Industrial experts promote solar energy in Coimbatore

Last Updated: Mon, Nov 26, 2012 15:20 hrs

Industrial experts in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, have claimed that using solar energy is extremely beneficial in the wake of consistent and acute power shortages in the area.

According to media reports, nanotechnology has the potential to make solar energy affordable and cost-effective at the same time.

Coimbatore is well-known for windmills, but it has now made its foray in the realm of solar energy.

A one MW solar plant has been set up in Coimbatore and the energy generated is supplied to the grid.

Solar plants can be established anywhere in the state, especially on rooftops where solar panels are installed.

In the future, it is said that nano-materials may be used to transform heat generated from various equipment.

R. Challappan, solar energy producer and an industrial expert, on Monday, said that the alternative energy source was becoming increasingly popular to solve the problem of power cuts.

"We are getting a lot of enquiries, particularly from the manufacturing segment and hospitals and institutions. It looks like solar energy is the best option for establishing power continuity and improving productivity. So, with the help of the new policy, there is enormous hope and potential for the solar companies to contribute to society," he said.

Challapan said that Tamil Nadu was going through a dark phase, thus the need of the hour is to introduce energy sources that could increase productivity.

"We are going through series of power cuts all over, especially in the rural side of the country, but Tamil Nadu is really going through a dark phase, because of lack of generation and increasing demand. So, people have different mindsets and not relying on only source of electricity, they are looking at different alternatives," he said.

India, growing at around 5-6 percent per year, needs all the help it can get to ease the strain on its power sector, where supply already falls 11-12 percent short of demand during peak hours.

The world's fourth-largest crude importer also wants to cut dependency on costly oil and reduce the use of coal, where its huge reserves face production problems forcing it to supplement from outside. Solar can help cut use of diesel and kerosene-both heavily subsidised by the financially-strapped state.

India installed 300 MW of solar capacity in 2011, accounting for just 1 percent of the 29.5 gigawatts (GW) of new such plants in the period. Outside Europe, which accounts for 75 percent of the market, China installed the most last year with 2.2 GW.

India's USD 70 billion solar plans mirrors China's, with both aiming for solar capacity of 20 GW by 2020, although Beijing is expected to up that to 21 GW by 2015. (ANI)

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