Kerala to cash in on renewable energy resources

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 25 (IANS) With the Centre doling out subsidies on renewable energy, Kerala is trying out newer models of windmills and also a solar-windmill hybrid system.

One such unit of 300watt micro windmill set up at the Kerala State Electricity Board headquarters in the capital city has now become the cynosure of all eyes, with even Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan taking a look at it on Tuesday.

“This unit has been set up just as a demonstration piece, besides the one that we set up to study the efficacy, before taking it to the people,” said KSEB official C. Shedilal.

“It’s been a month now since we set up this one, and so far we have found it to be efficient. For the next three months, we will analysis this in detail and will be able to know all the operational details,” said Shedilal.

These units have been developed using the Innovation Fund by a start-up firm in Kochi.

The entire unit, including the batteries, cost Rs 2.38 lakh.

Likewise, the KSEB Renewable Energy Department is also working on a solar-windmill hybrid system.

This is a one-kilowatt system, where 600 watts would be generated using a micro windmill and a 400watt solar panel.

In Kerala, maximum wind is received from May to September and it is the same time when it rains. So, a combination of solar and windmill systems is ideal. Moreover, the Centre also gives out a subsidy of Rs one lakh and the total cost of the installation after the subsidy would be less than Rs one lakh.

“According to studies, this unit will generate around six units of electricity every day and it would be more than enough for an average family. This is quite popular and used extensively in many places. So, we are working on it too,” added Shedilal.

With Kerala spending Rs 6,000 crore annually to procure power from outside the state, as 65 per cent of the annual power requirements of the state is sourced from outside the state and with Climate change protocols all set to become strict, Kerala is in a hurry to take these projects to the people.

“In Kerala, even though the scope for windmill power generation is possible up to about 1,000 MW, at present there are two places in Palakkad and Idukki districts where giant windmills produce around 100 MW,” said an official attached to a leading windmill operator who did not wish to be identified.

Smaller micro windmills could be the best alternative, as unlike in other states, cost of land here in Kerala is very high and hence giant windmills might not be very viable, he added.

–IANS

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