After the ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement, we have observed great global political will and momentum in dealing with challenges of climate change. India is taking global leadership by working to reduce the risk and impact of climate change and moving towards a resilient, low-carbon future. Recently at the COP22 in Marrakech, over 20 countries have become signatories to the framework agreement of the international Solar Alliance (ISA) -an initiative that is the brainchild of the Indian government. Energy access and energy security are two major challenges that our country is dealing with, along with climate change. The need of the hour is to follow up on our commitments, by creating a low carbon impetus solution for addressing all these issues. Decentralized renewable energy systems and solar applications are particularly relevant in the Indian context. Thus, we should make an effort towards scaling up renewable energy applications and en- sure the faster dissemination of other low carbon technologies.
RENEWABLE ENERGY OVERVIEW
The critical nature of climate change has brought 196 countries to form an international agreement in Paris in 2015. The agreement targets to limit the global average temperature rise to 2 °C at least. Renewable energy technologies have been considered to be instrumental in this pursuit. Renewable energy technologies generating energy from naturally abundant sources like solar, wind, hydro and biomass, among others have the capability to replace conventional fossil fuels like coal and petroleum and in turn stop the growth of CO2 emissions – one of the main causes of climate change.
Renewable energy sector has emerged as a major stakeholder in the power generation scenario in India. Government of India has been adopting favourable policies and programmes for sustainable growth of renewable energy sector with a goal to achieve energy security and providing clean energy access to a large part of its population living in remote and difficult terrain. In 2015- 16, India added 7100 MW of renewable energy capacity and in 2016-17 it has added 4925.26 MW (between April to January 2016). Today the total installed capacity stands at 52192.8 MW. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India has been successful in positioning India as world’s renewable energy leader through its ambitious and consistent policy sup- port. In 2014, Government of India announced a domestic target of 175 GW of installed renewable energy capacity by 2022. This target would be a crucial stepping-stone for achieving 2030 target. Inter- nationally at the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, India in its Intended Nationally Deter- mined Contributions (INDC’s) has pledged to reduce carbon intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 % from 2005 levels by 2030. It has committed to achieve 40 % cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030. With such high targets, REN21 Global Status Report 2016 listed India among the top five countries for investment in renewable power projects after China, the USA, Japan and the UK. InIndia also launched the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in 2015, to promote growth and development of solar power internationally in over 120 countries. Headquartered at India, ISA was conceived as a coalition of solar resource rich countries to address their special energy needs and provide a platform to collabo- rate on addressing the identi- fied gaps through a common agreed approach.
BENEFITS AND POTENTIAL APPLICATION:A Solar lantern is a simple application of SPV technology, found applicable in rural regions with irregular and scarce power supply. In urban areas, it’s prefer alternative during power cuts, because of its simple mechanism. A solar lantern is suitable for indoor as well as outdoor lighting, and it can save 3-5 litres of kerosene per month.
SOLAR PV ROOFTOP SYSTEMS FOR ENERGY SAVINGS/POWER BACKUP
BENEFITS AND POTENTIAL APPLICATION:The main advantages are reduced dependence on diesel generators, and lesser power interruptions. Standalone PV system or Inverter system with solar PV charging could be an attractive option for reliable lighting or a standby power supply system during the load shedding hours in urban areas as well as in rural areas.
SOLAR WATER PUMPING SYSTEMS FOR IRRIGATION & VILLAGE WATER SUPPLY
BENEFITS AND POTENTIAL APPLICATION: Farmers use diesel pump sets as a substitute to grid. This costly and environmental hazard- ous. Solar pumping system is an alternative to irrigational and drinking water requirements in such areas.
PREPARING A MASTER PLAN
Implementation of Renewable Energy (RE) and Energy Efficiency (EE) programs and projects at local level can contribute substantially towards clean energy access, job creation, overall development and welfare of a region, district, urban or rural area (village). District authority, municipality and Panchayat can take a range of initiatives and adopt byelaws for using renewable energy and implement energy efficiency measures. The aim of preparing a master plan is to use different renewable energy technologies that are relevant and techno economically feasible to support developmental activities in the area under consideration. The master plan should provide analysis of availability and intensity of renewable energy resources like solar, wind, hydro, biomass, biogas and waste in the district and subsequently it delineates the viable renewable energy technology interventions for the area. Different technology options should be presented based on economic assessment and financial viability to meet required demand in different sectors.
WASTE TO ENERGY
Municipal solid waste and liquid waste water (untreated sewage) can be used to generate energy. A city may assess the feasibility of us- ing a suitable quality of municipal solid waste for producing fuel or for producing electricity through the bio-methanation process. Assessment of the solid waste to energy potential should particularly consider the moisture content, inert content and calorific value of the waste. Liquid waste water should also be treated as a resource for producing energy through the process of bio-methanation. The quantity of biodegradable volatile solids in the waste water available for bio methanation is the primary limiting factor for the production of methane and subsequent conversion to power.
There are different steps and methods to co- vert solid waste into fuel / energy/ resource/ recycle and there are number of projects successfully being operated in many cities around the world. However, it is essential to segregate the MSW into different categories before converting them into different useful constituents. The flow chart below portrays various steps and processes to convert MSW into different useful elements.
Click to download