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Solar Energy- The Future Energy Source

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Solar Energy- The Future Energy Source

India is densely populated and has high solar insolation (a measure of solar radiation energy received on a given surface area and recorded during a given time. It is also called solar irradiation), an ideal combination for using solar power in India. In near future Solar energy will have a huge role to play in meeting India’s energy demand. Solar energy, therefore, has great potential as future energy source which is capable of producing 5,000 trillion kilowatts of clean energy. Country is blessed with around 300 sunny days in a year and solar insolation of 4-7 kWh per Sq. m per day. If this energy is harnessed efficiently, it can easily reduce our energy deficit scenario and that to with no carbon emission. Solar energy is clean and renewable. The major material of photovoltaic panel which is the most commonly used today is silicon. Silicon is abundant and environmentally safe.

Some Major Solar Power Projects in India

India’s National Solar Mission plans to have India generating 200,000 MW of solar power by 2050, and 100,000 by 2030. Shan Solar commissioned is Rs 80-crore module plant, capable of delivering 30 MW worth of modules near Chennai. Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission the Mission adopted a 3-phase approach, spanning the period of the 11th Plan JNNSM Phase-II, and first year of the 12th Plan as Phase 1, the remaining 4 years of the 12th Plan as Phase 2 and the 13th Plan as Phase 3.

Future of Solar Energy

Concentrating Solar Thermal Power is a first generation technology, but now with the ability to concentrate solar power using parabolic trough plates unrestricted by scarce material availability, with rare earths and silvered mirrors replaced by common commodities such as stainless steel, aluminum and glass.

Solar technology is about to take off and may finally be on the threshold of displacing a large chunk of fossil fuel dependency.

The solar energy absorbed by the earth’s oceans, atmosphere and land in less than two hours is more than the total energy the world uses in a year, and is twice as much as will ever be extracted from its fossil resources. The Sun therefore not only rises every day, but every day provides the means for possible salvation. The new solar technologies are now positioned to mesh with this revolution and include advances in the areas such as Solar photovoltaic thermal systems that can generate both heat and electricity, solar power generating surface coatings using nanotechnology allows windows and glazed surfaces to be used as luminescent solar concentrators, with thin films absorbing sunlight and directing it to narrow solar cells at the perimeter of windows. Such surface coatings can also be used on the glazed facades of office blocks and houses, ultra cheap solar energy panels for domestic and industrial using can be created using high volume printing methods, producing nanoscale films of solar cells 1000 time thinner than width of human hair.

Thus, the sun has always been the dominant driver of new life for all civilizations ancient as well as modern.


Sun’s thermal energy is used in office, warehouse and industry to supply power. Solar energy is used to power radio and TV stations. It is also used to supply power to lighthouse and warning light for aircraft. Solar energy can be used for power generation in remotely situated places like schools, homes, clinics and buildings. Water pumps run on solar energy in remote areas. Large scale desalination plant also use power generated from solar energy instead of electricity. It is also used for public transportation such as trolleys, buses and light-rails. The solar energy is used in residential homes for heating the water with the help of solar heater. The photovoltaic cell installed on the roof of the house collects the solar energy and is used to warm the water. Solar energy can also be used to generate electricity. Batteries store energy captured in day time and supply power throughout the day. The use of solar appliances is one of the best ways to cut the expenditure on energy.


The solar industry has immense potential for a tropical country like India where around 45% of households, mainly rural ones, do not have access to electricity. Solar electric energy demand has grown by an average 30% per annum over the past 20 years against a backdrop of rapidly declining costs and prices. This decline in cost has been driven by economies of manufacturing scale, manufacturing technology improvements, and the increasing efficiency of solar cells. States like Gujarat, Rajasthan have started promoting Solar based application in order to boost the Solar industry. China is the dominant producer of polycrystalline silicon in the world. It is more than likely that China would try to increase the price of polycrystalline silicon in the global market, when demand for solar equipment would go up globally due to setting up of many large capacity solar power plants, in countries like India.

Source: NPCS Team

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