Preliminary feasibility evaluation of solar thermal power generation in India
Results of a preliminary techno-economic appraisal of solar thermal power generation at three locations in India are presented. The study uses System Advisor Model developed by NREL, USA. The results of the study provide useful insight into (a) selecting appropriate reference direct normal irradiance for design of solar thermal power plants, (b) identifying suitable combinations of solar multiple and hours of thermal energy storage and (c) cost reduction potential. The parabolic trough technology is used for exemplifying the procedure for this purpose. The estimated levelised unit cost of electricity is in the range of Rs (US$1=Indian rupees 51.66 on 5 October 2012) 16-21 per kWh for the most likely range of input parameters. The results also indicate possibility of about 30% reduction in unit cost of electricity by year 2021.