New solar roof for Max Mueller Bhavan, Bangalore

Friday, 21 November 2008 22:01 News
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Max Mueller Bhavan, BangaloreMax Mueller Bhavan, Bangalore had installed a photo-voltaic system on the roof of the Bhavan - one step forward in the movement towards conservation of scarce resources and utilisation of renewable energy. This message could show the way forward for a state battling an energy crisis. On 20-11-2008, IBC Solar installed a photovoltaic (PV) system on the roof of the Goethe-Institute / Max Mueller Bhavan. It was also time to dissect the solar energy model as against the prevailing models of power generation in India.

The Goethe-Zentrum - known as the Max Mueller Bhavan in India is an organisation under the German foreign office with 144 institutes in 80 countries. The main aims of the Bhavan will be to promote the German language, bilateral business relations and cultural exchanges between India and Germany.

"Since 1982, the efficiency of PV systems in Germany has increased by 50%. In turn, prices of solar modules have been coming down by 5% every year. The European Union (EU) has set the target renewable energy share in Germany at 20% by 2020,'' says Udo Mohrstedt, founder and CEO, IBC Solar. The EU has already set a 2015 deadline for grid parity -- of renewable power prices that could be compared with those of conventional energy -- in southern Europe.

IBC Solar, a leading PV system integrator, has taken up the solar roof project at Max Mueller Bhavan in association with the German energy agency dena. Evelin Hust, director of Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, says the project will help meet a major part of the building's energy demands. Maintenance will mostly involve cleaning the panels once a month.

According to Christine Woerlen, head of the renewable energy (RE) division in dena, the difference that solar energy can bring to India lies in an assurance of returns for investors. Cost per kWh (kiloWatt hour) could soon be comparable with the cost of diesel-generated power. A major part of the investment will be in installation because maintenance costs are negligible. In India, it's estimated that the per-unit cost of solar power is about Rs 15, as against Rs 3-Rs 5 per unit of conventional energy.

Meanwhile Max Mueller Bhavan will launch its first centre in Kerala at Thiruvananthapuram on 2008 November 28. Governor R.S. Gavai will inaugurate the Bhavan at a ceremony at Kanakakkunnu Palace. Consul General of Germany to India Stefan Graf will be the guest of honour. The Bhavan will operate out of a leased building adjacent to the Palayam campus of the University of Kerala. It will have classrooms, a library, a conference hall, a cultural centre and a specially designed cafeteria. Aimed at benefiting the differing requirements of users of German, the Bhavan will offer six levels of courses in the language.