Renewable Energy (RE) is now making a noticeable impact especially in the lives of rural masses. Simultaneously though, its use for urban and semi-urban applications is also growing by the day. India gets more than 5,000 trillion kWh of Solar Energy every year. This much of energy is very high compared to the overall energy requirement and consumption in the country.
What is solar energy?
Solar Energy is the energy received from the sun that sustains life on earth. For many decades solar energy has been considered as a huge source of energy and also an economical source of energy because it is freely available.
Solar Energy Facts
Solar Energy is already being successfully used in residential and industrial settings for cooking, heating, cooling, lighting, space technology, and for communications among other uses. In fact, fossil fuels are also one form of solar energy stored in organic matter. With fossil fuels making major impact on the environment and raising issues of pollution and global warming, solar energy has increased in its importance to industries and homes. While the reserves of fossil fuels are restricted, there is no limitation to the availability of solar energy.
With improvement in solar energy technology and the increase in prices of fossil fuel, solar energy is gradually becoming more and more affordable. In addition, there is additional cost in the form of importation and transportation, required for oil, coal and gas.
In the last few years, the cost of manufacturing of photovoltaic cells has gone down by as much as 5% in a year and the percentage of government subsidies have gone up. This means that every year, it is becoming more and more affordable to use Solar Energy.
When you want to install Solar Energy system at home, you would require it to be sufficient for meeting all electricity requirements in home for a day plus it should generate enough power to store for 3 to 5 days for contingency purpose.
India is blessed with abundant solar radiation all year around. For example, less than 5% of the Thar Desert can provide enough solar energy to meet all of India's energy needs.
Advantages of Solar Energy
Once the initial cost of installation is met, the electricity generated by solar panels is free of cost. In a stand-alone solar power system you don’t have to pay any utility bills. Another positive in installing solar power systems is that government offers lots of rebates and incentives to cover the initial cost. You can also sell the additional electricity generated by your system. Sometimes the utility company will give you credits for selling the excess amount of electricity.
~ No depletion of non renewable resources like coal and petroleum
~ No power shortage as there is endless supply of Sunlight
~ Reduction in Carbon Emissions
~ No water or air pollution
~ Resultant cleaner, greener, healthier environment
~ Reduction in life threatening diseases
~ Increased life expectancy
Development and the Future
With energy prices going up and supplies shrinking, global warming issues, renewable energy has become a focus area for policy makers and governments globally.
A shift towards renewable energy is necessary to meet the rapidly increasing energy needs. Solar Energy is a social revolution that has the power to elevate India in a way that no technology has before.
Author's Note: This is a fact based blog post; just to encourage people to use Solar Energy. I want to acknowledge GREENPEACE INDIA for the idea sharing. I m using this source of energy in buildings, cooking and transportation.. and I want everyone to Give it a thought!!