Sitting in the Hall of Fame

Even at the age of 80, Dr Bala V. Balachandran, is an inspiration to many and a motivation to many more. His energy, enthusiasm, knowledge and, most importantly, wit are the key traits that make him so loved and respected by all.

Having an opportunity to attend his class was truly a blessing. After interacting with this great gentleman, I often kept wondering what is it like to be successful at the age of 80? What keeps him going?

When asked the same, Uncle Bala said, it’s the enthusiastic students and their never ending thirst of knowledge. Seeing, interacting, teaching and always being surrounded by people in their twenties make him feel twenty at heart and the love and respect that he receives from then is what encourages him to achieve more and do more for them. Well, this is ‘attitude being gratitude’ at its finest and speaks volumes about the character of this phenomenal person. It is in my personal opinion, that it’s not just being successful but doing it the right way is what differentiates the men from the boys.

So, what was it like to attend his class? The aura of the class comprising of the enthusiasm of the students and the respect that he commanded were among the first oblivious things that can be observed. The constant humour, witty one-liners, the command and expertise over the subject (duh! he is the pioneer of the subject) and his constant real-time illustrations are the composition of his class.

The key take away for a student from Uncle Bala’s class are the real life experiences shared, industry specific problems defined and the strategic methods implemented to solve the same which are in correlation with your academic subjects helping you bridge the gap and connect the dots.

In his short stay of 3 days and 10 hours of classes, he has given us much to cherish and the impression that he has left on us students will be everlasting.

Author: Ashwin AN

PGPM, Class of 2018, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

The Great Lakes Bike Squad – Roadtrip #1 – AGRA

It was the Sunday of the penultimate week of term 1 when the examination schedule arrived and noticing that we have a 2 day holiday post exams, was enough to lift our spirits after the 7 weeks of rigorous classes, assignments, quizzes and projects. Being the kind of travel enthusiast and an adventure junkie that I am, I immediately started planning a road trip.

Post extensive deliberations and discussions, “The Squad” decided that Agra was the best place to visit in this limited span of time.

Introducing the squad:



With the exams done and dusted, we nut heads, Chinmay, Rishi and I (Ashwin) were super pumped up for this trip. We got our bikes washed and fueled them up for the ride.

The Kickstart: Day 1: Saturday

We started our journey early in the morning at 6 AM and were greeted by foggy clouds, slight drizzle and curvy roads. As we cruised through the countryside with cool breeze caressing our bodies and ruffling our hair, a kind of indescribable euphoria took over.

The benefit of starting at 6 in the morning is that we covered good ground in no time and by the time we reached the National Highway, we were starving. After devouring a few parathas, we were on our way to our first major stop, Mathura, the birth place of ‘Lord Krishna’. We explored the town for a while and then made our way to Vrindavan to seek the Lord’s blessings. Following which, it was now time to head towards Agra and the gorgeous Yamuna Expressway, with its scenic beauty, embraced us with open arms.


Yamuna Expressway was a full-throttle adrenaline rush!!! Cruising at 120 KMPH and pushing our vehicles to their limits, it was an amazing feeling altogether. Post all that adventure, we stopped for our mandatory photo shoot and reached Agra at 2PM. Later in the evening, we explored the former capital of India gazed at the beauty of the TAJ in awe.

Day 2: Sunday – TAJ, definitely worth every superlative description out there

Being the early birds that we are, we visited Taj at 6AM and it was truly a feast for the eyes. After gazing endlessly upon the monument of love in a peaceful environment devoid of any noisy tourists, we started our journey to Fatehpur Sikri and reached there by 11 AM, visited all the historic monuments and by 3 PM we were back on the road.

Within a span of 48 hours, we covered a distance of 500 KMS and reached our campus safe and sound by 7 PM.

With this adventurous trip behind us, we realised that this was first official Bike Squad of Great Lakes. The three of us mutually agreed to carry forward this tradition of road trip whenever the opportunity presents itself and keep on adding more members to The Squad in the future.


Author: Ashwin AN

PGPM, Class of 2018, Great Lakes, Gurgaon



Chairman Emeritus Reconnect 49 “Education & Spirituality”

Chairman Emeritus Reconnect 49 “Education & Spirituality”

My dear friends,                 

Once I was captivating introduction of the new batch of MBA at NPTI. The dialouge went as follows:

A Student:          Sir, I am Shrivastava, BE(Elect)

Me:                       I am not interested in your surname and your degree

-These are on our records

Student:             Sir, I am Mahesh Kumar (Imaginatively substituted name)

Me:                      That is your name given by your parents-drop it

Student:             I am a student of NPTI

Me:                      That’s your present occupation-I know it

Student:             Sir, I am a boy

Me:                      I am not interested in your gender

Student:              I am becoming conscious now, who am I?

Another Student: I am feeling intrigued, I am thinking now,

His next:               I am sensitized on my existence today,

Next to next:        My conscience says I am God’s creation,

Yet another:         I am motivated to think, I am divine.

Me:       When you drop all your labels, you come out as “the pure you” :

  • Your consciousness (awareness)
  • Your conscience (sense of right and wrong)
  • Thinking & feeling part of you
  • Your sensor/ sensitivity
  • Your motivation/ inspiration
  • Your divinity

-is your Spirit . Keep it awakened!

We need it all the time for the spiritual paradigms of our MBA education at NPTI, I indicated. I further clarified to them that subjects like “Power Reforms” , “Customer relationship & Entrepreneurship”, “Energy Environment Interface & Sustainable Development” etc. derive their essence from holistic spiritual paradigms of our survival. Besides technicalities, they involve ethics and ethos, human values, customer care, environmental sensitivity, resource renewability, society’s anxieties over clean energy, electricity for all and its availability 24×7 and so on.


Spirituality is a rather mysterious term for the scientific community who keeps experimenting with external and physical world only. There are several inner dimensions of human existence which can not be denied; for example Mind, Intellect (consciousness transforms intellect into wisdom), Innner voice/ Intuition (sixth sense) etc. An encounter with one’s own “inner dimension” is spirituality.

Spirituality is manifested by original qualities of “the spirit or the soul” such as love, compassion, wisdom, bliss, peace, purity, humility, power, forgiveness, sacrifice, contentment, self-responsibility, values, self-esteem, harmony and connectedness to others.

Spiritual literacy is a basic literacy for all that enables the understanding and use of the deeper meaning and connection in all aspects of life. Spirituality teaches us how our lives fit into the greater scheme of things.

Education & Spirituality

 Swami Vivekanand said : “Education is not the amount of information that is put into your brain, undigested all your life. We must have life-building, man-making, character-making assimilation of ideas. If you have assimilated just five (5) ideas and made them your life and character, you have more education than any man who has got by heart a whole library.

A semi-literate man “Anna Hazare” also talked of 5-ideas

  1. Pure Thoughts
  2. Pure Conduct
  3. Unblemished Life
  4. Sacrifice and
  5. Capacity to withstand humiliation;

which he assimilated, practiced and demonstrated, becoming the most literate man of today, saluted by the Indian Parliament.

Education is not merely Academics

Somehow we have misunderstood academics to be education

– We teach our children to read and memorise history but we don’t teach them to create history

– We teach them geography, but not geographical cultures and respect for them

– We teach them science, but not the science of life

-We teach them external management, but not internal management of Mind

Education is to lead a person to knowledge (know-how & know-why) graduating further to wisdom (discovery of truth by himself) to see life in its totality and to face it in its completeness. It is to set a higher goal of life, inner transformation, vision of oneness and genuine care for others.

Best wishes and Regards,

Dr. B.S.K.Naidu

BE(Hons), M.Tech., Ph.D., CBI-Scholar, D.Engg. (Calif.), FNAE, Hon.D.WRE (USA)
Chairman Emeritus, Great Lakes, Gurgaon, NCR, New Delhi, INDIA
Former Director General (NPTI & CPRI) Govt. of India

No job is small or big, the way in which you do, makes it small or big (c)

Chairman Emeritus Reconnect 48 “Self-Management”

My dear friends,

I wish to share with you all a ‘Mantra’ that I shared with the graduands during GLIM’s Convocation on 18 May 2016. It is a tiny mantra against “The Bhagavad Gita” which has become a compulsory core course for every student in Seton Hall University in New Jersey, USA having > 10,800 students. The mantra is that “All the external managements have to be preceded by Self-Management.

After joining their jobs, many of the entrants are sent for corporate training programs some of which are grossly misnomered. For instance, Time Management. Time is an irretrievable resource and there can be no inventory management in it. You can only ‘self-manage’ to be punctual and to be time bound. Another example is Stress Management. Can you manage stress after it is created? You have to depend only on doctors from headache to cancer. According to an authority on stress-related diseases, cancer is the end product of non-forgiveness. The secret is to ‘self-manage’ so as not to create stress, anger or hurt by you, within you. How do you do this? Foremost is the awareness that you are the creator of all these emotions.

On his first day in office as President, when Abraham Lincoln entered to deliver his inaugural address, a fellow stood up and said “Mr. Lincoln, you should not forget that your father used to make shoes for me and my family” The whole Senate laughed. Lincoln said “Sir, I know that and I also know that there was never ever any complaint from any of his clients including your family. He was a genius and he used to pour his heart and soul in to his job. I am so proud of him. “Let me see to what extent I can reach his creativity and perfection while presiding over the United States.” No one can hurt you without your consent.

Buddha was known to be beyond hurt. One day one visitor took up the challenge and started hurling abuses at him till he was himself totally tired. Finally he said Oh! Buddha you are still smiling, you have no self-respect. Buddha replied with the same smile “It is like this. If you offer me an apple and I don’t accept, where will the apple go? The visitor replied “obviously it would remain with me.” Buddha said “it is exactly the same with abuses; they have all remained with you”

The Blame Game

Unfortunately, we are all caught up in a blame game. We make some body responsible for our hurt, anger and stress. This starts from early childhood. Can you imagine a 2-1/2 year old child telling her grandfather “Nani has hurt me inside. She says she will not give me ice-cream until I finish my food”. We smile it off. We also help the child nurture a ‘belief system’ of blaming others for any hurt caused. Whenever she falls down and gets hurt, we go and hit the floor or the obstacle to console her. We never explain her that she fell down due to her own lack of attention.

If we don’t find a person or an object, we start blaming the circumstances. Do we really have to? Let me give you an example. Recently, in an award function where a renowned doctor was being felicitated, he shared his life story. He said he grew up in an extremely poor family who were not sure of the next day meal. He had an elder brother who was always blaming his father and turned alcoholic. His younger brother went into depression losing all hopes from life. This man thought the only way for him was to study hard and become a doctor, if possible, not only to get over the poverty but also to treat both of his brothers one day. He used to borrow books from his friends when they were playing or enjoying their picnics. He studied under the lamp-posts and struggled through. He attributed full credit of his success to the extreme poverty. The wind may blow from any direction, but the direction in which you go depends on how you set the sails. Setting the sails is Self-management or more precisely the Thoughts-management.


Egolessness is one issue which confuses the youngsters as well as the grown-ups. Should they not be proud of their higher qualifications, superior skills, long and rich experience etc? Should they compromise on their self-esteem in order to avoid ego clashes? These doubts arise out of the ignorance of a fine line between ego and self-esteem. If you are contributing in a meeting and if you say “This is the best idea” it is ego. But if you say “This is my best idea” it is self-esteem. You can keep your self-esteem intact by giving space to others’ self-esteem.


At times you start feeling that you lack “Willpower”. You lack determination, resolve and strength of will. In order to explore this, you should start examining your own daily routine. You want to get up at 6. You put an alarm and the bell rings. You choose to close it and sleep for another half an hour, 45 min. or more. You finally get up and it is time to brush and go for a morning walk. You compromise on a bed tea. Now the daily newspaper arrives. You get tempted to see at least the headlines and the sidelines and the interesting lines. Morning walk gets postponed to the next day and you somehow reach office 15 min. late even after skipping the shave. You think 15 min. late is allowed, and you are still in the comfort zone! Now pause and look back, wherefrom the “power of will” can emerge and cultivate, if you go on ignoring the inner voice? So, if you want to be powerfully self-managed, you will have to:

  1. Revisit your ‘belief-systems’ and alter them to the extent necessary.
  2. Revisit your ‘so called’ comfort zones and see if their shells can crack under the resonance of your own Inner Voice.
  3. And have a better control on your ‘thought factory’ which is generating 25 thoughts/min. or 36,000 thoughts /day.


Best wishes and Regards,

Dr. B.S.K.Naidu

BE(Hons), M.Tech., Ph.D., CBI-Scholar, D.Engg. (Calif.), FNAE, Hon.D.WRE (USA)
Chairman Emeritus, Great Lakes, Gurgaon, NCR, New Delhi, INDIA
Former Director General (NPTI & CPRI) Govt. of India

No job is small or big, the way in which you do, makes it small or big (c)

Chairman Emeritus Reconnect 46 “Value Orientation to Power / Energy Sector”

My dear friends,

Life on earth has been created on so many exacting conditions.
1. The earth rotates on its axis at one thousand miles an hour. If it turned at one hundred miles an hour, our days and nights, would be ten times as long as now, and the hot sun would then burn up our vegetation during each long day while in the long night any surviving sprout would freeze.
2. The slant of the earth, tilted at an angle of 23 degrees, gives us our seasons. If it had not been so tilted, vapors from the ocean would move north and south, piling up for us continents of ice.
3. The sun, the source of our life, has a surface temperature of 12,000o F and our earth is just far enough away so that this “eternal fire” warms us just enough and not too much. If the sun gave off only one half its present radiation, we would freeze, and if it gave half as much more, we would roast.
4. If our moon was, say, only 50 thousand miles away instead of its actual distance, our tides would be so enormous that twice a day all continents would be submerged.
5. Had the ocean been a few feet deeper, carbon di oxide and oxygen would have been absorbed and no vegetable life could exist.
6. Ozone layer protects the earth from ultraviolet rays of the sun and a well-designed greenhouse enveloping the earth maintains the right kind of warmth for living beings to survive.
The above exacting conditions necessary for life on earth could not possibly exist in proper relationship by chance. There is not one chance in millions that life on our planet is an accident. In fact, it appears to be a deliberately designed system to perfect equilibrium.

Sustainability of Human Intervention in Nature’s Equilibrium
Mahatma Gandhi said “There is enough in nature for everyone’s need but not enough for everyone’s greed”. With the evolution of human beings and their multiplying population together with their intelligence and aspirations to command the nature, the question arises as to how much intervention is possible in the universe, in such an exacting relationship as described above. For instance,
1. How much we can intercept locally the nature’s hydrological cycle for irrigation and power, with repercussions on local environment, even though carbon-free.
2. How much fossil fuel we can burn for power generation and other needs since it has a very serious repercussion on emissions of carbon di-oxide which according to an estimate, if not brought down to 60% of the current level, may cause major climatic shifts and submergence of low lying lands by 2050.
3. How much we can afford emission of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) which have already started disrupting the ozone layer which may cause skin cancer, blindness etc. The seasonal hole in the ozone layer during Sept’1998 covered an area of 25 million KM2 (about 2.5 times the area of Europe). According to one estimate 60% of GHG is attributed to energy Sector.
4. How much technological development we can afford so as not to disrupt the nature’s supportive equilibrium. At what rate resource consumption and growth of population is possible keeping intact the regenerative and self-recycling characteristics of the nature besides carrying capacity and assimilative capacity of the Eco-systems.

Value Orientation
Human intervention needs value orientation in any sector of development. A 15-point charter of values is suggested below for power / energy sector.

1. Sense of Proportion: A respectable share of Hydro is a technical necessity of Power Grid. Present Hydro:Thermal mix of 20:80 should ideally shift to 40:60.
2. System Ethos: Voltage and frequency fluctuations causing heavy damage to power equipment and completely stalling the sensitive control equipment; speak poorly of power system ethos. Grid frequency is a critical aspect of power system operations and a function of demand and supply (when demand exceeds supply, frequency dips and vice versa). Grid frequency reflects the discipline and the stress in the system. The frequency variation for example should be brought down from 8% (48 Hz-52 Hz) at times to less than 1% (49.7 Hz-52.2 Hz) at all times. CERC now aims at 0.2%.
3. Techno-economic Sense: Techno-economically, Hydro proves several times favourable option compared to thermal keeping in view the life cycle cost, recurring fuel cost and its escalation, environmental cost and grid economy. Nuclear option exhausts our foreign currency reserves right from fuel (uranium) to technology.
4. Financial Acumen: Solar PV is the costliest option for a 50 MW scale, but it breaks even for a 50 kW plant and proves cheapest for an isolated 50 W system.
5. Sustainability: With the present rate of consumption, all oil and gas stocks would be completely exhausted in India before 2050. Fossil route cannot prime the growth which is sustainable.
6. Renewability: Ever renewed solar energy is radiating directly onto the earth, at the same time manifesting itself in several indirect forms such as wind, hydro, ocean thermal and bio-energy etc. This naturally recycled resource-base holds potential for perpetual power generation.
7. Energy Storage: Energy storage is complementary to intermittent renewables. With “Energy Storage” component, the load demand can be met much better, right from cyclic stability to daily demand pattern to even seasonal demands.
8. Environmental Compatibility: Environmental impacts net of mitigative measures place Hydro at 3 against 7 that of thermal on a 10-point scale. Carbon emissions of Hydro and Nuclear options are least compared to all other known options for power generation, considering the full energy chain. Their carbon emission compared to coal option is in the ratio of 5:270. Hydro:Thermal SO2 emission is in the ratio of 1:1000.
9. Interweaving of Technical and Commercial Values: Higher tariff for peaking power could be an attempt towards optimising technical and commercial values of power.
10. Security Concerns: Longevity of imported fossil fuels is extremely doubtful since globally the oil and gas stocks are going to exhaust fast with the rate of consumption growing with population and their aspirations. National energy security concerns call for indigenous and renewable options to be developed.
11. Optimizing Demand-Supply Gap: Present peaking power shortages in India could have been completely eliminated under the same MW installed (under the same investment) had the country gone for a judicious Hydro:Thermal mix. Demand side management and energy efficiency measures on utilization side can also narrow down the demand supply gap which at present is in the range of 2.1 % energy shortage and 2.6 % peaking shortage during 2015-16, in respect of present electricity connected consumers.                                   12. Smart Grid: A smart grid is an electrical grid which includes a variety of operational and energy measures including real time smart meters and other appliances, renewable energy resources, and energy efficiency measures. For instance, improvement of tail-end grid voltages can be achieved through Solar Panels. Computer intelligence & networking abilities and automation make it interactive right from generator to consumer. Optimization of energy use on real time basis with resultant economy and comfort are obvious benefits of smart grid which should soon be made available to all the electricity customers.
13. Decentralisation: It may be uneconomical to extend the grid to the remotest areas and therefore off-grid electrification with localised generation and distribution system viz. ‘mini-grid’ should be equally respected and encouraged. Stand-alone systems can also help in avoidance of transmittal of that much of power over long distance with attendant losses.
14. New Capacity Vs. Upgradation: Upgradation comprising renovation, retrofitting, uprating and modernisation is cheaper, faster and environmentally friendlier option for coping with the increasing demand than the new capacity addition and should therefore get priority in the power sector.
15. Conservation: We generate 4 units for ultimate utilization of just 1 unit of electricity, 25% being T&D losses and 66.7% being the end conversion losses in some crucial sectors like agricultural pump-sets. Energy efficiency measures should lead to conservation of precious energy resources.

Sustained Value Addition
R&D should expand to R&D3 meaning Research and “Development, Demonstration & Deployment”. Such a countenance would provide an orientation to take research activity right up to its logical end. R&D3 program would involve Research, Technology development, Engineering and Business Management strategies, all together with an integrated approach. India should see more and more innovations through the entire R&D3 chain in the 21st Century for maximization of indigenous value addition which would not only make the nation proud but would rapidly strengthen our economy.

Concluding Remarks
Rather poor “Techno-Economic-Environmental-Operational ethos” of our Power System calls for value orientation- a conscious introspection linking the present ills and shortcomings to the values and ethos and strategic envisioning of corrective measures. Values chartered above for producing a credible blue print of a formulated vision for India’s Electrical Power Sector can be of generic importance applicable to other sectors of development also, with due modifications.

Let us appreciate that value based introspection and corrective action planning are crucial for development.

Best wishes and Regards,

Dr. B.S.K.Naidu

BE(Hons), M.Tech., Ph.D., CBI-Scholar, D.Engg. (Calif.), FNAE, Hon.D.WRE (USA)
Chairman Emeritus, Great Lakes, Gurgaon, NCR, New Delhi, INDIA
Former Director General (NPTI & CPRI / REL), Ex. Director (REC) / Executive Director (IREDA)

No job is small or big, the way in which you do, makes it small or big (c)

Chairman Emeritus Reconnect 45 “Solar Rooftops in India”

My dear friends,

India has been a land of revolutions witnessing the life changing upheavals like the Green Revolution and the White Revolution. Now she is on the verge of next revolution i.e. “Solar Revolution”. The newly set target of 100 GW Solar Energy by 2022 will change the position of India on the map of solar powered nations across the world. With 38 GW, Germany has led the world in Solar PV with a global aggregate of 177 GW. Can India follow suit?

Out of the Indian target, 40 GW is earmarked for Solar Rooftops. Our country has around 337 million houses as per the census 2011. A 1-kW system per house could add up to 337 GW of installed capacity; commercial and industrial rooftop space being additional avenue for generation which signifies that the 40 GW target is a small fraction of the potential. The commencements of “Make in India”, “Start-up India”, “Stand-up India”, “Housing for all by 2022” and “Digital India” missions are other elements which can complement and accelerate the transition.

Today, India’s 1/3rd population has no access to electricity and lives in darkness. This can only be answered by decentralised sources of energy like solar. Solar Rooftop PV (SRPV) is a decentralised technology, which is being encouraged due to its low land footprint and ability to reduce transmission and distribution (T&D) losses. Weak local distribution infrastructure, lack of economies of scale and poor social outlook has prevented SRPV systems from penetrating the Indian market. Currently India has only 300 MW of rooftop solar projects.

Consumer awareness

A survey was conducted by one of our PGPM (Energy) students to gauge the awareness of consumers towards solar technology and the apprehensions/partial knowledge related to it. It was an on-line survey and more than 50% respondents belonged to the age group of 25-30 yrs. Most of the respondents (98.3%) were aware of solar technology and the cost of the system which signifies that people now know about the solar rooftop PV technology.

Encouraging feedback was that about 84% of the respondents showed their willingness towards installing SRPV system in future. Most of the respondents are not fully aware of the incentives and subsidies provided by the Government. Almost 41% of the respondents knew about the area required for the installation of SRPV. However, only 6% of the total respondents have installed SRPV systems.

Almost 38% of the respondents were not aware of the new target of 100 GW of Solar deployments by 2022. About 59% of the respondents didn’t know about the Net-metering scheme. There were some ‘true-false’ questions which were asked to test the apprehensions in the minds of consumers. The results show that the respondents are still not aware of the basic features of the SRPV system and have certain false assumptions like solar PVs may cause electric shocks; it will not generate electricity during clouds, etc.

The results show that still a lot is to be done at the awareness front to give a boost to the SRPVs in India. An awareness and a promotional program is proposed to remove the apprehensions and for the better penetration of the technology with promotional ads like that of “Clean Water”, “Sanitation”, “Child Education” etc. The Government can also mandate each energy generator whether conventional or non-conventional to put an information board emphasizing the benefits of Solar Rooftop PV.

Possible Elements of Awareness Campaign

  1. With about 300 clear sunny days, the solar energy available in a year (5000 trillion kWh) exceeds the possible energy output of all fossil fuel energy reserves in India.
  2. India is ranked number one in terms of solar electricity production per watt installed.
  3. The electricity generated by Solar PV becomes free in 6-7 years (payback period) and you enjoy free power thereafter.
  4. Government provides 15% subsidy on the capital cost of installation of solar rooftop PV.
  5. Solar PV works more efficiently in cold climates (see graphs below).
  6. On a cloudy day, typical solar panels can produce 10-25% of their rated capacity. The exact amount will vary depending on the density of the clouds, and may also vary by the type of solar panel.
  7. The Solar PV doesn’t give electric shocks if touched rather they are required to be cleaned daily to keep them dust-free to increase efficiency.
  8. 1-kWp of solar panels typically require 8-12 m2 of shade free area to generate 4 kWh per day.
  9. Cost of Solar Rooftop PV varies between ₹80,000 to ₹100,000 per kW system.
  10. The electricity generated from solar PV costs ₹6/kWh.
  11. The solar energy generated can be supplied to the grid if in surplus.

Recently, a team of researchers from Stanford University have devised an ingenious means of boosting the efficiency of solar panels by exploiting a fundamental physics phenomenon. Solar panels lose efficiency as they heat up. Just as the top of our head radiates excess body heat as infrared light, the researchers have developed a translucent overlay comprised of patterned silica that does the same for solar panels. The overlay separates the visible spectrum of light (which generates electricity) from its thermal radiation, effectively “cooling” the incoming light, radiating the heat away from the panel while allowing more photons to be converted into electricity. Thermal overlay cools the panel’s surface by as much as 22o F and boosts energy production by 1 % (a sizable efficiency jump in the world of solar energy production @ 11-15% panel efficiency).

The fact that the “Solar panels lose efficiency as they heat up” and “that they can suit more the colder and sunny climate” seems to have been ignored in the state-wise target allocation of SRPV out of 40 GW by MNRE in June’2015.

Climate Change and Solar Rooftops

The National Action Plan on Climate Change obligates use of Renewable sources of energy to reduce the carbon footprint. The recent move of the Government in continuation of Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (2010) to install 100 GW of Solar by 2022 is a step forward to Climate change mitigation and connecting the unconnected through distributed source of energy. As the country moves towards the clean energy deployment, it also happens to be a good time for all stakeholders to spread their wings in the new market.

Solar energy revolution seems to be the next big thing after the achievement of Mars mission for India. It is high time for Government to prioritize its further movement towards the building of healthy and sustainable policy & regulatory regime to nourish the sector. A lot of improvement will also be required in the infrastructure to avail the net-metering and feed-in-tariff schemes.


Graph 1 & 2 : Temperature coefficient for crystalline cells

The Government can obligate the banks for financing an allotted target capacity of solar rooftop projects in a way similar to the RPOs for Industries/Utilities. Housing financing scheme should attach Home loan with a loan for Solar Rooftops. T
he “Make in India” program is an attraction to many foreign investors and soon the companies will base their units in the country; the Government can mandate Solar Generation Obligation (SGO) to utilize their rooftop space. An agreement and support from Discom’s would smoothen the trajectory of growth.


India’s Latest Initiatives at Global Level

It was our Prime Minister’s dream to associate 100+ Solar rich nations like consortium of Oil rich nations to harness solar energy faster by pooling their resources. This indeed happened in Paris during 2015-United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21, during 30th Nov-12th Dec’2015. [ It was the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 11th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.]

The Paris declaration aiming at containing the earth’s temperature rise to 2o C above pre-industrial level by limiting to 1000 billion tonnes of carbon, encompassed  “International Solar Alliance” of the countries to share the collective ambition to undertake innovative and concerted efforts for reducing the cost of finance and cost of technology for immediate deployment of competitive solar generation, financial instruments to mobilise more than 1000 Billion US $ of investments needed by 2030 for the massive deployment of affordable solar energy and to pave the way for future solar generation, storage and utilization for countries’ individual needs. Soon thereafter International Solar Alliance – the First International and Inter-Governmental Organisation of 121 Countries with United Nations as Strategic Partner was inaugurated by our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, and the President of France Mr François Hollande. They jointly laid the foundation stone of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Headquarters and inaugurated the interim Secretariat of the ISA in National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), MNRE, Gurgaon on 25-Jan-2016.

These are positive steps which may also boost Solar rooftops segment in future.

Satyamev Jayate !!!

Best wishes and Regards,

Dr. B.S.K.Naidu

BE(Hons), M.Tech., Ph.D., CBI-Scholar, D.Engg. (Calif.), FNAE, Hon.D.WRE (USA)
Chairman Emeritus, Great Lakes, Gurgaon, NCR, New Delhi, INDIA
Former Director General (NPTI & CPRI / REL), Ex. Director (REC) / Executive Director (IREDA)

No job is small or big, the way in which you do, makes it small or big (c)


Chairman Emeritus Reconnect 44 – “Energy Storage for Intermittent Renewables”

My dear friends,

Our Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been announcing to the entire world that India has scaled up its plans from Mega Watts to Giga Watts in the arena of Renewable Energy in view of its environmental sustainability. The quantum jump being mentioned is 5,000 MW to 100,000 MW (100 GW) in respect of Solar Energy and 25,000 MW to 60,000 MW (60 GW) in respect of Wind Energy by 2022.

Such an ambition is not realizable without complementary energy storage of intermittent renewables. Both the above stated renewable energies are available only for 6-8 hours/day, not matching with peak load requirements and are further subject to seasonal variations. One of the basics of Power System is that the electricity must be generated at the precise moment it is demanded. It is the ultimate “just in time” system, where long-term inventory of electricity is denied. (Electricity can only notionally be stored in Capacitors and Inductors for a short time.) It cannot be stored in significant quantities but its converted forms like chemical energy in batteries, gravitational hydro potential energy etc, are possible to be stored.

Recent Cabinet Approval on Amendments in Tariff Policy

Recently the Union Cabinet has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Power for amendments in the Tariff Policy. For the first time a holistic view of the power sector has been taken and comprehensive amendments have been made in the Tariff policy 2006. The amendments are also aimed at achieving the objectives of Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) with the focus on following 4 E’s:

  1. Electricity for all
  2. Efficiency to ensure affordable tariffs
  3. Environment for a sustainable future
  4. Ease of doing business to attract investments and ensure financial viability

Unfortunately the 5th E i.e. Energy Storage for Intermittent Renewables has been missed out. Cost of energy storage should have been built in to the Peaking tariff. This was not expected in the present scenario when we have a common Union Minister for Power and MNRE.

Recent R&D Council Meeting of the National Wind Energy Institute under MNRE

I attended the latest (Twenty-third) meeting of R&D council of the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) held at Chennai on 30.12.2015 wherein their 10-Year Vision Plan was presented.

I pointed out that the renewables like wind and solar can become 24X7 power suppliers only when the appropriate Energy Storage systems are in place and hence a thrust be given for projects in developing Energy Storage systems, for renewables.

Pumped storage is one of the most promising options for energy storage in the form of hydro potential whose assessment in India is more than 96,000 MW of which not even 6,000 MW has been harnessed so far. Almost all (>99%) of power-grid-scale energy storage in the world today is pumped-hydroelectric.

However, Pumped storage is also undergoing a conceptual transformation. Rivers and dams are no more required. Sea water can be used as pumped storage media in novel approaches and “swinging door algorithm” pumped storage becomes a big battery analog for wind farm energy storage. Even an exhausted mine can be used as lower reservoir, if you can find a small water pond at a higher elevation nearby. There are many such novel systems that would revolutionize the energy storage spectrum and need immediate focus and practical green field pilots.

It was agreed in the Committee that a new group for “Energy Storage” would be created in NIWE, reflecting it as an essential ground-breaking component in the 10-Year R&D Vision Plan.

There is no future for Wind Energy Sector (and so also the SPV) without “Energy Storage”. Its importance is more than the “Solar-PV Hybrid” which can only expand the electricity supply period in a day to an extent, not necessarily matching with the Grid demand. It may however facilitate more land space for PV.

With “Energy Storage” component, the load demand can be met much better, right from cyclic stability to daily demand pattern to even seasonal demands. Without Energy Storage component Wind Energy & SPV can never be accepted as viable options for energy supply due to their intermittent nature. The cost of energy storage system has to reflect in the peaking tariff of energy supply. Higher absorption of renewable energy round the clock on the other hand may reduce its cost of supply.

There are four basic options in Energy Storage:

  1. Mechanical→Pumped Storage (Seasonal balance), Compressed Air (Daily stability), Flywheel (cyclic stability)
  2. Chemical→Batteries, Hydrogen (Electrolysers), Fuel cells
  3. Electrical→Double Layer Capacitor, Superconducting Magnetic Coil
  4. Thermal→Heat Storage (Molten Salt), for stability in heating systems or re-conversion in to electricity

The above options may suit different sets of wind farms & SPV stations and their connecting sub-stations to supply 24×7 and more specifically as per grid demand and the environment around.

I hope, all concerned wake up to the urgent need of Energy Storage in our country!

Satyamev Jayate !!!

Best wishes and Regards,

Dr. B.S.K.Naidu

BE(Hons), M.Tech., Ph.D., CBI-Scholar, D.Engg. (Calif.), FNAE, Hon.D.WRE (USA)
Chairman Emeritus, Great Lakes, Gurgaon, NCR, New Delhi, INDIA
Former Director General (NPTI & CPRI / REL), Ex. Director (REC) / Executive Director (IREDA)

No job is small or big, the way in which you do, makes it small or big (c)