Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Solar Energy
- A new Concentrated Solar Thermal (CST) based test rig facility was established at Hyderabad recently.
- It can help test the capability and performance of solar thermal components like solar receiver tubes, heat transfer fluids, and concentrating mirrors.
- The facility is set up by the International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology (DST).
About Solar energy
- Solar energy is radiant light and heat from the Sun that is harnessed using a range of ever-evolving technologies such as solar heating, photovoltaics, solar thermal energy, solar architecture, molten salt power plants and artificial photosynthesis
- Some of its advantages include: Pollution free, virtually inexhaustible supply and global distribution.
- Due to global warming and climate change, world is now compelled to move from fossil based energy towards clean and green energy.
What is the Technology used to harness solar energy?
- Solar Photovoltaic: Solar photovoltaic (SPV) cells convert solar radiation (sunlight) into electricity. A solar cell is a semi-conducting device made of silicon and/or other materials, which, when exposed to sunlight, generates electricity.
- Solar thermal: Solar Thermal Power systems, also known as Concentrating Solar Power systems, use concentrated solar radiation as a high temperature energy source to produce electricity using thermal route (water converted into steam to turn turbines).
Solar Energy in India
- India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC’s) commitment includes 100 GW of solar power out of 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022.
- India’s current installed solar power capacity: 26025.97 MW which is 34% of total renewable energy sources i.e, 75055.92 MW till February 2019.
- Ministry of new and renewable energy is the nodal agency to tackle India’s renewable energy issues.
- Recently, India achieved 5th global position in solar power deployment by surpassing Italy.
- National Solar Mission aims to establish India as a global leader in solar energy by creating the policy conditions for its deployment across the country.
- Rooftop Solar Scheme: To generate solar power by installing solar panels on the roof of the houses
- Production-linked Incentive (PLI) scheme to promote manufacturing of high efficiency solar PV modules in India.
- International Solar Alliance (ISA): Launched by the Indian Prime Minister and the French President in 2015 with a vision to enable One World, One Sun, One Grid (OSOWOG).
- One Sun, One World, One Grid (OSOWOG): A framework for facilitating global cooperation, building a global ecosystem of interconnected renewable energy resources (mainly solar energy) that can be smoothly shared.