Contribution of solar energy against climate change
As renewable energy sources (solar, wind & biogas, hydropower) are green and clean sources of energy, they not only help to curb the greenhouse gases and reduce their share but also are much cheaper and cleaner sources of energy, writes Roop Teli, Solar PV professional.
Over the last few centuries, with the development of countries and in the era of globalization the demand for energy has increased exponentially which has resulted in the excessive use of Conventional Fossil Fuels as the primary source energy.
Continuous use of fossil fuel has increased the concentration of greenhouse gases in the environment and has resulted in the global outcry and climate emergency as a consequence of our actions. According to the reports, as Global Energy demand worldwide grew by 2.3 percent in 2018, its fastest pace in the last decade leading to an increase in carbon emission of 1.7 percent. With 30 percent, coal combustion represents the largest share of the increase.
Hence Energy generation from conventional fossil fuels is one of the major contributors for increase in CO2 concentration, Greenhouse gases, thus resulting in Climate Change.
Climate Change is having worldwide impact like Global Warming, melting of glaciers, death of rivers, depletion of Ozon layers, Changes in weather patterns, depletion of forest covers which serves as lungs of the Earth.
According to a survey published by The New York Times, India’s financial capital and one of the largest cities in the world, Mumbai is at risk of being wiped out by 2050. This is only one survey result, many more similar effects have been marked out that will be there due to the adverse climate situation globally.
At present many countries from all over the world are addressing the issues of Global Climate Change with more efficient and sustainable energy source i.e. renewable energy. As renewable energy sources (solar, wind & biogas, hydropower) are green and clean sources of energy, they not only help to curb the greenhouse gases and reduce their share but also are much cheaper and cleaner sources of energy.
Among several renewable energy sources, solar energy is one of the most attractive sources because it is the most abundant source of energy in Nature and widely available throughout of the year and India is endowed with vast solar energy potential with about 300 sunny days in a year. According to International Atomic Energy Agency, coal contributes more than 16 times the Amount of CO2 emissions compared to Solar& According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), one gigawatt hour of solar generation can prevent the creation of 690 metric tons of CO2.
As per business standard, India is presently the third largest Energy consumer in the world. The energy consumption in India in the past decade has been increased at a compound rate of more than 5 percent. In future too, the energy consumption in India is expected to rise by more than 4 percent annually. Hence, most of the growth in energy sector is going to come from India. As per commitments to United Nations (UNs) framework convention on climate change, India will achieve 40 percent of its electric power capacity for Non-Fossil Fuel based energy resources by 2030. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), renewable energy needs to be scaled up at least six times faster for world to start to meet the goals set out in the Paris Agreement. i.e. to limit the average global temperature rise well below 2° Celsius.
India has a crucial role to play in dealing with Climate Change as India emerged as the 3rd largest Solar market in the world after China and US, according to a report by MERCOM Communications India. Also, as per report by NITI Aayog, the total final energy demand of India will double from almost 600(Million Tonnes of Oil Equivalent) to about 1200 from 2017 to 2042, at a rate of 8 percent per annum.
Solar Energy is one of the biggest markets amongst all renewable energy resources in India as the daily average Solar Energy irradiance varies from 4 to 7 kWh/m2. The Energy policy of India is largely defined by the country’s expanding energy deficit and increased focus on developing alternative sources of Energy particularly Solar Energy. For this, India is working to achieve the target of 100GW Solar power under National Solar Mission (JNNSM) by 2022. By achieving this target, India will become one of the largest Green energy producers in the world, surpassing several developed countries. According to a report by MERCOM Communications India, a Bangalore based renewable energy consulting firm, the cumulative solar installation in India has already reached 30 GW as of March 2019.
Solar energy is the best way to meet India’s Increasing energy demand and dealing with Climate Change as Solar Energy generated by solar photovoltaic panels installed on Rooftop/Ground to be directly used to run Industries is not only a cheaper but a cleaner and greener source to generate your own energy.
A few other alternates to switch to greener sources is by:
- Use of electric vehicle to reduce the primary energy consumption from crude oil and solar energy to be used to charge the electric vehicles.
- Storage of solar energy in batteries and to be used during load shading instead of diesel generators.
- Installation of microgrid system with solar in remote areas where grid has not reached to minimize the use of primary energy consumption from crude oil/ fossil fuels.
- Promotion of electric rikshaws with solar panels for charging the batteries.
- Installation of floating solar power plant to reduce water evaporation and effective resource utilization.
By installing 1 kW solar power plant, anybody can reduce their carbon emissions by 34.50 MT which is equal to planting 43 trees hence residential solar /rooftop solar has a major role to play to meet the energy demand from residential sector.
At present, many of the world’s largest coal and oil companies are investing in solar energy assets as global solar energy market is evolving with new technologies like energy storage, batteries, electric vehicles and EV charging infrastructure, microgrid & highly efficient PV panels etc. which will help increase in establishing more energy efficient systems. A decarbonized energy sector, dominated by solar energy, is at core of the transition to a sustainable energy future for any country and is an effective way to deal with the problem of climate change. Since some of the world’s largest economies are promoting and considering solar energy as an alternate source of energy, it’s going to play a major role in dealing with climate change.
The author holds expertise In designing of solar rooftop power plants having diverse experience in PV industry like degradation, performance analysis of PV at Amplus Solar.
Source: Energy Next