Seize the Opportunity

During peak production seasons, it is not rare for utility companies to set ceiling caps for electricity consumption or to charge a premium during hours of heavy energy demand. They even warn some companies to taper their energy usage or they will be compelled to pay a hefty penalty.

In cases such as this, what choice do industrial companies have?

PowerWatch India October coverage page 1

Many companies, especially those in consumer goods and industrial production, only have a handful of months that they regard as their peak production season. During these months, the requirement for their products exponentially increase, hence they find the need to use their production machinery at full capacity and to extend their operational hours round-the-clock. As a result of intense production activities, their power consumption spikes.

Will they have to control their electricity usage and risk foregoing the opportunity of making double or triple their off-peak revenue? Will they have to go on with the feverish production pace and choose to pay the penalty, which could take a sizable amount off the profit that they will be making?

Hiring the services of temporary power providers to augment the existing power supply is an option that industrial companies can take in times of peak production. Using mobile power stations will allow these companies to avoid paying a considerable penalty imposed by utility companies, and to work around the ceiling cap for energy consumption if they require more electrical power. There is a real risk that the increased tariff rate during peak hours and the fine enforced by the utility companies may take out a substantial amount from a company’s peak season revenues. In times like this, it may be more cost-beneficial to run alternative power sources, like interim power plants.

Because temporary power stations are modular, flexible and adaptive, they can be easily installed in a variety of customer locations anywhere in the world. Modern gensets have the capability of producing electricity according to customer requirements, precluding over- or under-sizing. They also have a plug-and-play configuration that allows them to be installed, commissioned and activated in as little as days.

More importantly, as a temporary solution when power demand is heightened, mobile power plants bring more cost-efficiency compared to paying hefty fines or limiting production activities. Several studies conducted in different industries in different countries show that in short- or medium-term use, the price of procuring, running and maintaining power plants for hire is significantly lesser than the cost related to the effects of lost business opportunities, customers, production time and raw materials.

The negative effects of peak lopping can be countered by engaging the services of mobile generator providers. Temporary power plants are cost-beneficial and bring about invaluable paybacks to the operations of industrial entities. With interim power plants, companies can take full advantage of a peak production season onwards to raising a more sustainable and prolific business.

PowerWatch India October coverage cover

*The foregoing article is based on what was originally published in the October 2014 issue of Power Watch magazine, India.*

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PRESS INQUIRIES
Robert Bagatsing
Altaaqa Global
Tel: +971 56 1749505
rbagatsing@altaaqaglobal.com

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Balanced Energy Mix

India’s energy situation was precarious. Energy experts estimated that about 300 million people in India had no access to electricity, and that the demand for energy in the country was consistently outstripping the supply. Energy authorities feared for the worst as electricity requirement during months of peak consumption was expected to exploit the country’s thin energy capacity.

Recognizing the situation’s need for an urgent resolution, the country has ventured into ambitious renewable energy generation projects that could potentially instill balance and reliability to India’s mix of energy sources. Now, India is said to have the fifth-largest power generation portfolio and is touted to be the fifth largest wind energy producer in the world. Power generation from renewable sources in the country is on the rise. In 2013, the share of renewable power in the country’s total energy mix accounted for 12.3%, up from 7.8% in 2012. Wind power accounts for 68% of the aforementioned percentage, with an installed capacity of 19.1 GW. India has also entered into small hydropower, biomass and solar energy generation.

EPCI September coverage page 1

Drivers for growth of renewable energy generation
India’s economy is now enjoying an upturn, with growth rates predicted to peak at 6% in the coming years. With the expanding economy come the growth in urbanization and the rise in per capita energy consumption. As electricity requirements in the country increases, expenses from importing fossil fuel for power generation proportionally spikes. In this light, government authorities in India deemed to encourage the country’s transition from fossil-based energy options to renewable sources through offering various incentives, such as tax holidays and generation-based incentives (GBIs).
When technologies were gradually rolled out, renewable energy proved to be increasingly cost-competitive compared to fossil-based power. Renewable sources were also considered to be highly scalable and distributed, thus alternative power generation became justifiable in the electrification of remote areas, which may have deficiency in power grid and road infrastructure.

With renewable energy generation becoming an attractive endeavor for foreign and local investors alike, India’s government created a liberal environment for investment in renewable energy projects.

Some challenges ahead
India is now among the world leaders in renewable energy generation. While the process holds much potential, there are some observed challenges that are yet to be resolved by the country.

Experts on the ground reveal that one of the obstacles to the proliferation of renewable energy facilities, particularly that of wind and solar, is the perceived insufficiency in the strict employment of renewable purchase obligations (RPOs), which is said to be limiting the demand for power from renewable energy sources. Constraints in transmission infrastructure is also a salient hindrance, because, owing to this, only a limited amount of generated power reaches the grid. Economic factors, like a weak Indian Rupee and delays in payment, also put pressure on project financing and investor interest, respectively.

Perhaps the most striking disadvantage of utilizing renewable energy sources, say experts, is their unpredictability and apparent instability. As wind or solar power generation facilities depend on nature to run, it may be difficult to forecast its performance, which is of particular importance in critical applications. While highly sophisticated prediction equipment is available, it cannot be 100% reliable, and weather disturbances or aberrations can still happen. In cases when there is not enough natural “fuel” to run renewable generation facilities, the areas to which they supply could suffer from load shedding or rolling blackouts. Additionally, in peak summer months or in the coldest winter months when climate control systems are usually in full blast, renewable energy plants can potentially be overwhelmed by the demand if not enough impetus enters the systems.

EPCI September coverage page 2

The need for an energy “safety net”
For a burgeoning country like India, the solution to sustaining economic growth and energy viability may not be simply ascribed to one single source of power. It has been documented that the country’s existing traditional permanent power infrastructure may encounter some difficulties in supporting India’s power demands in a variety of contexts, hence the effort that the country is exerting to make inroads into renewable energy generation. While the new technologies may hold water, total immersion into the new paradigm may take time, as shown by the range of legislative and economic considerations that still present themselves as impediments to alternative energy growth. Renewable technologies are on their way to progress and advancement, as research and development endeavors are well encouraged by the Indian powers that be. Improvement, however, may not happen overnight, and as it unravels, renewable energy facilities may find merit it taking in support from stable and tested technologies, like rental power systems.

Rental generators may be able to supplement the existing power generated by traditional and renewable sources of energy. They can act as an energy “safety net”, preventing electricity levels from falling beyond what is acceptable and productive. These rental generator sets are equipped with state-of-the-art fast-start systems that allows them to supply the needed power at the shortest possible time, in cases of instability from other sources of electricity.

Interim energy technologies also represents a cost-effective immediate solution to power supply shortages, as they do not require sizable initial capital to be acquired. India, as a country looking to increase its expenditure in renewable sources in years to come, may find benefit in this attribute, as renting power generators would not entail denting a country’s budget or restructuring financial resources allocated to other services.

Because they are modular and flexible, temporary generators can also be installed where renewable energy facilities find most appropriate applications. Rental power systems can be easily delivered from any point on Earth to another and, owing to its easy, plug-and-play configuration, can be started in as short as few days.

With rental power plants on board, the perceived limitations of traditional and renewable energy sources can be overcome, and the power can be bridged until the other sources regain their stability. In this context, temporary power plants find their maximum benefit in being used as supplementary or back-up power while permanent energy facilities are being constructed or refurbished, or when alternative energy sources are being advanced and improved.

The key to power is balance
Having a balanced energy mix may be the key to a sustained economic, political and social stability. As countries like India enjoy an economic upturn, growth industries, such as manufacturing, utilities and oil & gas, should be expected to consume large sums of energy. With limited resources, it may be difficult for a country to rein in energy consumption at the expense of economic opportunities. What developing countries need are support systems – like what rental power plants are for energy sustainability. As India maps its road to energy stability, temporary electricity generation facilities are available to support the country’s existing infrastructure to produce continuous and reliable electricity needed to power the country’s future.

EPCI September coverage page 3

*The foregoing article is based on what was originally published in the September 2014 issue of EPC&I magazine, Northern Lights Communications, India.*

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PRESS INQUIRIES
Robert Bagatsing
Altaaqa Global
Tel: +971 56 1749505
rbagatsing@altaaqaglobal.com

Demand-Supply Mismatch

India is currently experiencing an economic upturn, with projected growth rates hitting pre-financial-crisis levels at more than 6%. There is, however, an escalating power supply shortage that may potentially hamper India’s continuous economic growth.

Power Watch India Sept 2014 Page 1

Energy experts reveal that, to date, an estimated 300 million people in India have no access to electricity – which may seem an irony, in light of the fact that recorded data in recent years show that the demand for power in India has constantly outstripped the supply, both in terms of base load energy and peak availability. Owing to this imbalance, the country is said to register an 8.5% deficit in base load requirement and a 9.8% short-fall in peak load requirement.

This prevailing energy challenge is manifesting. Who could forget the massive blackout of 2012 that left 700 million people in India without electricity? In what is touted to be one of the worst blackouts in history, twenty of India’s 28 states suffered the effects of the power interruption that almost incited social instability and protests for fears that the country was no longer in the position to support its booming local energy demand. The repercussion was widespread and was nothing short of catastrophic: traffic jams all over the affected cities, babies wailing of heat, bodies half-burnt at crematoriums, patients gasping for every breath of life, miners trapped underground in complete darkness, passengers stranded in the middle of miles of track.

While other regions in the country are predicted to be severely affected by the energy shortage, India’s Central Electricity Authority forecasts that Northern India can expect a power surplus during the monsoon months, as most of its power generation capacity is predominantly dependent on hydropower.

This fact bodes well for region and for the other areas where it exports its surplus power, but it may not be permanently dependable. As it is largely conditioned by the amount of rainfall, one of the drawbacks of hydropower generation is that the capacity may gradually recede during seasons of less precipitation or of drought.

In recognition of these shortcomings, the government is currently taking steps to mitigate the effects of power insufficiency and has then launched ambitious rural electrification programs. The caveat, however, is that the rate of building or refurbishing permanent infrastructure still lags behind the pace of the increase in energy demand. As a result, ground research shows that approximately 400 million Indians still lose power during blackouts and that 35.5% of Indian households still has limited access to electricity. As India’s demand for electricity is not showing signs of slowing down, the country’s energy supply just cannot keep in step.

Power Watch India Sept 2014 Page 2

The much needed power boost

In times when permanent power plants are still in progress and when the customary sources of energy cannot keep up with the electricity requirements, the Government and the utility industry stakeholders may opt to hire temporary power plants. Temporary power generation companies, like Altaaqa Global CAT Rental Power, have the products that can support the existing power generation infrastructure, with the end of bridging the gap in electricity supply as, where and when the necessity be.

Hiring power plants has tested and recognized merits, particularly in cases of emergencies, natural calamities and abrupt seasonal changes. Signing an agreement with interim power providers can also prove beneficial when electricity distribution facilities are not available in certain areas, like in dispersed communities; when permanent power stations are still being constructed or commissioned or when energy generation facilities are being expanded or refurbished.

India’s initiative to harness alternative sources of energy, like hydroelectric, solar, wind, geothermal and tidal has proven to be effective, but seasonal changes may alter the operations of the aforementioned facilities. For instance, some parts of the country where hydroelectric power stations operate may experience droughts or prolonged absence of rain, which in turn can drastically reduce the power generation capacity of the said plants. Solar or photovoltaic farms thrive during summer months but may experience shortage in production in months when days are predominantly cloudy or rainy. In these cases, rental power plants may support the power generation capacity of the current facilities if only to bridge the gap during the crucial months of seasonal change.

Power need not run dry

Tapping the potential of alternative sources of energy definitely has its merits, particularly in the context of natural gas conservation and of sustainability. Yet, one salient disadvantage of these alternative power technologies is their perceived dependence on nature, say on the amount of sunshine, wind or water. With the help of temporary power plants, these alternative energy infrastructure can continue to work at the optimum level, even in times of seasonal change. As a result, the areas where these facilities supply power to will not have to suffer from energy deficiency and constant load shedding. With the aid of interim generators, power need not set as the sun sets, drop as the wind drops and dry up as water dries up.

Power Watch India Sept 2014 Cover

*The foregoing article was originally published in the September 2014 issue of Power Watch magazine, India.*

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PRESS INQUIRIES
Robert Bagatsing
Altaaqa Global
Tel: +971 56 1749505
rbagatsing@altaaqaglobal.com

Mobile Gensets for Renewable Energy Sources

Rising above the electricity-related challenges that have hounded the country for decades, India is now said to have the fifth-largest power generation portfolio and is regarded the fifth largest wind energy producer in the world. As a response to the observed electricity supply shortage in India, feared to worsen as months of peak consumption draw near, power generation from renewable sources are currently being maximized and optimized to support the country’s permanent traditional energy facilities. In 2013, for example, the share of renewable power in India’s total energy mix stood at 12.3%, up from 7.8% in 2012. Wind power accounted for the lion’s share of the renewable energy generation figure, at 68% and an installed capacity of 19.1 GW.

The Energy Outlook Sept 2014 Page 1

Recognizing the merits of harnessing the potential of renewable energy sources, the government of India has launched various initiatives to encourage efforts to transition from fossil-based energy options, including offering tax holidays and generation-based incentives or GBIs. The benefits of renewable energy sources are gradually being recognized by different sectors of society, and as the government opened renewable energy projects to foreign and local venture and investment, alternative power generation technologies are seen to have a bright roadmap ahead.

Though renewable energy sources are seeing much support from the government, citizens and investors alike, energy industry professionals observe that renewable technologies have so much more potential to be developed. First, at the policy level, experts suggest the fortification of renewable purchase obligations (RPOs) to drive the demand for electricity from renewable energy sources. They are also advocating a more intense motivation to construct power transmission infrastructure, so more electricity generated by alternative energy sources reaches the grid.

At the technology level, renewable power sources have much room to be enhanced. As we speak, research and development efforts are being taken to improve on their performance predictability and dependability, despite the fact that their “fuels” (such as water, wind or sunlight) depend on natural conditions, which could not be controlled or completely projected.

The Energy Outlook Sept 2014 Page 2

As renewable technologies are being planned, constructed or augmented, and are still in diffusion to more communities and industrial areas in India, other alternative technologies can supplement them, bridging the gap in power supply and electricity demand. It has been documented that a 50 MW wind farm, for example, can be built in six months, and if one factors in the time needed for planning, designing, and receiving necessary approvals and permits, a wind farm may be operational after only a year or so. During the months when wind farms (or any other renewable energy facility for that matter) are not yet operational, mobile generator sets have the capacity to temporarily provide power to the communities planned to be beneficiaries of renewable energy.

The Energy Outlook Sept 2014 Page 3

Temporary generators are cost-effective immediate solution to power supply shortages and instability, which do not require a huge initial capital to acquire and install. Because rental gensets are modular and flexible, interim power stations can be installed in most places where renewable energy facilities find applications. Owing to their adaptive configuration, temporary gensets can be easily installed and commissioned, and can be run in as little time as a few days. Additionally, as they are containerized and have relatively small dimensions, mobile generators can be delivered from any point in the world to another.

With the support of temporary power plants, the perceived limitations of renewable sources of energy can be surmounted, and the deficit in supply of power can be filled. As renewable facilities ramp up their reliability and predictability, interim power stations can provide a viable and sustainable supply of power when needed and as needed by communities and industrial facilities in India. Alternative power sources, when enhanced and properly utilized, have the capacity to support permanent traditional sources of electricity to avoid further energy outages and load shedding, and to extend the coverage of the electricity supply even to the most remote communities and industries in India.

The Energy Outlook Sept 2014 Cover

 

*The foregoing article was originally published in the September 2014 issue of The Energy Outlook, India.*

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PRESS INQUIRIES
Robert Bagatsing
Altaaqa Global
Tel: +971 56 1749505
rbagatsing@altaaqaglobal.com

Road to Growth

Economic excitement is back in many countries in the world. Construction activities have picked up, investment is flowing and manufacturing has once again gained momentum. India’s economy, for instance, reflects a buoyant growth rate of around 5.3% in 2014 and 5.8% in 2015, riding high on intense government and private sector funding and on an aggressive push to build new and improve on existing public and industrial facilities. Naturally, India’s new found economic vitality has attracted entities and professionals from all over the world to set up shop and work in the country, respectively. From information technology to industrial manufacturing to consumer goods, the best global brands are flocking to India as a safe bet of investment.

Powerline July page 1

While the foregoing bodes well for the future of the country and its people, the frenetic pace of economic and social activities in India is taking its toll on the country’s power supply. A study conducted by India’s Central Electricity Authority reported that energy deficiency would be felt across the country and that the spare power capacity of the northern regions would gradually recede. The situation described above has actually been looming for a time now: Recorded data in recent years showed that demand for energy in India had consistently outstripped the supply, both in terms of base load energy and peak availability. India, the data suggested, registered an 8.5% deficit in base load requirement and 9.8% short-fall in peak load requirement.

The government, in recognition of the foregoing, had initiated rural and urban electrification projects that comprised power plants that run on traditional and alternative energy sources. The discrepancy between the rates of the addition of electric power supply and the growth of demand, however, is that wide that the available energy is never enough to fulfill the requirement. And the gap is observed to be continuously growing, whether in generation, transmission or distribution….

The repercussion of the power deficiency is real. In 2012, a massive blackout left 700 million people in India without electricity. In what is touted to be one of the worst blackouts in history, 20 of India’s 28 states suffered the effects of the power interruption that almost incited social instability and protest for fears that the country was no longer able to support its booming local energy demand.
With the feverish growth rate of economic and social activities in India, the country’s demand for electricity should show no signs of slowing down.

How can energy be sustained?
One has to face the truth that permanent power plant projects cannot be completed in days or months. Permanent energy facilities may take decades to complete, as planning, designing, approving, constructing and commissioning them entail time, effort and processes that go through different channels. What, then, can be done? Is there anything that can possibly support the permanent infrastructure while the new ones are being built?

Temporary power generation companies, like Altaaqa Global CAT Rental Power, have the technologies that have the capacity to support the existing power generation infrastructure, bridging the gap in electricity supply as, where and when the necessity be. In times when the power demand heavily outstrips the supply, rental power generators, running on diesel for example, can prove to be viable and affordable sources of energy to avoid disastrous power interruptions, unscheduled load shedding and widespread blackouts.

Though some parts of the country may have occasional spare power capacity, its availability may be periodic and can be severely affected by a disrupted seasonal pattern. For instance, some parts of the country where hydroelectric power stations operate may experience droughts or prolonged absence of rain, which in turn can drastically reduce the power generation capacity of the said plants. Solar or photovoltaic farms thrive during summer months but may experience shortage in production in months when days are predominantly cloudy or rainy. In these cases, rental power plants may support the power generation capacity of the current facilities to bridge the gap during the crucial months of seasonal change.

With its booming industrial manufacturing sector, production facilities in India often need to double, may be even triple, their capacities to meet the international production requirement in certain months, say during Christmas or Diwali. The consequent spike in power consumption may usher in operational challenges. It is highly probable that during the peak months, utility companies will set ceiling caps for electricity consumption or will ask production facilities to pay an additional consumption premium during peak hours. In this case, based on cost-benefit studies conducted among industries within the arc of peak months, it will be more economically sound for manufacturing facilities to hire temporary power plants than to pay an additional fee for every peak kilowatt used, shut down parts of the production complex when power usage is at its peak, or pay a hefty fine for using more power than what has been allocated. Peaker power plants (peakers for short) are an ideal solution offered by energy rental companies to curb seasonal electricity demand during peak production months.

Powerline July page 2

Power partner checklist
To fully capitalize on the advantages of temporary power technologies, the governments and the utility companies in India need to be discerning in hiring an interim energy service provider. In selecting a temporary electricity partner, one should look at the provider’s experience, organization, support system, rate of deployment and equipment reliability and sustainability before signing an agreement with it.

One of the most important things to consider when entering into an agreement with a rental energy provider is its track record in delivering executable, measurable and sustainable solutions to a wide array of projects. If the mobile generator company cannot supply the required power, it may cause more delays in the project, eventually leading to legal disputes and further economic damages. The Indian government and utility companies should avoid dealing with backyard rental companies that will over-promise but will eventually under-deliver. One should ask, ‘Can we really trust mom-and-pop rental power companies when we are supplying power to airports, hospitals, mining facilities, telecommunication entities and petrochemical companies?’

Though temporary power plants are engineered to endure even the harshest conditions known to man, they are by no means indestructible. The governments and the utility companies in India must keep in mind that the service of a rental energy company should not end when the electric power generators are switched on. The company should have the spare parts and the human resources to carry out after-sales support to installed and commissioned projects at any given location, at any given time. One should ask, ‘Do we stop a 100 MW power plant simply because there was no available spare part?’

An interim energy partner should have the capability to react, deploy, mobilize and commission temporary power plants at a moment’s notice. This means that the provider should have available equipment and manpower on the ground to carry out a rapid delivery. If the power rental company has the available equipment to deploy and a team of professional logistic personnel that can deal with the complexities of ports, customs and transportation, it can immediately solve the power crisis.

Providing solutions to power requirement of different entities does not follow a template nor is it governed by a rule of thumb. Each case should be carefully studied and evaluated in order for rental power companies to prescribe an optimal solution. The only way that an interim energy company can afford to meet the exact requirement of any client is for it to have the adequate and state-of-the-art technologies available in its product line.

Now, there is a solution
The power supply situation in India does not have to be a Catch-22. India could not possibly turn its back on investors and professionals saying that they could not stay in the country because they would eventually consume electricity, putting more pressure on the country’s power facilities. On the other hand, India could not go on growing its economy at the expense of its limited power supply that, when severely overwhelmed, might eventually collapse and cause a massive socio-economic tragedy. In times of tough choices, such as this, rental power plants can make a difference. With interim generators supporting the existing power infrastructure, India can go on its road to economic growth without sacrificing the country’s energy supply. While the permanent power facilities are underway, rental energy plants can bridge the electricity gap, allowing India to power its way to a brighter future.

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*The foregoing article was published in the July 2014 issue of Power Line magazine (India Infrastructure Publishing, India).*

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PRESS INQUIRIES
Robert Bagatsing
Altaaqa Global
Tel: +971 56 1749505
rbagatsing@altaaqaglobal.com

Power, the Key to Economic Stability

There is one pivotal era in history that forever changed the way we look at productivity. At the dawn of the industrial revolution, productive output was fundamentally constrained by the limits of human toil or animal strength and by the boundaries of available land. The industrial revolution paved the way to exponential and sustainable economic growth, to a point that new generations were afforded the confidence that the economy that they will eventually shape would be better off than the one wrought by their forefathers.

At the height of the revolution, electric power was identified as a foremost factor in encouraging a viable economic growth – and that has not changed till now. As the demand for energy exponentially increases in today’s expanding economies, the need to support a country or a region’s electricity requirement becomes ever more crucial. In order to sustain the economic momentum of any given country or region, an ample and continuous supply of clean, viable and affordable energy is imperative.

Power Today cover July 2014 sheet 0

When power is not enough

The Indian Sub-continent is enjoying an economic upturn. According to a recently published market report from the Asian Development Bank, the South Asian region is predicted to grow by 5.3% in 2014 and by 5.8% in 2015. India’s economy, taken alone, is forecast to achieve growth rates of anywhere between 5.5% and 6%.

Behind India’s burgeoning economy is power: Power to manufacture, to drill for oil, to fly millions of passengers in and out of the country, to sail the seas with tons of export goods on board, to put on computers, to light up offices and to activate phone lines necessary for worldwide communications. India’s economic growth is a testament to one of the basic tenets of the industrial revolution: That electricity gives economies the power to catapult themselves to heights they thought would never be possible to reach. And India is reaping the fruits of that.

There is, however, a looming electricity supply issue that may challenge India’s continuous economic growth. Energy industry experts ascertain that there are 1.4 billion people in the world who have no access to electricity, and they estimate that over 300 million of them are in India. Recorded data in recent years show that demand for energy in India has consistently outstripped the supply, both in terms of base load energy and peak availability. Studies show that the country registers an 8.5% deficit in base load requirement and a 9.8% short-fall in peak load requirement. Seconding this observation, India’s Central Electricity Authority forecasts that the energy deficiency will affect all of the country’s regions and that, though Northern India expects a power surplus during the monsoon months (as its power generation capacity is predominantly dependent on hydropower), the spare capacity will gradually recede during the winter months.

India’s government has responded to the pressing situation by launching ambitious rural electrification programs, but the challenge proves to be vast that it could not be resolved in an instant. Ground research shows that approximately 400 million Indians still lose electricity during blackouts and that 35.5% of Indian households still has limited access to electricity. The compelling need to urgently address the economic repercussion of the imminent power instability was more vividly drawn by a study conducted by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industries in 2012. The document showed that power interruptions in India could result in approximately 10% in production short-fall, leading to revenue losses of up to INR 40,000 per day.

Who could forget the massive blackout of 2012 that left 700 million people in India without electricity? In what is touted to be one of the worst blackouts in history, twenty of India’s 28 states suffered the effects of the power interruption that almost incited social instability and protests for fears that the country was no longer in the position to support its booming local energy demand. The repercussion was almost journalistically indescribable: traffic jams all over the affected cities, babies wailing of heat, bodies half-burnt at crematoriums, patients gasping for every breath of life, miners trapped underground in complete darkness, passengers stranded in the middle of miles of track.

While stakeholders strive to bridge the supply gap, India’s demand for electricity is not showing signs of slowing down. Industry studies indicate that India’s manufacturing sector will continue to grow at an even faster pace and that domestic demand will increase more rapidly.

 

Power that sustain power

In these crucial times, India’s power generation infrastructure needs all the support it can get. The governments and the utility companies may be moving mountains to immediately resolve the present and the impending energy sooner, but with the scope and extent of the difficulty, they may not be able to do it single-handedly.

Temporary power generation companies, like Altaaqa Global CAT Rental Power, a leading global provider of interim energy facilities, have the capacity to support the existing power generation infrastructure, with the end of bridging the gap in electricity supply as, where and when the necessity be. Hiring power plants has tested and recognized merits, particularly in cases of emergencies or natural calamities, unplanned power failures, unforeseen delays in power projects, temporary plant shutdowns, load shedding or peak shaving. Signing an agreement with interim power providers can also prove beneficial when electricity distribution facilities are not available in certain areas, like in dispersed communities; when permanent power stations are still being constructed or commissioned or when energy generation facilities are being expanded or refurbished.

India’s initiative to harness alternative sources of energy, like geothermal, hydroelectric, solar, wind and tidal has proven to be effective, but seasonal changes may alter the operations of the aforementioned facilities. For instance, some parts of the country where hydroelectric power stations operate may experience droughts or prolonged absence of rain, which in turn can drastically reduce the power generation capacity of the said plants. Solar or photovoltaic farms thrive during summer months but may experience shortage in production in months when days are predominantly cloudy or rainy. In these cases, rental power plants may support the power generation capacity of the current facilities if only to bridge the gap during the crucial months of seasonal change.

With its large manufacturing sector, production facilities in India often need to double, may be even triple, their capacities to meet the international production requirement in certain months, say during Christmas or Diwali. While a manifold increase in production bodes well for a company’s income, the consequent spike in power consumption may usher in operational challenges. It is highly probable that during the same peak months, utility companies will set ceiling caps for electricity consumption or will ask production facilities to pay an additional consumption premium during peak hours. In this case, based on cost-benefit studies conducted among industries within the arc of peak months, it will be more economically sound to hire a temporary power plant than to pay an additional fee for every peak kilowatt used, shut down parts of the production complex when power usage is at its peak, or pay a hefty fine for using more power than what has been allocated for a company’s function. Peaker power plants (peakers for short) are an ideal solution offered by energy rental companies like Altaaqa Global to curb seasonal electricity demand during peak production months.

Of all unforeseen occurrences, a natural disaster may prove to be the most difficult to immediately address. Calamities like earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes have the capacity to destroy roads; interrupt power, water and communication lines and cripple transportation routes. In these cases, local or governmental entities may need assistance from a temporary power service provider that has the logistical capabilities to deploy, install, commission and run interim power plants anywhere in the world, on a short notice. Altaaqa Global’s temporary power products and genset technologies are the most efficient solution for a rapid capacity application, owing to their modular and flexible design, especially engineered for swift mobilization and start-up.

Power Today July 2014 covarage sheet 1

Partners in mobile power

To fully capitalize on the advantages of temporary power technologies, the governments and the utility companies in India need to be keen and discerning in hiring an interim energy service provider. In selecting a temporary electricity partner, one should look at the provider’s experience, organization, support system, rate of deployment and equipment reliability and sustainability before signing an agreement with it.

One of the most important things to consider when entering into an agreement with a rental energy provider is its track record in delivering executable, measurable and sustainable solutions to a wide array of projects. It is essential to ascertain if the rental power plant provider has thorough experience in delivering temporary power plants in complex situations, like city-wide utility electrification. The exercise of putting an interim power provider at the helm of a project or of a city’s electrification program will prove to be counterproductive if the chosen partner does not have the technical experience and the required organization to deliver what it promises. If the mobile generator company cannot supply the required power, it may cause more delays in the project, eventually leading to legal disputes and further economic damage. It should be heavily chalked up that utility companies should avoid dealing with backyard rental companies that will over-promise but will eventually under-deliver.

Though temporary power plants, like the ones provided by Altaaqa Global, are engineered to endure even the harshest conditions known to man, they are by no means indestructible. The governments and the utility companies in India must keep in mind that the service of a rental energy company should not end when the electric power generators are switched on. The company should have the spare parts and the human resources to carry out after-sales support to installed and commissioned projects at any given location, at any given time. Whether the project is in the middle of a mountain for a mining operation or in the hot burning Gulf desert for oil & gas refineries, the rental power provider should have the capability to support its temporary power plants, whenever and wherever.

Proving solutions when needed and where needed is the prime reason for being of rental power companies, like Altaaqa Global. An interim energy partner should have the capability to react, deploy, mobilize and commission temporary power plants at a moment’s notice. This means that the provider should have available equipment and manpower on the ground to carry out a rapid delivery. If the rental company has the available equipment to deploy and a team of professional logistic personnel that can deal with the complexities of ports, customs and transportation, then help is on the way to immediately solve the power crisis.

Providing solutions to power requirement of different entities does not follow a template nor is governed by a rule of thumb. Each case should be carefully studied and evaluated in order for rental power companies to prescribe an optimal solution. The only way that an interim energy company can afford to meet the exact requirement of any client is for it to have the adequate and state-of-the-art technologies available in its product line. Altaaqa Global has a wide range of large-scale temporary power plants running on gas, diesel or dual-fuel (70% gas and 30% diesel). It also offers systems on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and on compressed natural gas (CNG), in recognition of rigid sets of licensing and sustainability regulations that may exist in some parts of India.

Altaaqa Global also proposes state-of-the-art products that pushes the envelope of technological flexibility. One of the company’s flagship innovation is the variable operational mode that can switch from island to grid mode in just seconds. It provides the most scalable power solution to support base load, intermediate, peaking or standby power generation.

Altaaqa Global also offers the first and only substation-free power plants, specifically engineered to serve places in India where they may not be substations. These temporary power plants require no substations and can directly be hooked to the grid.

 

You do growth, we do power

The advantages of renting temporary energy facilities are multifarious, especially from the prism of cost-savings, flexibility and continuous energy supply. Hiring interim energy plants means that the governments and the utility companies in India will not have to shell out huge capital (CAPEX) to erect permanent power generation facilities if the heightened demand is just seasonal or momentary. Provisional electric power plants are also equipped with state-of-the-art innovations that allow them to increase or decrease the capacity following the end-user’s requirement. More importantly, mobile power technologies can provide electricity to any entity as it is needed, when it is needed and where it is needed.

End

* The foregoing article was published in the July 2014 issue of Power Today magazine (ASAPP Media, India). To read more: http://bit.ly/1omDahQ *

Power Today cover July 2014

PRESS INQUIRIES

Robert Bagatsing

Altaaqa Global

Tel: +971 56 1749505

rbagatsing@altaaqaglobal.com