Sunday March 24, 2019
Home India Solar power t...

Solar power to ward off energy tariff fluctuations in West Bengal

0
//

Solar-Power_0

By NewsGram Staff Writer

Solar energy is the most equipped and organized available source of energy. It does not belong to any single individual but for every living creature. It is also one of the most important non-conventional sources of energy because of its non-polluting element, which also helps in reducing the greenhouse effect. Hence, it is the best form of energy, which can be used when the power tariff is touching the roof.

A government housing complex towering over Dhakuria Lake, Kolkata, is showing the way to have immunity against power tariff fluctuations, as a resident named Avijit Ghosh has decided to fix the problem of high and inconsistent power bills himself.

Ghosh is an energy technologist with Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute (CGCRI), who conceived the plan and installed the solar power plant fighting against many odds on the rooftop of a housing apartment meant for the scientists of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

After a year of observation, he was so jubilant with his successful experiment that now he wants to emulate and install it on every rooftop of the city.

Professor Indranil Manna, director IIT-Kanpur, who as the director of CGCRI encouraged Ghosh out of his way, said, “The tariff of power generated from the fossil fuel like coal and petroleum products is bound to go up with the steady depletion of the reserve, which might last another five decades. So, rooftop solar power plant is no more a fancy of a few eccentrics.”  The current director of CGCRI, Kamal Dasgupta, is equally glad by the outcome of the plant.

The authorities are constantly aiming to create the amount of power required by the city. The total estimated power produced by the plant in Kolkata was considered to be around 45,000 KWh in a year, but actual total generation was 52,269 KWh in past one year.  Almost 50,000 units from the total solar power generation were utilized in-campus and additional 2,165 units were sold to the Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation (CESC) at the prevailing rate of the month. The sale and purchase of the power is accorded within the parameters of power purchase agreement, entered into between CSIR-CGCRI & CESC for 25 years.

Development is essential, but the thing that really matters the most is the positive environmental impact that is related to the performance of the plant. Kolkata plant’s contribution to greenhouse gas emission reduction — CO2 emission avoided at Thermal Power Plant’s Generation — is around 86 M.T., which is really impressive.

The water saved at Thermal Power Plant is around 575 Kilolitres. “This is a huge environmental benefit that a solar power plant can engineer,” said Susapta Ghosh, superintendent engineer and Sujoy Roy, an electrical engineer, who also toiled a lot for plant’s fantastic performance.

The main concern over solar power is the initial investment of installing the panels. Yet the cost savings on electrical bills and the positive effect on the environment make it an increasingly attractive alternative for homes and businesses alike.

Next Story

Does India’s Giant Step in the Direction of Green Energy Signal an End to Coal?

Coal consumption forecasts have already been downgraded significantly from 2013 projections, and major shifts in energy policy like Modi’s are likely to add significant weight to the idea that India might well become a much bigger player in renewable energy production in the next 20 to 30 years

0
FILE - Smoke billows from chimneys of the cooling towers of a coal-fired power plant in Dadong, Shanxi province, China. VOA

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government announced its target to increase India’s renewable energy capacity to an equivalent of 40% of the nation’s total green energy output, it raised eyebrows. Could this mean an end to India’s coking coal industry?

Is there investment for green energy?

For any alternative to coal to be a serious consideration, there must be investment sources. Already India’s renewable target has attracted investors like Japan’s SoftBank, which agreed to a deal to sell power generated from a Northern Indian solar bank at 2.4 rupees per unit – below that of coal power, which currently costs over 3 rupees per unit.

Contrary to the enormous investment in the production of solar panels being manufactured by China, which has made them cheap enough to encourage this Indian growth in solar renewable energy, there has been relatively little investment in Indian coal.

Asia-Pacific
Workers operate machines at a coal mine at Palaran district in Samarinda, Indonesia (VOA)

For instance, state-run NTPC has cancelled several large coal mining projects, including a huge plant in Andhra Pradesh. Meanwhile, the private sector has continued investing in renewables. Adani Power has over $600 million invested in solar panels in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

That Modi has made an investment of $42 billion in the renewable energy sector over the past four years and his renewables plan is likely to generate a further $80 billion in the green energy sector in the next four years is good news for the Rupee. External investment in India is likely a sign of increased currency transaction in forex trading signalling the Rupee gaining strength against other pairs. Like the Indian economy, millions of dollars are traded on currencies every day, and increased interest in the Rupee helps cement India’s economic and investment potential.

How reliant is India on coal power?

Not so long ago the Indian government had a target to connect 40 million households to the national grid by the end of 2018. It even tasked CIL, the state coal monopoly, to produce over a billion tonnes of coal per year by 2020, an increase of almost 100% from 2016. It’s an ambitious goal, notwithstanding the environmental impacts of mining for such an unprecedented amount of coal. This is the same coal that already generates 70% of India’s primary commercial energy requirement; compare that figure to the UK’s 11%, Germany’s 38%, and China’s 68%, while France has practically shut all of its coal power stations. This means that India’s shift from coal could have important implications for the global climate, and any investors looking towards coal would be making a very brave and risky decision.

Coal
Environmentally, coal isn’t a sustainable source of power, certainly not in current quotas.

The increasing problem with relying on coal

Environmentally, coal isn’t a sustainable source of power, certainly not in current quotas. Clean-up costs could make coal an out-of-date power source sooner rather than later. A report by Oxford University estimated that investors in coal power may lose upwards of half a trillion dollars because assets cannot be profitably run or retired early due to global temperature rises and agreed carbon emission reductions.

Also Read- Oral Antifungal Drug Linked to Risk of Miscarriage

Coal consumption forecasts have already been downgraded significantly from 2013 projections, and major shifts in energy policy like Modi’s are likely to add significant weight to the idea that India might well become a much bigger player in renewable energy production in the next 20 to 30 years – although it’s difficult not to see coal remaining an important power source considering India’s significantly large coal reserves still available in Eastern India.