Greentech Lead Asia :Addressing the international
conference on Renewable Energy and Climate Change in Chennai, Union Minister of
State, PMO, V Narayanasamy said solar energy is crucial to the future of power
generation in India.
While asserting the importance of solar energy,
Narayanasamy said the country needs to exploit a variety of energy sources like
nuclear, fossil and renewable to meet the present demand and bridge the gap
between the supply and demand of power. Currently nuclear energy
contributes 4870 MW of power from 20 nuclear power stations. The country plans
to increase the capacity to 40,000 MW by 2020.
The international conference on ‘Energy and
Climate Change – Exploring Opportunities for Sustainable Development’ was held
in Madurai Kamaraj University on Saturday.
“As we have difficulty in procuring coal for power
plants and have to shell out a lot of our foreign exchange for import of coal
and oil, the country should harness nuclear and renewable energy sources in a
phased manner,” Narayanasamy said.
Though India has abundant solar resources tapping sun’s
energy remains a huge challenge for the country. According to a recent research
from RNCOS, India receives over 5,000 Trillion KWh solar energy annually, which
is quite more than its total energy consumption. However the cost of solar
energy currently stands at Rs. 12 per unit, while that of nuclear power and
fossil fuel are Rs. 1.90 and Rs. 3.40 per unit respectively.
India has been focusing on developing grid as well as
off-grid PV applications. With such initiatives, the PV installed capacity in
the country is estimated to grow at a CAGR of around 49.5 percent during
2010-2014, according to RNCOS research.
At the Madurai Conference, Narayanasamy emphasized the
need to work on reducing the cost of solar energy and increase efficiency of
its production. “Research should focus on highly-concentrated photovoltaic
cells for solar panels that need less space. The central government will
provide financial assistance to the university in this regard.”
Narayanasamy also inaugurated a solar power plant
at the university’s Regional Solar Testing Centre. The power plant with a
capacity of 1 KW has been established at the cost of Rs 3 lakh with funds from
UGC-Special Assistance Program. To tap 1KW power, 8 X 125 watt panels are
established. Currently the university’s efficiency in solar is 16 to 17 percent
and it is aspiring to reach 23 to 25 percent with the research.