Solar Thermal Energy Generation Potential in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu States, India


Government of India has come out with an ambitious target of 100 GW of using solar energy alone by the year 2022. To reach this target, innovative ideas are required to use the solar energy more effectively. For solar electricity generation, mainly two types of technologies are presently in use, namely, solar PV and solar thermal. Being a tropical country, India has large solar PV and solar thermal energy. More research is required on economic aspects to make the solar thermal competitive to solar PV. Towards this direction, in our present study we have simulated a solar thermal power plant using Parabolic Trough Collector (PTC) technology and normalized with 1 MW solar thermal power plant at Gurgaon near New Delhi. Through simulation, we have extended our study and computed the electricity generation possible at different locations of India. For this purpose with 1? × 1?spacing, computations have been carried out at 296 locations. The work is further extended for more detailed study at two representative states, namely, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. In these two states, closer data points with 0.25? × 0.25? spacing have been considered at 273 locations for Gujarat and 197 locations for Tamil Nadu. Our results indicate a large potential of electricity generation using solar thermal energy in southern states of India, namely, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, southern and western part of Andhra Pradesh and eastern part of Maharashtra. Good potential has also been observed in eastern parts of Gujarat and parts of Madhya Pradesh and eastern part of Rajasthan. The annual potential ranges from 1800 MWh to as much as 2600 MWh. Major parts of northern states, for example Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir have medium range potential. Here, the annual potential ranges from 1000 to 1500 MWh. Poor range of potential is observed towards eastern parts of India and north eastern states. Here, the electricity generation potential ranges from 600 to 1200 MWh. Our results are useful to solar thermal developer and decision managers.

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Reddy, C. and Harinarayana, T. (2015) Solar Thermal Energy Generation Potential in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu States, India. Energy and Power Engineering, 7, 591-603. doi: 10.4236/epe.2015.713056.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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