India launching small-scale solar wind hybrid programme in unelectrified areas

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MNRE is providing 50% of costs for first 10 demonstration projects that could lead to a national programme. Credit: NEC

The Indian government is promoting small-scale solar and wind hybrid systems (SWES) in unelectrified areas through a new programme, which aims to repeat the success of similar projects in the US and Europe.

Still at a pilot stage, the first demonstration project of just 25kW capacity will be deployed at the wind turbine test station of National Institute of Wind Energy at Kayathar, Tootikudi district of Tamil Nadu.

The total installed capacity of these systems on 31 March 2016 was 2.69 MW. There are now six small-scale wind turbine manufacturers and 9 models empanelled under the programme and a total of 10 demonstration projects will be supported for grid integration.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) expects the cost of each project to be in the range of INR2-300,000 per kW (US$2,970 to US$4,460).

MNRE is providing support of up to 50% of system costs to community users to install the systems.

If successful in India, the pilot programme will lead towards the launch of a National Programme on grid-connected small-scale wind and solar hybrid systems. 

India's government has focused much attention on its 'rural electrification programme' targeting power for every village, including its off-grid solar programme.

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