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IJSTR >> Volume 4 - Issue 10, October 2015 Edition



International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research  
International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research

Website: http://www.ijstr.org

ISSN 2277-8616



Is Solar Power The Best Energy Option To Meet Our Future Demands?

[Full Text]

 

AUTHOR(S)

Samyak Shami

 

KEYWORDS

Index Terms: Solar, Power, Energy, Perovskites, SPV, Renewable, fossil fuel, CO2emission

 

ABSTRACT

Abstract: Currently, about 65% of global electricity generation now is fossil fuel-based – spewing 13 giga tonnes of CO2 . With mass production and innovations in technology the prices of renewable energy sources have plummeted to such levels where have become a welcoming option even without the subsidies.China has installed nearly 100 gigawatts (GW) of wind power and plans to double it within the next five years , while Britain is also in offshore wind power in a big way. However, oil continues to be the most valued fuel source as almost all of it is consumed in internal combustion (IC) engines – mostly for transport and some for captive power plants. Biofuels and hydrogen fuel cells may be used as alternatives to petrol but biofuels, which include ethanol, hamper the performance of a vehicle.The production cost of solar power panels has come down so much that they are competing with the coal-based power even without the subsidy. The solar powered lanterns, made up of a few light-emitting diodes are bringing light and enhancing the quality of life in the world’s poorest regions, which are also located in the equatorial region. The US Department of Energy’s target is to produce 27% of America’s electricity using solar power by 2050, up from less than 1% today. In Australia, solar power panels, most of them on rooftops, cater to almost 10% of the demand. About 25% households of South Australia have solar power followed by Queensland (22%) and Western Australia (18%).Modern innovations in solar cells show enormous capabilities for them to be used extensively on windows, buildings, even cell phones or any device that has a clear surface. Similar strides have been made in concentrated solar power. The Solar power however has limitations too. It can not generate power during night or when sky is overcast. Excessive power generated by solar panels has led to a crisis in Germany and elsewhere to the extent that generating companies in addition to selling, were also paying back the managers of the grid to take their electricity as the solar and wind generators produced 28.9 GW of power, taking the peak availability of power well beyond the grid could sustain. The ‘grid-priority’ meant that the conventional nuclear/coal/gas power plants had to go out of synchronization to save the grid, which they could not as they are not designed to get plugged off on short notice. The consequences of promoting renewable energy to the present extent have been disastrous for the existing conventional power plants, which are built keeping in mind 20-30 years perspective. The wholesale electricity prices though are going down as SPV cell production has been coming down at a fast pace, but the burden of subsidies has also been spiraling.However, the relatively low end of technology, abundant fallow land, relatively few skilled engineers and persons required to run a solar power plant and, short period required to install them provide a huge leveling of playing field as world’s poor mostly live in the regions inundated with solar incidence who are bound to benefit most. For automobiles, fuel cells or nitrogen engines may provide the alternative to oil, where hydrogen and nitrogen gas is produced from the power generated through the solar cells.

 

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[2] ibid

[3] ibid

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[19]
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[35] ibid

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[39] Data collected through questionnaire from Mr Gulab Singh, Project Head DSPP

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[41] The Economist, SOLAR FARMS, 15 Mar 2014