Distributed Solar is an approach to meet the economic and environmental benefits including the management of growing energy demands.
Distributed Solar generation is opposite of centralized generation where the power is generated from locally available resources like biomass, wind or sun near to the point where it is being used. Since the power of the sun can be harnessed locally at a place one needs it, growing demands of power can be met in villages and small cities or town with less investment.
Below is a reference image of distributed solar power generation and distribution
The centralized approach becomes inefficient due to high investment cost and a huge transmission loss. Moreover, Power plants which use coals add heavy pollution in the environment. Distributed Solar on the other hand will eliminate the need for central solar operated by the large electric utility company. A small solar power plant can be owned by a qualified SME and this will help in local employment.
Decentralization approach will first feed the local loads and excess will be feed into the grid and thereby we will use the full generation capacity of power plant. A distributed approach also produces zero greenhouse gas emission which is the biggest advantage with it as it’s clean and pollution free.
India as a growing country having huge opportunities to generate clean local power through Distributed Solar Energy and initiatives has been already taken by the Indian government in the year 2010 with the name of “Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission”.
The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (also known as the National Solar Mission) is a major initiative by Indian government to promote solar energy. The objective of the National Solar Mission is to establish India a global leader in solar energy. The immediate aim of the Mission is to focus on setting up an enabling environment for solar technology penetration in the country both at a centralized and decentralized level.
Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has set up a yearly target of 100000 MW energy production through solar technology. To meet the scaled up a target of 100,000 MW, MNRE has proposed to achieve it through 40,000 MW through Rooftop Solar Projects and 60,000 MW through Large and Medium Scale solar projects.
Why distributed solar approach should be focused in India:
- No Location Constraint: Solar photovoltaic technology is very clean and produces no noise, so it can be sited anywhere even in the locality.
- Less land area used: Distributed solar approach can be established in the lesser land area if compared to centralized approach.
- Cost Efficient: In 2003 the plan of India’s Ministry of Power to extend the grid power was abandoned because the investment that was required per house was 23,000 INR.
But by the decentralized approach of distributed solar, mini-power plants can be set-up and the cost per house will be below 20,000 INR and most importantly energy will be free of cost.
- Increased Employment: Distributed solar approach of 50 KW-300 KW opens the door for SME’s to invest in solar power generation and it will increase local employment.
- Grid Stability: It helps in stabilizing the Grid. We can control on power reduction, control over voltage, low voltage ride through and overall we can insure lesser transmission losses
Apart from the above mentioned points, there are several other benefits of distributed solar. It is very difficult for a centralised power generation approach to supply power in rural areas. This is because stretching up the wires from the place where power is generated is very costly, tedious task, and unreliable. But if this centralized approach will be replaced by a decentralized solar power generation, then villages can have their own power plant, which seems most reliable and cost-effective as the energy need not be produced because it will come from solar renewable sources like sun and wind.
Distributed solar power generation approach will increase, the future of India and is going to be the crucial component of India’s energy. The infrastructure of distributed power generation is improving day-by-day. Even the government of India has encouraged the development in grid technologies, which support distributed power generation.
Considering the present scenario of sources of energy as shown in above figure there are huge scope in India to for renewable energy.
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