IIT Kharagpur to lead India to become a Clean Energy Destination

IIT Kharagpur will lead a UK-India Joint Virtual Centre in Clean Energy in partnership with a consortium to develop innovative solutions for integration of renewable energy and storage into the Indian and UK power grid. This will also target remote isolated areas that are not connected to the national grid and are dependent on local electricity generation, which makes them vulnerable in times of shortage of power.
Conversion of power usage to renewable energy is a goal which is being adopted across the globe. India aims to increase the amount of electric power from clean energy resources to 40% by 2030. A target of 100GW is set for solar power alone by 2022. However, this would require accurate forecasting and grid control strategy to minimise risk arising out of variability, congestion etc. Alternatively high capacity storage will help but will increase the operational cost. Germany has solved the situation by introducing high ramp-up capability. However such solution is not optimal. Therefore the consortium is expected to come up with novel solutions through a different time scale of storage and through risk mitigation in unit commitment, allowing better market efficiency and optimal planning. Power Grid Corporation of India has already planned a Green Energy Corridor for very large scale integration of solar power.
The multi-institutional centre at IIT Kharagpur named UK India Clean Energy Research Institute  (UKICERI) will work towards technological innovations on a range of issues related to Power Network, Storage and Solar PV systems: all to promote massive scale integration of Solar power at different voltage levels for on and off-grid. The consortium partners will develop high performance micro, string and central inverters and investigate the power system related issues such as stability, protection, communication supervised control etc. Performance of low voltage microgrid and effect of solar modules degradation over time will also be studied.
“The proposed research aims to make the energy generation and delivery system a reliable, affordable and sustainable option in both the UK and India. This would be carried out through underpinning research in power electronics, power network, accurate forecasting, energy storage and their smooth integration. The highlight of the consortium is development of innovative and indigenous technology for promotion of solar power industries in India and UK” said Prof. Chandan Chakraborty of Electrical Engineering Department, IIT Kharagpur who is leading the project from India.
An experimental Solar Power Park including solar PV installation will be set up at IIT Kharagpur, output from which will be integrated into the campus power grid. The Park will also showcase the technologies developed by the team. The team involves several IITs, IISc, NIT and IISER  along with PSUs such as Power Grid Corporation of India Limited, Power System Operation Corporation Limited, Gujarat Power Corporation Limited etc.  and private organizations such as Veeral Controls Pvt. Ltd., Tata Power Solar, Ecosense, Agni Power and Electronics Pvt. Ltd., Vikram Solar, Hertz Power Control, Amara Raja etc. from India to be part of this ambitious project. University of Loughborough will lead the project from UK along with Imperial College London, Manchester University, Warwick University and 5 other universities and many industries from the country.
“We are very excited to take part in a major clean energy initiative that requires very high quality research along with technology development, demonstration and deployment. We hope that the results of this work will bring about a step jump in technologies for solar energy" said Prof. P P Chakrabarti, Director, IIT Kharagpur.
The Centre will operate with a funding of Rs. 25 crores from DST for the first four years. The project is an outcome of the India–UK Strategic Partnership, guided by a shared vision for the future and supported by a concrete and comprehensive roadmap of bilateral and global engagement. It will consolidate collaborative research activities on renewables, network and storage technologies. It will develop and grow future collaborative research, and foster knowledge transfer activities across the two countries.
Reducing energy demand is a crucial requirement for sustainable economic growth in India while reducing carbon emissions and increasing energy security, and this Centre will guide urban planners in India as they develop smart cities and could lead to improved health and wellbeing and lower energy costs for building users -- mentions a statement issued by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, UK.
“The Centre will not only boost collaborative research in clean energy between the two countries but with its collaboration with industries, it will also create scope for technology transfer and production at industrial scale” said Prof. Pallab Dasgupta, Dean, Sponsored Research and Industrial Consultancy, IIT Kharagpur.