Alternative energy or sustainable energy?

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‘Human’ is the only species on this earth who always want to change everything according to their will. If we compare this Homo sapiens with other living things, we are the weakest one in terms of physical strength. Some has sharp teeth than some has fastest running skills, some has night vision system than some has ultra-sonic communication skills, and some has hibernating powers than some has color changing body. We as human couldn’t develop all these physical skills. But the most powerful tool we possess is unique and it is the supreme. We identify it as BRAIN. Human is ruling this world with the help of this brain. According to body to brain ratio, Homo sapiens has grater ratio then other species.

To rule the world, human is consuming heavy energy from every possible resource. Energy is the core of human life. In every walk of our lives we have high demand of energy. Currently the main resource is crude oil as this is the easiest and cheapest one till date. But is it really the resource we want to continue for the future? The answer is obviously NO. Why? Why we don’t want to continue with the existing resource which has really made our life ease? Innumerable reasons, but, prominent two are pollution and limited stock of crude oil.

          Now, we humans are demanding species. If we can’t use this available resource, what is next? Since long scientists have been brainstorming about the same. There are alternative sources like wind power, hydro power, nuclear energy, solar energy which are non-conventional and can also be used without a thought of its availability shortage. Among all these, solar energy is the prime focus for the future. Reasons for this focus are like- it’s endless availability on most of the parts of the world. Zero pollution source is also one key factor to shift. Sun has 109 times bigger radius than our earth and releases trillions of megawatts every minute. This very ‘TINY’ part of energy given on earth per minute is equal to 10000 times more than our actual requirement. Now, the main challenge is how to convert this energy into electricity? Most common answer is photovoltaic solar cell. The very first misconception regarding this photovoltaic cell is about its cost. Yes, cells are not cheap but if we compare the cost its 10 times cheaper than a decade ago price.

          India is the country where if we deduct 2-3 months of monsoon then still we have almost 9 to 10 months of sunny days. Compared to Russia, Europe or North America we the Indians have great geographical advantage. Then how this advantage can be converted as monetary benefit? There are two ways: First, one should have to install solar roof panel at home or at office’s roof. Install an Off-Grid Panel, where you can install full power backup system like batteries, inverter and cabling at your home or office. This way you can use the solar power directly for your electronic appliances. But this is a costly way, as you need to invest much amount other than solar panels. Also, when you are not able to consume excess generated power it goes waste. Another way is On-Grid Panel, where you don’t install, you don’t consume solar power directly, but you supply back this generated power to your electricity company and reduce your monthly power bill. In this method, you don’t waste any single KV produced by solar panel. Favorably, when you are out of station for vacation, in those days your bill goes in negative. Adding to these, you don’t have to invest excess amount for other costly materials like batteries, inverter etc.

On Grid Panel method is getting popular these days. But, now you must be wondering how much does it cost actually? And how much area you should have to install these panels? The cost of 1KV panel is approximately 70000 INR from which according to your states policy you may get minimum of INR 30000 as subsidy. So approximately INR 40000 is your initial investment for 1 KV panel. When you supply back to the grid, the savings in your power bill will make this investment free in 4 to 5 years. Approximate life of this panel is 15 to 25 years. Hence for rest of the years it gives you earnings without any additional cost.

The amount of subsidy should be higher, even if for government it’s a loss business. Because it’s better to give higher subsidy instead of increasing foreign debt by importing costly petroleum from other countries. This solar panels are really an answer for the hunger of nation for the energy. One may find that, what will it contribute to trillions of KV demand from 1 or 2 KV home solar electricity production? But, imagine if all the houses have such panel, how big amount of energy will generate? Let’s think again for this technology and raise our step for nations building.

 

Source: Safari Magazine, March-2018.

By Kaushal Upadhyay 

[email protected]

 

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