Electricity has been an essential need for our day-to-day working as it powers all our household equipments. Now the basic question comes how is Electricity produced in India? India is a very diverse country with long coastline, has a big desert, has the Himalayas – the youngest mountains up in the north, has a vast flat fertile land, many perennial rivers etc. This also makes a huge potential of use of renewable and non-renewable sources to produce electricity.
As of Jan, 2021, India has been heavily dependent upon fossil energy with 61.4% that includes Thermal power, Lignite power, Gas power, Diesel. All these fossil fuels take millions of years to form and we cannot continue to depend upon them. With the initiatives undertaken by the Govt. of India and Ministry of New & Renewable Energy this has moved dependence from fossil fuels that was over 70% to almost 60% over the last few years. This gap has been covered majorly by hydropower (electricity through dams on rivers), solar power (electricity from sun through solar panels) & wind power (electricity from wind turbines) at 34.1% with biomass adding another 2.6%. These are called renewable or natural resources that do not take much time to replenish.
What is solar energy?
Solar energy is the light, and heat radiated from the Sun. On earth, to have the existence of human life, along with, oxygen and water - heat & light become essential and the source to these is sun. The nuclear fusion reaction happening on the sun has been the reason for the heat & light it has been generating for millions of years.
Sunlight takes about 8 minutes and 20 seconds to reach the earth's surface, the distance is about 149.22 million Kms. The photons emitted from the surface of the sun travel this long distance to reach earth. So, the actual location of the sun that you can see is about 8 mins and 20 seconds earlier.
Is solar energy renewable or non-renewable?
The energy that continues to exist or continues to regenerate or does not deplete, is called renewable energy. As the sun continues to be the source of energy for millions of years, it is a renewable source of energy.
What is solar energy used for?
Solar energy naturally has capabilities to neutralize many harmful bacteria with its ultraviolet rays. It also helps plants to produce food for themselves. Gives the light & warmth that is needed for germination & growth of vegetation.
Humans found an exceptional solution of using solar energy to generate electricity through photovoltaic cells.
How is solar energy better than thermal power?
Solar energy comes from the sun – a renewable resource, while thermal power is generated with the help of burning coal which is a nonrenewable resource. In India, thermal power has the largest share -close to 60%.
Such a heavy dependence on coal impacts the environment as burning coal generates pollution for air, water & land and we need to be cognizant of that.
How is solar energy converted into electricity?
Solar energy utilizes the solar cells or photovoltaic cells that help convert the sun's energy into electricity. Solar energy being in abundance on earth and India being uniquely positioned with over 300 sunny days on an average, it becomes a privilege to harness the best we can. The solar panels contain solar cells or photovoltaic cells made of semiconductor material to produce electricity with the dislodging of electrons that lead to movement of current and hence the generation of electrical energy.
How is solar energy produced?
The solar panels help generation of solar energy; however, it can’t be used in its raw form as the panels tend to produce the DC – direct current- a flat linear output and a tendency of lots of transmission losses. Also, all household equipment use AC- alternating current, a sinusoidal wave.
In this scenario, the conversion of DC to AC is very important, for which an inverter is needed. Further, based on the need of requirement, we can then add as many components as possible including rooftop solar panels to generate electricity.
What are the advantages & limitations or disadvantages of solar energy?
Solar energy is an essential source of energy which is going to help households and institutions become more sustainable with green energy and keep the environment pollution free. Adopting solar energy will help create more stable ecosystem and better air quality.
Solar Energy Advantages
- Solar energy being renewable source, is available in abundance
- This is sustainable source of energy
- Solar energy systems last for over 25 years
- 24x7 electricity can be managed with battery backup systems
- Can be connected on grid or off grid
Solar energy has certain disadvantages; however, these can be overcome with certain solutions:
- With the limitation of less efficient solar devices and panels that are being improved with lots of research and development in the sector.
- Solar is not available 100% (during night and heavily cloudy days) so backup systems (like batteries) need to be there
- Solar energy solutions have a high initial cost. However, players like Loom Solar are offering the EMI facility.
- Not easy for transportation, this can be managed with smaller units.
Which Renewable Energy Source is Workable?
Of the above renewable or natural resources, hydro & wind energy harnessing are capital-intensive projects and become not viable for everyone as not everyone has access to these resources in required proportions and location also has its role. However, solar is one option that is omnipresent and gives flexibility for any user across the length & breadth of India.
An important aspect that we must remember is by using renewable resources we also reduce the carbon footprint, as, we stop generating Carbon-dioxide as we start using renewable means by a very large extent.
What is Solar Power or Solar Energy?
Given the angle that India makes with Sun through the year, on an average the potential that solar energy is received is between 4-7 KWh per Sq. m. per day (4000 W to 7000W/sq.m/day). Through the year, on an average 300 days are sunny. Lets read more on that below:
Sun continues to produce heat, light and radiations that are vital as well as have some harmful effects (ultraviolet rays) that are largely absorbed by the ozone layer in the atmosphere. The fusion reaction is the basis of Sun’s energy – Hydrogen atoms are fusing together to become Helium.
How can we utilize the energy from Sunlight or the Solar Energy?
To harness solar energy, there is a need of certain devices that have been engineered over the years to gain better efficiency. There has been the gradual development in this process. Products like – Solar Panels to produce electricity, Solar Water Heater to warm water, Solar Cookers to cook food and many other utility items that absorb solar energy based on principles of these three products are available.
More about Solar Panels to produce Direct Current (DC) or Alternate Current (AC): Solar panels and their types have been explained in our earlier posts, read now:https://www.loomsolar.com/blogs/collections/solar-system
Current status of Solar Power and its utilization
Being omnipresent through the daytime, sunlight gives huge scope for getting the solar radiations utilized. Solar Panels play an important role in getting the solar energy to produce AC (alternate current) or DC.
The solar panels that utilize solar panels play a significant role in total efficiency on a long-term perspective. Like we do check mileage for vehicles while we buy and the service costs etc., similarly, we need to be observant on the efficiency of the solar panels that we are choosing to deploy.
As of Feb 2021, Solar contributes to roughly 10.1% of the total electricity generated. The current installed capacity of solar power in India is roughly 37 GW and with this, India currently ranks 5th global position in solar power deployment and in the last 6 years this has gone up by over 14 times of the installed capacity in the year 2004.
Future of Solar Energy
As we refer to the carbon footprint for various nations, we clearly see that India is third largest CO2 emitter globally followed by China & USA, hence adopting to renewable resources is very important for sustainable future.
India has already committed to switch to renewable energy to over 60 percent of the overall capacity by 2030 & is already on track to reach its goal of 175 GW of installed renewable capacity in next couple of years. By 2040, it is estimated that most of the electricity production would be by switching to renewable energy and the CO2 emissions shall be down by 85% vs in the current times.
Solar Energy continues to be seen as one of the biggest contributors to cut the carbon emissions in a country like India. Many smart cities are mandating rooftop applications of solar-based solutions for electricity, which could be off grid or on grid (read more on grid connectivity at https://www.loomsolar.com/collections/on-grid-solar-system). Besides them all industrial & corporate complexes are also told across states to adapt to Solar Power.
Rural areas, tough to reach terrains & offshores, smaller towns are seeing the upward trends for solar, as it’s economically viable and it helps them with portable solutions.
The Benefits of choosing Solar Reason:
- Abundant availability of Sunlight
- Solar-based electricity production makes long-term economic sense
- Becomes Investment neutral in 5-7 years of total initial investment
- The unit installed is scalable to higher capacities
- Options of choosing subsidy based models
- Consider this ‘Your own Home Your own Electricity’ (Apna ghar ho, Apni bijli)
- Contribution back to environment
Solar Energy solutions for Homes & Offices
Architects & developers are thinking deep on Green Buildings, Sustainable townships, even more smart cities etc. The current available solar panels that give maximum efficiency are getting steady acceptance in the market and the options of rooftop, wall mounted applications of solar panels are evaluated basis the overall theme of the buildings thus designed. Evolution and innovation in solar panels is getting much traction with various think tanks across the world.
Companies like Loom Solar are collaborating & investing in research & development to bring the latest & well-evaluated solar solutions for customers who are looking for meeting their energy needs. The Solar power needs for Homes & Offices need to be evaluated basis the current & future expansions and kind of equipment deployed in the premises. You may add for (3 KW/ 5KW articles)
Remember, Solar panels are scalable, the other equipment may need up gradation & hence you must choose to have a Solar Consultant. You may call on 8750 77 88 00 or reach out to www.loomsolar.com to have a detailed discussion to reach to an appropriate solution.
हिंदी में पढ़े: सोलर एनर्जी (Solar Energy) क्या है?