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Mid term evaluation - Market Development and Promotion of Solar Concentrator based Process Heat Applications in India
Commissioning Unit: India
Evaluation Plan: 2013-2017
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 03/2015
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: India
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation: Increased focus on removing the financial barriers: Less progress has been made in addressing financial barriers and issues. In the second half, the attention should shift therefore more towards financial and policy issues
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/29]

The MTR was presented to PMU for follow up action. Tracking by UNDP indicates the following- PMU has responded to this key action by including activities in 2015 AWP. 1. Sensitization of Financing Institution and including innovative finance scheme was included as an activity 2. Identifying projects under ESCO route was included as an activity with additional incentive to ESCO who is perhaps implementing it for the first time.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The current subsidy system (30% of benchmark price) lowers payback times to 4-8 years, which is still not deemed financially attractive enough by beneficiaries. On the other hand, high subvention levels will deter manufacturers to improve their product and for beneficiaries to integrate CST more efficiently into their processes. Eventually, as the market develops and sales volumes increase, the cost of CSH will come down. Meanwhile, the Project can support the subvention discussion by (when more performance data become available as a result of online monitoring and demo project evaluations) updating and documenting actual financial and payback performance indicators as a basis for formulation of a suitable framework for CSH (under the existing renewable energy and solar energy policies) with a revised subsidy system, taking into account the performance of various CST per climatic region and type of application, and more clearly stating the role of financial institutions. The latter will require capacity building and awareness creation amongst banks and other financial institutions, who are in general not familiar with the CST technology. It will also require the identification of appropriate financing mechanisms, in which the subsidy element would decrease slowly over time. To raise confidence level of potential investors, setting up ?risk guarantee schemes? may be optional. The Project has only just started involving commercial energy service companies (ESCOs). The ESCO mode can potentially help the beneficiary in some risk sharing after the warranty period expires. The Project should explore the pros and cons of the ESCO route further. Up to now, there has been no much progress in the ?ESCO route?. The Project has been optimistic and expects some 5-10 ESCO projects coming in 2015, so the proof of the pudding will be in the eating
[Added: 2015/12/29] [Last Updated: 2017/12/20]
UNDP-GEF-MNRE Project Management unit 2017/11 Completed Four seminars conducted for FIs in four different regions in the country. 200 people from 20 different banks participated. Equated Monthly Instalment has been identified as one of the scheme which is included in the guidelines by four FIs. Four Projects are under implementation in ESCO mode. History
2. Recommendation: Continuation of training: to refresh the stocktaking of training needs (especially as more systems of different CSTs will get installed over 2015-16) and adapt, expand and extend training and short courses in accordance with the findings of this assessment
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/29]

Brahmakumari?s at Mount Abu was one of the first institutions in India which designed and installed CSH systems. They have design, fabrication and testing facilities. 1. An activity was included to Identify an institution on training 2. Few training programmes to be conducted in 2015

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
A number of technical trainings were provided at various locations on ?operation, maintenance and troubleshooting?. These trainings were typically of 3-day duration. As part of the contracts, usually manufacturers are required to train personnel ?on-the-job? of the unit or company where the CST will be installed. However, trained personnel may depart after a while, thus leaving a knowledge gaps. Second, staff trained by a particular manufacturer may not be fully knowledgeable of the designs of other manufacturers (even if the same CST is concerned). Third, a 3-day training may not be enough and periodic ?refresher? trainings may be needed. The training modules have potential for future replication and could be ?institutionalised? (implemented by one or more institutions as a course, possibly on a self-sustenance basis). Thus, a recommendation is to refresh the stocktaking of training needs (especially as more systems of different CSTs will get installed over 2015-16) and adapt, expand and extend training and short courses in accordance with the findings of this assessment
[Added: 2015/12/29] [Last Updated: 2017/12/20]
UNDP-GEF-MNRE Project Management unit 2017/11 Completed 1. Brahmakumari's has been identified as one of the key institution for training on CSH systems. They have completed 15 training programmes that has trained technicians, sensitised senior level officials. another 5 training programmes will be conducted in the next 3 month period. 2. 2 skill development training programme of 3 days each and one sensitisation programme for chief executives of state nodal agencies have been conducted History
3. Recommendation: Testing focusing on the performance of CST systems
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/29]

Following activities address this comment. 1. On-line measurement of already installed 14 systems. Some of them are old, say 8 to 9 years. 2. Aging test will be included in AWP 2016 if existing equipment can perform this function. If new testing equipment are required, the budgetary requirement will be analyzed and included only if the budgets are 100 to 300,000 USD. Alternatively, international experience and testing results will be procured for information.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Testing focusses on the performance of CST systems, although in the project these will be all recently installed systems. However, CSTs may reach a 15-20 year lifetime. As no old equipment is currently installed, testing could be expanded by adding methods of artificially aging of the equipment. Two such tests include salt spray tests and abrasion test. Another advanced testing set-up would be for measuring optical performance of the CST (e.g. photogrammetry). These were not part of the Project design and its budget will not allow more funds to be allocated for testing equipment. Even if funding would be available, we would like to caution against establishing an expensive testing infrastructure, which may be not be used in the end in a cost-effective way. The best approach would be to see how the existing test centres (Pune, NISE) will function over the coming years, not only from a technical viewpoint, but cost-effectiveness as well. To improve their economics these can double as testing and as training facility. Towards the end of the CSH India Project it could be investigated how the test facilities can be expanded, e.g. by acquiring more equipment (to do salt spray and abrasion tests). Given the fact that perhaps the testing at Pune and NISE are the only facilities in the region, it should be investigated, if these could function at a regional level. Pooling funding for such a regional function could enable financing of expensive testing infrastructure in a more cost-effective way
[Added: 2015/12/29] [Last Updated: 2017/06/15]
1. National Institute of Solar Energy 2. University of Pune. 3. UNDP-GEF-MNRE Project Management unit 2017/03 Completed 1. Complied to the recommendations and no further investments were made in test facilities 2. Focus was emphasised on making these test facilities put to use. Nearly 20 CSH systems were tested by NISE and UOP History
4. Recommendation: International Cooperation: There is need for continuing cooperation between the various institutions, associations and agencies working on concentrated solar
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/29]

PMU is already in the process of seeking international cooperation. 1. Scientists from NISE, UoP are expected to spend time in laboratories in Germany to learn various aspects of solar concentrators 2. International conferences inviting experts/ researchers from abroad and PMU & other stakeholders participating in exchange programmes to learn on best practices suitable to India.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
There is need for continuing cooperation between the various institutions, associations and agencies working on concentrated solar. Such cooperation may include data sharing (respecting confidentiality), knowledge sharing, joint events and promotional events. Regarding research institutions and academia this could include a more intense cooperation with institutions (and companies) abroad. India can learn from the advanced test laboratories and facilities abroad and more fully understand international best practices. Given India?s position as a pioneer worldwide in (commercial) CSH application, this offers scope for South-South cooperation. A provision should be made in the Project?s work plans to transfer the ?lessons learnt? in CST and heat applications to abroad. The CSH India Project has the potential to be presented as a ?best practice? and UNDP might devote some resources to present the Project, internally as an example of the potential role of CST, and externally, at sustainable energy and climate change fora and events
[Added: 2015/12/29] [Last Updated: 2017/06/15]
UNDP-GEF-MNRE Project Management unit 2017/03 Completed 1. A visit was made to Germany by Senior officials from the ministry for learn lessons for India. Visits were made to Fraunhofer institute and similar institution and industry. Some of the testing protocols applied in Germany were emulated for Indian situation. 2. PMU hosted a technical session at Intersolar at Mumbai on 19 Nov 2015 where three international speakers participated. Apart from this, several international experts, manufacturers participated which provided a platform for exchange of information and best practices. PMU is compiling the information and following up. History
5. Recommendation: UNIDO/GEF ?Promoting business models for increasing penetration and scaling up of solar energy
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/29]

The project leader at the government level is same for both the projects, i.e. Joint Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. In addition, following actions are planned. 1. UNDP to be invited member on UNIDO project steering committee 2. UN RC/ UN RR reviewing the project as and when required to ensure there is synergy

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project was initiated in 2014 (approved by GEF in Dec 2013) with an expected 5-year duration, and will focus on solar-based technology for industry, focussing on processes in the temperature range of 150-400oC in various industries, such as pulp and paper, food processing, fertilizer, pharmaceutical industries, textiles, desalination and tobacco industry. Its four components are similar to the CSH India Project, a) strengthening policy and institutional framework; b) technology investment and application (including 15-25 pilot demonstrations), c) scaling up (business models and financing; supply of quality components), and d) awareness raising and capacity building. Supposedly, the focus will towards the lower temperature of the range 150-400oC in SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), while arrangements have made to avoid overlapping (?coordination platform? and participation in each other?s Steering Committee). However, it might be difficult to avoid duplication and it is recommended that the functioning of the proposed ?coordination platform? will be closely monitored
[Added: 2015/12/29] [Last Updated: 2017/06/15]
UNDP-GEF-MNRE Project Management unit 2017/03 Completed 1. UNDP participated in UNIDO project steering committees since 2015 and vice-a versa. This helped designing and implementing activities in complementary mode. History
6. Recommendation: Suggestions for end-of-project report (Sustainability)
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/29]

Towards the end of the project (Dec 2016) it might be helpful to commission an ?end-of-project? impact study to analyse to what extent the before-mentioned barriers to CST (technical, market demand, financial, informational, etc.) got removed and indicate what important gaps are still remaining, accompanied by a plan with suggested post-project actions to be implemented by the various actors involved (government, local government, academia and institutions, associations/representatives of manufacturers and beneficiaries). This report should also address an exit strategy for certain activities initiated or supported under the project, once project funding dries up, e.g. maintaining and regular updating of the CSH India website, publications, monitoring of CST installations, toll-free support line, etc

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Suggestions for the end of the project report to be included
[Added: 2015/12/29] [Last Updated: 2017/12/20]
UNDP-GEF-MNRE Project Management unit 2017/11 Completed Project Management unit will be preparing End of project report. Moreover, UNDP - PMU working on designing the next phase of the project History

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