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World record solar plant in the works

India is getting in the solar spirit with plans to build the biggest solar power plant in the world. Officials from the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir signed a new agreement for solar projects with the capacity of 7,500 megawatts (MW). To put that in perspective, right now the largest single solar plant is a California project capable of 550 MW. So, India is not kidding around with its new endeavor.

One of the main reasons for such a massive project is to bring electricity to hundreds of millions of people currently living without it. India has over 1.2 billion residents with nearly 400 million of them having no access to electricity. Once the project is completed, the Indian government predicts it will be able to provide 36,981 solar home lights and street lights to 299 villages.

Another huge perk to expanding power with solar is reducing the country’s dependency on fossil fuels. India currently uses coal for more than half of its power production. By switching to solar, the country expects to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over 4 million tons per year.

While coming up with a plan to extend power to undeveloped portions of the country, solar was the most practical choice. Solar is already cheaper than diesel power in India, it has the perfect location that receives a plethora of sunlight, and a great amount of open space to build. The 5,000 MW project is planned to be in Ladakh, located in the Himalayas. Union Minister Farooq Abdullah said at the agreement signing, Ladakh could easily host 30,000 MW of solar power capacity, proving the opportunities with solar are almost endless in India.

So far 244 villages have already been supplied with solar home lighting and around 3 MW have been installed for special projects. Solar power plants will also be installed in 69 district and sub-district hospitals as well as 107 community centers. Right now there is no set date for full operation, but it’s clear India is making huge strides in the renewable energy sector.

 

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  • http://www.solartroniks.com V G Abraham

    And the best part Is that our J&K State has temperatures of about 12 deg C in mid summer, when the temperatures in other parts of the country is ranging from 40 to 50 deg C. Sunlight is quite minimal, unless they are getting reflective rays of Sunlight from the snow. The Southern states of the country are in the tropical belt and they are fortunately blessed with abundant sunlight, though the temperature there is under control due to them being surrounded by the sea. There are a lot of projects being undertaken there by individuals for their household or as a community or for their own industry needs.
    In the case of J&K state, the ex Chief Minister, Mr. Farooq Abdullah, who is also the father of the present Chief Minister of J&K, is at present the National Minister of Renewable Energy in the country. He is doing a good job and lets hope this project is successful and the same can be replicated to the other states which energy efficiency from the Sun will be better and the same can be shared on the grid for the others to use. India is by far at present an energy deficient country with a lot of organic waste in the cities, which can be itself be used for energy generation. There are a lot of such projects coming in the near future, and its important that a proper networking in maintained with the policy makers of this country to bring about the change.( Thanks for sharing this news about J&K on this platform)

  • Emily Neimanis

    V G Abraham, thank you for your comment! I agree, India currently is not the most energy efficient, but it’s clear the country is making huge strides in becoming more sustainable!

  • Paul Oxley

    What are they going to do when the sun sets?

  • Emily Neimanis

    Paul, that is a great question. While officials have not disclosed what methods they will use for power when the sun sets, there are a variety of options. Solar-storage is an up-and-coming technology in which power generated by solar panels can be stored in batteries. India also ranks 5th in the world for wind power generation, which can be used without sunlight.

  • james

    Could you provide some references for the “Solar is already cheaper than diesel power in India” Is silicon processing really that cheap? I find it surprising. what about the need to clean and replace those solar cells? Please note this is a serious question not playing devils advocate.

    • http://www.solartroniks.com V G Abraham

      I do not thinks its about India. Its about the happenings in the World. Just today I came across an article that in India, the cost of coal comes to about Rs. 5 to 6 per KWH and that of Solar comes to 8 per KWH. The price of Solar was high earlier and the price is drastically coming down. Also remember the cost is not because of the Sun, but it is because of the technology involved in converting the Sun ray into useful energy. But remember that the cost of diesel is about the source of energy itself which is not going to last for ever

  • Emily Neimanis

    James, I appreciate your curiosity on the matter. Both petrol and diesel prices have been on increasing since January 2013 due to global oil rates rising and a fall in the rupee (India’s currency) value, which has increased the cost of production. Meanwhile, India has been using auctions to reduce the price of solar power. That combined with solar panels decreasing in price by 51% last year alone, has made diesel power more expensive in India.

    • sreekanth

      I too agree with you. The main part in solar energy production is equipment involved for power conversion especially solar panels. These panels are costly, but especially in India, government is offering more & more subsidies to encourage distributed solar power generation. People in India are getting solar panels at half of the price. still so much research is going on panel fabrication.