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Focus graphiti_Photovoltaics.

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SUN

FOCUS—GRAPHITI

BT now&then
SOLAR POWER Photovoltaic is
the direct conversion
Cost of putting up 1 MW
solar PV plant
EVOLUTION
■ Edward Weston received first US
NOW BSNL and MTNL have already rolled
out 3G services. Last fortnight, nine

FOR THE FUTURE


telecom companies, including the likes of Bharti Airtel,
of light into electricity patent for “solar cell” in 1888.

16.9
Reliance Communications, Vodafone Essar, commenced
at the atomic level.
battle for 3G airwave slots across 22 circles in an online
Transparent conductive Blue, Green & Red cell Rs ■ Einstein was awarded the Nobel
prize for paper on photovoltaic auction. At the time of writing, the auction had fetched
Multiple dichroic filters bids worth Rs 7,599 crore on the twelfth day of auction.
India plans to generate
20,000 MW of solar power
oxide layer
are included in photovoltaic
cells to increase efficiency
crore* effect in 1922.
The winners will be able to roll out 3G services to their
■ In 1954, Bell Labs exhibits first subscribers by September this year. At last, 3G is here
by 2022—up from 12 MW by splitting the concentrated
sunlight into multiple beams. high-power silicon PV cell. Dawn in India. But the road to 3G was anything but smooth.
in 2009. Several Indian Each beam contains light Cost of putting up of modern age of PV.
companies are betting in one of the desired 1 MW coal-based thermal
big on prospects of
business in solar energy.
wavelength bands.
power plant
■ Spectro Labs, US, develops first
concentrated solar cell with 50
suns concentration in 1999.
How Long for 3G?
Here’s a lowdown on the
technology and business.
PHOTOVOLTAIC
Rs 4-4.5 The are three basic types of con-
THEN July 15, 2007
For about six months now, DoT has been threatening
CELL crore struction of Photovoltaic cells :
Monocrystalline cells are
to come out with a 3G policy, but it hasn’t yet
delivered on the promise. When BT spoke to DoT
*CERC estimates
the most efficient, but also the officials, they again said the policy would be out in a
most expensive to produce. month’s time. This time around, there’s another
The cost of solar Polycrystalline cells problem. The new Telecom Minister, A. Raja, who took
charge on May 16, 2007, hasn’t yet got up to speed on
power generation will are slightly less efficient but
the issues, and may need time to make a decision. As
come down to also slightly cheaper than
far as allocating the spectrum
monocrystalline cells.
Rs 5-6 Amorphous cells create
is concerned, it is almost
certain now that the govern-
per kilo watt hour the least efficient type of ment will conduct an auction.
in the next five years. photovoltaic solar panels but TRAI has recommended a
And this will be almost are also the cheapest. Their minimum price of Rs 1,500
power output reduces over crore per licence, but among
on a par with the cost time, particularly during the the operators, only Ratan
Photoelectric property of some materials causes them to of a coal-fired plant. first few months. Tata of Tata Teleservices
seems amenable to the idea.
absorb photons of light and release electrons. When these
Germany free electrons are captured, an electric current results FUTURE Others believe that the
allocation of spectrum should
PV POWER GENERATION that can be used as electricity. ADVANTAGES OF PV ■ Solar power use has been
doubling every two, or
be need-based—that is,
MW (2008) 1,855 COST OF ENERGY $/MWh 1 No need to buy fuel so operating less, years.
dependent on the number of
subscribers an operator has.
cost is negligible.
■ It is projected to become the
US Japan Photovoltaic* $99.6 There’s also the issue of whether the auction will be
2 No direct impact on the dominant energy source within
357 India environment. a few decades. open to new players. Not surprisingly, the incumbent
230
110 Gas $227.5 operators think they should get precedence. “We
believe that existing operators must get priority in
3 PV cells are modular and light.
242 Coal $104.5 *Factoring in the installation cost
Source: Lazard estimates
terms of allocation of this spectrum,” says Manoj
Kohli, President and CEO, Bharti Airtel. Smaller
World Spain 4 Can be installed and operated players such as Spice Communications worry that
2,463 Italy in areas difficult to access.
selective auction will be to their disadvantage. “It is
5,948 important to protect the interests of all the existing
operators,” says Umang Das, Joint MD, Spice.
ALANKAR & K.R. BALASUBRAMANYAM

5 STEPS
TO HERE
THE MAHINDRA-RENAULT
BREAK-UP
1
February 2005
JV signed between
Mahindra & Mahindra
and Renault. M&M owned
51%, Renault 49%.
2
April 2007
Bookings open for the
Logan, the JV’s first
product—targeted at B-segment
and entry-level C-segment
buyers. The petrol variant is
priced at Rs 4.28 lakh.
3
2008
Despite battling established brands like
Maruti Swift DZire, Tata Indigo and
Hyundai Accent in the mid-size sedan
segment, the Logan sells over 25,891
units in 2007-08.
4
2008-09
In 2008-09, sales drop by half to 13,423
units. The next year, Logan sales more
than halve again to 5,332 units, despite
the domestic car market growing at the
fastest pace in six years.
5
April 2010
Renault to exit JV. M&M to
buy Renault’s share. M&M to
continue with the Renault name and logo on the
Logan till the end of 2010. Repositioning
and re-branding of Logan in the future. T.V. MAHALINGAM
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