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Government's 100,000 – MV Solar Energy Plan, Discuss

While a majority of the world's current electricity supply is generated from fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas, these traditional energy sources face a number of challenges including rising prices, security concerns over dependence on imports from a limited number of countries which have significant fossil fuel supplies, and growing environmental concerns over the climate change risks associated with power generation using fossil fuels.

Recently Government has taken better decision to boost up India's Power because Solar energy is a resource that is not only sustainable for energy consumption, it is indefinitely renewable (at least until the sun runs out in billions of years). Solar panels require little maintenance. The Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre is considering starting its plan to build a 100,000-Mw solar energy capacity by 2022 through award of 10,000-Mw projects in the coming three months. The plan includes close to 6,000 Mw of capacity to be set up by NTPC alone, 2,500 Mw by Solar Energy Corporation, around 2,500 Mw in Madhya Pradesh and the rest as solar energy parks in several other states.

Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), a fully owned subsidiary of the ministry of new and renewable energy, will tender out 2,000 Mw of projects, likely by next month. �It will go to the Cabinet in a fortnight. All plans are in place and the ball will be set rolling for centrally awarded solar projects once approvals come. SECI is also about to sign a joint venture agreement with the Madhya Pradesh government to develop India�s first solar ultra mega power plant, of 750 Mw at one location. Officials in the ministry of new and renewable energy said NTPC would build 3,300 Mw of its own projects and tender 3,000 Mw under the power bundling scheme. �NTPC plans to harness 25,000 Mw of solar power in six years. Of this, it has committed to building 10,000 Mw itself.

NTPC�s plan has two solar parks � 1,500 Mw in Anantpur, Andhra Pradesh; and 1,000 Mw in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu. The clearance for land and tenders for transmission have been achieved and capacity will be awarded through rate-based bidding.

India�s current solar capacity is 3,382 Mw and the amount commissioned under the solar mission is 1,112 Mw. The current government revised upwards the target for the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission by five times. It aims to have in place 100,000 Mw of solar capacity by 2022, including by foreign investment. States are also awarding projects. MP leads with 2,500 Mw. Others to issue tenders soon are Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Rajasthan is studying a model for harnessing solar power on a large scale in desert areas.

As a result of these and other challenges facing traditional energy sources, governments, businesses and consumers are increasingly supporting the development of alternative energy sources and new technologies for electricity generation. Renewable energy sources such as solar, biomass, geothermal, hydroelectric and wind power generation have emerged as potential alternatives which address some of these concerns. As opposed to fossil fuels, which draw on finite resources that may eventually become too expensive to retrieve, renewable energy sources are generally unlimited in availability.

Even today's most efficient solar cells only convert just over 20% of the sun's rays to electricity. With increased advances in solar cell technology this number is likely to increase. Besides their low conversion efficiency, solar panels can be a substantial initial investment. However, the cost of solar panels incurred is only the initial cost, after buying and installation they create free energy for use.

India has great engineers, so government should establish research programs for increasing efficiency of solar cells collected by solar panels. These types of energy sources increase Indian economy and decrease the cost of living of people at any place.

Prasanth Ganivada

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