Comparison of Large Central and Small Decentralized Power Generation in India

    Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


    India is the second largest market in the world for new electricity capacity. Its total electricity consumption is expected to increase by 223% from 1995 to 2020. In comparison, electricity consumption during the same period in the Organization for Economic and Cooperative Development Countries is expected to increase by only 58%. Currently, most of India's electricity consumers are inmetropolitan areas; however, approximately 75 % of the population lives in rural areas. This sector has benefited from the government's rural electrification programs, but most villages still face recurrent power shortages and some have no access to power. As a result, there is a substantial potential market for supplying reliable power to rural consumers. This report discusses the variety ofissues affecting India's rural electricity demand including economic development, power reliability, and environmental concerns. Distributed generation (DG) systems are discussed as one way of addressing these issues. The report quantitatively compares four biomass-based DG technologies and a central grid 1,200-MW coal-fired station focusing on calculating the costs of electricity for a Stirlingengine, direct-fired combustion turbine, fuel cell, and biomass integrated gasification combined cycle.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages93
    StatePublished - 1997

    Bibliographical note

    Work performed by Antares Group, Inc., Landover, Maryland

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/SR-430-22764


    • central grid power
    • cogeneration units
    • hydroelectric units
    • power generation


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