- What is ELECTRICITY ?
- How do solar panels work?
- What are the advantages of solar power?
- Solar power and the environment
- Need of solar power for India
- Challenges and problems
- About International Solar Alliance
Solar energy is radiant light and heat from the Sun that is harnessed using a range of ever-evolving technologies such as solar heating, photo voltaics, solar thermal energy, solar architecture, molten salt power plants and artificial photosynthesis.
A power generation method that converts energy from the sun into electricity. It uses solar panels that are often arranged on a building or concentrated in solar farms to facilitate a reaction that converts sun’s light radiation into electricity.
How do solar panels work?
Photovoltaic cells in a solar panel turn sunlight into direct current electricity (DC). Then, an inverter converts the DC electricity into alternating current electricity (AC) and once this process has taken place, the electricity is used, fed into the grid or stored in a battery.
What are the advantages of solar power?
The main advantage is that it is a renewable, clean source of electricity. Solar power is also scalable. This means that it can be deployed on an industrial scale or it can be used to power a single household. When it’s used on a small scale, extra electricity can be stored in a battery or fed back into the electricity grid. Overall, the sun gives off far more energy than we’ll ever need. The only limitation is our ability to convert it to electricity in a cost-effective way.
Solar power and the environment
As a renewable CO2-free power source, the environmental impact of solar power is significantly smaller than other power generation methods. The impact is mainly related to the production and supply of the special materials and metals that are required to produce solar panels. The location and the water used to clean the solar panels also affect the environment. We are working hard to find alternative ways to clean our solar panels.
Need of solar energy for India
India is facing an acute energy scarcity which is hampering its industrial growth and economic progress.
Setting up of new power plants is inevitably dependent on import of highly volatile fossil fuels. Thus, it is essential to tackle the energy crisis through judicious utilization of abundant the renewable energy resources, such as Biomass Energy solar Energy, Wind Energy and Geothermal Energy.
Apart from augmenting the energy supply, renewable resources will help India in mitigating climate change. India is heavily dependent on fossil fuels for its energy needs. Most of the power generation is carried out by coal and mineral oil-based power plants which contribute heavily to greenhouse gases emission.
Solar Power a clean renewable resource with zero emission, has got tremendous potential of energy which can be harnessed using a variety of devices. With recent developments, solar energy systems are easily available for industrial and domestic use with the added advantage of minimum maintenance.
Solar energy could be made financially viable with government tax incentives and rebates. Most of the developed countries are switching over to solar energy as one of the prime renewable energy source.
The current architectural designs make provision for photovoltaic cells and necessary circuitry while making building plans. Because of its location between the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator, India has an average annual temperature that ranges from 25°C – 27.5 °C. This means that India has huge solar potential. The sunniest parts are situated in the south/east coast, from Calcutta to Madras.
CHALLENGES AND PROBLEMS
Per capita land availability is a scarce resource in India. Dedication of land area for exclusive installation of solar cells might have to compete with other necessities that require land. The amount of land required for utility-scale solar power plants — currently approximately 1 km² for every 20–60 megawatts (MW) generated could pose a strain on India’s available land resource.
The architecture more suitable for most of India would be a highly distributed, individual rooftop power generation systems, all connected via a local grid. However, erecting such an infrastructure which doesn’t enjoy the economies of scale possible in mass utility-scale solar panel deployment — needs the market price of solar technology deployment to substantially decline so that it attracts the individual and average family size household consumer.
That might be possible in the future, since PV is projected to continue its current cost reductions for the next decades and be able to compete with fossil fuel.
SLOW PROGRESS While the world has progressed substantially in production of basic silicon mono-crystalline photovoltaic cells, India has fallen short to achieve the worldwide momentum. India is now in 7th place worldwide in Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Cell production and 9th place in Solar Thermal Systems with nations like Japan, China, and the US currently ranked far ahead. Globally, solar is the fastest growing source of energy (though from a very small base) with an annual average growth of 35%, as seen during the past few years.
LATENT POTENTIAL Some noted think-tanks recommend that India should adopt a policy of developing solar power as a dominant component of the renewable energy mix, since being a densely populated region in the sunny tropical belt, the subcontinent has the ideal combination of both high solar insolation and a big potential consumer base density. In one of the analyzed scenarios , while reining on its long-term carbon emissions without compromising its economic growth potential, India can make renewable resources like solar the backbone of its economy by 2050.
The government of India is promoting the use of solar energy through various strategies. In the budget proposal for 2010-11, the government has announced an allocation of Rs.10 billion towards the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission and the establishment of a Clean Energy Fund. It’s an increase of Rs. 3.8 billion from the previous budget. Also budget has also encouraged private solar companies by reducing customs duty on solar panels by 5 percent and exempting excise duty on solar photovoltaic panels. This is expected to reduce the roof-top solar panel installation by 15- 20 percent.
About ISA (International solar Alliance )
The International Solar Alliance (ISA), jointly launched by India and France at the UN Climate Change Conference over two years ago, is set to turn to the sun to brighten its future with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron co-chairing its founding conference in the national capital.
It is a specific body in place to address the specific solar technology deployment needs of the solar resource rich countries located between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. ISA aims at accelerating deployment of solar energy by reducing costs and making adequate funding available for its rapid deployment in solar-rich member-nations With the backing of nearly 121 member-countries rich in solar energy, 26 have so far ratified ISA’s Framework Agreement. ISA became a treaty-based inter-governmental international organisation on December 6, 2017, registered under Article 102 of the United Nations Charter.
the cumulative solar capacity of ISA member-countries is around 175 GW by end of 2017, around 44 per cent of the global capacity. However, these are concentrated in China, India and Australia with 130 GW, 20 GW and 7 GW installations, respectively, or around 90 per cent of all ISA member-country solar capacity.
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