National training seminar on "Adaption of Thermal Power Plants to Fluctuating Renewable Energies"

Seminar on Adaptation of Thermal Power Plants to Fluctuating Renewable Energies – The German Experience

India has set itself ambitious goals for the expansion of renewable energies: Its installed capacity should increase to 175 GW by 2022. Currently, India's energy mix is still heavily reliant on fossil fuels – with the share of fossil fuels accounting for almost 70 per cent of the current installed capacity of 309 GW. It is against this backdrop that intensive discussions about strategies and concepts for efficiently shaping an energy transition are getting underway in India as well. All parties involved agree that flexible thermal power plants should play a key role in this development. 

This is one reason for the very large interest in technologies and concepts as well as experiences that German players have gained in this area. This interest is also shown in the    National Seminar, "Adaptation of Thermal Power Plants to Fluctuating Renewable Energies – The German Experiences", organised by the Excellence Enhancement Centre (EEC), which took place on December 16, 2016, in New Delhi. A team put together by the VGB with representations from GE, GKM, RWE, Siemens, Rostock University and the VGB spoke about the challenges involved and the approaches taken when making power plants more flexible.

Flexibility requires automation, new processes and well-trained employees

The more than 160 participants learned that enormous technical advancements that enable the minimal load to be reduced and the load gradient to be increased have been achieved over the past few years. When it comes to greater flexibility the most important technical enabler is the higher automation level using intelligent measurement technology as well as new process-technical concepts and modern fittings. Furthermore, the VGB team clearly expressed the necessity for transforming the entire power plant. That includes new strategies for maintenance and servicing – here risk-based approaches play an important role – as well as well-founded training and further education programs for employees. 

Seminar participants represented India's entire energy sector – from state-owned organisations such as the Ministry of Power (MoP), CERC and the Central Electricity Authority (CEA)  through to local and state companies such as NTPC, POSOCO (Power System Operation Corporation Ltd.) and State Electricity Boards from Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana and West Bengal. Siemens, Tata Power and other private companies were also represented. Many of these players work already on their own flexibility strategies and they spoke about these in the discussions. For example, during the seminar a POSOCO representative presented an action plan for implementing a decarbonised energy sector.  

IGEF "Flexibility Task Force" drives the development forward

The seminar, which was supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy under the auspices of the Indo-German Energy Forum (IGEF), was the third joint event organised by EEC and VGB in 2016. It is part of a roadmap that the "Flexibility Task Force" developed within the framework of the IGEF. The Taskforce, which comprises representatives from CEA, EEC, NTPC, POSOCO, IGEF and VGB, set itself the goal of promoting the trend toward more flexible thermal power plants in India through the sharing of information and experiences, study tours, further education and training offers, and technical studies. Investigating two Indian reference power plants to see how much potential can be tapped when making power plants more flexible is the next important step. The results serve as the basis for deriving recommendations for making similar plants in India more flexible. The VGB team already got a first impression of one of the reference plants the day before the seminar – during a visit at the coal fired Dadri power plant of NTPC. This plant has an installed capacity of 4 x 210 MW and 2 x 490 MW.

You can find further information about the event on the EEC website

Please click here to download presentations.

Please click here for pictures taken during the seminar.

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