MW was added in 2010 and 468.3 MW in 2011. By the end of March 2013 the installed grid connected photovoltaics had increased to 1686.44 MW,and India expects to install an additional 10,000 MW by 2017, and a total of 20,000 MW by 2022.

Progress under Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission

Sl. No.

State / UT

Capacity (MW)


Andhra Pradesh





















Madhya Pradesh















Tamil Nadu



Uttar Pradesh






West Bengal




Solar Power : How does solar power work?

Solar energy systems convert sunlight into electricity using technology such as photovoltaic (PV) panels, also known as solar panels.

When you install a solar energy system, your home uses electricity produced by the panels. Electricity you generate but don’t use can be fed back into the main electricity grid and your retailer will pay you for this energy.

To feed electricity into the main electricity grid, you need a new meter that can measure two way flows of electricity (into and out of the grid)—your solar installer will be able to confirm whether your existing meter is suitable or whether you need a new meter installed.

Top 10 green pilgrims of India

[1] Golden Temple of Sripuram is a spiritual park situated at the foothills of Malaikodi, a village within the city of Vellore in Tamil Nadu, India. Sripuram received “Exnora Green Temple Award” and “Exnora Best Eco-friendly Campus of India Award”

Green-o-Meter : The eco-friendly features include Solid Waste Management (SWM), Liquid Waste Management (LWM), rainwater harvesting, bio-gas generation, organic farming, herbal gardens, paddy fields and tree plantations, hill and campus afforestation and harnessing of solar energy. Manure and water for cultivation are generated internally.

[2] The Tirumala temple, in the south Indian city of Tirupathi, is one of Hinduism’s holiest shrines. Over 5,000 pilgrims a day visit this city of seven hills, filling Tirumala’s coffers with donations and making it India’s richest temple. But since 2002, Tirumala has also been generating revenue from a less likely source: carbon credits. For decades, the temple’s community kitchen has fed nearly 15,000 people, cooking 30,000 meals a day. Five years ago, Tirumala adopted solar cooking technology, allowing it to dramatically cut down on the amount of diesel fuel it uses. The temple now sells the emission reduction credits it earns to a Swiss green-technology investor, Good Energies Inc.

Green-o-Meter : use of Solar Cooking System

[3] Muni Seva Ashram, in Gujarat, which combines spiritual practice with social activism, is working to make its premises entirely green by using solar, wind and biogas energy. A residential school for 400 students is already running exclusively on green energy. Starting this year, the ashram will also sell three million carbon credits.

Green-o-Meter : use of Solar Energy Power, Wind Energy and Biogas Plant.

[4] Shirdi Sai Baba Temple, The Sai Baba temple in Maharashtra’s Shirdi town has gone green as ‘prasadam’in the temple kitchens are prepared through solar-steam cooking system for thousands of devotees. Our effort has always been to be considerate about the environment. We use 30 percent of solar energy used in India. We have built our own infrastructure to harness both solar energy and wind energy.

Green-o-Meter : use of Solar Steam Cooking System and Wind Energy.

[5] ISKCON, in Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh, Surrounded by seven hills, high above lush green forests is the temple town of Tirumala. The crown jewel is the dazzling gold-plated temple of Lord Venkateshwara. Inside the temple complex, a large multi-storey building is dedicated to just one thing – cooking free meals for pilgrims. Several cooks work in tandem stirring large pots of rice, curry and vegetables. Nearly 50,000 kilos of rice along with lentils are cooked here every day. Open all day, this community kitchen is the biggest green project for the temple. Located on the roof of this building are rows of solar dishes that automatically move with the angle of the sun, capturing the strong sunlight. Generating over 4,000kgs of steam a day at 180º C, this makes the cooking faster and cheaper. As a result, an average of 500 litres of diesel fuel is saved each day.

Green-o-Meter : use of Solar Steam Cooking System, Reserve Forest Development (a-forestation).



[6] Ambaji Temple, Gujarat, The administration has decided to give Ambaji a clean makeover as well as make it eco-friendly. Proper disposal of garbage, underground gutters, LPG connections, massive tree plantation and raising the check dams on the Teliya river, are some of the steps planned in this direction.

Green-o-Meter : use of Waste Management, Tree Plantation (a-forestation), Solar Steam Cooking System,

[7] The Golden Temple in Amritsar, India is making efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. About 100,000 pilgrims and tourists visit Amritsar each day. A few major holy cities have made an environmental group called, The Green Pilgrimage Network, they help to make religious travelers to be more environmental friendly. They want to reduce the carbon footprint to set a good example and also because they use many resources for all the people that visit all the time so it would make a big difference to change the temple. Around 85,000 meals are served a day and they are served on stainless steel plates so no plastic waste. They are planning to use solar panels for the lighting and solar water heaters. Also, they want to start harvesting rainwater. The temple speakers remind earth friendly messages to the pilgrims to hope it sticks to them and spreads.

Green-o-Meter : use of Solar Cooking System, Solar energy for cooking, lighting and cooling.

[8] Jama Masjid, Delhi, Dedicated buildings have been built at the holy places to cook meals for devotees using solar energy. Turning to renewable energy has dramatically cut down the cooking gas and diesel costs and provides uninterrupted electricity. Moreover, the solar cooking is clean, hygienic and efficient, especially when large quantities need to be cooked.

Green-o-Meter : use of Solar Energy for lighting and cooling.

[9] Lotus Temple of Bahai, Delhi, Dedicated buildings have been built at the holy places to cook meals for devotees using solar energy. Turning to renewable energy has dramatically cut down the cooking gas and diesel costs and provides uninterrupted electricity. Moreover, the solar cooking is clean, hygienic and efficient, especially when large quantities need to be cooked.

Green-o-Meter : use of Solar Energy for lighting and cooling.

[10] Jagannath Temple, Puri, Odisha, Dedicated buildings have been built at the holy places to cook meals for devotees using solar energy. Turning to renewable energy has dramatically cut down the cooking gas and diesel costs and provides uninterrupted electricity. Moreover, the solar cooking is clean, hygienic and efficient, especially when large quantities need to be cooked.

Green-o-Meter : use of Solar Power for lighting.