Floating Solar Systems: Potential Promise and Challenges
Solar radiation incident on the surface of earth is rather weak. Commercially available solar cells - convert typically between 16 and 20% of this incident energy, under Standard Condition into electrical energy. The low efficiency of conversion in conjunction with multiple losses (cable, temperature, dust and DC-AC conversion) till the point of actual use, calls for large tracts of land for utility scale power generation. Converting fertile agricultural and other productive land to set up solar farms would not be wise. Also in many cases lands have to be cleared of thick vegetation that provide lung space. In island nations like Singapore, Philippines, Korea and Japan, land is scarce. An attractive alternative to the land based solar generation is to utilize the surface of water bodies like lakes, ponds, reservoirs, dams which come at no cost.
Utility Scale Battery Electrical Energy Storage System – its time has come in India
The solar industry in India set up as early as 1977 sustained for over three decades purely on the government supported remote home lighting programmes like lanterns, home lighting and street lighting and remote industry applications like rural telephony. Battery was a key component in all these off-grid solutions. However for the battery industry, the solar market was too insignificant to be taken seriously and for the solar industry module prices were of far greater concern than all else and batteries did not receive the attention it deserved. In fact, with many failures in the off-grid systems, traced to battery, arising out of improper use and poor maintenance, it was considered “a weak link”.
Rewards of Harvesting the Sun – the Rewa Way
The 750 MW Ultra Mega Solar Project being implemented by the Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited, a joint venture of Solar Energy Corporation of India and Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikas Nigam recently received global attention for the record low tariffs bid by the companies. The tariff at Rs. 2.97/unit was one of the lowest in the world. The project split into three units each of 250 MW was won by local companies Acme Solar, Mahindra Renewables and the Swedish Solenergi Power.
Welcoming an Exciting and Promising New Year
As we step into the New Year there are enough reasons to celebrate. The total installed capacity which totaled 5 GW at the end of 2015 doubled and crossed the 10 GW mark in November 2016. Solar’s contribution to the Nation’s energy basket rose to a recognizable 1% and overtook the Bio-mass segment to become the second largest RE contributor, after wind. The rooftop segment which lagged behind the ground mounted power plant segment, gained momentum to clock a cumulative installation of 1 GW in October 2016.